microcode update on Xeon X3430

Issues related to hardware problems
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Randy-Random
Posts: 2
Joined: 2019/08/06 07:48:12

microcode update on Xeon X3430

Post by Randy-Random » 2019/08/06 08:34:06

Hi all,

I was trying to update my CPUs microcode but ran into some problems.

First, I checked whether or not my CPU is supported:

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$ egrep -e 'model|cpu family|stepping|microcode' /proc/cpuinfo | sort | uniq
cpu family      : 6
microcode       : 0xa
model           : 30
model name      : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X3430  @ 2.40GHz
stepping        : 5
https://access.redhat.com/articles/3540901
https://access.redhat.com/articles/3562741
→ yep, it is.

Then I installed microcode_ctl using yum, but… nothing happened. Neither µcode was loaded nor the initrd was rebuild. Bummer.
I forced the initrd rebuild:

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$ dracut -f
$ lsinitrd | egrep 'Early|\/micro' 
Early CPIO image
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     root            0 Aug  6 09:25 kernel/x86/microcode
-rw-r--r--   1 root     root         9216 Aug  6 09:25 kernel/x86/microcode/GenuineIntel.bin
and rebooted, but still no luck:

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$ dmesg | grep -i micro
[    0.012100] MDS: Vulnerable: Clear CPU buffers attempted, no microcode
[    1.770009] microcode: sig=0x106e5, pf=0x2, revision=0xa
[    1.770118] microcode: Microcode Update Driver: v2.01 <tigran@aivazian.fsnet.co.uk>, Peter Oruba
Next step was to try it manually:

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$ curl -s -L https://github.com/intel/Intel-Linux-Processor-Microcode-Data-Files/archive/master.tar.gz | tar -tzf -
$ cp Intel-Linux-Processor-Microcode-Data-Files-master/intel-ucode/* /lib/firmware/intel-ucode/
$ echo 1 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/microcode/reload
Still a big "nope": nothing happened.

Now trying the iucode_tool with microcode_ctl's shipped files and with the microcode downloaded from github:

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$ ./iucode_tool -q -tb -lS /usr/share/microcode_ctl/ucode_with_caveats/intel/intel-ucode
selected microcodes:
  078/001: sig 0x000106e5, pf_mask 0x13, 2018-05-08, rev 0x000a, size 9216
$ ./iucode_tool -q -tb -lS Intel-Linux-Processor-Microcode-Data-Files-master/intel-ucode
selected microcodes:
  078/001: sig 0x000106e5, pf_mask 0x13, 2018-05-08, rev 0x000a, size 9216
Looks promising, right? Well, let's take a closer look:

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$ ./iucode_tool -tb -lS Intel-Linux-Processor-Microcode-Data-Files-master/intel-ucode | grep 78
./iucode_tool: system has processor(s) with signature 0x000106e5
microcode bundle 78: Intel-Linux-Processor-Microcode-Data-Files-master/intel-ucode/06-1e-05
  078/001: sig 0x000106e5, pf_mask 0x13, 2018-05-08, rev 0x000a, size 9216
$ cpio -id < /boot/initramfs-`uname -r`.img kernel/x86/microcode/GenuineIntel.bin
20 blocks
$ md5sum kernel/x86/microcode/GenuineIntel.bin Intel-Linux-Processor-Microcode-Data-Files-master/intel-ucode/06-1e-05
ccfadbf7fb5c97e23353f5d28a533015  kernel/x86/microcode/GenuineIntel.bin
ccfadbf7fb5c97e23353f5d28a533015  Intel-Linux-Processor-Microcode-Data-Files-master/intel-ucode/06-1e-05
I think I'm lost here. Does anybody have a clue on how I could load the updated microcode? :?

chemal
Posts: 587
Joined: 2013/12/08 19:44:49

Re: microcode update on Xeon X3430

Post by chemal » 2019/08/06 14:26:29

You need to opt in by creating an empty file /etc/microcode_ctl/ucode_with_caveats/force-early-intel, dracut -f and then rebooting. You only get microcode fixes for last years vulnerabilities, Intel won't fix MDS for your cpu from 2009, iirc.

Randy-Random
Posts: 2
Joined: 2019/08/06 07:48:12

Re: microcode update on Xeon X3430

Post by Randy-Random » 2019/08/06 14:52:58

Hi chemal,

thanks for your answer.
I tried it:

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$ install -D -m644 /dev/null /etc/microcode_ctl/ucode_with_caveats/force-early-intel
$ dracut -f
$ lsinitrd | egrep 'Early|\/micro' 
Early CPIO image
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     root            0 Aug  6 16:39 kernel/x86/microcode
-rw-r--r--   1 root     root         9216 Aug  6 16:39 kernel/x86/microcode/GenuineIntel.bin
$ reboot
[…]
$ dmesg | grep micro
[    0.999224] MDS: Vulnerable: Clear CPU buffers attempted, no microcode
[    3.676464] microcode: sig=0x106e5, pf=0x2, revision=0xa
[    3.682260] microcode: Microcode Update Driver: v2.2.
it looks still the same.
You only get microcode fixes for last years vulnerabilities, Intel won't fix MDS for your cpu from 2009, iirc.
According to https://downloadcenter.intel.com/downlo ... duct=42927 the cpu is still supported. MDS might be a special case as the Xeon X3430 doesn't offer hyperthreading and *should* not be affected to that issue. But still I expect the microcode to be updated… oh wait. I should have taken a closer look at the output:

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selected microcodes:
  078/001: sig 0x000106e5, pf_mask 0x13, 2018-05-08, rev 0x000a, size 9216
The suggested revision is already installed on the system, probably with one of the recent bios updates.
Never mind, I'll show myself out :oops:

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