Browsing the proc File System

If you really want to be sure you have access to real-time information about what's happening on your server, you should look at the /proc file system. This file system reads directly from memory what's happening on your server. In this directory, you'll find a lot of files that contain important information:

/proc/devices: This file gives an overview of all the devices used on your system. This overview is divided into block devices (something where you can store blocks of data on) and character devices (devices to where you can send a stream of data).

/proc/cpuinfo: This file gives you information about specific features that are used by the CPU(s) in your server. On a one CPU-system, you will see information about cpu0 only. If you have more than one CPU, a dual core, or hyperthreading, you will see information about cpul as well. Figure 12-3 shows an example of the contents of this file.

Figure 12-3. The /proc/cpuinfo file gives detailed information about features supported by the CPU in your server.

/proc/fb: In this file, you'll find information about the frame buffer device. This device is used as an abstraction of the graphics hardware in your server. In the file you will see in which mode the frame buffer device is currently used.

/proc/interrupts: In this file, you'll find an overview of interrupts that are currently in use to allow hardware to communicate with the CPU.

/proc/ioports: This file shows information about all the I/O ports in use on your server.

/proc/bus: This directory shows information about all the devices connected to the system bus of your server. For example, in /proc/bus/pci/devices you can get more information about the PCI devices in use on your server, and /proc/bus/usb gives information about the USB devices connected to your server.

/proc/scsi: In this subdirectory you can find information about the SCSI devices connected to your system. Also, information about SAN-related devices such as Fibre Channel adapters is stored in this subdirectory.

Although the information in the /proc file system is good, deep, and real time, it takes a lot of knowledge and experience to see what is really happening on your system. Therefore, it may not be the best place to start if you need more in-depth information about what's happening on your server. The next section gives information about the YaST interface, which you can use to browse this information.

Tip An easy way to get all the relevant information from the proc file system is to use the procinfo command. This command shows an overview of all the relevant information that is in /proc.

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