dmidecode – Get information about hardware under Linux

The dmidecode command is used to retrieve hardware information from the BIOS of a Linux system. It can provide information about the system’s hardware components, including the motherboard, CPU, memory, and other peripheral devices.


The dmidecode command is typically run as root or with sudo privileges. When run without any options, it will display information about the system’s BIOS and firmware. It can also be used to display information about specific hardware components by specifying a type number as an argument.

For example, to display information about the system’s memory, you can run the following command:

sudo dmidecode -t memory

This will display detailed information about the system’s memory, including the type, speed, and size of each memory module.

Another example is to display information about the system’s CPU:

sudo dmidecode -t processor

This will display detailed information about the system’s CPU, including the model, clock speed, and cache size.

dmidecode can also be used to display information about other hardware components, such as the system’s motherboard (-t baseboard), BIOS (-t bios), and chassis (-t chassis).


The following options are available when using the dmidecode command:

Option Description
-t TYPE, –type=TYPE Specifies the type of hardware component to display information about. Valid types include bios, system, baseboard, chassis, processor, memory, cache, connector, slot, and more.
-s STRING, –string=STRING Displays the value of a specific DMI string. For example, to display the system’s serial number, you can run sudo dmidecode -s system-serial-number.
-u, –dump Displays the raw DMI data in hexadecimal format.
-d, –dev-mem FILE Specifies a file to read the DMI data from. By default, dmidecode reads the data from /dev/mem.
-h, –help Displays the help message and exits.
-V, –version Displays the version information and exits.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you encounter errors when running dmidecode, it may be due to the system’s BIOS not supporting the DMI specification. In this case, you may need to update the system’s BIOS or use a different tool to retrieve hardware information.

Another common issue is running dmidecode without root or sudo privileges. Make sure to run the command with the appropriate permissions to avoid any permission errors.


dmidecode is a powerful tool for retrieving hardware information from a Linux system. It can be used to troubleshoot hardware issues, verify hardware configurations, and gather information for system audits.

However, it is important to note that the information provided by dmidecode may not always be accurate or up-to-date. In some cases, the system’s BIOS may not provide complete or accurate information about the hardware components. Additionally, some hardware components may not be supported by the DMI specification, and therefore may not be displayed by dmidecode.