Update Dell Bios in Ubuntu

After searching for a Floppy drive, I gave up and found a nice way to update the Bios of my Dell computers (Optiplex 755 and 760) right within Ubuntu.

You first have to install the BIOS information tool:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install smbios-utils

Then, get the System ID:

sudo getSystemId

You will get an output like this: (from my Dell Optiplex 760)

Libsmbios version: 2.2.28
Product Name: OptiPlex 760
Vendor: Dell Inc.
BIOS Version: A12
System ID: 0x027F
Service Tag: 860774J
Express Service Code: xxxxxxxxxxx
Asset Tag:
Property Ownership Tag:

You will only need the System ID,
go to http://linux.dell.com/repo/firmware/bios-hdrs/ and search for the System ID.
There will be multiple choices, get the one with the BIOS version you want.
Click on it and download the bios.hdr file.

To install the BIOS file, we have to activate the dell update service, (if there is no output, the service is activated)

sudo modprobe dell_rbu

Tell the update tool what to do:

sudo dellBiosUpdate -u -f /place/where/the/bios/is/bios.hdr

You are ready now and can restart the computer. The new BIOS will be installed at the first boot, this can take some time (it took me 5 minutes).

This way, you don’t have to struggle with a floppy disk or a Windows installation.



7 Responses to Update Dell Bios in Ubuntu

  1. Ankit Bagaria says:

    I am getting my system id as 0X02BE and there is no file with this system id. PLEASE HELP. THANKYOU.

  2. thoughtsdaily says:

    You seem to have a system no file is available for. Check if there is an official BIOS update and follow the instructions there. It’s a bit complicated: you need another windows computer and preferably a floppy drive (usb works fine).
    If your system works fine, don’t update. Never change a running system.

  3. Jon says:

    Thanks, great article! Helped a lot!

  4. Someone says:


    Same issue than Ankit, unable to find any BIOS for my System ID on the Dell server. I downloaded the Windows BIOS version and find that using

    MYDOWNLOADEDBIOS.EXE —writehdrfile

    would create the awaited HDR file. I found the trick there :


    Hope this helps.

  5. Frank says:

    Excellent article. I was beginning to despair. Everything worked great

  6. vn says:

    works like charm!!

  7. giov says:

    Great! It helps me to finally solve the problem with my noisy fan.

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