Bare-Metal Programming

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."


A: I made a nice motor controller with a STM32 MCU.
B: Interesting, what OS did you use?
A: No OS, bare metal.

The informal Chinese word for this bare metal seems to be 裸奔.

Although this word is widely used and understood among the programming community, I find it hard to use on a more formal occasion.

Any suggestions?

3 Answers 3


Bare Metal could be tanslated as 裸金属 literally, but it doesn't make sense for Computer Science. I prefer to translate is as 裸机 (Bare machine).

Bare machine

Bare machine (or bare metal), in computer parlance, means a computer without its operating system.

Example from youdao:

A new remote boot technology based on IP storage area network was designed, and the core technology of it is the firmware protocol stack running under bare machine platform.


From baidu:

For example, you might choose to allow the results from the virtual machines to vary within 10 percent of the results from the bare metal control machine.



The common translation seems to be


which is just naked + metalic(s)

As in:

2015年5月19日 - (底层)系统底层开发:裸金属(bare metal)、...通常意义上所说的“系统编程”,往往是指中...

Taken from http://linux.cn/article-5462-2.html

Your suggested 裸奔 on the other hand just means “streak” as in running around naked.

Another example of 裸金属:

裸金属架构 (“Bare Metal” Architecture)

From http://zhidao.baidu.com/question/482432974.html?fr=ala&word=裸金属&device=mobile&ssid=0&from=844b&uid=0&pu=usm@0,sz@1320_2001,ta@iphone_1_8.4_3_600&bd_page_type=1&baiduid=B0DC14BD4CFD809A8478494C15B38C6D&tj=zhidao_2_0_10_l1

  • Terrible translation. Terms like that make me hate translated programming books.
    – Stan
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 16:08
  • 1
    裸奔 means "running naked". :) Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 20:13

It should mean, a computer without OS, no software, only hardware. In programming, it means the programmer directly operate the machine, the chips without drivers, operating systems, and any other software.


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