dmidecode is a tool for dumping a computer's DMI (some say SMBIOS) ta-
ble contents in a human-readable format. This table contains a descrip-
tion 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
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 suc-
ceeds, it will then parse this table and display a list of records like
Handle 0x0002, DMI type 2, 8 bytes. Base Board Information
Product Name: C440GX+
Serial Number: INCY92700942
Each record has:
o A handle. This is a unique identifier, which allows records to refer-
ence each other. For example, processor records usually reference
cache memory records using their handles.
o 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".
o 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.
o 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.
product-name, system-version, system-serial-number, system-uuid,
baseboard-manufacturer, baseboard-product-name, baseboard-ver-
sion, baseboard-serial-number, baseboard-asset-tag, chassis-man-
ufacturer, chassis-type, chassis-version, chassis-serial-number,
chassis-asset-tag, processor-family, processor-manufacturer,
processor-version, processor-frequency. Each keyword corre-
sponds to a given DMI type and a given offset within this entry
type. Not all strings may be meaningful or even defined on all
systems. Some keywords may return more than one result on some
systems (e.g. processor-version on a multi-processor system).
If KEYWORD is not provided or not valid, a list of all valid
keywords is printed and dmidecode exits with an error. This
option cannot be used more than once.
-t, --type TYPE
Only display the entries of type TYPE. TYPE can be either a DMI
type number, or a comma-separated list of type numbers, or a
keyword from the following list: bios, system, baseboard, chas-
sis, processor, memory, cache, connector, slot. Refer to the DMI
TYPES section below for details. If this option is used more
than once, the set of displayed entries will be the union of all
the given types. If TYPE is not provided or not valid, a list
of all valid keywords is printed and dmidecode exits with an
Do not decode the entries, dump their contents as hexadecimal
instead. Note that this is still a text output, no binary data
will be thrown upon you. The strings attached to each entry are
displayed as both hexadecimal and ASCII. This option is mainly
useful for debugging.
Do not decode the entries, instead dump the DMI data to a file
in binary form. The generated file is suitable to pass to
Read the DMI data from a binary file previously generated using
Display usage information and exit
Display the version and exit
Options --string, --type and --dump-bin determine the output format and
are mutually exclusive.
The SMBIOS specification defines the following DMI types:
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
40 Additional Information
41 Onboard Device
Additionally, type 126 is used for disabled entries and type 127 is an
end-of-table marker. Types 128 to 255 are for OEM-specific data.
dmidecode will display these entries by default, but it can only decode
them when the vendors have contributed documentation or code for them.
Keywords can be used instead of type numbers with --type. Each keyword
is equivalent to a list of type numbers:
bios 0, 13
system 1, 12, 15, 23, 32
baseboard 2, 10, 41
memory 5, 6, 16, 17
BINARY DUMP FILE FORMAT
The binary dump files generated by --dump-bin and read using --from-
dump are formatted as follows:
o The SMBIOS or DMI entry point is located at offset 0x00. It is
crafted to hard-code the table address at offset 0x20.
o The DMI table is located at offset 0x20.
More often than not, information contained in the DMI tables is inaccu-
rate, incomplete or simply wrong.
Alan Cox, Jean Delvare
biosdecode(8), mem(4), ownership(8), vpddecode(8)
dmidecode November 2008 DMIDECODE(8)
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