[ipxe-devel] [ipxe] Expose board-serial and board-product through SMBios (#21)

Dale Hamel notifications at github.com
Thu Jun 12 13:06:58 UTC 2014

I'm clearly biased, as I proposed this patch.

To reiterate my rational though: the chassis level product and serial are
already exposed, so this information is deemed to be important enough to
merit the code size cost.

The purpose of reading the smbios info at boot time is probably to identity
a node.

This chassis information is useless at it's intended purpose on blade
nodes, where it will only uniquely identify the parent chassis and not the
compute node itself.

Supplying the board level smbios information is more likely to achieve this
purpose, even on non blade nodes. Also, this information is much more
reliable than some other smbios attributes that are already exposed with
variable names, which may be defined and taking up space but have no actual

Perhaps it's a slippery slope allowing any named smbios attributes at all?
What if we simply ifdef each class of smbios data, to make it easier to
override those which are named by default? Or, do away with all smbios
named variables and document more clearly how they values can be ready?

How can we really demonstrate if a naming a particular attribute can
justify its code size? To me this is really just a guess.

On Thursday, June 12, 2014, ipxe-devel <notifications at github.com> wrote:

> On 11/06/14 21:30, Dale Hamel wrote:
> > @mcb30 <https://github.com/mcb30> thoughts on exposing board level
> > serial / product since we already do for chassis, and board info is more
> > useful on blade nodes?
> All of the SMBIOS information is already exposed via constructed
> settings, e.g.
> ${smbios/2.7.0} # this is your "board-serial"
> ${smbios/2.5.0} # this is your "board-product"
> Since all of the information can already be accessed, the question
> becomes whether or not these settings will be sufficiently widely used
> (compared to all of the other information available via SMBIOS) to
> justify giving them names.
> There is a non-zero cost of naming a setting; each named setting costs
> approximately 20+<name_len>+<description_len> bytes: for example,
> "board-serial" will cost 20+13+18=51 bytes.
> So, to merge this patch, I need to know that it will be sufficiently
> useful to a sufficiently large number of people to justify the code size
> cost.
> Michael
>> Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub
> <https://github.com/ipxe/ipxe/pull/21#issuecomment-45886529>.

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