The Quintessential Linux Benchmark

When Linux boots, it displays a “BogoMips” number. What does that mean? Is the number displayed correct? What use is the infromation? This quintessential part of Linux is demystified in this article.
Complete Reference Table: BogoMips Mini-HOWTO

The BogoMips mini-HOWTO gives a full table of reported BogoMips for various systems. More than 250 BogoMips references as reported on Usenet, or sent directly by e-mail to the maintainer, are listed with information about CPU type, clock speed, BogoMips, and the name and e-mail address of the reporter. For example, the lowest and highest BogoMips reported in the current version of The BogoMips Mini-HOWTO are:

The Lowest: H. Peter Anwin 386SX/16 387 nocache 0.57 BogoMips The Highest: David Mosberger-Tang Alpha 21064A/275 273.37 BogoMips

In the BogoMips mini-HOWTO, values that do and do not comply with the aforementioned BogoMips calculation methods are listed. The non-complying group is named “Oddly or Faultily configured” because non-compliance does not necessarily mean that the system is faultily configured.


The BogoMips may be used to see whether your system is faster than mine. Of course this is completely wrong, unreliable, ill-founded, and utterly useless, but all benchmarks suffer from this problem, so why not use it? This inherent stupidity has never before stopped people from using benchmarks, has it? [Note for the humor-challenged: no angry letters to the editor will be accepted on this point. —Ed]

Wim Dorst (Dorst) Isolde van Dorst is the beautiful daughter of the author. She is just over one year old, and is now playing around in the garden, walking over that still unfamiliar, ticklish stuff: grass. She can be reached by e-mail at


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