The SMBIOS specification allows applications and operating systems to retrieve and store hardware configuration settings. Retrieving hardware settings from a shell prompt can be extremely useful, since rebooting to view a given BIOS menu requires the machine to be taken offline. If you happen to be running Solaris 10 or Nevada, you can run the smbios utility to display the contents of the SMBIOS image on a machine:
$ smbios |more
ID SIZE TYPE 0 60 SMB_TYPE_BIOS (BIOS information) Vendor: Sun Microsystems Version String: S39_3B17 Release Date: 07/04/2007 Address Segment: 0xf000 ROM Size: 524288 bytes Image Size: 65536 bytes Characteristics: 0x17f8bde90 < ..... >
This is good stuff.