Bare-Metal Programming

What Does Bare-Metal Programming Mean?

Bare-metal programming is a term for programming that operates without various layers of abstraction or, as some experts describe it, "without an operating system supporting it." Bare-metal programming interacts with a system at the hardware level, taking into account the specific build of the hardware.


Techopedia Explains Bare-Metal Programming

Many instances of bare-metal programming focus on the working of the processor and other system components, working with the BIOS and boot sequencing, and creating simple code modules to create specific results based on the hardware setup. Using languages like C/C++, programmers attempt to work directly with the hardware rather than rely on tools like complex compilers, and they often need to initialize a system for a specific language.

The philosophy behind bare-metal programming diverges from some of the more modern adaptations for computing. As virtualization and cloud computing take the world by storm, the specific hardware setups that programmers work on matter less and less, and coding has become, in many cases, more of an abstract application run through layers of software. By contrast, some of the most specific types of bare-metal programming, such as projects done on ARM machines like the Raspberry Pi, re-introduce the original concept that programming works in conjunction with the hardware, closer to the machine language level.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…