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Linux hardware vendor outlines Intel Management Engine firmware plan

The Linux-equipped computer maker, System76, has detailed plans to update the Intel Management Engine (ME) firmware on its computers in line with Intel’s November 20th vulnerability announcement. In July, System76 began work on a project to automatically deliver firmware to System76 laptops which works in a similar fashion to how software is usually delivered through the operating system.

With the new firmware update, Intel’s ME will be disabled on all of its Intel 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-gen laptops; the vendor says this won’t affect the functionality of the laptop in any way and is safe to disable. With regards to desktops, System76 says the ME will remain enabled but that they’ll provide updated ME firmware.

In order to apply the update, you must be running Ubuntu 16.04, 17.04, 17.10, Pop!_OS 17.10, or an Ubuntu derivative, and have the System76 driver installed in order to receive the latest firmware and disabled ME on laptops.

If you don’t have the System76 driver installed it’s easy enough to add by using the following commands:

  • sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:system76-dev/stable
  • sudo apt update
  • sudo apt install -y system76-driver

Head over to the System76 blog post linked in the source to find a list of affected devices and other details on the update.

Source: System76

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