\s-1dmi\s0 table decoder
dmidecode is a tool for dumping a computer's \s-1DMI\s0 (some say \s-1SMBIOS\s0) table contents in a human-readable format. This table contains a description of the system's hardware components, as well as other useful pieces of information such as serial numbers and \s-1BIOS\s0 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 possibly unreliable.
The \s-1DMI\s0 table doesn't only describe what the system is currently made of, it also can report the possible evolutions (such as the fastest supported \s-1CPU\s0 or the maximal amount of memory supported).
\s-1SMBIOS\s0 stands for System Management \s-1BIOS\s0, while \s-1DMI\s0 stands for Desktop Management Interface. Both standards are tightly related and developed by the \s-1DMTF\s0 (Desktop Management Task Force).
As you run it, dmidecode will try to locate the \s-1DMI\s0 table. If it succeeds, it will then parse this table and display a list of records like this one:
Handle 0x0002, DMI type 2, 8 bytes. Base Board Information
Manufacturer: Intel Product Name: C440GX+ Version: 727281-001 Serial Number: INCY92700942
Each record has:
A handle. This is a unique identifier, which allows records to reference each other. For example, processor records usually reference cache memory records using their handles.
A type. The \s-1SMBIOS\s0 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".
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.
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.
-d, --dev-mem FILE
Read memory from device FILE (default: /dev/mem)
Be less verbose. Unknown, inactive and \s-1OEM\s0-specific entries are not displayed. Meta-data and handle references are hidden.
-s, --string KEYWORD
Only display the value of the \s-1DMI\s0 string identified by KEYWORD. KEYWORD must be a keyword from the following list: bios-vendor, bios-version, bios-release-date, system-manufacturer, system-product-name, system-version, system-serial-number, system-uuid, baseboard-manufacturer, baseboard-product-name, baseboard-version, baseboard-serial-number, baseboard-asset-tag, chassis-manufacturer, chassis-type, chassis-version, chassis-serial-number, chassis-asset-tag, processor-family, processor-manufacturer, processor-version, processor-frequency. Each keyword corresponds to a given \s-1DMI\s0 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 \s-1DMI\s0 type number, or a comma-separated list of type numbers, or a keyword from the following list: bios, system, baseboard, chassis, 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 error.
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 \s-1ASCII\s0. 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 --from-dump later.
Read the DMI data from a binary file previously generated using --dump-bin.
Display usage information and exit
Display the version and exit
Options --string, --type and --dump-bin determine the output format and are mutually exclusive.
Please note in case of dmidecode is run on a system with BIOS that boasts new SMBIOS specification, which is not supported by the tool yet, it will print out relevant message in addition to requested data on the very top of the output. Thus informs the output data is not reliable.
The \s-1SMBIOS\s0 specification defines the following \s-1DMI\s0 types:
|10||On Board Devices|
|12||System Configuration Options|
|15||System Event Log|
|16||Physical Memory Array|
|18||32-bit Memory Error|
|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|
|33||64-bit Memory Error|
|35||Management Device Component|
|36||Management Device Threshold Data|
|41||Onboard Devices Extended Information|
|42||Management Controller Host Interface|
Additionally, type 126 is used for disabled entries and type 127 is an end-of-table marker. Types 128 to 255 are for \s-1OEM\s0-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:
|system||1, 12, 15, 23, 32|
|baseboard||2, 10, 41|
|memory||5, 6, 16, 17|
Keywords are matched case-insensitively. The following command lines are equivalent:
dmidecode --type 0 --type 13
dmidecode --type 0,13
dmidecode --type bios
dmidecode --type BIOS
The binary dump files generated by --dump-bin and read using --from-dump are formatted as follows:
The SMBIOS or DMI entry point is located at offset 0x00. It is crafted to hard-code the table address at offset 0x20.
The DMI table is located at offset 0x20.
More often than not, information contained in the \s-1DMI\s0 tables is inaccurate, incomplete or simply wrong.
Alan Cox, Jean Delvare