Updating Firmware on legacy Dell Hardware in Ubuntu Linux

It took a bit of Google searching and hocus-pocus to figure out how to patch the BIOS rev A04 on our old Dell PowerEdge SC1420 Server. Here's the magic incantation.

############################################################
# Dell Firmware Update for Ubuntu Linux, on Legacy Hardware
############################################################

# Install firmware update tool out of the universe repository

apt-get install firmware-addon-dell

# Not sure if this is needed, I didn't need it, but it's documented

modprobe dell_rbu

# Dump a list of all device ids in the system

bootstrap_firmware -a

# open http://linux.dell.com/repo/firmware/bios-hdrs in a browser
# search for IDs that appear in bootstrap_firmware output
# In my case, the SC1420 is system_bios_ven_0x1028_dev_0x0173

wget http://linux.dell.com/repo/firmware/bios-hdrs/system_bios_ven_0x1028_dev_0x0173_version_a04/bios.hdr

# Queue the new bios to be updated durning the next warm-boot

dellBiosUpdate -u --force-mono -f bios.hdr

# You have to do a warm-reboot. power cycle will not work.
# The way the update works is that it loads the image into RAM and sets a CMOS bit.
# The BIOS notices the bit and scans RAM for the image.

reboot

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