The Linux Foundation Projects
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The procedures implemented in starting up a computer or computer appliance until it can be used. It can be initiated by hardware such as a button press or by a software command. After the power is switched on, the computer is relatively dumb and can read only part of its storage called read-only memory. There, a small program is stored called firmware. It does power-on self-tests and, most importantly, allows access to other types of memory like a hard disk and main memory. The firmware loads bigger programs into the computer’s main memory and runs it.