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Contents

NAME

dmidecode − DMI table decoder

SYNOPSIS

dmidecode

DESCRIPTION

dmidecode is a tool for dumping a computer’s DMI (some say SMBIOS ) table contents in a human-readable format. This table contains a description of the system’s hardware components, as well as other useful pieces of information such as serial numbers and BIOS revision. Thanks to this table, you can retrieve this information without having to probe for the actual hardware. While this is a good point in terms of report speed and safeness, this also makes the presented information possibly unreliable.

The DMI table doesn’t only describe what the system is currently made of, it also can report the possible evolutions (such as the fastest supported CPU or the maximal amount of memory supported).

SMBIOS stands for System Management BIOS , while DMI stands for Desktop Management Interface. Both standards are tightly related and developed by the DMTF (Desktop Management Task Force).

As you run it, dmidecode will try to locate the DMI table. If it succeeds, it will then parse this table and display a list of records like this one:

Handle 0x0002
DMI type 2, 8 bytes.
Base Board Information
Manufacturer: Intel
Product Name: C440GX+
Version: 727281-001
Serial Number: INCY92700942

Each record has:

A handle. This is a unique identifier, which allows records to reference each other. For example, processor records usually reference cache memory records using their handles.

A type. The SMBIOS specification defines different types of elements a computer can be made of. In this example, the type is 2, which means that the record contains "Base Board Information".

A size. Each record has a 4-byte header (2 for the handle, 1 for the type, 1 for the size), the rest is used by the record data. This value doesn’t take text strings into account (these are placed at the end of the record), so the actual length of the record may be (and is often) greater than the displayed value.

Decoded values. The information presented of course depends on the type of record. Here, we learn about the board’s manufacturer, model, version and serial number.

FILES

/dev/mem

BUGS

More often than not, information contained in the DMI tables is inaccurate, incomplete or simply wrong.

AUTHORS

Alan Cox, Jean Delvare

SEE ALSO

biosdecode(8), mem(4), ownership(8), vpddecode(8)

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