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in order to solve the issue at https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/drm/amd/-/issues/1598 I should know your opinion about installing linux firmware drivers at https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/firmware/linux-firmware.git/ manually, so going over the ones provided by the official Ubuntu 18.04 repository.

Do you think it is safe?

Thank you

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Any firmware that is stored in /lib/firmware will need to be re-loaded after a power-cycle, so you could always access the system disk using a live media (or any other method), and restore the standard version of the firmware file if the version you manually updated turns out not to work.

If you don't trust the security of the git.kernel.org repository server, remember that it's also where the Linux kernel development happens.

The firmware files in the linux-firmware repository are usually provided by the respective hardware vendors; they have just been collected to the repository for easy availability. In the case of the specific firmware version you mentioned in the Freedesktop Gitlab, note that the files were authored and signed-off for placement in the repository by alexander.deucher @amd.com so it's obvious they are coming straight from AMD.

Since we're talking about firmware for a modern CPU-integrated GPU, I would expect that the GPU will at least use some sort of checksum and identifier mechanism to validate any loaded firmware before actually using it. There might even be a cryptographic signature, although it's often difficult to know for sure since the firmware files are often to be treated as black boxes.

So yes, I would say that using the newest firmware provided by AMD is at least as safe as using the new 5.15.x kernel instead of the official Ubuntu 18.04 kernel (which is apparently version 5.3.x if Ubuntu Wiki is to be trusted).

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  • Thank you very much for you so exhaustive answer. :) Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 15:51

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