System Management BIOS

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Not to be confused with DMI.

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 version of the specification, version 2.8.0, on April 3, 2013.

Structure types[edit]

As of version 2.7.1, the SMBIOS specification defines these structure types:

0BIOS Information
1System Information
2Baseboard (or Module) Information
3System Enclosure or Chassis
4Processor Information
5Memory Controller Information (Obsolete)
6Memory Module Information (Obsolete)
7Cache Information
8Port Connector Information
9System Slots
10On Board Devices Information
11OEM Strings
12System Configuration Options
13BIOS Language Information
14Group Associations
15System Event Log
16Physical Memory Array
17Memory Device
1832-Bit Memory Error Information
19Memory Array Mapped Address
20Memory Device Mapped Address
21Built-in Pointing Device
22Portable Battery
23System Reset
24Hardware Security
25System Power Controls
26Voltage Probe
27Cooling Device
28Temperature Probe
29Electrical Current Probe
30Out-of-Band Remote Access
31Boot Integrity Services (BIS) Entry Point
32System Boot Information
3364-Bit Memory Error Information
34Management Device
35Management Device Component
36Management Device Threshold Data
37Memory Channel
38IPMI Device Information
39System Power Supply
40Additional Information
41Onboard Devices Extended Information
42Management Controller Host Interface
128–255Available for system- and OEM- specific information

Accessing SMBIOS data[edit]

From Linux[edit]

The Linux kernel contains an SMBIOS decoder, allowing systems administrators to inspect system hardware configuration and to enable or disable certain workarounds for problems with specific systems, based on the provided SMBIOS information.

The userspace command-line utility dmidecode(8) inspects this data. Information provided by this utility typically includes the 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 what depends 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).[1][2]

From Microsoft Windows[edit]

Microsoft specifies WMI as the preferred mechanism for accessing SMBIOS information from Microsoft Windows.[3]

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

Various software utilities can retrieve raw SMBIOS data, including smbiosw[4] and SMBIOS Peek.[5]

From UEFI[edit]

In UEFI, the "SmbiosView" shell application can retrieve the SMBIOS data.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "dmidecode". Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  2. ^ Joe Barr (2004-11-29). "dmidecode: What's it good for?". Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  3. ^ SMBIOS Support in Windows, Microsoft paper, updated April 25, 2005
  4. ^ 2/15/2005 9:27 amContributed By: Darwin Sanoy (2005-02-15). "FREE: SMBIOS Utilities for Windows and Command Line". Retrieved 2012-05-12. 
  5. ^ wjfrancis (2008-03-27). "SMBIOS Peek - CodeProject". Retrieved 2012-05-12. 
  6. ^ "Tianocore / edk2-ShellPkg / [139bad] /Library/UefiShellDebug1CommandsLib/SmbiosView". Retrieved 2014-03-26. 

External links[edit]