Subject: RE: exporting hardware "system ID" by sysctl
To: Tim Rightnour <>
From: Boyer, Jason <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 10/17/2007 17:15:53
I know this may be a little too "Microsoft" for some, but if we'd like a
persistent unique ID for a machine, why not just make one at install
time, the way Windows machines are issued SIDs?=20

It doesn't have to be a GUID like a Windows box, but the alternative is
to have some classes of machines using a BIOS serial, some using a GPU
serial, and some with not much more available than a disk serial, for
example. (I don't actually know of all of those devices have queriable
serials, let's not get into that discussion. :) ) That's not even
considering the question of what to do when you remove/replace/add a
device that you already have present. It would be good to have a way to
query devices for their serials, but they shouldn't then be used to try
to identify a whole system.

Unless I'm missing something important (always possible), the best way
to make this consistent and as unique as possible is to assign them in a
consistent way.=20


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Tim Rightnour
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 5:02 PM
To: Thor Lancelot Simon
Subject: Re: exporting hardware "system ID" by sysctl

On 17-Oct-2007 Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:
> That's why (unfortunately) it seems like it really is important to=20
> export the type of each system ID provided.

I can certainly see the logic in providing these values, especially if
there are more than one on some of these systems.  However, I would like
to see a general one that could be queried at a lower node.. like:


And in the last one, for machines that have multiple, somehow we select
one (perhaps user does this) or for machines that have 1, we copy it
down.  I'm almost thinking something like:

sysctl -w hw.sysid.serial=3Dhw.sysid.smbios.serial

Tim Rightnour <>
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