Platform Firmware Runtime Update & Telemetry Feature Submitted For Linux 5.17
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 17 January 2022 at 02:17 PM EST. 6 Comments
HARDWARE --
Last September I was the first to call attention to Intel working on a new feature to allow updating some system firmware components without needing to reboot such as for mission critical servers that try to avoid downtime at all costs. That Intel "Seamless Update" feature also known as Platform Firmware Runtime Update and Telemetry (PFRUT) has now been sent in for mainlining with Linux 5.17.

Intel sent out the revised patches in December for implementing Platform Firmware Runtime Update and Telemetry for Linux systems as outlined by the ACPI specification. This provides a new "pfr_update" kernel driver behind the new "ACPI_PFRUT" kernel configuration build option. There is also a basic user-space tool for demonstrating how firmware updates are submitted to the kernel driver for run-time updating and also accessing the telemetry support.

This run-time firmware updating doesn't magically work for all hardware but needs platform support. All indications so far is this PFRUT / Seamless Update functionality will be focused on future Intel server platforms where uptime guarantees are common while also needing to maintain robust security, which is where PFRUT can provide immense value for eliminating system reboots when updating select firmware components while skipping the reboot.


Intel documentation on this new functionality.


The PFRUT support was sent in today as part of more ACPI updates for Linux 5.17. Last week meanwhile was the main ACPI / power management code updates for Linux 5.17 that included the introduction of the new AMD P-State CPU frequency scaling driver.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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