Firmware and driver updates

For the sake of argument let’s take the position of a new Linux user (and pretend I am an experienced one.)

That person acquires a Dell, HP, ASUS or other brand computer.

Now with Windows OS, all manufacturers supply firmware and driver update sources and software.

Can (or should) a Linux user abandon all pursuit of firmware and driver updates? I imagine many drivers ARE in the Linux kernel.

What advice is there that newer Linux users might benefit from?


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For many year, hardware vendors would only supply firmware updates via Windows-based methods so you’d actually have to have a Windows install to update. This is still true in many cased but fairly recently there was an initiate called the Linux Vendor Firmware Service which many hardware companies have joined to provide firmware updates on Linux. There is only partial coverage but many makers have added a good chunk of their systems. Check out for more info.

You are correct for drivers. Most drivers for common hardware are built into the Linux kernel, at least to some degree. They don’t have the software that is provided by manufacturers, like for a Logitech webcam let’s say, but the hardware itself is recognized and usually “just works”. There are usually open source alternatives to the proprietary software packages but it’s hit or miss. Most of my hardware works as well if not better under Linux but there are some things that are marginal at best.

Like @EricAdams mentioned LVFS is a great way to handle firmware if you have a system that supports it.

There are several people I know who have a small drive that has a Windows install for just doing firmware updates, it’s an a good option if you have an older spinning rust drive that’s just taking up space :grinning: