Linux News Today: Dell Needs to Know If You Want to Upgrade the Firmware from Linux Systems
Dell wants to provide support for upgrading the firmware for its products from Linux systems, but the company wants to focus its efforts in the right direction and is trying to gather more data with an online poll.
Most computers out there right now, whether they are PCs or laptops, can only be upgraded with Windows tools or from Windows systems. This is a direct consequence of the fact that Windows has a big sleeve of the PC market, and companies are simply not interested in building tools for Linux users.
Most of the firmware updates are hardware agnostic, meaning that it shouldn’t be a problem to upgrade the BIOS, for example, from any kind of OS. The fact that you can only do this from Windows systems is just a measure of the popularity of Windows. It also helps that hardware makers don’t have to do a lot of work.
A single online repository for firmware
A solution to this problem is to get hardware makers to make their firmware updates available to Linux users through an online repository that can be used in pretty much any kind of Linux OS. Dell, Red Hat, Intel, Canonical, and others interested parties are working on a solution named Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS).
All is nice and well, at least in theory, but Dell needs to know if users are actually interested in this feature, what kind of hardware are they using, how many Linux products are people using, and if the presence of such a feature would influence the decision to purchase hardware.
For now, only the upcoming Dell Edge Gateway 5000 will support this kind of firmware upgrade, and if people don’t show enough interest in the service, it might also be the last product to do so.