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Does anybody know a way of setting the BIOS password on a Dell Poweredge R210 or R410 via a script? Ideally on Debian Linux, but any pointers are nice!

There's a tool called DCU which most likely only works for Dell laptops.

Also there is "libsmbios", but it had no clear option to do so and seems to be unmaintained for 1-2 years now: http://linux.dell.com/libsmbios/main/

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Just for googlers, libsmbios doesn't look unmaintained to me... although your right the documentation is old. However, look at that latest package linux.dell.com/libsmbios/download/libsmbios/libsmbios-2.2.26 (updated 2010-07-07, it's 2010-Aug-25 now) –  Philip Reynolds Aug 25 '10 at 18:51

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There are various security mechanisms in place to prevent just this. The utility of doing so is somewhat limited also, just to lock down the potential to change boot parameters? If someone has physical access to the box you would need more than a bios password to stop access or protect data. Its also a fairly quick thing to set on boot, and if I am not mistaken you can get Dell to set one before they ship it to you, especially if there are a large number of machines. That being said if you do find some mechanism I am unaware of I would love to know.

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At least this intruder would not be able to know the old password, so we could detect that he did this and charge him/don't support it! –  Christian Nov 3 '09 at 23:53
    
And those security mechanisms exist so you can't write malware to dos every Dell machine it comes across. Can you just imagine what would happen if somebody could write malware which did just this? –  kaerast Jun 30 '10 at 22:13

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