BIOS guide

Got my Framework a little over a week ago. I’ve been babying the battery ever since, only letting it charge until it’s full then shutting it down and/or unplugging it (to prevent battery drain, and overcharging) Today Arch i3status told me my battery stopped charging around 94% capacity, whereas last week it would get to 100% and stop. Would really like to get battery health charging figured out before I have to buy another battery for this system.

there are certain things the charging regulators will do to avoid putting unnecessary strains on the battery

For example, if you unplug the system while the battery is at 100% and use it until it’s, say, 95%, the system might not charge it at all because it think 5% is not worth charging it all the way up

For example my Dell computer. In “custom” mode there are two thresholds you can set: the charging begin percentage, and charging stop percentage.
So if your battery drops below the first value (charging begin), it will charge until it hit the charging stop percentage, then it will stop. But if it didn’t hit the charging begin mark, then it simply won’t charge.

So I used to set it up like this: charging begin at 50% (that’s as low as it allow you to), and charigng stop at 75%. Between 50% and 75% (say, 60%), the battery neither charge nor discharge. It will be “idle”.

There are some different bios that show different values (e.g. actual wattage hour(in mAh), desired wattage hour (in mAh), current flow (in mA), voltage(in mV) and temperature as measured by the battery pack’s onboard regulator). It won’t give you the percentage, however.

But, as mentioned earlier, Framework don’t have in-house BIOS like other big companies do (e.g., apple, dell, lenovo, hp, toshiba, fujitsu), which generally require a more dynamic BIOS (instead of “america-megatrend copy blue-and-grey interface”) and other things, which might mean quite a expensive budget, which for something unimportant (e.g. compared to Spectre and Meltdown mitigations), it’s not entirely surprising to see them being reluctant.
Although, I hope it gets added to their to-do list.

I believe you can do them (as modern devices are surprisingly redundant and incredibly complicated). But they might just thought (nah. we aren’t going to spend 20 hours digging through the battery controller datasheet and find out a way to put it in a UI), especially since Framework, unlike Dell(or hp, or Fujitsu, or Toshiba), don’t actually make their own BIOS in-house (rather asking someone else to do it for them)

In a default it might be something like 90% and 100% respectively.

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Xavier_Jiang
Framework don’t have in-house BIOS […] it’s not entirely surprising to see them being reluctant.

No, they don’t, yet. They have already mentioned that they will work on a BIOS in the future, and are already providing BIOS patches for current systems. They are merely a startup now, and clearly didn’t have enough initial capital to order enough systems for each batch at the start, let alone writing a custom BIOS. They have grown immensely over just a few months, they haven’t even been around for 6 months yet and have already sold thousands of systems. I’m confident they will eventually get around to writing a custom BIOS, and I seriously doubt this is the final revision to the hardware as-is.

See this post about the most recent Framework BIOS update with new features and fixes already.

There is clearly already work being put into the BIOS, they just needed to improve their team, which they have been working on through the new hiring process. Although, looking at your profile, I can’t imagine you’re a stranger to any of this news. So, I don’t see how Framework is “reluctant” to add this new feature, as they appear to be doing whatever the community wants/needs first, and considering there was a feature addition to change the LED brightness on the power button in the last BIOS revision, something tells me battery charge thresholds aren’t that far out.

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As a layman, I want to see a good step by step manual for updating the BIOS. I also want to wait until the new BIOS update is official, not beta and more or less a bullet proof process. I have 03.0 on my DIY Framework and it needs updating, if not right this second.

Nick

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I believe the Bios software should be open sourced so the community can work on programming in things that can be used by everyone, even if it’s not used as much.

The hardware is already modular so not everyone will have the same hardware configurations. Having a BIOS that’s configured BY the user and the community would be more fitting for this brand of laptops.

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It is unlikely that Framework will be able to open-source InsydeH2O’s UEFI (which is the boot firmware they’ve licensed and customized); however, you can follow this thread for more information about open-source¹ boot firmware.

¹ Mostly–apart from some Intel binary blobs/the Intel Firmware Support Package

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That’s ok. It was more of a suggestion.

BIOS/UEFI is now so complicated that some of us need a list of items that likely need attention.

I installed Ubuntu Studio 21.04 (based on Kubuntu) on a Batch 5 DIY from a USB stick. Installation failed until I disabled “Enforce Secure Boot.” That was a wild lucky guess on my part, and I am not certain that it was the right step. I have left “Enforce Secure Boot” disabled, and I am not sure whether that is correct, either. Based on the time sequence, I’m guessing that Secure Boot prevented the installation from writing some part of the boot code, rather than preventing the appropriate boot code from activating for boot. But that’s more wild guessing.

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Nope. Secure Boot only allows “trusted code” to run when booting the system. Trusted by whom? Well, it verifies trust by looking to see who signed whatever code is running and whether that key is trusted by the UEFI. By default, most UEFI systems come with Microsoft’s keys built-in, which means that unless people go out of their way to add custom keys, bootloaders and other such things will need to be signed by Microsoft’s key in order to boot on a Secure Boot-enabled system.

In general, people have fewer issues on Linux systems with Secure Boot disabled.

Ubuntu is signed using Microsoft’s keys

Fedora is as well I think and one other I believe

Perhaps Ubuntu Studio is not however idk

Yup, so is Debian. It’s why I didn’t even have to think about Secure Boot until I realized it disables hibernation (everything “Just Worked”).

There is a bug in the 3.06 beta BIOS so Framework recommends not installing it as this time: OFFICIAL - Framework Laptop BIOS 3.06 Notification - PLEASE READ

3.07 is due soon which has a fix for that bug: Clock stuck at .39Ghz - #186 by Kieran_Levin

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3.07 beta is now available: BIOS 3.07 + Windows 10 and (11 Alpha) driver bundle

This has the fix for the bug in 3.06, the first implementation of battery charge limits, and a fix for the 0.4GHz charging bug.

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I tried to edit this page’s wiki, updating for BIOS 3.07, but I couldn’t do it by the 403 error message at the moment. The knowledge base is updated.

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I’ve shared that with the development team. I also see an error when trying to edit the wiki post.

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Edits now work correctly again on this Wiki post.

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Is there some forum or post-area where we can sign up to get emails or push-notifs when something like a BIOS update is released? I just happened to think to look for one, hence finding out that 3.07 was released about 3 days ago (at time of writing) but short of my random thought to it, I would never have known.

Also, got the firmware updated on Arch just fine, took about 40 minutes to get my bootloader reset, but once I realized what I was doing, it was actually about 10 minutes or commands and process, rather than my previous 30 minutes of tinkering, research, and troubleshooting. So happy to finally have battery charging limits supported!! Looking forward to future changes/additions!

What is the process needed to prevent losing the bootloader registry? I know other OEMs have managed BIOS updates without clearing the bootloader (on Windows, anyway). It would be more convenient to not have the BIOS wiped, unless all OEMs have issues with Linux and not Windows, and I just don’t have enough experience to know that yet.

Will “Erase all Secure Boot Settings” put Secure Boot into the “Setup Mode”?

If you have purchase a laptop or have an account within the community part of the website, then you should receive a notification.

There was an email sent out on the 24th of December with a subject, ‘Important Firmware Updates for your Framework Laptop’, denoting of the recent BIOS update as well as detail on a firmware update for some Western Digital SN850 SSD on Windows.

There is also an article on the knowledgebase section:

Hope this helps.

@Patrick_Corey I didn’t get an email for some reason, at least not one that I noticed. I bought my laptop a while ago and have been signed up for email alerts and newsletters since August. Not sure if I missed it or something bugged out. If there are meant to be email alerts, I will keep my eye out next time.