System Information (previously known as System Profiler) is a software utility derived from field service diagnostics produced by Apple's Service Diagnostic Engineering team, at that time located in Apple satellite buildings in Campbell, California, that has been bundled with the Mac OS since Mac OS 7.6 (until OS X it was called Apple System Profiler). With the release of Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion" System Profiler was renamed to System Information. Other new features in Lion are the ability to look up support information for the user's hardware model as well. In OS X 10.8 users can also access System Profiler by holding down the option key and "System Information…" will replace "About This Mac" in the Apple Menu.
It compiles technical information on all of the installed hardware, devices, drivers, applications, system settings, system software programs and kernel extensions installed on the host computer. It can export this information as plain text, RTF or in the plistXML format. This information is used to diagnose problems. System Profiler can be extremely useful if attempting to diagnose a hardware problem. A user can send the information directly to Apple if the user desires. It has support for scripting automation through AppleScript and some limited support in Automator.
System information can also be accessed by using the "system_profiler" command through a Terminal application. For more information, execute man system_profiler or "system_profiler -h" in an OS X terminal application.