Oss/Firmware Tools

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Revision as of 15:26, 17 March 2008 by MDomsch (Talk | contribs)
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Please read the full announcement here: announcement

Todo list is here: To Do

Bug list is here: Bugs

Firmware-tools is known to not work on certain Dell systems. See Oss/Firmware_Tools/Systems_Missing_RBU


Please go to the firmware repository for a real repository containing Dell BIOS and (select) firmware updates.


We propose a new architecture that utilizes native Linux packaging formats (.rpm, .deb) and native Linux change management frameworks (yum, apt, etc) for delivering and installing system firmware. This architecture is OS distribution, hardware vendor, device, and change management system agnostic.

The architecture is easy as PIE: splitting Payload, Inventory, and Executable components into separate packages, using package format Requires/Provides language to handle dependencies at a package installation level, and using matching Requires/Provides language to handle runtime dependency resolution and installation ordering.

The framework then provides unifying applications such as inventory_firmware and apply_updates that handle runtime ordering of inventory, execution, and conflict resolution/ notification for all of the plug-ins. These are the commands a system administrator runs. Once all of the separate payload, inventory, and execution packages are in package manager format, and are put into package manager repositories, then standard tools can retreive, install, and execute them:

# yum install $(bootstrap_firmware)
# update_firmware


Get the binaries for various distributions and source code from the dell-software repository. In addition, due to the early nature of the software, we recommend you enable the dell-testing repository in your configuration files (/etc/yum.repos.d/dell.repo or /etc/sysconfig/rhn/sources).


See the Troubleshooting page for details.

Source Code

Source code is maintained in GIT repositories at http://linux.dell.com/git/, notably the firmware-tools.git and firmware-addon-dell.git repos.

In addition, package source code is available in the YUM and APT repositories on linux.dell.com noted above.


Matt Domsch and Michael Brown presented a paper on this project at the 2006 Ottawa Linux Symposium.

Michael Brown presented an overview of the Dell Linux repositories, firmware-tools, and dkms at the Red Hat Summit 2007


This is an open source project. It is not an official Dell product, and as such, there is no paid support available. We welcome your usage and comments to our firmware-tools-devel mailing list.

Do not call Dell Technical support with questions about this project, as they will not be able to help you! For all questions, please use the mailing list above.

BIOS and Firmware Updates from a Fedora LiveCD

Here are instructions for generating a Fedora LiveCD that also contains all the Dell BIOS and firmware packages, and firmware-tools applications used for performing the update.

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