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On my Slackware systems I've used the "flashrom" utility to upgrade my BIOS.

 

https://flashrom.org/Flashrom

 

These Arch instructions look much like how I used it under Slackware:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Flashing_BIOS_from_Linux#Flashrom

 

I'd expect the process to be similar, if not identical, under Mint.

 

That Arch how-to page warns against using flashrom on laptops, but I've never had a problem with it on my Lenovo Thinkpads (T500, T510, T530). Up to you if you want to risk it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had to reload windows on the wife's machine in order to get the BIOS updated, and I might have to do the same on my main linux laptop (HP Spectre x360 13.3), is there any way to BIOS update under Linux (using HP laptop BIOS)?

 

Often you can stick in a USB drive with a small flashprogram in and just reboot. It then updates the UEFI (BIOS is long dead, but everybody still calls it BIOS ;)) automagically. should be found on the support pages of the vendor. This has been the case for at least ten years now. Some UEFIs even have an IP stack of their own and can update themselves with an internet connection. But there are always exceptions of course how they cook their own UEFI versions.

 

 


 

 

So I switcehd to the 5 series kernel on my MINT 19 computer as well and it certainly feels totally different now! :D No, not really. The only noticeable difference is that it does not throw a weird CMOS error after more than a week of utime with regular sleeping inbetween. Sometimes it forgot that there are drives connected to the SATA ports. Which was really weird. So far no problems. But I haven't used any of the new 5 kernel features like the Streebog algorithm of the GOST krypto collection.

Edited by Panzermann
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  • 3 months later...

I tried to post this under a new topic, "Not-so-Retro Fun" but was blocked (cloudflare id 54959fcffc286e06). Something about the post triggered a security countermeasure. Hopefully posting it here works.

 

==========================

 

Slackware Linux has been my go-to operating system since 1996. I've valued its stability and consistency, even if its packages are a little older than those of some other distributions (indeed, its reliability is in no small part due to its conservative package methodology).

 

Staying a generation or two behind the latest+greatest hardware has been a small price to pay for everything JFW'ing.

 

All of that changed when my father gifted me with this Lenovo P73. It is totally cutting-edge hardware, and I am grateful for the gift, but it took months for it to replace my old T530 because Slackware simply wouldn't work on it.

 

The crux of the matter was the discrete graphics, an NVidia Quaddro P620. The darned thing kept doing horrible things when I tried to start X11 -- the kernel would panic, or the system would reboot, or Xorg would crash.

 

I had to wait for the in-kernel NVidia support (via the nouveau device driver) to support the GPU, and that meant using "Slackware-Current" -- the Slackware branch normally used only for testing software which would eventually find its way into a stable Slackware release.

 

So I installed -current, and every time a new kernel came out, I updated, and hoped it would work. At one point I opened up the case to see if I could physically remove the P620, but it was soldered onto the motherboard. I had to wait for the right kernel.

 

Linux-5.4.2 was (finally!) that kernel. Xorg came up and stayed up, and I have been using it as my every-day driver for nine days now. All seems well.

 

It's quite large for a laptop (17" display) and bulky and heavy and gets noticeably warm, so I named it "kirov", after the class of nuclear-powered battlecruisers. It seems appropriate.

 

Now that it's working, I'm loathe to update it again, which poses a slight problem. The -current branch changes frequently so the Slackware community can test prospective packages. Eventually the -current branch will become the Slackware 15.0 release and the churn will stop, receiving only security patches and bugfixes for the life of the release.

 

I will want those bugfixes and security patches! But if I don't update, there will be a significant difference between kirov's OS and 15.0, and I won't be able to simply apply subsequent updates as-is. I'm going to have the bite the bullet and update to 15.0 when it comes out.

 

Maybe that will go smoothly, maybe not. We will see. In the meantime I'm enjoying the new laptop.

 

 

ttk@kirov:/home/ttk$ uname -a
Linux kirov.ciar.org 5.4.2 #1 SMP Wed Dec 4 18:12:20 CST 2019 x86_64 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-9750H CPU @ 2.60GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux
The long-term plan is still to build my own laptop and migrate away from Lenovo, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth :-)
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  • 1 month later...

I tried to post this under a new topic, "Not-so-Retro Fun" but was blocked (cloudflare id 54959fcffc286e06). Something about the post triggered a security countermeasure. Hopefully posting it here works.

 

==========================

 

Slackware Linux has been my go-to operating system since 1996. I've valued its stability and consistency, even if its packages are a little older than those of some other distributions (indeed, its reliability is in no small part due to its conservative package methodology).

 

Staying a generation or two behind the latest+greatest hardware has been a small price to pay for everything JFW'ing.

 

All of that changed when my father gifted me with this Lenovo P73. It is totally cutting-edge hardware, and I am grateful for the gift, but it took months for it to replace my old T530 because Slackware simply wouldn't work on it.

 

The crux of the matter was the discrete graphics, an NVidia Quaddro P620. The darned thing kept doing horrible things when I tried to start X11 -- the kernel would panic, or the system would reboot, or Xorg would crash.

 

I had to wait for the in-kernel NVidia support (via the nouveau device driver) to support the GPU, and that meant using "Slackware-Current" -- the Slackware branch normally used only for testing software which would eventually find its way into a stable Slackware release.

 

So I installed -current, and every time a new kernel came out, I updated, and hoped it would work. At one point I opened up the case to see if I could physically remove the P620, but it was soldered onto the motherboard. I had to wait for the right kernel.

 

Linux-5.4.2 was (finally!) that kernel. Xorg came up and stayed up, and I have been using it as my every-day driver for nine days now. All seems well.

 

It's quite large for a laptop (17" display) and bulky and heavy and gets noticeably warm, so I named it "kirov", after the class of nuclear-powered battlecruisers. It seems appropriate.

 

Now that it's working, I'm loathe to update it again, which poses a slight problem. The -current branch changes frequently so the Slackware community can test prospective packages. Eventually the -current branch will become the Slackware 15.0 release and the churn will stop, receiving only security patches and bugfixes for the life of the release.

 

I will want those bugfixes and security patches! But if I don't update, there will be a significant difference between kirov's OS and 15.0, and I won't be able to simply apply subsequent updates as-is. I'm going to have the bite the bullet and update to 15.0 when it comes out.

 

Maybe that will go smoothly, maybe not. We will see. In the meantime I'm enjoying the new laptop.

 

 

ttk@kirov:/home/ttk$ uname -a
Linux kirov.ciar.org 5.4.2 #1 SMP Wed Dec 4 18:12:20 CST 2019 x86_64 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-9750H CPU @ 2.60GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux
The long-term plan is still to build my own laptop and migrate away from Lenovo, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth :-)

 

How is it going? Did you update?

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For my 60th birthday, I am going to gift myself a System 76 Darter Pro. I will add 32gb of ram and a 1 tb Samsung NvME drive myself. The load Mint 19.3 and maybe LMDE 4 when it hits. My current HP Linux machine will get Windows put back on it, and become the kids emergency laptop.

 

Edit, no I'm not Lupe's car just crapped out, so my cash is going to get her car fixed.

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How is it going? Did you update?

I haven't yet, no. Everything is working, so I'm leaving it as-is until there's a must-have security update.

 

The maxim "If it's not broken, don't fix it" has served me well, and it guides me now.

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I had forgotten just how agonizingly painful a Windows installation is, but I am reloading Windows on my little linux HP, so the girls have an emergency laptop since my System 76 Darter Pro is due tomorrow on my B-Day/Anniversay. Also how utterly painful winders updates and reboots, and reboots, and reboots are.

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  • 3 months later...

Anyone out there using Manjaro? How is it compared to LTS releases? Also I know it is not Debian based, so how easy is it to update in terminal compared to Debian "Apt"?

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