Google To Require "Designed For Chromebook" Devices Support Fwupd Firmware Updates

Written by Michael Larabel in Google on 18 November 2019 at 11:07 AM EST. 21 Comments
Beginning at the start of the year it looks like Google will be requiring hardware vendors to support firmware updating on Linux via Fwupd with the Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) if they wish to carry the "Designed For Chromebook" label.

Fwupd lead developer Richard Hughes of Red Hat has shared the unofficial word from multiple device manufacturers that Google is about to require devices support Fwupd-based firmware updates in order to meet the Designed For Chromebook certification. As Hughes explained, it certainly makes sense with Fwupd being the modern solution for device firmware updating on Linux from system firmware/BIOS to various peripheral firmware. Hughes commented of other firmware updating alternatives, "all the firmware flash tools I’ve seen the source for are often decades old, contain layer-on-layers of abstractions, have dubious input sanitisation and are quite horrible to use. Many are setuid, which doesn’t make me sleep well at night, and I suspect the security team at Google also. Most vendor binaries are built for the specific ODM hardware device, and all of them but one doesn’t use any kind of source control or formal review process."

Hughes shared the anecdote about the Fwupd requirement in this blog post while out of frustration also outlining how device manufacturers should work with him in Fwupd support for their products. That includes either specification or code access under a compatible license and without NDAs, the need for hardware access, understanding of device versioning, and other requirements.

More details on Hughes' blog.

Fwupd has seen a very successful 2019 with Acer support, new Dell device support, Phoenix Tech support, and other milestones. LVFS is at around 10,000 files and this year the Linux Vendor Firmware Service also became a Linux Foundation project. Google now requiring Fwupd support for "Designed For Chromebook" compliance is a lovely way for the project to end 2019.
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

Popular News This Week