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IUCODE_TOOL(8)                iucode_tool manual                IUCODE_TOOL(8)

       iucode_tool  -  Tool to manipulate Intel(R) IA-32/X86-64 microcode bun-

       iucode_tool [options] [[-ttype] filename|dirname] ...

       iucode_tool is an utility that can load  Intel(R)  processor  microcode
       data from files in both text and binary microcode bundle formats.

       It  can  output  a  list  of the microcodes in these files, merge them,
       upload them to the kernel (to upgrade the microcode in the system  pro-
       cessor  cores) or write some of them out to a file in binary format for
       later use.

       iucode_tool will load all microcodes in the specified files and  direc-
       tories  to  memory,  in order to process them.  Duplicated and outdated
       microcodes will be discarded.  It can read microcode data from standard
       input (stdin), by specifying a file name of "-" (minus sign).

       Microcode data files are assumed to be in .dat text format if they have
       a .dat suffix, and to be in binary format  otherwise.   Standard  input
       (stdin)  is  assumed  to  be in .dat text format.  The -t option can be
       used to change the type of the files specified after it, including  for

       If  a directory is specified, all files whose names do not begin with a
       dot will be loaded,  in  unspecified  order.   Nested  directories  are

       Empty files and directories are ignored, and will be skipped.

       You  can  select  which  microcodes  should  be  written out, listed or
       uploaded to the kernel using the -S, -s, --date-before and --date-after
       options.   Should  none  of  those options be specified, all microcodes
       will be selected.

       You can upload the selected microcodes to the kernel, write them out to
       a  file (in binary format), to a Linux early initramfs archive, to per-
       processor-signature files in a directory, or to per-microcode files  in
       a directory using the -w, --write-earlyfw, -k, -K, and -W options.

       For  more information about Intel processor microcodes, please read the
       included documentation and the Intel manuals listed  in  the  SEE  ALSO

       iucode_tool accepts the following options:

       -q, --quiet
              Inhibit usual output.

       -v, --verbose
              Print more information.  Use more than once for added verbosity.

       -h, -?, --help
              List all available options and their meanings.

              Show summary of options.

       -V, --version
              Show version of program.

       -t type
              Sets the file type of the following files. type can be:

              b      binary  format.  This is the same format used by the ker-
                     nel driver and the BIOS/EFI, which is described in detail
                     by  the  Intel 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Devel-
                     oper's Manual, Volume 3A, section 9.11.

              d      Intel microcode .dat text format.   This  is  the  format
                     normally  used  by  Intel  to  distribute  microcode data

              a      (default) iucode_tool will use the  suffix  of  the  file
                     name  to select the file type: .dat text format for files
                     that have a .dat suffix, and binary type otherwise.  Note
                     that for stdin, .dat text format is assumed.

              When multiple versions of the microcode for a specific processor
              are available from different files, keep the one from  the  file
              loaded  last,  regardless  of revision levels.  Files are always
              loaded in the order they were specified  in  the  command  line.
              This option has no effect when just one file has been loaded.

              When multiple versions of the microcode for a specific processor
              are available from different files, keep the one with the  high-
              est revision level.  This is the default mode of operation.

              Perform  strict checks on the microcode data.  It will refuse to
              load microcodes and microcode data files  with  unexpected  size
              and  metadata.   It  will  also refuse to load microcode entries
              that have the same metadata, but different payload.  This is the
              default mode of operation.

              Perform  less  strict checks on the microcode data.  Use only if
              you happen to  come  across  a  microcode  data  file  that  has
              microcodes  with  weird sizes or incorrect non-critical metadata
              (such as invalid dates), which you want to retain.  If you  just
              want to skip those, use the --ignore-broken option.

              Skip  broken  microcode  entries  when  loading a microcode data
              file, instead of aborting program execution.  If  the  microcode
              entry  has  an  unknown  format  or had its header severely cor-
              rupted, all remaining data in the file will  be  ignored.   This
              option  is  also useful to process data files with extra padding
              at the end (the padding will be reported as an invalid microcode
              entry), as well as to salvage microcodes from an incomplete data

              Abort program execution if a broken  microcode  is  found  while
              loading  a  microcode  data  file.   This is the default mode of

       -s ! | [!]signature[,pf_mask]
              Select microcodes by the specified signature and processor flags
              mask  (pf_mask).   If  pf_mask is specified, it will select only
              microcodes that are suitable for at least one of  the  processor
              flag combinations in the mask.

              Specify  more  than once to select more microcodes.  This option
              can be combined with the --scan-system  option  to  select  more
              microcodes.   If  signature  is prefixed with a "!" (exclamation
              mark), it will unselect microcodes instead.   Ordering  matters,
              with later -s options overriding earlier ones.

              The special notation -s! (with no signature parameter) instructs
              iucode_tool to require explicit inclusion  of  microcode  signa-
              tures  (using  the  non-negated form of -s, or using --scan-sys-

              The  --scan-system  option   has   precedence,   therefore   the
              microcodes it selects cannot be unselected.

       -S, --scan-system
              Select microcodes by scanning all online processors on this sys-
              tem for their signatures.

              This option can be combined with the -s option  to  select  more

              Should  the  signature  scan  fail on all online processors, the
              program will print a warning to the  user  and  continue  as  if
              --scan-system  had not been specified.  This is a fail-safe con-
              dition when iucode_tool is used to install microcode updates for
              the next boot.

       --date-before=YYYY-MM-DD and --date-after=YYYY-MM-DD
              Limit the selected microcodes by a date range.  The date must be
              given in ISO format, with four digits for the year and two  dig-
              its  for  the month and day and "-" (minus sign) for the separa-
              tor.   Dates   are   not   range-checked,   so   you   can   use
              --date-after=2000-00-00  to  select  all  microcodes dated since
              January 1st, 2000.

              When a date range is specified, all revisions of  the  microcode
              will  be considered for selection (ignoring just the date range,
              all other filters still apply) should  any  of  the  microcode's
              revisions be within the date range.

              When a date range is specified, select only microcodes which are
              within the date range.  This is the default mode of operation.

       -l, --list
              List selected microcode signatures.

       -L, --list-all
              List all microcode signatures while they're being processed.

       -k[device], --kernel[=device]
              Upload selected  microcodes  to  the  kernel.   Optionally,  the
              device  path  can  be  specified  (default: /dev/cpu/microcode).
              This update method is being deprecated.

       -K[directory], --write-firmware[=directory]
              Write selected microcodes with the file names  expected  by  the
              Linux  kernel  firmware  loader.   Optionally,  the  destination
              directory can be specified (default: /lib/firmware/intel-ucode).

       -wfile, --write-to=file
              Write selected microcodes to a file in binary format.

              Write selected microcodes to an early initramfs  archive,  which
              should be prepended to the regular initramfs to allow the kernel
              to update processor microcode very early during system boot.

       -Wdirectory, --write-named-to=file
              Write  selected  microcodes  to  the  specified  directory,  one
              microcode  per  file,  in binary format.  The file names reflect
              the microcode signature, mask and revision.

              Remove the destination file before writing, if it exists and  is
              not  a  directory.   The destination file is not overwritten in-
              place.  Hardlinks will be severed, and any existing access  per-
              missions, ACLs and other extended attributes of the old destina-
              tion file will be lost.

              Abort if the destination  file  already  exists.   This  is  the
              default  mode  of  operation.  Do note that iucode_tool does not
              follow non-directory symlinks when writing files.

       iucode_tool reads all data to memory before doing any processing.

       iucode_tool creates files with permissions 0644  (rw-r--r--),  modified
       by the current umask.

       iucode_tool's selected microcode listing and microcode output files are
       sorted by cpu  signature,  however  the  ordering  inside  a  group  of
       microcodes that share the same cpu signature is undefined: it is deter-
       ministic, but it is sensitive to  command  line  parameters  and  their
       ordering, and also depends on the ordering of the individual microcodes
       inside each loaded data file.

       When multiple revisions of a microcode are  selected,  the  older  ones
       will  be skipped.  Only the newest selected revision of a microcode (or
       the last one in load order when the --downgrade option is active)  will
       be written to a file or uploaded to the kernel.

       Intel  microcode  data  files,  both in binary and text formats, can be
       concatenated to generate a bigger and still valid microcode data file.

       iucode_tool does not follow symlinks when writing microcode data files.
       It  will  either  refuse  to  write the file and abort (default mode of
       operation), or (when the --overwrite option is active) it  will  remove
       the  target  symlink  or file (and therefore breaking hardlinks) before
       writing the new file.

       iucode_tool does follow directory symlinks to locate the  directory  to
       write files into.

   Linux Notes
       The cpuid kernel driver is required for the --scan-system functionality
       to work.

       Early initramfs support for microcode updates is available since  Linux
       v3.9.   Kernels  without  early  initramfs  support  will just make the
       microcode  file  available  to  the  initramfs  environment  at   /ker-

       The early initramfs image with microcode update data must be aligned to
       a 16-byte boundary relative to the start of the initramfs file to  work
       around a bug in some versions of the Linux kernel.

       Each  Intel processor microcode must be uploaded through a single write
       syscall to /dev/cpu/microcode, but  more  than  one  microcode  can  be
       uploaded per write syscall.  Writing the microcode to the kernel device
       will update all system processor cores at once.  This method  is  being
       deprecated and does not work on other system processor types.

       The  old  Linux  firmware  interface  for microcode updates needs to be
       triggered  on  a  per-core  basis,  by  writing   the   number   1   to
       /sys/devices/system/cpu/*/microcode/reload.   Depending  on kernel ver-
       sion, you must either trigger it on every core  to  avoid  a  dangerous
       situation  where some cores are using outdated microcode, or the kernel
       will accept the request only for the boot processor and use it to trig-
       ger an update on all system processor cores.

       Since  Linux  v3.6, the per-core interface has been replaced with a new
       interface that explicitly triggers an update for  every  core  at  once
       when     the    number    1    is    written    to    /sys/devices/sys-

       The microcode driver should not be unloaded unless you are sure  it  is
       not going to be needed.  Depending on kernel version and configuration,
       the driver needs to be loaded for the kernel to be able to reapply  the
       microcode updates after the system resumes from suspend or hibernation,
       and also to update any system processor cores that were offline at  the
       time the update was applied.

   Updating files in /lib/firmware/intel-ucode:
              iucode_tool   -K/lib/firmware/intel-ucode   /lib/firmware/intel-
              ucode/* /tmp/file-with-new-microcodes.bin

   Processing several compressed files at once:
              zcat intel-microcode*.dat.gz | iucode_tool -k -

              zcat intel-microcode*.bin.gz | iucode_tool -k -tb -

       Microcode with negative revision numbers is not special-cased, and will
       not be preferred over regular microcode.

       Files  are not replaced atomically: if iucode_tool is interrupted while
       writing to a file, that file will be corrupted.

       The Intel 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer's Manual,  Vol-
       ume 3A: System Programming Guide, Part 1 (order number 253668), section

       Henrique de Moraes Holschuh <>

IUCODE_TOOL 1.1.1             September 9th, 2014               IUCODE_TOOL(8)

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