Dmidecode is a long standing, effective tool for reading manufacturer info from the SMBIOS tables present on most modern x86 based systems. It’s been available for many years on most Unix like operating systems and has also been ported to Windows. Until now, it had never made the leap to OS X.

From the dmidecode website:

Dmidecode reports information about your system’s hardware as described in your system BIOS according to the SMBIOS/DMI standard. This information typically includes system manufacturer, model name, serial number, BIOS version, asset tag as well as a lot of other details of varying level of interest and reliability depending on the manufacturer. This will often include usage status for the CPU sockets, expansion slots (e.g. AGP, PCI, ISA) and memory module slots, and the list of I/O ports (e.g. serial, parallel, USB).

Installation on OS X

The easiest way to install dmidecode is with the homebrew package manager:

$ brew install cavaliercoder/dmidecode/dmidecode

To build from source, sources are available from the project page on GitHub.

Once cloned or extracted from the release tarball, you may build and install with:

  $ make && make install

The above steps install the dmidecode binary into /usr/local/sbin. If this is not in your $PATH, you’ll need to add it or call the full file path:

$ /usr/local/sbin/dmidecode

Getting help

For all issues related to dmidecode itself, please see the dmidecode website.

This port is thoroughly tested on x86_64 iMacs and MacBook Pros running 10.9+. All API calls have documented compatability since OS X 10.0 but without the opportunity to test on older machines, I’ll be relying on the community for feedback.

If you encounter any issues, please raise an issue on the GitHub page and include your Apple device details and OS X version. Please first check for existing issues which may match your problem.

The portability challenge

Dmidecode ports very nicely onto any Unix-like platform that exposes raw system memory (specifically the range where SMBIOS lives) as a file handle (such as /dev/mem). Unfortunately, a few years back, Apple disabled its memory file handle by default. Now the only way to access SMBIOS memory directly (on an out-of-box OS X machine) is to use Apple’s proprietary IOService API.

This port of dmidecode aims to minimize deviation from the upstream codebase to ensure that ongoing maintenance is as simple as possible. The challenge has been achieving this without butchering the code with a bunch of if apple... else... blocks but cleanly navigating around code that assumes SMBIOS data is accessible from a file path.

Sample output

Here’s some sample dmidecode output from my MacBook Pro 2010 running OS X 10.9.5; modified for privacy and brevity:

# dmidecode 3.0
Getting SMBIOS data from Apple SMBIOS service.
SMBIOS 2.4 present.
61 structures occupying 2888 bytes.


Handle 0x001C, DMI type 0, 24 bytes
BIOS Information
	Vendor: Apple Inc.
	Version:    MBP61.88Z.0057.B0F.1112091028
	Release Date: 12/09/11
	ROM Size: 4096 kB
		PCI is supported
		BIOS is upgradeable
		BIOS shadowing is allowed
		Boot from CD is supported
		Selectable boot is supported
		ACPI is supported
		IEEE 1394 boot is supported
		Smart battery is supported
		Function key-initiated network boot is supported
	BIOS Revision: 0.1

Handle 0x001D, DMI type 1, 27 bytes
System Information
	Manufacturer: Apple Inc.
	Product Name: MacBookPro6,2
	Version: 1.0
	Serial Number: W80223VBDAW
	UUID: 677C7349-0762-4254-A9A5-6646B1BD4083
	Wake-up Type: Power Switch
	SKU Number: System SKU#
	Family: MacBook Pro

Handle 0x001E, DMI type 2, 16 bytes
Base Board Information
	Manufacturer: Apple Inc.
	Product Name: Mac-F22586C8
	Version: MacBookPro6,2
	Serial Number: W8022732FVUPA
	Asset Tag: Base Board Asset Tag#
		Board is a hosting board
		Board is replaceable
	Location In Chassis: Part Component
	Chassis Handle: 0x001F
	Type: Motherboard
	Contained Object Handles: 0