SeaBIOS is an open-source implementation of an x86 BIOS, serving as a freely available firmware for x86 systems. Aiming for compatibility, it supports standard BIOS features and calling interfaces that are implemented by a typical proprietary x86 BIOS. SeaBIOS can either run on bare hardware as a coreboot payload, or can be used directly in emulators such as QEMU and Bochs.

Developer(s)Kevin O'Connor
Initial releaseFebruary 25, 2008 (2008-02-25)
Stable release
1.16.0[1] / 1 March 2022; 9 months ago (2022-03-01)
Written inC
Available inEnglish

Initially, SeaBIOS was based on the open-source BIOS implementation included with the Bochs emulator. The project was created with intentions to allow native usage on x86 hardware, and to be based on an improved and more easily extendable internal source code implementation.[2]: 3–5 


Features supported by SeaBIOS include the following:

SeaBIOS's boot device selection menu can be accessed by pressing Esc during the boot process.


SeaBIOS can run natively on x86 hardware, in which case it is loaded by coreboot as a payload; it runs on 386 and later processors, and requires a minimum of 1 MB of RAM. Compiled SeaBIOS images can be flashed into supported motherboards using flashrom.[4] SeaBIOS also runs inside an emulator; it is the default BIOS for the QEMU and KVM virtualization environments, and can be used with the Bochs emulator. It is also included in some Chromebooks, although it is not used by ChromeOS.[5]


Most of the SeaBIOS source code is written in C, with its build system relying on the standard GNU toolchain.[2]: 5–7  SeaBIOS has been tested with various bootloaders and operating systems, including GNU GRUB, LILO, SYSLINUX, Microsoft Windows, Linux, FreeDOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "SeaBIOS Releases". 2022-03-01. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  2. ^ a b Kevin O'Connor (November 11, 2010). "SeaBIOS in a virtualized environment" (PDF). Retrieved December 13, 2021.
  3. ^ "ghuntley/seaslic GitHub". Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  4. ^ "SeaBIOS - coreboot". Retrieved 2021-12-13.
  5. ^ "3 alternatives to Chrome OS on Google's Chromebook Pixel — Tech News and Analysis". 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2014-02-25.

External linksEdit