Can A Software Know Whether It Is Running On A Laptop or Desktop


Short Bytes: There are different chassis types available for computers like laptops, desktops, towers, workstations, etc. It’s easy for humans to know which type of computer they are using. But how does the software know whether it is running on a laptop or a desktop?

By work, a laptop, and a desktop is created to do the same thing and has the same sort of hardware inside. The visible difference between the two categories of computer hardware can be sufficient for the humans to realize their separate personalities.

That’s for the humans, but how does the software installed on these machines know whether its home is a laptop or a desktop, or any other chassis like a Tower, etc. And is surely possible as you might have seen in the case of Microsoft Windows. The Hibernate option is not present on desktop machines which have an option called hybrid sleep. Clearly, Windows is able to draw a line between a desktop and a laptop.

The presence of a battery can help a software to detect the type of computer. Also, the IDs associated with various components present can convey the information to the operating system and in turn any other software wanting to know about the machine type.


The type of computer can be known by analyzing the CPU ID. And that’s obvious because a separate type of processors is available for laptops and desktops.

How to know your computer type

You can check the chassis type of your machine. For Windows, the Windows32_SystemEnclosure can be used to discern the chassis type. In order to do so, you can read the following TechNet document.

Know the Chassis type on Windows

For Linux, knowing the chassis of your computer is simple. Just type the following command in the Terminal:

sudo dmidecode –string chassis-type

The question was originally asked on Superuser. To know more, read the complete discussion here.

Also Read: What Is This Weird Slot On Your Laptop? What Does It Do?

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