System Administration Guide, Volume 1


Before the kernel is started, the system is controlled by the read-only-memory (ROM) Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), the firmware interface on a PC.

Hardware adapters can have an onboard BIOS that displays the physical characteristics of the device and can be used to access the device.

During the startup sequence, the PC BIOS checks for the presence of any adapter BIOS, and if found, loads and executes each one. Each individual adapter's BIOS runs self-test diagnostics and displays device information.