Saturday, October 21, 2017

installing Dell bios update on 64-bit linux

Unlike many motherboard OEMs, Dell releases BIOS updates that can be executed from linux.  Unfortunately, a portion of these updates are precompiled binaries for 32-bit linux only.  Here's how I made the BIOS update work for my Precision T5400.

Get the update:

md5sum T5400A11.bin
# should be 11a13eae55e01ca5aaadda459b78cf2a
chmod a+x T5400A11.bin

Like many vendors of proprietary software in the world of FOSS, the update takes the form of a short shell script that extracts and unzips a precompiled binary from itself.  All the work is done in that binary.  Unfortunately, when you try to run it under a 64-bit Debian install, you'll get something unhelpful like:

./flash: No such file or directory

So here's the solution to run this binary under 64-bit Debian:

dpkg --add-architecture i386
aptitude update
aptitude install libc6:i386 libstdc++6:i386 zlib1g:i386

Now you should be able to run the update!


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