Is processor microcode advised?

Dave dave at
Wed Nov 18 15:14:52 UTC 2015

On Wednesday 18 November 2015 09:27:32 Andrea Venturoli wrote:
> On 11/17/15 16:10, Adam Vande More wrote:
> > On Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 8:48 AM, Will Senn <will.senn at> wrote:
> >
> >> Is it important/necessary/advisable  to install microcode for Intel CPU's?
> >> If so, how do you know which CPU's have updates? Also, after doing make
> >> install in /usr/ports/sysutils/devcpu-data and adding
> >> microcode_update_enable="YES" to rc.conf, how can you tell if anything was
> >> applied - what do you look for in dmesg output
> >>
> >
> > man cpuctl
> >
> > But normally this is just handled with a bios update.
> Supposing BIOS has not been updated (due to no availability, lazyness, 
> impossibility over a remote link, fear of bricking the box, etc...)

FWIW, I've replaced many, many motherboards over the years and as part of our standard procedure we update the BIOS firmware to the latest company approved version with the corporate boot logo baked in and I've never, ever ended up with a bricked board.  This has, over the years, included MSI, ASUS and INTEL boards as well as INTEL and SuperMicro server boards.  Personally I always boot FreeDOS and use the relevant DOS util to flash the firmware.  Normally the flash util will warn if you try to install the wrong BIOS or even if you are downgrading it, but not always.  I don't know what might happen if you try to install an incorrect BIOS file.  I've always been careful to make sure I use the correct one.  YMMV etc etc etc.

> , the 
> original question would still stand: is it important/necessary/advisable 
> to use devcpu-data?
> Also, I see microcode_update has to load the cpuctl module. What are the 
> implications of this WRT security?
> Would it be advisable to unload it afterwards?
>   bye & Thanks
> 	av.
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