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In computing, the System Management BIOS (SMBIOS) specification defines data structures (and access methods) that can be used to read information stored in the BIOS of a computer. Circa 1999, it became part of the domain of the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF). Before this integration, SMBIOS functionality had the name DMIBIOS, since it interacted with Desktop Management Interface (DMI). At approximately the same time Microsoft started to require that OEMs and BIOS vendors support the interface/data-set in order to have Microsoft certification.
The DMTF released the current[update] version of the specification, version 2.8.0, on April 3, 2013.
As of version 2.7.1, the SMBIOS specification defines these structure types:
|2||Baseboard (or Module) Information|
|3||System Enclosure or Chassis|
|5||Memory Controller Information (Obsolete)|
|6||Memory Module Information (Obsolete)|
|8||Port Connector Information|
|10||On Board Devices Information|
|12||System Configuration Options|
|13||BIOS Language Information|
|15||System Event Log|
|16||Physical Memory Array|
|18||32-Bit Memory Error Information|
|19||Memory Array Mapped Address|
|20||Memory Device Mapped Address|
|21||Built-in Pointing Device|
|25||System Power Controls|
|29||Electrical Current Probe|
|30||Out-of-Band Remote Access|
|31||Boot Integrity Services (BIS) Entry Point|
|32||System Boot Information|
|33||64-Bit Memory Error Information|
|35||Management Device Component|
|36||Management Device Threshold Data|
|38||IPMI Device Information|
|39||System Power Supply|
|41||Onboard Devices Extended Information|
|42||Management Controller Host Interface|
|128–255||Available for system- and OEM- specific information|
The Linux kernel contains an SMBIOS decoder, allowing systems administrators to inspect system hardware configuration and enable or disable certain workarounds for problems with specific systems, based on the provided SMBIOS information.
The userspace command-line utility can be used to inspect this data. Information provided by this utility typically includes system manufacturer, model name, serial number, BIOS version and asset tag, as well as a lot of other details of varying level of interest and reliability — depending on the system manufacturer. The information often includes usage status for the CPU sockets, expansion slots (including AGP, PCI and ISA) and memory module slots, and the list of I/O ports (including serial, parallel and USB).
On Windows systems that support it (XP and later), some SMBIOS information can be viewed with either the WMIC utility with 'BIOS'/'MEMORYCHIP'/'BASEBOARD' and similar parameters, or by looking in the Windows Registry under HKLM\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System
In UEFI, the "SmbiosView" shell application can be used to view the SMBIOS data.