GPU-pass-through-compatibility-check: Automatically set up a Linux system for PCI pass-through and check if it is compatible

This project consists of 3 parts.
1) A script (gpu-pt-check.sh) that automatically checks to what extend a computer is compatible with GPU pass-through in its given configuration.
2) A script (setup.sh) that automatically installs and configures your system for GPU pass-through (Only tested on fresh installs of Fedora 28 x64 with Gnome, booted in UEFI mode!)
3) Instructions on how to create a bootable Linux USB stick that automatically runs the gpu-pt-check.sh script when you boot from it without any user interaction required.

example output

https://github.com/T-vK/GPU-pass-through-compatibility-check

Ubuntu to opt-out of fwupd?

Not only do you have to study your Linux distribution to see if/how it uses Secure Boot, you also need to research if/how it gets firmware updates.

http://www.linux.com/news/software/applications/877661-ubuntu-1604-lts-might-get-the-option-of-updating-firmware-directly-from-the-os/

https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/foundations-w-uefi-capsule-update

“Ubuntu should support updating firmware for systems and components (but not peripherals) via EFI UpdateCapsule (see EFI Capsule specification, in Related Links), so that users do not require Windows or DOS to apply BIOS/component firmware updates, and as such updates are easily available to all Ubuntu users. Peripheral firmware updates are not technically supported by the UEFI Capsule specification, and so are out of the scope of this blueprint.”

http://www.fwupd.org/

I also wonder about non-GNOME systems, how do KDE systems get firmware updates?

fwupd and Linux Vendor Firmware Service

I haven’t been covering LVFS and fwupd much. Luckily, Michael Larabel of Phoronix.com has been doing a good job. Richard Hughes has built a Firmware Update for GNOME-based Linux systems. Excerpting from some of Richard’s posts, including his asking for help getting word out to vendors to support it:

fwupd is a simple daemon to allow session software to update device firmware on your local machine. It’s designed for desktops, but this project is also usable on phones, tablets and on headless servers. You can either use a GUI software manager like GNOME Software to view and apply updates, the command-line tool or the system D-Bus interface directly.

I’ve spent the last couple of months talking with various Red Hat partners and other OpenHardware vendors that produce firmware updates. These include most of the laptop vendors that you know and love, along with a few more companies making very specialized hardware. We’ve now got a process, fwupd, that is capable of taking the packaged update and applying it to the hardware using various forms of upload mechanism. We’ve got a specification, AppStream, which is used to describe the updates and provide metadata for what firmware updates are available to be installed. What we were missing was to “close the circle” and provide a web service for small and medium size vendors to use to upload new firmware and make it available to Linux users. Microsoft already provides such a thing for vendors to use, and it’s part of the Microsoft Update service. From the vendors I’ve talked to, the majority don’t want to run any tools on their firmware to generate metadata. Most of them don’t even want to commit to hosting the metadata or firmware files in the same place forever, and with a couple of exceptions actually like the Microsoft Update model. I’ve created a simple web service that’s being called Linux Vendor Firmware Service (perhaps not the final name). You can see the site in action here, although it’s not terribly useful or exciting if you’re not a hardware vendor. If you are vendor that produces firmware and want an access key for the beta site, please let me know. All firmware uploaded will be transferred to the final site, although I’m still waiting to hear back from Red Hat legal about a longer version of the redistribution agreement.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been emailing various tech companies trying to get hold of the right people to implement this. So far the reaction from companies has been enthusiastic and apathetic in equal measures. I’ve had a few vendors testing the process, but I can’t share those names just yet as most companies have been testing with unreleased hardware. This is where you come in. On your Linux computer right now, think about what hardware you own that works in Linux that you know has user-flashable firmware? What about your BIOS, your mouse, or your USB3 hub? Your network card, your RAID card, or your video card? Things I want you to do:

* Find the vendor on the internet, and either raise a support case or send an email. Try and find a technical contact, not just some sales or marketing person
* Tell the vendor that you would like firmware updates when using Linux, and that you’re not able to update the firmware booting to Windows or OS-X
* Tell the vendor that you’re more likely to buy from them again if firmware updates work on Linux
* Inform the vendor about the LVFS project : https://beta-lvfs.rhcloud.com/

At all times I need you to be polite and courteous, after all we’re asking the vendor to spend time (money) on doing something extra for a small fraction of their userbase. Ignoring one email from me is easy, but getting tens or hundreds of support tickets about the same issue is a great way to get an issue escalated up to the people that can actually make changes. So please, spend 15 minutes opening a support ticket or sending an email to a vendor now.

If you know of any vendors, please try to help Richard out with his above request. I hope Richard has contacts at the USB and UEFI trade groups, to directly get word out to their member-vendors.

http://www.fwupd.org/
https://beta-lvfs.rhcloud.com/
https://github.com/hughsie/fwupd
http://www.freedesktop.org/software/appstream/docs/

https://blogs.gnome.org/hughsie/2015/08/13/linux-vendor-firmware-project-we-need-your-help/
https://blogs.gnome.org/hughsie/2015/06/24/introducing-the-linux-vendor-firmware-service/
https://blogs.gnome.org/hughsie/2015/08/21/embargoed-firmware-updates-in-lvfs/
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Linux-LVFS-Embargoed
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Linux-Vendor-Firmware-S
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=linux-lvfs-embargoed

Fedora proposal for UEFI 2.5 Capsule Update support

As reported on Fedora devel-announce and on Softpedia, a proposal for Red Hat’s Fedora has been added to support UEFI Capuse Updates via UEFI 2.5’s ESRT.

“This adds the ability to perform updates of system firmware, as well as some peripheral firmware, on machines supporting the UEFI Capsule Update mechanism and UEFI 2.5’s “ESRT” feature. Right now this is generic support—the number of machines for which we actually have firmware updates available is very small, as the underlying technology is quite new—and it doesn’t include any actual delivery mechanism for such firmware images. But if they’re put at the right place for fwupd to notice them, and the system supports the right features, they’ll show up as updates in gnome-software.”

It will very be interesting to see how different distributions expose firmware updates to users.

More Information:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Fedora-23-Linux-Might-Allows-Users-to-Perform-Firmware-Updates-on-UEFI-Machines-483390.shtml
https://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/devel-announce/2015-June/001595.html
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Changes/SystemFirmwareUpdates