[unisog] Dell BIOS updates and non-"Dell" operating systems

STeve Andre' andres at msu.edu
Fri Oct 28 22:28:05 GMT 2005


On Friday 28 October 2005 17:36, Alan Amesbury wrote:
> [OK, this is a long one, but it's largely because of the background (and
> maybe the formatting).  Apologies in advance.]
>
> Recently I've hit a minor snag regarding the BIOS and firmware updates
> to the various Dell servers I manage.  Most of our systems were
> purchased from Dell without an operating system; those that we were
> unable to purchase in that manner were ordered with Linux and promptly
> wiped on arrival.  We are, by and large, a FreeBSD shop, an OS that
> Dell, as an entity, barely knows exists.  This is all fine, as we don't
> particularly want Dell to provide support for the OS on our systems.
> However, we're pretty interested in having them support the *hardware*
> they've sold us, which includes providing updates/fixes to various
> firmware-type things, such as the system BIOS, hardware RAID
> controllers, etc.

[lots of good stuff snipped]

> So, does anyone else out there have any interest in getting updates from
> Dell in a more platform-agnostic form?  If so, and you're willing to let
> Dell know that, please contact me off list.  I'm also interested in
> hearing about reliable hardware vendors who don't have this problem and
> make hardware compatible with FreeBSD, so if you know of any of those
> (e.g., Iron Systems?), I'd appreciate hearing about them, too.
>
> As always, thanks for taking the time to read this.
>
> Alan Amesbury

I find it mind bogglingly idiotic that Dell does not create floppy
or ISO images as a matter of course.  IBM always did for their
ThinkPads, meaning that my running OpenBSD on my laptop was
never an issue.

I am really disappointed in Dell.  They've been going downhill for
some time now.  I have a cache of older Dell's for my computing
infrastructure, but when those are gone, I don't think I'll be
ordering any specifically for servers, etc.

One slightly nuts way around this is to keep a Windows 20G
disk on hand and stuff it into Dells that need upgrades, which
is a pain but doable.  Still, you shouldn't have to.

--STeve Andre'
MSU Dept. of Political Science (speaking for myself)


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