Based on kernel version 3.9. Page generated on 2013-05-02 22:56 EST.
1 Purpose: 2 Demonstrate the usage of the new open sourced rbu (Remote BIOS Update) driver 3 for updating BIOS images on Dell servers and desktops. 4 5 Scope: 6 This document discusses the functionality of the rbu driver only. 7 It does not cover the support needed from applications to enable the BIOS to 8 update itself with the image downloaded in to the memory. 9 10 Overview: 11 This driver works with Dell OpenManage or Dell Update Packages for updating 12 the BIOS on Dell servers (starting from servers sold since 1999), desktops 13 and notebooks (starting from those sold in 2005). 14 Please go to http://support.dell.com register and you can find info on 15 OpenManage and Dell Update packages (DUP). 16 Libsmbios can also be used to update BIOS on Dell systems go to 17 http://linux.dell.com/libsmbios/ for details. 18 19 Dell_RBU driver supports BIOS update using the monolithic image and packetized 20 image methods. In case of monolithic the driver allocates a contiguous chunk 21 of physical pages having the BIOS image. In case of packetized the app 22 using the driver breaks the image in to packets of fixed sizes and the driver 23 would place each packet in contiguous physical memory. The driver also 24 maintains a link list of packets for reading them back. 25 If the dell_rbu driver is unloaded all the allocated memory is freed. 26 27 The rbu driver needs to have an application (as mentioned above)which will 28 inform the BIOS to enable the update in the next system reboot. 29 30 The user should not unload the rbu driver after downloading the BIOS image 31 or updating. 32 33 The driver load creates the following directories under the /sys file system. 34 /sys/class/firmware/dell_rbu/loading 35 /sys/class/firmware/dell_rbu/data 36 /sys/devices/platform/dell_rbu/image_type 37 /sys/devices/platform/dell_rbu/data 38 /sys/devices/platform/dell_rbu/packet_size 39 40 The driver supports two types of update mechanism; monolithic and packetized. 41 These update mechanism depends upon the BIOS currently running on the system. 42 Most of the Dell systems support a monolithic update where the BIOS image is 43 copied to a single contiguous block of physical memory. 44 In case of packet mechanism the single memory can be broken in smaller chunks 45 of contiguous memory and the BIOS image is scattered in these packets. 46 47 By default the driver uses monolithic memory for the update type. This can be 48 changed to packets during the driver load time by specifying the load 49 parameter image_type=packet. This can also be changed later as below 50 echo packet > /sys/devices/platform/dell_rbu/image_type 51 52 In packet update mode the packet size has to be given before any packets can 53 be downloaded. It is done as below 54 echo XXXX > /sys/devices/platform/dell_rbu/packet_size 55 In the packet update mechanism, the user needs to create a new file having 56 packets of data arranged back to back. It can be done as follows 57 The user creates packets header, gets the chunk of the BIOS image and 58 places it next to the packetheader; now, the packetheader + BIOS image chunk 59 added together should match the specified packet_size. This makes one 60 packet, the user needs to create more such packets out of the entire BIOS 61 image file and then arrange all these packets back to back in to one single 62 file. 63 This file is then copied to /sys/class/firmware/dell_rbu/data. 64 Once this file gets to the driver, the driver extracts packet_size data from 65 the file and spreads it across the physical memory in contiguous packet_sized 66 space. 67 This method makes sure that all the packets get to the driver in a single operation. 68 69 In monolithic update the user simply get the BIOS image (.hdr file) and copies 70 to the data file as is without any change to the BIOS image itself. 71 72 Do the steps below to download the BIOS image. 73 1) echo 1 > /sys/class/firmware/dell_rbu/loading 74 2) cp bios_image.hdr /sys/class/firmware/dell_rbu/data 75 3) echo 0 > /sys/class/firmware/dell_rbu/loading 76 77 The /sys/class/firmware/dell_rbu/ entries will remain till the following is 78 done. 79 echo -1 > /sys/class/firmware/dell_rbu/loading 80 Until this step is completed the driver cannot be unloaded. 81 Also echoing either mono, packet or init in to image_type will free up the 82 memory allocated by the driver. 83 84 If a user by accident executes steps 1 and 3 above without executing step 2; 85 it will make the /sys/class/firmware/dell_rbu/ entries disappear. 86 The entries can be recreated by doing the following 87 echo init > /sys/devices/platform/dell_rbu/image_type 88 NOTE: echoing init in image_type does not change it original value. 89 90 Also the driver provides /sys/devices/platform/dell_rbu/data readonly file to 91 read back the image downloaded. 92 93 NOTE: 94 This driver requires a patch for firmware_class.c which has the modified 95 request_firmware_nowait function. 96 Also after updating the BIOS image a user mode application needs to execute 97 code which sends the BIOS update request to the BIOS. So on the next reboot 98 the BIOS knows about the new image downloaded and it updates itself. 99 Also don't unload the rbu driver if the image has to be updated.