The Intel BIOS Implementation Test Suite (BITS) provides a bootable pre-OS environment for testing BIOSes and in particular their initialization of Intel processors, hardware, and technologies. BITS can verify your BIOS against many Intel recommendations. In addition, BITS includes Intel's official reference code as provided to BIOS, which you can use to override your BIOS's hardware initialization with a known-good configuration, and then boot an OS.

You might want to use BITS if:

  • You're a system or BIOS developer, and you want to validate that your system meets Intel's recommendations.
  • You're an OS or application developer building on technologies provided by Intel platforms, and you want to check if your system (or one of your user's systems) has configured those technologies correctly.
  • You're an advanced user or developer, and you want to check your BIOS to see if it configures Intel hardware correctly, and if not, to make a stronger case to your BIOS vendor to get it fixed.
  • You need to poke hardware in a low-level way, and you need a pre-OS environment to work in to avoid OS interference.

BITS functionality fits in three broad categories:

  • Validate: run test suites to verify recommendations
  • Configure: override BIOS using Intel reference code
  • Explore: experimental tools and information gathering

BITS consists of a modified GRUB2 bootloader, with many additional commands to probe and manipulate hardware configuration, as well as scripts using these commands to test and reconfigure hardware.

BITS supports scripting via Python, and includes Python APIs to access various low-level functionality of the hardware platform, including ACPI, CPU and chipset registers, PCI, and PCI Express. You can write scripts to explore and test platform functionality, using the full power of Python in 32-bit ring 0, without an OS in the way, and without recompiling BITS or writing custom C code. See our Python scripting guide for more information.

The current version of BITS focuses primarily on CPU configuration and power management. BITS supplies general tests and functionality for all Intel x86 platforms, as well as additional specific support for IntelĀ® processors based on the microarchitecture code name Nehalem and newer, which includes Intel Core i7, i5, and i3 desktop and mobile processors, and corresponding Intel Xeon server processors.

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