IBM provides two basic update options for updating or "flashing" the firmware: online and offline. The offline method requires you to use an alternate bootable media to restart the server and perform the firmware update. For greater convenience and flexibility, IBM now also provides online updates that you can install while the operating system is running. The online method allows you to run the update at any time, with the flexibility to restart the server at a time when it is most convenient to do so.
As a best practice, use the online update packages to perform all of your basic update functions, including the creation of DOS bootable diskettes.
For the major IBM firmware updates (BIOS, ROM-based Diagnostics, BMC, RSA II), IBM delivers update files in the following formats:
The Windows executable package allows you to run the firmware update without exiting the Windows environment. In addition, when you run it with the -x (extract) option, the package allows you to extract the Windows update files to a specified location or to create a DOS bootable update diskette.
The Linux executable package allows you to run the firmware update without exiting the Linux environment. In addition, when you run it with the -x (extract) option, the package allows you to extract the Linux update files to a specified location or to create a DOS bootable update diskette.
You can mount the raw image (.img) file on the file system or write it out to a diskette. An ISO (.iso) image might also be provided to create a CD for systems that do not have diskette drives. The image file is provided for your convenience and is useful for creating scripted updates. You can also write it to a diskette using the 'dd' utility under Linux, or to an image-to-disk utility such as EMT4W32 in the Windows environment.
XML files that are posted as part of an update describe details about the update package and are designed to be interpreted by other software. If you want to distribute your update package using IBM Director and you are not using UpdateXpress Server, you will need to download the XML file as well as the update package so that the Director Update Assistant can import the update. If you are not using IBM Director to distribute the update, you can ignore the XML file.
For more details on how to use these updates, please refer to the readme files that accompany each download.