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I am not very experienced on Linux and get caught in a doubt, i have recently purchased an acer travelmate P4 and heard about the bios issues caused by ubuntu 17.10 on lenovo notebooks, and that it was being caused by SPI driver on ubuntu's 4.13 kernel, which comes along with 17.10. I've had just installed Elementary OS, which is based on Ubuntu, and updated the kernel to 4.15RC4, downloading the .deb's and installing them. Since i'm using a kernel version launched after the 4.13, may the SPI driver be present and cause any issue on my pc? I've seen that there are some dell, acer, hp notebooks that are also being affected by that issues.

  • This seems like an excellent question for Elementary OS support – user535733 Dec 24 '17 at 0:19
  • Why, if you are not experienced, would you mess about with changing kernel versions? You can run into all kinds of issues... several userspace applications are tied closely to the kernel version, you won't be getting CVE fixes from Elementary/Ubuntu, etc. I don't know which deb you downloaded, but to answer your question you will need to look at the config file and see if the SPI driver was enabled or not. – rdanter Dec 24 '17 at 10:01
  • I've had to change it cause the touchpad and ACPI were not working with the kernel version that comes with ElementaryOS, the notebook wouldn't even boot without 'acpi=off' flag – valmor junior Dec 25 '17 at 4:36
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Well, what you can do is to run in a terminal to check whether the new code (intel-spi driver) is enabled/built as part of your Linux kernel:

:~$ cat  /boot/config-`uname -r` | grep CONFIG_SPI_INTEL_SPI

If it returns NO details or as below:

# CONFIG_SPI_INTEL_SPI_PLATFORM is not set

Then, it is safe to assume that you can proceed. (Assuming that your laptop model may have the problem bios - Insyde UEFI that's affected). You can also open /boot/config-(kernel version) to read through the configuration options for the kernel(s).

Hope this helps.

  • In the case of Ubuntu 17.10, CVE was pushed by Ubuntu team immediately and the new kernel version without intel-spi driver is: linux-image-4.13.0-21-generic . Updated Ubuntu 17.10 iso images probably have this kernel. So, it may be safe. linux (4.13.0-21.24) artful; urgency=low * linux: 4.13.0-21.24 -proposed tracker (LP: #1738823) * Ubuntu 17.10 corrupting BIOS - many LENOVO laptops models (LP: #1734147) - [Config] CONFIG_SPI_INTEL_SPI_PLATFORM=n -- Thadeu Lima de Souza Cascardo <cascardo@canonical.com> Mon, 18 Dec 2017 14:13:33 -0200 – Confguy2016 Dec 24 '17 at 19:11

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