How to view BIOS settings on a running system?

Lowell Gilbert freebsd-questions-local at
Mon Feb 16 06:10:40 PST 2004

Rob <nospam at> writes:

> A few times I have seen answers to problems like:
> 	"Verify this-and-this in your BIOS setting"
> The only way to do this, that I know of, is to shutdown the system
> and hit the DEL-key at boot up etc. But this is a bit silly, for
> just checking a particular setting of the BIOS.

Not if the setting could indicate an important issue with booting the
system, which is usually the case for such questions.

> Isn't there a tool in FreeBSD that shows the BIOS settings in a
> similar layout, without shutting down the system?


> I assume the kernel can access the BIOS and read all its settings,
> or is this impossible?

Theoretically, it's possible, but it would be different for every BIOS
implementation (and version, to a greater or lesser extent), and it
isn't generally useful.  FreeBSD doesn't depend on the BIOS after
booting is complete.

Lowell Gilbert, embedded/networking software engineer, Boston area: 
		resume/CV at
 		 username/password "public"

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