New Driver Aims To Improve MSI Laptop Support On Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 15 February 2023 at 09:00 AM EST. 8 Comments
A driver submitted for review that hopes to be included upstream in the Linux kernel enhances support for MSI laptops under Linux with more features being enabled.

Developed by MSI laptop users out-of-tree from the Linux kernel has been the "msi-ec" project on GitHub for developing a Linux kernel driver to support the embedded controller (EC) of modern MSI laptops.

On Valentine's Day the MSI-EC driver was posted to the x86 platform driver mailing list as it looks to be reviewed and hopefully mainlined for a future Linux kernel release.

MSI Alder Lake laptop

The MSI-EC driver for Linux enables functionality 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 MSI laptops. These controls are exposed to user-space via the standard sysfs interfaces.

This patch for this driver that is just 600+ lines of code is now awaiting review by upstream Linux kernel developers.

MSI laptop running Linux

It's nice seeing MSI laptop support being improved for Linux but too bad it's still left up to the open-source community/customers rather than being code contributions coming directly from MSI. It's similar to the EC drivers for other laptops on Linux and if/when upstreamed will provide some nice functionality for enhancing the MSI laptop use under 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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