A cross-distribution collaborative initiative to install firmware in Linux
The Linux Vendor Firmware Service is a cross-distribution collaborative initiative to install firmware securely on many different device types using shared infrastructure. On Linux the fwupd daemon reads the LVFS metadata, downloads the vendor firmware and applies the updates.
In the two years since we've started we now support 72 different kinds of hardware, with support for another dozen-or-so currently being worked on. Lots of vendors are now either using the LVFS to distribute firmware, or are testing with one or two devices in secret waiting on Legal approval. Although we have 10 (!) different ways of applying firmware already, vendors are slowly either switching to a more standard mechanism for new products (UpdateCapsule, DFU or Redfish) or building custom plugins for fwupd to update existing hardware.
Every month 165,000+ devices get updated using fwupd using the firmware on the LVFS. Since we started this project there are now at least 600,000 items of hardware with new firmware. Many people have updated firmware, fixing bugs and solving security issues without having to understand all the horrible details involved.
Red Hat has generously given me the time that I need to build fwupd and the LVFS. I'm fundraising here for several things:
- Ability to buy hardware to test the various updating mechanisms
- Paying the monthly Scaleway hosting bill (€23.99)
- Paying the monthly Amazon S3 bill (~100USD)
I've received a 2000 USD grant several months ago from Amazon towards the S3 bandwidth bill, but this will only last until June 2019.
My aim is to get every vendor with upgradable hardware uploading firmware on the LVFS, be they huge giants like Dell or just one person building Open Hardware. This is an uphill battle, with most vendors needing help with licencing, legal, and usually some kind of education about what it means to work together on a shared codebase. The fwupd daemon should continue to provide a secure, audited and modern firmware update implementation on all Linux distributions. This includes keeping stable branches up to date for long term support releases.
The Liberapay platform has been chosen because it is run by a non-profit organization that is built on open source code. It has very low fees and donations are recurrent, so it's something we can rely on without having to bed for donations every month to pay the bills.