How to Update BIOS in Ubuntu

Written by jezen thomas
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How to Update BIOS in Ubuntu
Flashing your BIOS from Ubuntu can solve BIOS problems. (motherboard image by Ivonne Wierink from

If after upgrading to Linux Ubuntu, you decide to add new pieces of hardware that aren't supported by the current BIOS or some part of the BIOS is damaged, you will need to update (or flash) the BIOS. A common problem is that the motherboard vendor only offers BIOS flash utilities based on Microsoft DOS. Fortunately, there is a method of flashing the BIOS from Ubuntu, without DOS or Windows.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Blank CD
  • New BIOS

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  1. 1

    Download FreeDOS (see Resources) and unpack it.

  2. 2

    Create a temporary directory. Create a subdirectory inside it named "cdr" (without quotation marks).

  3. 3

    Mount the unpacked FreeDOS image to the cdr folder inside the temporary directory.

  4. 4

    Download the newest BIOS from your motherboard manufacturer. Unpack the contents of your downloaded compressed archive. Copy the new BIOS and associated flashing utility to the cdr folder inside the temporary directory.

  5. 5

    Create a hybrid filesystem by entering "mkisofs -o newBIOS.iso -b FDOEM.144 FDOEM.144" (without quotation marks) at the command line. Replace newBIOS with the name of your new BIOS.

  6. 6

    Insert a blank CD into your CD drive. Enter "cdrecord -v newBIOS.iso" (without quotation marks) at the command line, again replacing newBIOS with the name of your updated BIOS. This will burn the ISO to a CD.

  7. 7

    Reboot your computer and follow the vendor instructions to complete BIOS flashing.

  1. 1

    FreeDOS is one operating system that can be used to update the BIOS in Ubuntu; however, there are alternatives, two of which are described in the following steps. Regardless of which operating system you choose, the method is still the same as outlined in the FreeDOS example above, except of course you must replace FreeDOS-specific filenames with those of the respective chosen operating system.

  2. 2

    DR-DOS is a DOS type operating system originally developed by California-based computer software company Digital Research. It is now developed and sold by DRDOS, Inc. and can be bought and downloaded from their website (see under Resources). Among other things, this operating system features multitasking, stacker disk compression and a disk caching program.

  3. 3

    ROM-DOS is a DOS solution provided by Datalight, and both the operating system and its documentation are available for download from their website (see under Resources). ROM-DOS features integrated support for long filenames, without the need for additional device drivers. This operating system also features a compact suite of connectivity tools, including the ability to send and receive e-mails and transfer files via FTP.

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