I’m overjoyed that Framework supports LVFS for Linux.
Framework must be a fairly good Western Digital customer, with WD SN730s in their prebuilts and SN750s and SN850s offered in the DIY versions.
The SN850 is probably the world’s fastest SSD at the moment. I have one in my desktop and I ordered one for my Framework laptop.
I really wish WD wasn’t so unsupportive towards Linux. You can only update the firmware in their SSDs using their WD Dashboard Windows-only software. They don’t even publish the firmware files separately, only WD Dashboard can find them, download them and install them. At least if there was an old fashioned ISO file for firmware flashing you could boot into it and flash firmware from there but they don’t bother.
If WD supported updating over LVFS that would be ideal. But they refuse to.
WD does not take suggestions from Linux users. Perhaps they would take suggestions from a good customer like Framework that wants to support their Linux users?
It would make Framework Linux support so much more complete. Firmware updates for SSDs are important, they can radically alter performance and correct data-destroying issues.
I just updated the SN850 firmware in my Linux desktop system using Windows To Go and WD Dashboard on an external drive, and while it seemed really easy and worked very well it destroyed my Linux system so I had to reinstall - I believe it overwrote the Linux bootloader and activated Secure Boot, placing itself as the only “approved” OS.
So LVFS would really be ideal going forward and it would be great to get complete support for the Framework laptop. I’m wondering if WD will listen to Framework and support LVFS or ignore them like the rest of their Linux users.
Thanks for noting this, and we’ll see if we can help push on that in any way.
We checked in with Western Digital. Unfortunately they don’t currently have plans to release consumer SSD firmware through LVFS.
Yeah I thought so. Well thank you for trying!
It might be good to put a warning about this in the customized order page so that people can opt out of getting WD just because it’s there.
Thanks for pointing this out, @Fraoch, I was completely unaware of this (as I’m guessing many potential Framework customers are) and will modify my order to remove the SSD. At the same time… so great that I have the option to do so with Framework!
Since there appears to be some expertise in this thread on the subject, what are the companies I should be looking at to order a Linux-friendly SSD from? Thanks again!
That’s the problem. All SSD manufacturers do this lately.
I’ve had many M.2s over the years and the only one that ever supported flashing from something like FreeDOS was an old Plextor M6e. My newer Plextor M8 did not support flashing from anything but Windows, and my other current SSD, a Sabrent Rocket 4.0, does not support flashing from anything but Windows either.
They are all the same from what I can tell and have sacrificed universal support in favour of fancy Windows management software.
So, all things being equal, the WD SN850 has the advantage in that it’s the fastest.
It’s a shame.
EDIT: a quick search shows Samsung and Intel SSDs can be updated in Linux.
Samsung supports LVFS!
How important are SSD firmware updates? Do they typically improve speed, reliability, etc?
They can be very important. I know Samsung had a firmware update a number of years ago to “refresh” cells that weren’t being overwritten or rewritten. If this didn’t occur the data could degrade over a period of time.
Here’s an example of a speed increase relevant to the WD SN850:
though it doesn’t apply to the Framework Laptop.