lsvpd - Linux Diagnostic Tools


Table of Contents

​This is a set of tools designed for technical/advanced users who wish to know more about their hardware and related components for servicing. This tool comes with various commands namely lsvpd, lscfg, lsmcode, lsvio & vpdupdate. Let’s proceed below to know more about them.  

What are these diagnostic tools?

It is a hardware inventory database program designed to re-implement AIX’s (IBM version of UNIX) related commands.

  • lsvpd lists all the VPD associated with the FRU
  • lscfg list the hardware configuration
  • lsmcode list the microcode and firmware levels
  • lsvio lists virtual I/O adapters and devices
  • while vpdupdate updates the database of VPD

So what is VPD?

​Vital Product Data contains information about your hardware or software. They include the configuration such as serial numbers, manufacturers, part numbers, etc.  

What is FRU?

​Field Replaceable Unit refers to those components of the Circuit board in which any faulty part can be replaced by a technician or non-technician lacking deep knowledge about the hardware.  

Installing Linux diagnostic tools

​As of now, the tool is not available in the official Ubuntu repository but hey good news! The authors made a *.deb package version for you so you don’t have the headache of compiling it yourself. Head over here and download the package.

Then fire up your terminal and cd to the required directory and key in this command –

sudo dpkg -i lsvpd_1.3.3-1_i386.deb 
install lsvpd linux diagnostic tool

Running the tool

​Now let’s run one of the tools: lsvpd; which is a viable one for now. But before that you have to know all the above-mentioned tools require root privileges, then again you have to update the VPD at least once. Alright then –

sudo vpdupdate
sudo lsvpd ​

We have the following field:

how to run lsvpd tool

​The one highlighted green stands alone from other fields and the blue arrowed below shows similar output associated with various hardware.

Well, that alone is not understandable and the documentation is read as “machine-readable” so here are some of the few terms –

  • TM stand for Model of the hardware
  • SE is the serial
  • MF is the manufacturer of the hardware

Passing arguments

​If you want more output then you have to pass the “debug” argument to lsvpd this way –

all lsvpd tool arguments
sudo lsvpd -D ​

If you want output that distinguishes a global VPD (********) and partition private (========) then –

lsvpd -m argument

sudo lsvpd -m

​You could also pass hardware serial and type model explicitly to get info about it using -s and -t respectively. However, that is not recommended.

And for the nerdy users, you can point your VPD database file to a different directory by passing –

path=Database_directory argument.  

Running the other ls… tools

​Here is a sample running lscfg tool –

sudo lscfg 
running lscfg tool

​And a sample screenshot running lsmcode with debugging enabled.

sudo lsmcode -D 
lamcode -D


​Installing and living with the Linux Diagnostic Tools is not pretty though because:

  • vpdupdate will run at startup. So get ready to delay your boot-up time by 4-6 seconds.
  • you might encounter this error dialog at every boot-up.
ubuntu system program problem detected

​And later you’ll have to find a way out of this error while updating VPD using vpdupdate tool.

vpdupdate tool

​The solution I found out was to archive the VPD database in this way. sudo vpdupdate -a ​Otherwise, you could also delete all the contents of /var/lib/lsvpd/ and that helps too. Don’t forget to rerun vpdupdate tool again.


​This is pretty much about it. In case you wish to learn more about a tool, it’s best you refer to it using man. Otherwise here are the two websites I recommend you to read: lsvpd and lscfg.

Linux toolsUncategorized