I've been fighting with Dell DRAC for months at this point. Some of their updaters insist that a copy of the updater is already running (even across reboots), and can only be installed by booting from a diagnostic CD. I've seen this with multiple updaters using DUP (Dell Update Packages).

The DRAC vKVM control doesn't work in 64-bit Firefox, and DRAC serves the ActiveX control to Firefox/Mac. When I point out this is a stupid bug, and the non-ActiveX plugin which works on Firefox/Linux should actually work on Macs, I'm told Macs are unsupported and this won't be fixed.

But today takes the cake. I wanted to install the new DRAC firmware on a PowerEdge 1950, so I downloaded Dell's DRAC5 Update Package for Red Hat Linux, v1.45, A00. I run RAC_FRMW_LX_R209365.BIN (well, of course that's v1.45 -- isn't it obvious??), but it requires an X11 DISPLAY. Why? It's not a graphical application. Dunno, just do it.

Okay, I log out, log back in with X11 forwarding, and run it. Dozens of prelink errors (about the same files, repeating) scroll off the screen, and then the xterm closes before I see what it did. Run it again, and it's failing because Dell expects a lockfile binary in my PATH. I don't have one. What does Google think? Workaround: yum install procmail, install, then rpm -e procmail to clean up. What possible excuse could Dell have for requiring (a piece of) procmail on my system to upgrade DRAC?

Then it failed again, but at least that time it spat out a useful error message:

Error while loading shared libraries: libstdc++.so.5:
cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory.
You must install the Linux compatibility libraries.
To install the compatibility libraries, use the following command:
"rpm -ih compat-libstdc++-33-3.2.3-47.3.i386.rpm"

Fortunately I was saved from banging my head against a wall any more -- I found Dell's "Hard-Drive" updater. That too is a Windows executable, but unzip f_drac5v145_A00.exe strips out the useful bit: firmimg.d5. The upload failed from Safari on my Mac, but I got it to work in Firefox/Linux (next time I'll try Firefox/Mac, which should work).

Parting Peeves

Why does Update sit under the "Remote Access" subhead, rather than the "System" heading? It's firmware for the whole DRAC system, not just the Remote Access part. I shouldn't have to hunt for the upgrade page. Adding insult to injury, the (remote) Console & Media tabs are under System, not Remote Access. Does anybody think that makes sense?

DRAC 5 Update page

In a final bit of brilliance, as the updater reached 100%, I got a warning that my session was about to be closed. Next time, guys, make sure you don't break your own firmware updates by timing the user out in the middle, okay?