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In Linux dmesg (display message or driver message) is a command on most Unix-like operating systems that prints the message buffer of the kernel. The output of this command typically contains the messages produced by the device drivers.
When initially booted, a computer system loads its kernel into memory. At this stage device drivers present in the kernel are set up to drive relevant hardware. Such drivers, as well as other elements within the kernel, may produce output ("messages") reporting both the presence of modules and the values of any parameters adopted. (It may be possible to specify boot parameters which control the level of detail in the messages.) The booting process typically happens at a speed where individual messages scroll off the top of the screen before an operator can read/digest them. (Some keyboard keys may pause the screen output.) The dmesg command allows the review of such messages in a controlled manner after the system has started.
dmesg prints the contents of the ring buffer. This information is also sent in real
klogd, when they are running, and ends up in
dmesg is most useful is in capturing boot-time messages from before
klogd started, so that they will be properly logged.
Even after the system has fully booted, the kernel may occasionally produce further diagnostic messages. Common examples of when this might happen are when I/O devices encounter errors, or USB devices are hot-plugged. dmesg provides a mechanism to review these messages at a later time. When first produced they will be directed to the system console: if the console is in use then these messages may be confused with or quickly overwritten by the output of user programs.
The output of dmesg can amount to many complete screens. For this reason, this output is normally reviewed using standard text-manipulation tools such as more, tail, less or grep. The output is often captured in a permanent system logfile via a logging daemon, such as syslog.
That depends on the operating system. For example on Solaris, dmesg is simply a shell script showing the last 200 lines of the /var/adm/messages.* files.
December 22, 2016 | xmodulo
Question: An Ethernet network interface card is attached to my Linux box, and I would like to know which network adapter driver is installed for the NIC hardware. Is there a way to find out the name and version of a network card driver for my network card?
For network interface card (NIC) hardware to operate properly, you need a suitable device driver for the NIC hardware. A NIC device driver implements a hardware-independent common interface between the Linux kernel and the NIC, so that packets can be moved between the kernel and the NIC. While some drivers may be statically built in the kernel, most drivers for modern NICs are dynamically loaded as kernel modules.
When you are troubleshooting a NIC hardware problem, one thing you can do is to check whether a correct network adapter driver is installed properly. In this case, you need to know which kernel module is your NIC driver.
There are several ways to find the name/version of an Ethernet card driver on Linux.
The first method is to to check dmesg messages. Since the kernel loads necessary hardware drivers during boot, dmesg output should tell if an Ethernet card driver is installed.$ dmesg | grep -i ethernet
The above output shows that a driver named tg3 is loaded in the kernel.
If you want to know more detail about this driver (e.g., driver version), you can use modinfo command.
$ modinfo tg3
If dmesg does not print any information about Ethernet driver, that means no suitable network device driver is available on your system.
The second method is to use the ethtool command. To find out the driver name for an interface eth0, run the following.$ ethtool -i eth0
Another useful tool for NIC driver information is lshw. Type the following command to get detailed information about available Ethernet card(s) and their driver.$ sudo lshw -class network
In the lshw output, look for the "capabilities" line, and examine "driver" and "driverversion" in the line.
If no suitable NIC driver is installed on your system, the driver field will remain empty.
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