fwupd - Update Firmware on Linux Automatically

Recently Lenovo has started using Linux Update Firmware Service - short LVFS. This is very good news! This allows you to update your BIOS without an existing Windows installation. Of course there are other ways but those are often quite a hassle. Due to lack of other documentation on how to get it to work on Gentoo follow the following steps.

Supported devices

First of all have a short look at the basic usage flow. After emerging sys-apps/fwupd (pay attention to the gpg and uefi USE flag) and starting it’s service with rc-service fwupd start its most likely that fwupdmgr get-devices returns “No detected devices.”

You probably want to activate the fwupd service permanently with rc-update add fwupd default

According to the Arch Wiki for a BIOS upgrade make sure you booted in UEFI mode, make sure your UEFI variables are accessible and mount your EFI system partition properly.

Enable EFI Variable Support

Enable EFI Variable Support via sysfs (CONFIG_EFI_VARS) so that the efivars can be mounted.

Firmware Drivers  --->
    EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) Support  --->
        <*> EFI Variable Support via sysfs

Recompile the kernel and boot your system with the new kernel.

Make UEFI Variables Accessible

Your efivars are accessible when /sys/firmware/efi/efivars is mounted rw. Check it with mount | grep efivars. Get write access by remounting mount -o rw,remount /sys/firmware/efi/efivars.

If it doesn’t work now we need to take a closer look.

Examine the Daemon

We are now going to stop the fwupd service and execute the binary on our own. Pay attention to errors!

Check which binary the service executes cat /etc/init.d/fwupd. Something like this will show up:

# Copyright 1999-2018 Gentoo Foundation
# Distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License v2

description="Firmware update daemon"

depend() {
  need dbus
  before xdm

Stop the service rc-service fwupd stop and start the daemon on the console /usr/libexec/fwupd/fwupd (path from the above file).

Unable to determine EFI system partition location

You need to edit your /etc/fwupd/uefi.conf so that the path is correct.

Boot Order Lock

I had no problem with that but please see this comment: “Also note that if you turn on Boot Order Lock in BIOS setup, this won’t work and there’ll be no explanation why. It will just reboot and do nothing at all. Took me a couple of hours last week.”