Mainboard identification and BIOS dump

Daniel Fernandez daniel at
Fri Nov 28 15:04:30 EST 2003

Hi again,

We have a fully OS remote installation to recover crashed nodes or
upgrade them. They're configured and installed through BOOTP, NFS and
some scripting, but our cluster and workstation machines are not uniform
at all and some critical configuration and monitoring depends on
motherboard model.

BIOS on PC's is found at the last 64 Kb as reported by the "System ROM"
entry at /proc/iomem:

00000000-0009efff : System RAM
0009f000-0009ffff : reserved
000a0000-000bffff : Video RAM area
000c0000-000c7fff : Video ROM
000d0000-000d5fff : Extension ROM
000f0000-000fffff : System ROM
00100000-1fffbfff : System RAM
  00100000-0023d67d : Kernel code
  0023d67e-002b8f1f : Kernel data

We have just done a simply BIOS dump script first, avoiding trouble with
kernel calls in C language:

	dd if=/dev/mem bs=1048575 count=1 | tail -c 65535 > dumpbios.bin

Therefore, we just need to parse this "dumpbios.bin" file and check
against a small database file if a known motherboard string is present.
I think data strings are put at the same place through different models
( supposing same bios manufacturer ), so brute force parsing this file
won't be needed... anyway  this file is damn short.

Is there any motherboard identifying utility for linux ? We could also
mess with kernel calls as well but that method should suffice ¿ any
thoughts ? Thank you in advance.

Daniel Fernandez <daniel at>
Laboratori de Termotècnia i Energia - CTTC
c/ Colom nº11
UPC Campus Terrassa

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