One of the most interesting features that are going to land for GNOME is called fwupd, and it should be available in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as well.
Discussions about fwupd and all the benefits that it could bring have been going on for some time. This new method is the result of a collaboration between GNOME and Dell developers. In theory, if this manages to get enough attention from the community and vendors.
The current situation is not really working for Linux users. Most of the hardware companies provide firmware updates that can only be installed if you have a Windows operating system. This can be a real problem if you want to update the firmware for the motherboard, but this is just one example.
fwupd should work in Ubuntu as well
For now, the new tool is still being developed, and it’s also dependent on the Linux Vendor Firmware Service, which is an online resource where hardware makers can upload the new firmware. fwupd is not magic, it still needs to connect to an online repository to download and install the new firmware, which in this case is Linux Vendor Firmware Service or LVFS.
A user asked around the Ubuntu mailing list, and it looks like fwupd should work in Ubuntu after the fwupd and GNOME Software packages land. Moreover, they should work by default, without any other interventions.
There is also a blueprint for this new feature, but it hasn’t been approved just yet. “Ubuntu should support updating firmware for systems and components (but not peripherals) via EFI UpdateCapsule 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.”
The only problem is that the blueprint has been around since July, 2015, and it has yet to see any kind of approval, although it might just be the lack of support. GNOME Software hasn’t landed yet for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.