blob: c78f9ab01e56b8631a681ca7dc3e3f2720d6e32f [file] [log] [blame]
What: /sys/firmware/dmi/
Date: February 2011
Contact: Mike Waychison <>
Many machines' firmware (x86 and ia64) export DMI /
SMBIOS tables to the operating system. Getting at this
information is often valuable to userland, especially in
cases where there are OEM extensions used.
The kernel itself does not rely on the majority of the
information in these tables being correct. It equally
cannot ensure that the data as exported to userland is
without error either.
DMI is structured as a large table of entries, where
each entry has a common header indicating the type and
length of the entry, as well as a firmware-provided
'handle' that is supposed to be unique amongst all
Some entries are required by the specification, but many
others are optional. In general though, users should
never expect to find a specific entry type on their
system unless they know for certain what their firmware
is doing. Machine to machine experiences will vary.
Multiple entries of the same type are allowed. In order
to handle these duplicate entry types, each entry is
assigned by the operating system an 'instance', which is
derived from an entry type's ordinal position. That is
to say, if there are 'N' multiple entries with the same type
'T' in the DMI tables (adjacent or spread apart, it
doesn't matter), they will be represented in sysfs as
entries "T-0" through "T-(N-1)":
Example entry directories:
Instance numbers are used in lieu of the firmware
assigned entry handles as the kernel itself makes no
guarantees that handles as exported are unique, and
there are likely firmware images that get this wrong in
the wild.
Each DMI entry in sysfs has the common header values
exported as attributes:
handle : The 16bit 'handle' that is assigned to this
entry by the firmware. This handle may be
referred to by other entries.
length : The length of the entry, as presented in the
entry itself. Note that this is _not the
total count of bytes associated with the
entry_. This value represents the length of
the "formatted" portion of the entry. This
"formatted" region is sometimes followed by
the "unformatted" region composed of nul
terminated strings, with termination signalled
by a two nul characters in series.
raw : The raw bytes of the entry. This includes the
"formatted" portion of the entry, the
"unformatted" strings portion of the entry,
and the two terminating nul characters.
type : The type of the entry. This value is the same
as found in the directory name. It indicates
how the rest of the entry should be interpreted.
instance: The instance ordinal of the entry for the
given type. This value is the same as found
in the parent directory name.
position: The ordinal position (zero-based) of the entry
within the entirety of the DMI entry table.
=== Entry Specialization ===
Some entry types may have other information available in
sysfs. Not all types are specialized.
--- Type 15 - System Event Log ---
This entry allows the firmware to export a log of
events the system has taken. This information is
typically backed by nvram, but the implementation
details are abstracted by this table. This entry's data
is exported in the directory:
and has the following attributes (documented in the
SMBIOS / DMI specification under "System Event Log (Type 15)":
As well, the kernel exports the binary attribute:
raw_event_log : The raw binary bits of the event log
as described by the DMI entry.