The term "bare metal" is commonly used to refer to custom-built PCs and barebones systems. These types of computers are ideal for PC enthusiasts, who may prefer to install their own software rather than paying extra for pre-loaded programs. A bare metal system also allows advanced users to choose a non-mainstream OS, such as a specific Linux distribution.
Web hosting companies may also offer bare metal systems to clients who wish to customize their web server from the ground up. For instance, a client may purchase a dedicated or co-located server with a specific hardware configuration. The server administrator can then install a specific operating system and web server software on the computer.
NOTE: Bare metal is sometimes used to refer to a "bare metal restore," which refers to restoring a complete computer software configuration.
Updated: January 8, 2013