What's the best linux distribution to put on a USB key to install the dell BIOS updates? I tried fedora but it was missing some dependencies and didn't work. Any instructions or step-by-step information is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
the SUU has been mentioned, but I usually use the OMSA live CD, found at http://linux.dell.com/files/openmanage-contributions/
I use Ubuntu for my Dell Mini, and updated the BIOS using that computer. I also have used Live USB versions of Ubuntu before. While I haven't updated the BIOS via Live USB, I don't see why it wouldn't work.
Better yet, why not rebuild a new live of Fedora (if that's what you're comfortable with) with the missing dependencies? Here's a start: Fedora: How to create and use Live USB
OK, this makes no sense for more then one reason...
1. If you need to boot from something to do a bios update, the fastest way would be to use the dos bootdisk. Dell usually offers most of their updates in multiple formats. One of those formats is usually a bootdisk creator in EXE format. I actually just rip the image out, and boot directly from GRUB w/ memdisk.
2. If you ran windows, i'd hope you wouldn't ask this question. So unless you run something strange/rare like haikuOS or BSD, you should look into just using the Linux .bin updater from inside your OS. assuming you already have an active Linux OS, otherwise see step 1.
To use those dell .bin updates, you need to get these dependencies. If running x86 RHEL/CentOS/Fedora...
yum install libxml2 libstdc++ compat-libstdc++-33
If running x86_64 RHEL/CentOS/Fedora...
yum install libxml2.i386 libstdc++.i386 compat-libstdc++-33.i386
If you have something else going on, post more info. Otherwise I hope I could help.