Hardware Monitor

End-of-Life Notice: Hardware Monitor is no longer in development (Why?)

What is Hardware Monitor?

Hardware Monitor is part of an application suite for the macOS operating system. The applications are designed to read out the hardware sensors built into specific Macintosh models. Additional information can be retrieved as well. Among other data, this includes:

  • Processor type and clock frequencies
  • Apple model identification and manufacturing data
  • Physical and virtual memory details
  • Logicboard information
  • Version numbers of the operating system environment
  • System management information, including connectors and jumpers
  • Battery details (on portable computers)
  • Overview of disk drives
  • Display screen identification
Sample screenshot for an iMac Retina 5K 2014. The number of displayable sensors will vary greatly depending on Macintosh model series.
Sample screenshot for an iMac Retina 5K 2014. The number of displayable sensors will vary greatly depending on Macintosh model series.

We try to access sensors on as many Macintosh computer types as possible. However, a prediction which sensors are available in which models is not possible.

Please note that Apple does not support an official or standardized way of reading out sensor data in macOS (the only exceptions were the former model series officially declared as “servers”). Moreover, there is no documentation or other technical note about the individual function of the sensors. For this reason, the development of Hardware Monitor is very costly because the necessary data has to be determined by reverse engineering and tests run on a variety of computer models. Please support the development of the application by purchasing a registration key for Hardware Monitor.

Output and Processing

The applications support the following operations on the measured readings:

  • display in a default text window
  • output in a screen display in front or in the background of the screen
  • tabular display in an overview window
  • display in the menu-bar
  • display of a maximum of two readings in the Dock
  • graphical display of short-term and long-term history curves
  • speech output of readings
  • display of minimum and maximum values
  • export to text and CSV files

Additional Applications

The distribution package not only includes the full version of Hardware Monitor, but also two additional variants of the software:

  • a space-preserving Lite version, which displays the readings in the menu-bar only, not consuming valuable Dock or screen real estate,
  • a command-line version which makes it possible to acquire readings at the Unix level or in combination with other applications, for example via scripts.

Another application, the add-on Hardware Monitor Remote allows you to monitor remote computers as well, transferring the sensor data over a network. The following table summarizes all available variants of the applications:

Application Name Part of download package Description
Hardware Monitor Hardware Monitor main program with all features
Hardware Monitor Lite Hardware Monitor version running in the menu bar only
Hardware Monitor Remote Hardware Monitor Remote server program running on remote computers in a network
hwmonitor command-line tool Hardware Monitor version for the Unix command line of macOS

Features

  • Display of temperature readings, selectable in degrees Celsius, Fahrenheit, or Kelvin
  • Display of many other sensors, depending on the specific computer model
  • Output of current readings in a horizontal or vertical window that can be customized
  • Output of current readings in a "floating" screen display or on the background of the Desktop
  • Output of no, one, or two selectable current readings in a Dock tile
  • Output of no, one, or up to eight selectable current readings in the menu bar
  • Definition of an unlimited number of history graphs that visualize readings in a time interval between 12 minutes and 1 week
  • Adjustable refresh interval
  • Customizable labels and display options for all sensors
  • Periodic automatic recording and safe storage of history data for defective, unstable computers
  • Customizable announcements of current readings via speech output
  • Customizable definition of alarm triggers for each sensor
  • Definition of alarm actions, e.g. opening an alert panel, speech warnings, macOS Notifications, launching an application or script
  • Export of readings or history data sets into text files or CSV files
  • Readings can also be acquired by Unix scripts. The application comes with a special command-line tool to achieve this.
  • Display of hardware details, e.g. serial numbers or manufacturing data
  • Display of system management data (based on SMBIOS records)
  • Definition of artificial sensors that monitor aspects of the operating system, e.g. CPU load, number of processes, disk usage, memory usage, paging activity, network interface activity, SMART verification status, status of macOS software RAIDs, electrical power, remaining battery capacity
  • Display of detail information and SMART status of all currently attached hard drives
  • Display of detail information about all currently attached battery units
  • Remote monitoring of computers via a TCP network in connection with the add-on application Hardware Monitor Remote
  • Control of external LCD panels, including freely customizable output definitions. Alphanumeric liquid crystal displays compliant with the original Hitachi HD44780 industry standard are supported. The LCD panel must be connected via a USB control unit "IO-Warrior 24" a product of Code Mercenaries Hard- und Software GmbH. Alternatively, the application supports the CF-632 and CF-634 USB display series from Crystalfontz America, Inc.