Get Information About Your BIOS / Server Hardware From a Shell Without Opening Chassis ( BIOS Decoder )

in Categories Hardware, Howto, Linux, Linux desktop last updated January 24, 2008

biosdecode is a command line utility to parses the BIOS memory and prints information about all structures (or entry points) it knows of. 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

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.
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New Bulletproof X system for Linux / UNIX desktop

in Categories Linux, Linux desktop, Linux distribution, UNIX, X server last updated August 30, 2007

I was just wondering why this feature wasn’t included in X from the day one. Ubuntu Xorg maintainer Bryce Harrington recently demonstrated the BulletProof-X feature that is planned for inclusion in Ubuntu 7.10:

This specification describes a new failsafe mode that will be used if X fails to start up. It will be in a reduced (VESA 800×600/256 or VGA 640×480/16) graphics environment running a single application (displayconfig-gtk) for configuring the graphics devices.

The goal of this specification is to eliminate the need for users to need to run apt-get reconfigure on the commandline. That approach is confusing and too technical for many users, so moving away from that will solve a key pain point for users.

This is useful if the user has changed monitors or graphics cards or X failed to detect your hardware. Linux based desktop system getting better and better everyday 🙂

Linux USB Pen / Stick RAID

in Categories Linux, Linux desktop, Linux distribution, Linux Embedded devices last updated July 14, 2007

Tux does all sort of things including setting up a RAID on USB sticks 🙂

From the article:

This is an example of productive and practical use of a RAID. Granted, this project does not have the archaic grandeur of a Floppy Disk RAID, but then again, the capacity and performance of this system are utterly superior to those of a Floppy Disk RAID. The following is meant as an instruction sheet of how to build a rock-hard USB stick RAID system and simultaneously transform from an ordinary nerd to a SUPER LINUX GURU.