I got a used Dell OptiPlex 780 with no os; I installed Ubuntu 21.10 on it. I wanted to upgrade the processor, but you need the latest BIOS available; I have to upgrade. The upgrade I am trying to do is from BIOS revision A-12 to A-15. There are tutorials for the process, but they all require you to have Windows installed. There is an app for doing the bios update process on Ubuntu called fwupdmgr. When I run fwupdmgr update I get this error.
WARNING:UEFI firmware can not be updated in legacy BIOS mode See https://github.com/fwupd/fwupd/wiki/PluginFlag:legacy-bios for more information. The dell OptiPex 780 only has legacy BIOS mode with the old BIOS.

Dell has a tutorial for this process on their website https://www.dell.com/support/kbdoc/en-us/000131486/update-the-dell-bios-in-a-linux-or-ubuntu-environment My dell model was made before 2015, so I did the pre-2015 tutorial, but it is outdated and does not work on ubuntu 21.10.

I tried running the bios.exe with wine, but it gave me this errorenter image description here I tried a reboot like it said, but it gave me the same error.

I DO have the right version of BIOS as I made sure the version I downloaded was the right one by searching for the bios with the product code found on the case of the pc. The question is, how to upgrade?

1 Answer 1



  • pop in your dell serial number, or optiplex 780.
  • drivers & downloads tab
  • get the O780-A15.exe
  • because optiplex pc from dell is/was a basic pc offering from dell, and is now outdated, does not surprise me they only offer a windows exe for bios update
  • get WINE https://www.winehq.org/ and hope the windows exe bios update works through linux+wine
  • option 2 : buy a $20 ssd or hdd off amazon/ebay for temporary use, download windows10.iso from microsoft and install and then run O780-A15.exe; you don't need to activate or pay for windows for a 5 minute bios update
    • if your optiplex780 does not support win10, then look at getting windows7.
  • I tried it wit wine (I forgot to add that) Commented Dec 31, 2021 at 2:56
  • if it didn't work with WINE, no surprise being a bios update, then i think for the optiplex you're going to need to go the install windows on a separate disk to run the dell bios update exe. The more current dell products, servers especially offer a .BIN file that runs in linux that does do bios update as well as firmware updates. But my experience is for the cheaper/older stuff like you have support is limited and your stuck with the windows based exe update for the bios
    – ron
    Commented Dec 31, 2021 at 4:12
  • i use optiplex 780 as a doorstop :)
    – ron
    Commented Dec 31, 2021 at 4:13
  • and being dell, you may be able to email dell support and ask for a Dell restore CD/DVD that has... probably windows7, that can be installed and licensed to run windows. I used to use the black dell windows restore cd and reinstall windows 7 all the time back in the day. Might have to pay $10 shipping but that would get you a working licensed legit copy of windows, albeit win7. Or look for a windows7.iso download somewhere- you don't need to license/activate windows to do just the bios update.
    – ron
    Commented Dec 31, 2021 at 4:17
  • I successfully installed windows 10 on it without a license and updated it with that. As for using it as a doorstop, I upgraded it so it wayyy outperforms newer, more expensive computers. (I only paid $90 bucks for it and the upgrades) I as for gaming quality, when I play online video games, I am one of the few people who does not have bad fps and lag. Commented Dec 31, 2021 at 16:15

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