MSI Laptops To Enjoy Better Linux Support Beginning With The 6.4 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 30 March 2023 at 11:30 AM EDT. 18 Comments
Modern MSI laptops will see improved feature support with the upstream Linux 6.4 kernel this summer thanks to a new driver set to be merged.

Originally developed as the msi-ec project on GitHub, a driver supporting the embedded controller (EC) for various MSI laptops has been undergoing review for upstreaming. That msi-ec driver as of this week is queued now in the platform-drivers-x86 "for-next" branch ahead of the Linux 6.4 kernel merge window opening up in about one month.

MSI laptop on Linux

The MSI-EC Linux driver enables features such as power profile (shift mode) handling, fan speed controls, battery charging thresholds, toggling the integrated web camera, exposing more temperatures, keyboard backlight brightness handling, and various other functions handled by the embedded controller on recent MSI laptops.

msi-ec Linux driver

Like the other Linux EC laptop drivers in the kernel, these controls are exposed to user-space via the standard sysfs interfaces. Details on those sysfs interfaces can be found via the aforelinked GitHub project page.

The MSI EC driver queued up now in the for-next branch is just over one thousand lines of new code and can be found here while waiting for the Linux 6.4 cycle to get underway.

As is sadly all too common with the consumer device support on Linux, this MSI-EC driver wasn't developed by MSI but rather the open-source community / customers, led by developer Nikita Kravets, interested in working on better supporting their hardware on Linux.
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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

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