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I want to install Ubuntu on my computer, but do not know whether you want to update the BIOS before installing.

Tell me, whether it is necessary to update the BIOS before installing Ubuntu?

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Generally you don't but it really depends, you can install Ubuntu first to see if it's running smoothly on it. Sometime BIOS upgrade can fix some issues in Linux.

For example, on Dell XPS 13 9343, user may experience some key repeat bug, and this one can be fix by upgrading the BIOS (AFAIK, this issue do exist across several Dell laptops).

So please check the vendor's website for the BIOS release note to determine if you need it.

  • Indeed, always update when possible. If something goes wrong one can always go back. – kos Oct 30 '15 at 6:30
  • Sure is correct. @kos AFAIK, it is not always possible to roll back though. – angulared Oct 30 '15 at 13:50
  • @IAnsari Might be but honestly right now such a circumnstance doesn't come to mind, because as soon as you have a tool for flashing I can't see how you wouldn't be able use it to flash a previous version. Maybe I'm missing something? – kos Oct 30 '15 at 14:06
  • @kos How will you boot the OS? The BIOS is, literally, the core of the entire boot up process. But I may be wrong here, since my Raspberry Pi (refer to the internet) does not have a BIOS chip, but it is possible that whilst installing the OS to the SD card, it may have installed a fake BIOS? A solution may be to start up another computer, once booted, replace the BIOS chip with your BIOS chip, then re-flash the BIOS, then remove your BIOS chip and plug it back. The problem is that the other computer has to be on. If you know a solution or so, kindly reply. – angulared Oct 30 '15 at 14:26
  • It is true that a BIOS flash can go so horribly wrong that it's unrecoverable on common desktop boards. Since, if you can't boot, you can't run the flash utility. Some server boards have management processors that can flash the BIOS from specially prepared USB devices though. Other systems have dual BIOS for easy rollback. Even on single BIOS machines, the risk is minimal. It is recommended to have the machine on UPS/battery backup though as that's the highest source of risk during a BIOS flash. – Brian Knoblauch Oct 30 '15 at 14:29
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No, you do not need to update the BIOS at all before installing Ubuntu. It doesn't matter at all.

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Is it necessary, no. I recommend it though as later BIOS are normally more stable than previous. As far as a listed best practice, I've seen it both ways... "Don't mess with something that works" vs. "stay as up to date as possible".

  • You probably don't want to mess with the BIOS at all, since it is literally the core of the system. Something goes wrong, and there is a probability it can happen, there is, I believe, nothing you can do except give it to a authorized repair shop who will fix your BIOS with the help of the device manufacturer. – angulared Oct 30 '15 at 13:49
  • "It depends". See my comment on P.-H. Lin's answer. – Brian Knoblauch Oct 30 '15 at 14:30

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