[SOLVED] Updates: firmware/microcode vs hardware drivers vs manufacturer firmware

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amoroso
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[SOLVED] Updates: firmware/microcode vs hardware drivers vs manufacturer firmware

Post by amoroso »

I installed Mint on a System76 Merkaat mini PC and I'm confused by the updates of the various types of low level system components. First, there are the firmware and microcode entries in the Mint Update Manager which lists the following ones for my system (see the attached screenshot).

Next are the hardware drivers the Mint Driver Manager lists, currently none for my system. Finally, the manufacturer (System76) provides its own system firmware updates.

Do these types of updates overlap? Can I update each of the types independently without interference?

The Update Manager lists "system76-firmware" likely because I installed the System76 Driver. Which seems to overlap with "system76-firmware" mentioned in the manufacturer firmware updates.
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Last edited by amoroso on Fri Jul 12, 2024 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Updates: firmware/microcode vs hardware drivers vs manufacturer firmware

Post by MiZoG »

linux-firmware, microcode etc is used by your OS, applied at OS level.
System-76 firmware seems to deal with "UEFI/bios" firmware which is independent from OS. That's at least what I understand from that link.
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Re: Updates: firmware/microcode vs hardware drivers vs manufacturer firmware

Post by spamegg »

It's probably best to ask System 76 customer support directly.
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Re: Updates: firmware/microcode vs hardware drivers vs manufacturer firmware

Post by amoroso »

Yes, it's definitely wise to ask System76.
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Re: Updates: firmware/microcode vs hardware drivers vs manufacturer firmware

Post by amoroso »

What's unusual is the description of the "amd64-microcode" entry in the Update Manager says (emphasis mine) "Processor microcode firmware for for AMD CPUs" whereas my PC has an Intel Core i7 processor.
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Re: Updates: firmware/microcode vs hardware drivers vs manufacturer firmware

Post by amoroso »

Cncerning "amd64-microcode" I've asked on Mastodon and the consensus seems the wording refers to the AMD64 architecture common to AMD and Intel processors rather than the chips manufactured by AMD. See in particular this post.
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Re: Updates: firmware/microcode vs hardware drivers vs manufacturer firmware

Post by seasons »

No overlap. Click on the package and read the description to see exactly what each package is.
amoroso wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 7:18 am Concerning "amd64-microcode" I've asked on Mastodon and the consensus seems the wording refers to the AMD64 architecture common to AMD and Intel processors rather than the chips manufactured by AMD.
No. It says right in the description "for AMD CPU's". There is a separate package called intel-microcode for Intel CPU's. So technically, your system doesn't need the AMD one, but Mint's linux-image-generic kernel metapackage depends on both the amd and intel microcode packages, so you cannot remove it. (Okay, you could remove it, but it would take out the kernel metapackages and you wouldn't get automatic kernel updates. So it's a really bad idea that would only save about 100 KB of space.)
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Re: Updates: firmware/microcode vs hardware drivers vs manufacturer firmware

Post by amoroso »

Thanks for clarifying seasons. I have no problem leaving the package there as I can set the Update Manager to ignore it if needed.
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Re: Updates: firmware/microcode vs hardware drivers vs manufacturer firmware

Post by amoroso »

After an email echange with System76 on the state of my system they concluded there are currently no System76 specific firmware updates, and the 4 updates the Mint Update Manager lists should be applied. Which I did and lived to tell it: my Merkaat is up and running fine again.
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