What are the machine ID and serial number used for?

What are the machine ID and serial number used for? Added: 05/03/02

The machine (or software) ID # is not the same as the system serial #.
Here is my attempt at summarizing what the two #'s mean and how they can
be obtained:

Machine ID #
This number uniquely identifies a machine. It is usually 10 digits. It
is used by HP and some 3rd party vendors for associating a software
license with a particular machine. The number is stored on the system
board and can only be changed by an HP support technician. It can be
obtained using one of the following methods:

$ uname -i # standard method

$ getconf CS_MACHINE_IDENT # 11.11 and later only

# print_manifest | grep "Software ID:" # if Ignite-UX is installed
# (must be root)

According to Dave Peter <dave.peter@eu.citrix.com>, some older
workstations (735s for example) do not have unique machine ID #s.

System Serial #
I don't think this number is unique among all HP systems. I'm guessing
that it's at least unique only among systems with the same model #.
Unlike the machine ID #, it is not stored on the system board. In fact,
on older machines and non-factory-installed machines, it is not stored
anywhere on the system, even on disk.

On more recent factory-Ignited machines (As, Ls, Ns, etc..), the serial
number is stored in the file
You can check if the serial number is stored in this file by executing
following command as root:

# print_manifest | grep "Serial number:"

If the above command doesn't produce any output, you'll have to find the
serial number the old-fashioned way. Look for it in the documents that
shipped with the machine or on a sticker somewhere on the machine itself.
Once you've found the serial number, use the following undocumented
to store it, along with your company's name, in the 'manifest.seed' file:

# echo 'SERIAL xxxxxxxxxx'
# echo 'CUSTOMER "My Company, Inc."' \

Now give 'print_manifest' another try. You should see the serial # and
your company's name in the output.

Another command that is supposed to print the serial # on 11.11 and later


However, I have not been able to get this command to print anything other
than a blank line. It apparently does not read from the 'manifest.seed'
file is used by Ignite-UX.


If you have a system which does not support FRU IDs (currently every
except the N- and L-Class) take a look into the predictive configuration.
The serial no. should be entered there. On a V2500/V2600 you can execute
command 'jf-ccmd_info' on the TestStation.