Changing BIOS Boot Order from Linux Command Line w/out Complete OM Install

Dameon Wagner d.wagner at
Thu Mar 25 10:00:39 CDT 2010

On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 09:55:51AM -0400, J. Epperson scribbled
 in "Re: Changing BIOS Boot Order from Linux Command Line w/out Complete OM Install":
> On Wed, March 17, 2010 23:06, Matt Domsch wrote:
> > On Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 09:07:49PM -0400, Roehrig, Jack (John) wrote:
> >> Does anyone know of a utility that exists that will allow me to modify
> >> the BIOS boot order for Dell servers (specifically Poweredge
> >> [126][6789]50s and R[4567]10) from the Linux command line? I need a
> >> tool that is very non-intrusive, minimal, script-friendly, and will
> >> allow me to configure a machine to attempt a network boot before any
> >> other devices. I cannot install a full copy of OpenManage on these
> >> machines, but am not opposed to using a precompiled binary or making
> >> the nvram device. The distributions vary, but all will have Linux
> >> 2.[46] kernels.
> >
> OK, so the syscfg program from dell-toolkit.rpm will allow setting the
> BIOS boot order from the command line.  But it will not set the BIOS
> service tag, which is often the only way I can track down an error when
> someone mungs the inventory (short of the long drive and intense physical
> security to eyeball the physical asset tags).  When Dell replaces a
> motherboard, they do not set the service tag on the new board, so this is
> an issue with a number of machines.
> Is there a way to set the BIOS service tag from a Linux command line?  I
> know about the "/s" switch, but booting each box into DOS is not
> really a reasonable solution.

Does your distro have the SMBios tools?  I use Debian, and with the
libsmbios-bin package I have a tool called `serviceTag` which spits
out, and allows you to change, the Dell service tag for the box.

The package also has many other useful tools in it, so it's worth



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Dr. Dameon Wagner,
Senior ICT Specialist,
Depts. of Computer Science & Information Systems,
Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.
:Beta tester for Pegasus & Mercury/32 (
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