Caius Theory

Now with even more cowbell…

iLO 4 Firmware Upgrade

HP Microserver Gen8 machines have a HP iLo 4 built in for remote hands management. These are effectively a separate, embedded computer inside the server1, which also means it has its own software (firmware) running on it and needs updating separately.

HP are still releasing firmware updates for the iLo 4, and whilst it’s possible to update them from inside the host OS on the server, you can also do it by uploading the firmware directly to the iLO. I prefer this method as my servers are almost never running the correct operating system to update from the host2.

The easiest way to get ahold of the firmware is to extract it from the Red Hat linux host package, we’re after a .bin file inside the .rpm package HP make available for downloading.

At the time of writing the latest firmware release is v2.8.0, released 2022-04-08, available on HP’s support site here (no login required). Click “View Download Files (2)” and then pick the one ending in .rpm (firmware-ilo4-2.80-1.1.i386.rpm at time of writing.)

Once downloaded, we can unpack the rpm using the rpm2cpio tool and then cpio to output the files on disk for us.

rpm2cpio firmware-ilo4-2.80-1.1.i386.rpm | clio -idmv

The file we’re after is nested inside a few directories in the unpacked directory. You can find it under usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/firmware-ilo4-2.80-1.1/ named ilo4_280.bin (at time of writing. Version numbers might differ in future.)

Once you have that bin file on disk, go to your iLO web interface and login. Navigate to “Administration” in the sidebar, then select the “Firmware” tab. Pick the bin file from the file picker and click Upload.

Wait for flashing to complete and the iLO to restart. If you’ve upgraded from < 2.78 then you’ll get a new UI as part of the upgrade which looks better and works just as well as the old one. It also adds new functionality, like a HTML5 remote console rather than having to download a .jar file to take remote control of the machine.

  1. Out the box at least. The iLo can be configured to share eth0 with the host instead I believe. ↩︎

  2. I think both Windows and Red Hat linux are supported for this. ↩︎