Lenovo finally joins the Linux Vendor Firmware Service
ThinkPad firmware updates will soon be easier to install
Running a Linux-powered thinkPad, the laptop range launched by ibM and acquired by Lenovo in 2005, is a generally pleasing experience. However, without the right firmware updates, which need to be sought out, it’s unlikely to be perfect. Thanks to Lenovo joining the Linux Vendor Firmware Service, this has just become a lot easier.
The LVFS enables equipment manufacturers to distribute UeFI firmware directly to users, while making the process as safe and reliable as possible, with the minimum of reboots. According to the LVFS introduction at https://fwupd.org, “The LVFS runs on a dedicated virtual private server and uses a public CDN for metadata. every month there are over 50 million files being downloaded from 10 million clients. There are currently 281 devices supported on the LVFS with 758 available firmware versions.”
Various manufacturers are supporting Linux in this way, but not all. Announcing the news in his blog, Red Hat’s Richard Hughes noted: “I do think Lenovo should be applauded for the work done so far due to the enormity of the task, rather than chastised about coming to the party a little late. If anyone from HP is reading this, you’re now officially late.”
Bringing Lenovo into the LVFS hasn’t just happened overnight. Many changes have been made to accommodate the move, such as “…changes to the low level fwupdate library, fwupd, and even the LVFS admin portal itself for various vendor-defined reasons.” The LVFS only supports Lenovo hardware “produced fairly recently” however; “There’s no point looking for updates on your beloved T61” is the official advice. There’s also little word on what devices from the Chinese manufacturer will be supported in future, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction for now.
Lenovo’s popular Linux ThinkPad line will benefit from LVFS membership