Solved: The updates you are trying to apply are not Dell-authorized updates

When I booted into System Services using F10 on a Dell PowerEdge T710 to run the Platform Update on the LifeCycle Controller (translation: the firmware connects to Dell's FTP site and downloads and installs firmware updates for you) I saw "The updates you are trying to apply are not Dell-authorized updates."

After the initial wry smile about Dell firmware connecting to a Dell site to download Dell drivers and then failing and calling them "not Dell-authorized," I proceeded to do the following:

Update LifeCycle Controller

I connected to iDRAC6 and used the firmware update option to give it this file (I used Firefox to access iDRAC because of reports of the update hanging when using Internet Explorer):

Update iDRAC

Then I fed the same iDRAC6 firmware update option the firmimg.d6 file gotten from running the following on Windows:

Linux Support

The above worked after I naively thought I could use the Linux files from Dell. Dell helpfully provides a Linux .BIN file that you can download and run, if you run 32-bit or have 32-bit compatibility libraries installed:

# ./Lifecycle-Controller_Application_6V5JC_LN32_1.5.5.27_A00.BIN

The following packages are required for update package to run:
   compat-libstdc++-33.i686 libstdc++.i686 libxml2.i686

No, Dell, all my stuff is 64-bit. For many years now.

It's 2013. Why are firmware updates still such a nightmare, Dell?

P.S. The Broadcom network firmware still can't be updated via the LifeCycle Controller method. This has been broken for at least a year.


[FYI] [FIX] The updates you are trying to apply are not Dell-authorized updates
The updates you are trying to apply are not Dell-authorized updates


CCK - The New Fragrance

A little fun this morning. I had a great talk with Jacob Redding yesterday as part of his academic work on open source communities. We talked a bit about the early times of Drupal, including the heady days in Antwerp in 2005 when the ideas for what was to become CCK and then fields-in-core were being explored, debated, and scrawled on whiteboards. I thought I'd share this creation by Steven Wittens. He whipped it up late one night after a long day of architectural discussions. It's been on the wall of my office for years.

John VanDyk, Jonathan Chaffer, and the new fragrance of CCK.

iSCSI on RHEL6: Targets, Initiators and SANs

Here are the slides from the presentation I gave in the 2013 Spring Linux Presentation Series at Iowa State University.

iSCSI on RHEL6: Targets, Initiators and SANs (1.5MB PDF)

This adapter takes the guesswork out of iSCSI configuration. Just plug it into your USB port! Apologies to Brian Campbell.


Solved: yum says TypeError: coercing to Unicode: need string or buffer, list found

You to run a simple yum update and yum gives you a traceback full of python info. Huh?

up2dateErrors.py212__init__TypeError coercing to Unicode need string or buffer, list found

Traceback (most recent call last)
  File "/usr/bin/yum", line 29, in <module>
    yummain.user_main(sys.argv[1], exit_code=True)
  File "/usr/share/yum-cli/", line 285, in user_main
    errcode = main(args)
  File "/usr/share/yum-cli/", line 105, in main
  File "/usr/share/yum-cli/", line 228, in getOptionsConfig
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/yum/", line 901, in <lambda>
    conf = property(fget=lambda self self._getConfig(),
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/yum/", line 358, in _getConfig'init')
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/yum/", line 184, in run
    func(conduitcls(self, self.base, conf, **kwargs))
  File "/usr/share/yum-plugins/", line 114, in init_hook
    login_info = up2dateAuth.getLoginInfo()
  File "/usr/share/rhn/up2date_client/", line 219, in getLoginInfo
  File "/usr/share/rhn/up2date_client/", line 186, in login
    li = server.up2date.login(systemId)
  File "/usr/share/rhn/up2date_client/", line 68, in __call__
    raise up2dateErrors.SSLCertificateVerifyFailedError()
  File "/usr/share/rhn/up2date_client/", line 212, in __init__
    f = open(certFile, "r")
TypeError coercing to Unicode need string or buffer, list found

Local variables in innermost frame
up2dateConfig <up2date_client.config.Config instance at 0x2983a70>

What is happening? Has the user been messing around with the python installation and broke it? Maybe there's something wrong with the certificates! After all, it does say SSLCertificateVerifyFailedError() in the abrt output.

No, it's far simpler. Just check your system time by running date. In my case, the local time had been erroneously set to a year earlier. (Note my subtle use of the passive voice here.)

After time was set to a sane value (and ntpd was set to start at boot with chkconfig ntpd on), all was well.


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