Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mac Thunderbolt Display Serial Numbers from the Command Line

A display recently "died" on one of our users. It no longer lit...turning it into a shiny work of pitch-black art...but the hub functions still worked, and remotely connecting to the system with Apple Remote Desktop shows two displays (the Thunderbolt and connected laptop.) 

In order to check the status of the Applecare warranty, I needed the serial number. This system had been previously removed from its stand and connected to a mounting arm, so I couldn't guarantee the hardware matched what was printed on the bottom of the stand. Uh-oh.

Fear not! The Mac actually has a number of fairly awesome tools available if you know where to look. The system I had connected to it was running 10.9 and the system information application wouldn't tell me the serial number of the display. 

The workaround is to open the terminal, then run:

sudo system_profiler SPDisplaysDataType

This spits out some helpful information, and buried in that information dump is a section called Displays. In that is "Thunderbolt Display:", and under that is the serial number!

Seriously handy for system information, especially if you have to ssh into a user system and look up hardware information. For more information take a gander at:

system_profiler -usage

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