Intel Releases BIOS Implementation Test Suite
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 25 February 2011 at 07:34 AM EST. 8 Comments
As many Linux users know, there's a number of motherboard vendors out there who put out very poor/buggy/broken BIOS implementations for their products. For Linux users this can be particularly painful if the changes are catered to workaround issues in Windows but in turn cause a greater mess for non-Microsoft operating systems. As a step to improve the situation, assuming BIOS developers actually will use it, Intel has released a BIOS Implementation Test Suite.

The BIOS Implementation Test Suite is a boot-able pre-OS environment for testing the BIOS's initialization of the Intel CPUs, processors, etc. This test suite focuses upon testing, configuration, and exploration.

Intel's BIOS software is based upon GRUB2 and in designing this pre-OS environment they also added support for initializing all CPUs in multi-CPU/SMP systems, commands for manipulating resources in GRUB (such as MSRs and PCI Express devices), and commands to support hardware configuration and the BIOS test infrastructure.

With this you can easily see if your BIOS is properly configuring processor power management, run Intel's power management reference code, detect the frequency and duration of BIOS system management interrupts, and see the time spent in the different CPU C-states.

Intel's BIOS Implementation Test Suite can be found at

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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