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System76 Unveils Their Firmware Manager Project For Graphically Updating Firmware

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  • #11
    Originally posted by numacross View Post
    System76 ships their computers with their own OS which now has a nice GUI for firmware updates that has an option of working with LVFS. It's open source and compatible with latest display tech. What's the reason for all the hate? I thought Linux was about choices?
    Linux is all about choice, unless your choice is not my choice in which case it's wrong.

    I'm not going to say that there's not a lot of duplicated effort in the Linux space, but this isn't a case of it. The devs saw that there was no solid GUI for updating firmware that worked for their needs so they made one, open source, and platform independent so that other distros could use it as well. They even said they're completely open to a Qt port. As for LVFS, "owned by the Linux Foundation" but run by average people, and people make mistakes. I feel like hate on this project is unjustified.

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    • #12
      I am afraid this product is more of a result of bad communication or conflicting constraints between system76 and LVFS than a NIH situation as mentioned above in some comments. I haven't fully understood the whole story on what went down or what the problem is.

      Here is a blog post from the lvfs lead developer and a blog post from system76 about their problems.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by Iolaum View Post
        I am afraid this product is more of a result of bad communication or conflicting constraints between system76 and LVFS
        This product (Firmware Manager) has nothing to do with the decision to keep our firmware on our servers, with our firmware service, for the time being. In fact, both the `system76-firmware` and `fwupd` features are purely optional at compile-time, so you can use it without system76 firmware support if you only care about fwupd. This is about making firmware updates accessible to all end users, regardless of their choice of Linux distribution or desktop environment.

        We don't really see application centers as being the place for firmware updates on our desktop, and anyone who happens to be on a distribution without one of the supported application centers can only get firmware updates if they manually check for them on a command line. That's simply not good enough. So here we offer a solution which can exist on its own, separate from any application center, and which can be easily integrated into any other solution, if you'd like to add a firmware update section in your application.
        Last edited by mmstick; 08-18-2019, 04:00 PM.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by Iolaum View Post
          I am afraid this product is more of a result of bad communication or conflicting constraints between system76 and LVFS than a NIH situation as mentioned above in some comments. I haven't fully understood the whole story on what went down or what the problem is.

          Here is a blog post from the lvfs lead developer and a blog post from system76 about their problems.
          Thanks for those links, that was a good read which showed both sides of the coin.

          It definitely is a tricky situation I can't deny that, but if you want to replace a well working standard component you really should have more thorough discussion.

          What they should have done in my opinion would be to have an actual conversation instead of sending slightly passive-aggressive mails back and forth, people are much more humble and understanding when looking someone in the face. It did not seem like an impossible thing to solve, only a hard one.

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          • #15
            i have a simple question: does that mean that you can't use fwupd on their systems?
            edit: or unable to remove their own software?

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            • #16
              Originally posted by loganj View Post
              i have a simple question: does that mean that you can't use fwupd on their systems?
              edit: or unable to remove their own software?
              Please read the article again(supports 2 services). And also what mmstick just wrote...

              Annoying when people overreact and spread FUD.

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              • #17
                Well, I hate you all. There. But on a serious note, we should have more firmware updating options, not less. Everyone is focused on the bios, but there are 10 other component firmware updates that are windows only, that get zero attention. Touchpad EC, IME, Thunderbolt, Storage, DVD's, TPM 1 & 2, etc.

                Those are what's kicking everyone's ass right now. Those firmware dep's will spin your linux install, and simply running it, off into a ditch.

                Who addresses that, LVFS or S76 or random guy, gets a cookie from me. I'm tired of telling people that windows needs to go back on to update ALL of the firmware.

                I appreciate what S76 does. I appreciate what Richard and foundation does. But if you think this is a complete solution, it ain't(on either side). We got bigger problems than this pissing contest. On the server side, this is dealt with via HP PSP or Dell SUU. On the consumer side, we just ignore it and hope the pc doesn't break. There needs to be more effort put into device component support, not dicking over which gui/cli is more better(although in S76's case, that is an imperitive). That's all I have to say on the matter. Don't miss the forest. That's what's killing off your potential customer base.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by mmstick View Post
                  Would you like to explain to your customers, and all of you end users, why they need to use command line applications in order to check for firmware updates, read their changelogs, and apply the updates? Or do you want to give them automatic desktop notifications that open a nicely-designed UI where they can read changelogs and update firmware at the click of a button (or the return key of a keyboard)?
                  That's not the point. I just proved that the underlying framework works completely autonomous of Gnome and Plasma – i.e. you lied. You could have written a different front-end for fwupd, instead of rolling you NIH piece of garbage.

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                  • #19
                    Alliancemd i just had to ask because it felt so strange to me how people reacted. i thought that maybe i misunderstood something about linux and choices in general

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by mmstick View Post
                      Developer of the firmware manager here. This is an excellent summary of the project!



                      Would you like to explain to your customers, and all of you end users, why they need to use command line applications in order to check for firmware updates, read their changelogs, and apply the updates? Or do you want to give them automatic desktop notifications that open a nicely-designed UI where they can read changelogs and update firmware at the click of a button (or the return key of a keyboard)?
                      Well if we are going to play the "being snarky" game then perhaps one day you will discover what kind of magic you can do with the dup2+fork+execv combo...

                      edit: and of course I should have read the linked blog post before posting...
                      Last edited by F.Ultra; 08-17-2019, 04:09 PM.

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