Dell BIOS Update Ubuntu/Debian

Note: While the Dell repository in this article is now dead, this method can still be used by downloading the correct Windows executable BIOS from Dell and extracting the contents using 7-zip. Once extracted, you will find the BIOS “.HDR” file typically located in the root directory or payload folder.

Recently I ran into an issue with upgrading a Dell PowerEdge 4400 BIOS. This specific server is currently running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and I needed an easy way to update the bios while in Ubuntu or Debian. The official option from Dell consist of a windows based bios update tool. Obviously that is not going to work, so off to trusty old Google to find the answer. That is when I came across this tutorial from Dell. Below is the outlined procedure for BIOS updates when running either Ubuntu or Debian.

First, lets install the required software to update the BIOS.

apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
apt-get install libsmbios-bin

Next we will need to run getSystemId which will generate the output below. From this output, you will need the System ID, which in this case is 0x009A.



Then download the latest BIOS “.HDR” file for you server from this Dell site. Scroll down the list to find a directory matching the System ID from the previous step. The directory will be named: system_bios_ven_0x1028_dev_SYSTEM_ID_version_BIOS_VERSION. Go into this directory and download the file, “bios.hdr”. Once downloaded, copy that file to your server using WinSCP or your favorite SCP client. After the file is copied, you will need to run the following command in order to flash your BIOS.

dellBiosUpdate -u -f /tmp/bios.hdr

That is it, the last thing required is a reboot so the BIOS can finish the update procedure.

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