Jul 012012

Sometime is useful to have information on a system when you login into it via ssh or via a local terminal, or perhaps just to have a warmer welcome with some ASCII art and information on your system, on Linux there are many software that do this work, we can call them Shell information tools.

These tools are designed to run in a terminal to show information on your distribution/system.


This handy Bash script can be used to generate one of those nifty terminal theme information + ASCII distribution logos you see in everyone’s screenshots nowadays. You choose the distribution logo, and can customize the colors and commands that the script uses to take the actual screenshot. This script is very easy to add to and can easily be extended, and the more ideas, the better.


Screenfetch is wrote in bash, so all you need to do is download the file “screenFetch” and edit the settings at the top of the file. There are comments that should make all of the settings fairly easy to edit there, and a configuration reference is available at Configuration.

If you use a .deb distribution (Debian, Ubuntu, etc) you can also install the debian package: http://served.kittykatt.us/projects/screenfetch/screenfetch-2.4.4.deb

These are some screenshots of screenfetch



Its a simple screenshot/info tool similar to Screenfetch, Archey is written in python 2.6 and was originally written for Arch Linux but the current version of archey supports many other popular linux distros such as Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Linux Mint and Fedora.

The dependencies are: git, python, scrot and lsb-release

Installation and usage

To install archey on Ubuntu and Debian you can use the following commands:

sudo apt-get install lsb-release scrot  
wget http://github.com/downloads/djmelik/archey/archey-0.2.8.deb  
 sudo dpkg -i archey-0.2.8.deb

For rpm based distro there is an older release packaged as .rpm that you can download from here

Or you can download the latest version (0.3.0) directly as a python script.

After the installation you can simply run archey in your terminal and you’ll get something similar to this:

And to do a screenshot use the option -s.


screenfo outputs a load of system information, including the running window manager, GTK theme, icons, fonts, shell, terminal emulator, and much more, while taking the screenshot, similar to the others this one is wrote in perl.

Perl => 5.10
Term::ExtendedColor, available from the CPAN:
or github: http://github.com/trapd00r/Term-ExtendedColor

Some standard UNIX tools:
scrot for taking the actual screenshot

Installation and usage

One of the requirement is not available as package for some distribution (ubuntu for example) so these are the instructions to install it via cpan:

cpan Term::ExtendedColor
git clone git://github.com/trapd00r/screenfo
cd screenfo
perl Makefile.PL
make && su -c 'make install'
cp screenfo.conf $HOME/.screenfo.conf

After that you can run from the terminal the command screenfo, with some of the following options:

      -c,   --color     specify colorscheme to use
      -l,   --list      list available colorschemes
      -a,   --ascii     specify ascii art to use
      -n,   --noran     dont randomize the colors
      -s    --shot      take screenshot


These are 3 useful tools that you can use to give information about your system, to automatically start one of these programs whenever you open the terminal, you just need to add it into your bashrc file (/home/username/.bashrc for local user), and you’ll have the output at every login.

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