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CompTIA Linux+ XK0-005 - 4.3 - CPU Info

Understanding the characteristics and capabilities of the CPU is essential for analyzing and troubleshooting performance issues in Linux environments. This guide focuses on two important sources of CPU information: /proc/cpuinfo and the lscpu command. We'll explore the details provided by these resources, how to access them, and their significance in diagnosing CPU and memory-related issues.

Details in /proc/cpuinfo

The /proc/cpuinfo file contains information about the CPU(s) installed on the system. It provides a detailed view of various CPU attributes. Here are some key details you can find in /proc/cpuinfo:

  • Processor type: The vendor_id field indicates the CPU manufacturer, such as "GenuineIntel" for Intel processors or "AuthenticAMD" for AMD processors.


    $ cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep vendor_id
      vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
  • CPU model: The model name field specifies the model and family of the CPU.


    $ cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep "model name"
      model name      : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8700K CPU @ 3.70GHz
  • CPU frequency: The cpu MHz field shows the current clock frequency of the CPU in megahertz.


    $ cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep "cpu MHz"
      cpu MHz         : 3699.998
  • Cache information: The cache size field displays the size of the CPU cache, including the level (L1, L2, L3) and capacity.


    $ cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep "cache size"
      cache size      : 256 KB
  • Number of cores: The cpu cores field indicates the number of physical cores available on the CPU.


    $ cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep "cpu cores"
      cpu cores       : 6
  • Hyper-Threading (HT) technology: If supported, the siblings field specifies the total number of logical processors (threads) due to HT.


    $ cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep siblings
      siblings        : 12

Accessing CPU Information with lscpu

The lscpu command provides a convenient way to retrieve CPU-related information in a structured format. Here are some examples of how to access CPU details using lscpu:

  • Display basic CPU information: Running lscpu without any options provides a summary of the CPU architecture, model, vendor, and other relevant details.


    $ lscpu
      Architecture:        x86_64
      CPU op-mode(s):      32-bit, 64-bit
      Byte Order:          Little Endian
      CPU(s):              12
      On-line CPU(s) list: 0-11
      Thread(s) per core:  2
      Core(s) per socket:  6
      Socket(s):           1
      NUMA node(s):        1
      Vendor ID:           GenuineIntel
      CPU family:          6
      Model:               158
      Model name:          Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8700K CPU @ 3.70GHz
      Stepping:            10
      CPU MHz:             3700.000
      BogoMIPS:            7399.99
      Virtualization:      VT-x
      L1d cache:           32K
      L1i cache:           32K
      L2 cache:            256K
      L3 cache:            12288K
  • List CPU flags: The -J or --json option outputs the CPU flags in JSON format, representing various features and instructions supported by the CPU.


    $ lscpu -J
        "lscpu": {
          "CPU(s)": "12",
          "On-line CPU(s) list": "0-11",
          "Thread(s) per core": "2",
          "Core(s) per socket": "6",
          "Socket(s)": "1",
          "NUMA node(s)": "1",
          "Vendor ID": "GenuineIntel",
          "CPU family": "6",
          "Model": "158",
          "Model name": "Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8700K CPU @ 3.70GHz",
          "Stepping": "10",
          "CPU MHz": "3700.000",
          "BogoMIPS": "7399.99",
          "Virtualization": "VT-x",
          "L1d cache": "32K",
          "L1i cache": "32K",
          "L2 cache": "256K",
          "L3 cache": "12288K"


Understanding the CPU characteristics and accessing detailed CPU information is crucial for analyzing and troubleshooting CPU and memory-related issues in Linux environments. The /proc/cpuinfo file provides comprehensive CPU details, while the lscpu command offers a convenient way to retrieve structured CPU information.

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