Nikon DSLR Firmware Upgrade with Ubuntu

I want to share something that I have been curious about and figured I would try it out for myself:  Firmware updates for my cameras without using Windows or Mac.

If you have read my previous post on Linux as a Photographer’s Option, you are already aware of my preference for Linux.  If not, go ahead and read it.

Every once in a while, we should check our DSLR camera manufacturer’s website to see if the there are any outstanding firmware updates that we can benefit from.  For me, I have the Nikon D90 and Nikon D40.  I have been a bit lax on updating my firmware because The instructions and downloads specify only for Windows and Mac.  I don’t have either of these.  I chose Ubuntu as my system of choice for work and play.

I discovered after a bit of reading that the firmware update files are complete and packed into the Windows .exe files.  This makes it easy for a Linux user to unpack using unrar.

If you have a Debian based system like Ubuntu, it’s easy to get this package:

$ sudo apt-get install unrar-free

Once it is installed, you have everything you need to get the file.  I will use the D90 firmware upgrade as an example here.

Go to the Nikon website and navigate to their support page for the download and instructions. We will be following their instructions with the slight deviation of the process of extracting the .bin file from the downloaded .exe file.

I downloaded and copied the exe file into a folder named D90Update.  To extract the file, I did the following:

$ cd D90Update

$ unrar e *

As expected, unrar extracted the .bin file referred to in the instructions beautifully and I continued with the firmware update. It went perfectly.

In other words, you don’t need a Windows or Mac to upgrade your Nikon DSLR firmware.  Hopefully, other camera makers package their firmware similarly.

I love Ubuntu!

Disclaimer:  This post is a record of my own experience and I take absolutely no responsibility for anything that may result if you try this yourself.