Get Information About Your Linux Server BIOS/Hardware with dmidecode

You can use get BIOS and hardware information with dmidecode command on Linux. No need to open your server or reboot the box. The dmidecode is a command line utility to parses the BIOS memory and prints information about all structures. You can find out more information about your hardware such as:
IPMI Device
Type of memory and speed
Chassis Information
Temperature Probe
Cooling Device
Electrical Current Probe
Processor and Memory Information
Serial numbers
BIOS version
PCI / PCIe Slots and Speed
Much more
The biosdecode parses the BIOS memory and prints the following information about all structures :
SMBIOS (System Management BIOS)
DMI (Desktop Management Interface, a legacy version of SMBIOS)
PNP (Plug and Play)
ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface)
BIOS32 (BIOS32 Service Directory)
PIR (PCI IRQ Routing)
32OS (BIOS32 Extension, Compaq-specific)
VPD (Vital Product Data, IBM-specific)
FJKEYINF (Application Panel, Fujitsu-specific)


In this tip, you will learn about decoding BIOS data (dumping a computer’s DMI ) and getting all information about computer hardware without rebooting the server.

More about the DMI tables

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.

dmidecode – Read biosdecode data in a human-readable format

Data provided by biosdecode is not in a human-readable format. You need to use dmidecode command for dumping a server’s DMI (SMBIOS) table contents on screen. 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. Let us see some examples of dmidecode command.

How to display information about IPMI Device

# dmidecode --type 38
Sample outputs:

# dmidecode 2.7
SMBIOS 2.4 present.
Handle 0x0029, DMI type 38, 18 bytes.
IPMI Device Information
        Interface Type: KCS (Keyboard Control Style)
        Specification Version: 2.0
        I2C Slave Address: 0x10
        NV Storage Device: Not Present
        Base Address: 0x0000000000000CA2 (I/O)
        Register Spacing: Successive Byte Boundaries

How to display information about PCI / PCIe Slots

# dmidecode --type 9

# dmidecode 2.7
SMBIOS 2.4 present.
Handle 0x000E, DMI type 9, 13 bytes.
System Slot Information
        Designation: PCIX#1-133MHz
        Type: 64-bit PCI-X
        Current Usage: Available
        Length: Long
        ID: 1
                3.3 V is provided
Handle 0x000F, DMI type 9, 13 bytes.
System Slot Information
        Designation: PCIX#2-100MHz
        Type: 64-bit PCI-X
        Current Usage: Available
        Length: Long
        ID: 2
                3.3 V is provided
Handle 0x0010, DMI type 9, 13 bytes.
System Slot Information
        Designation: PCIE#3-x8
        Type: Other
        Current Usage: Available
        Length: Other
                3.3 V is provided
Handle 0x0011, DMI type 9, 13 bytes.
System Slot Information
        Designation: PCIE#4-x8
        Type: Other
        Current Usage: Available
        Length: Other
                3.3 V is provided
Handle 0x0012, DMI type 9, 13 bytes.
System Slot Information
        Designation: PCIE#5-x8
        Type: Other
        Current Usage: Available
        Length: Other
                3.3 V is provided

Task: Find out Information about BIOS

# dmidecode --type 0

# dmidecode 2.7
SMBIOS 2.4 present.
Handle 0x0000, DMI type 0, 24 bytes.
BIOS Information
        Vendor: Phoenix Technologies LTD
        Version: 6.00
        Release Date: 01/26/2007
        Address: 0xE56C0
        Runtime Size: 108864 bytes
        ROM Size: 1024 kB
                PCI is supported
                PNP is supported
                BIOS is upgradeable
                BIOS shadowing is allowed
                ESCD support is available
                Boot from CD is supported
                Selectable boot is supported
                EDD is supported
                3.5"/2.88 MB floppy services are supported (int 13h)
                ACPI is supported
                USB legacy is supported
                LS-120 boot is supported
                ATAPI Zip drive boot is supported
                BIOS boot specification is supported
                Targeted content distribution is supported

Understanding BIOS keywords

The syntax is:
dmidecode --type {KEYWORD / Number }
You need to pass dmidecode following keywords:

  • bios
  • system
  • baseboard
  • chassis
  • processor
  • memory
  • cache
  • connector
  • slot

All DMI types you need to use with dmidecode –type {Number}:

# Type Short Description
1 System
2 Base Board
3 Chassis
4 Processor
5 Memory Controller
6 Memory Module
7 Cache
8 Port Connector
9 System Slots
10 On Board Devices
11 OEM Strings
12 System Configuration Options
13 BIOS Language
14 Group Associations
15 System Event Log
16 Physical Memory Array
17 Memory Device
18 32-bit Memory Error
19 Memory Array Mapped Address
20 Memory Device Mapped Address
21 Built-in Pointing Device
22 Portable Battery
23 System Reset
24 Hardware Security
25 System Power Controls
26 Voltage Probe
27 Cooling Device
28 Temperature Probe
29 Electrical Current Probe
30 Out-of-band Remote Access
31 Boot Integrity Services
32 System Boot
33 64-bit Memory Error
34 Management Device
35 Management Device Component
36 Management Device Threshold Data
37 Memory Channel
38 IPMI Device
39 Power Supply

To get power supply information, enter:

# dmidecode --type 39

See your server CPU information, enter:

# dmidecode --type processor

Get BIOS info including serial number

# dmidecode -t System
How to Get Hardware Information with Dmidecode Command on Linux
For more info read the man page:
$ man dmidecode

Other tools and commands to gather hardware information

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I'm Vivek Gite, and I write about Linux, macOS, Unix, IT, programming, infosec, and open source. Subscribe to my RSS feed or email newsletter for updates.

30 comments… add one
  • Daemones Jan 25, 2008 @ 2:14

    Very Very Good
    thank πŸ˜€

  • tiger74 Jan 25, 2008 @ 7:06

    Very nice article! It helps me in writing documentation about servers.
    Thanks vivek πŸ™‚

  • rahul Jan 25, 2008 @ 12:05

    gud one !! i think i will learn lots new things from this site !! thx buddy πŸ™‚

  • ezeze5000 Jan 25, 2008 @ 12:19

    Works in Ubuntu Desktop 7.10, if you put the SUDO command in front of it.

  • Patrick Anderson Jan 26, 2008 @ 17:53

    The last few examples have the typo: “midecode” instead of “dmidecode”.

  • πŸ›‘οΈ Vivek Gite (Author and Admin) nixCraft Jan 26, 2008 @ 19:16


    Thanks for the heads up!

  • xingtian.zhang Jan 29, 2008 @ 0:31

    That’s very good.

  • Dan Jan 29, 2008 @ 11:53

    Thanks for this, very handy πŸ˜€

  • Raj Jan 29, 2008 @ 13:48

    +1 thanks – very handy tool

  • kkd Mar 10, 2008 @ 9:01

    hi, I will study to vsftpd. I want help me to source.

  • Ryan D Mar 21, 2008 @ 19:53

    i work in a school as a IT manager. i need to get into the bios through command prompt and check the memory and other things. what is the code to do so.

    all suggestions would be kindly accepted

  • vivek sharma Aug 8, 2008 @ 6:48

    i am frequent visitor to this site and i get lot of suitable information. please help me in writing shell script for getting information of thumb drive like id no., name of manufacturer, hostname who has inserted in etc… similarly for CDROM also…
    please help me out…

  • Harpreet Sep 5, 2008 @ 6:21

    Thanks Buddy πŸ™‚ Its works

  • Gaurav Dec 16, 2008 @ 13:16

    It’s great and I got more than what I want.


  • Giovanni Mar 13, 2009 @ 14:37

    Great resource!

  • Francisco Ramirez Apr 28, 2009 @ 20:41

    Very good tool, however it would be nice if you could do a compressed list like lshw -short does.
    Just my 2cents tho.

  • Hilaire May 14, 2009 @ 16:19

    Do you have a Bios Decoder for Windows servers in a script format or command to obtain the same information described in this article.
    Very intersting article indeed.
    Thank you, Zirigo

  • Anand Babu Oct 1, 2009 @ 11:55

    i really love it


  • Nix Oct 8, 2009 @ 10:23

    Nice…. πŸ™‚

    Is there any way from where I can change BIOS values/options from Linux Console.
    e.g. Changing Boot priority from HDD to CDROM or PXE.

    • jürgen Sep 9, 2010 @ 5:49

      you can use smartstart scripting toolkit for linux
      or hpasmcli

  • SIFE Nov 24, 2009 @ 14:57

    Salamo Alikom
    can i do this in assembly ?

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