HDK Technical Reference


The BIOS (Basic I/O System) is the raw hardware interface on Intel platforms. Most driver access to the BIOS must be done using the defined driver interfaces. Command-line querying of the BIOS is occasionally useful such as determining the version/date of the BIOS so the manufacturer can tell you if it can correctly handle Year 2000 issues.

On SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.5 systems, you can query the BIOS ROM for information using the hw(ADM) command. For example:

   /etc/hw -vmr rom
On SVR5 and older SCO OpenServer 5 systems, the best way to get the version and date information is to reboot the system or run the system setup.

It is also possible to access the BIOS information from the command line by using the strings or strings(C) command as follows:

   strings  /dev/mem  |  grep Version  | more
This should only be done in single-user mode. Walking around in /dev/mem and /dev/kmem may change the machine's hardware state or even hang the system, especially if it is using memory-mapped I/O or the hardware decoders are in address space that is accessed.

In most cases, you can look up the Version on the vendor's web page to determine the date. Finding the date in the BIOS is trickier, but a line like the following will find any date since 1990:

   strings  /dev/mem  |  grep '../../9.'
A binary editor could also be used to find the BIOS date.

To access ROM BIOS information from a program, open /dev/mem and seek to the address of the ROM, and read the information there. This provides configuration information such as the revision number of the mother board and the serial number of the CPU.

© 2005 The SCO Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
OpenServer 6 and UnixWare (SVR5) HDK - June 2005