dmidecode - Man Page

DMI table decoder

Examples (TL;DR)


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dmidecode is a tool for dumping a computer's DMI (some say SMBIOS) 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 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 possibly unreliable.

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. It will first try to read the DMI table from sysfs, and next try reading directly from memory if sysfs access failed. If dmidecode succeeds in locating a valid DMI table, 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:


-d,  --dev-mem FILE

Read memory from device FILE (default: /dev/mem)

-q,  --quiet

Be less verbose. Unknown, inactive and OEM-specific entries are not displayed. Meta-data and handle references are hidden.


Decode everything exactly as it is in the table, without trying to fix up common mistakes or hide irrelevant fields. This mode is primarily aimed at firmware developers.

-s,  --string KEYWORD

Only display the value of the DMI string identified by KEYWORD. It must be a keyword from the following list: bios-vendor, bios-version, bios-release-date, bios-revision, firmware-revision, system-manufacturer, system-product-name, system-version, system-serial-number, system-uuid, system-sku-number, system-family, 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 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.

Note: on Linux, most of these strings can alternatively be read directly from sysfs, typically from files under /sys/devices/virtual/dmi/id. Most of these files are even readable by regular users.

-t,  --type TYPE

Only display the entries of type TYPE. It 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, 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.

-H,  --handle HANDLE

Only display the entry whose handle matches HANDLE. HANDLE is a 16-bit integer.

-u,  --dump

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.

   --dump-bin FILE

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. FILE must not exist.

   --from-dump FILE

Read the DMI data from a binary file previously generated using --dump-bin.


Do not attempt to read DMI data from sysfs files. This is mainly useful for debugging.

   --oem-string N

Only display the value of the OEM string number N. The first OEM string has number 1. With special value count, return the number of OEM strings instead.

-h,  --help

Display usage information and exit

-V,  --version

Display the version and exit

Options --string, --type, --dump-bin and --oem-string 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.

Dmi Types

The SMBIOS specification defines the following DMI types:

5Memory Controller
6Memory Module
8Port Connector
9System Slots
10On Board Devices
11OEM Strings
12System Configuration Options
13BIOS Language
14Group Associations
15System Event Log
16Physical Memory Array
17Memory Device
1832-bit Memory Error
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
32System Boot
3364-bit Memory Error
34Management Device
35Management Device Component
36Management Device Threshold Data
37Memory Channel
38IPMI Device
39Power Supply
40Additional Information
41Onboard Devices Extended Information
42Management 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 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:

bios0, 13
system1, 12, 15, 23, 32
baseboard2, 10, 41
memory5, 6, 16, 17

Keywords are matched case-insensitively. The following command lines are equivalent:

Binary Dump File Format

The binary dump files generated by --dump-bin and read using --from-dump are formatted as follows:

Uuid Format

There is some ambiguity about how to interpret the UUID fields prior to SMBIOS specification version 2.6. There was no mention of byte swapping, and RFC 4122 says that no byte swapping should be applied by default. However, SMBIOS specification version 2.6 (and later) explicitly states that the first 3 fields of the UUID should be read as little-endian numbers (byte-swapped). Furthermore, it implies that the same was already true for older versions of the specification, even though it was not mentioned. In practice, many hardware vendors were not byte-swapping the UUID. So, in order to preserve compatibility, it was decided to interpret the UUID fields according to RFC 4122 (no byte swapping) when the SMBIOS version is older than 2.6, and to interpret the first 3 fields as little-endian (byte-swapped) when the SMBIOS version is 2.6 or later. The Linux kernel follows the same logic.


/sys/firmware/dmi/tables/smbios_entry_point (Linux only)
/sys/firmware/dmi/tables/DMI (Linux only)


More often than not, information contained in the DMI tables is inaccurate, incomplete or simply wrong.


Alan Cox, Jean Delvare

See Also

biosdecode(8), mem(4), ownership(8), vpddecode(8)

Referenced By

biosdecode(8), dmidecode_selinux(8), edac-ctl(8), freeipmi(7), fwts(1), fwts-collect(1), fwts-frontend-text(1), imvirt(1), ownership(8), ras-mc-ctl(8), vpddecode(8).

February 2023