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OpenSuSE Tumbleweed on Raspberry Pi: getting `vcgencmd version` to work to see which GPU firmware you have

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/04/05

When you search for raspberry pi firmware version check

Installing and running rpi-update will – besides updating the GPU firmware – also install vcgencmd, I got this result:

statler:~ # LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/opt/vc/lib/
statler:~ # export LD_LIBRARY_PATH
statler:~ # /opt/vc/bin/vcgencmd version
Jul 15 2016 17:50:10 
Copyright (c) 2012 Broadcom
version efa728fef77ea14ceb1500caf0146395fa282a0f (clean) (release)

But I wanted to be able to run vcgencmd before installing updates.

openmamba indicates it’s part of their raspberrypi-utils package with sources in the raspberrypi-userland package tracing back to git://github.com/raspberrypi/userland.git which is at https://github.com/raspberrypi/userland.

So I had two choices: compile https://github.com/raspberrypi/userland or find the binaries that rpi-update installs and are already runnable. I went for the second first by digging in https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update/blob/master/rpi-update which on one of the first lines points to https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-firmware where the binaries are stored under https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-firmware/tree/master/vc/softfp/opt/vc.

The logic for copying the files is in the update_vc_libs function. The calling do_update function updates a lot more, including the firmware. So I wrote a quick pull request to just download the userland binaries:

Feature SKIP_FIRMWARE for #220: forces SKIP_KERNEL=1 and also skip the kernel.img files and the kernel modules: This effectively only installs the userland and SDK.

Source: #220 feature `SKIP_FIRMWARE` by jpluimers · Pull Request #221 · Hexxeh/rpi-update

Hopefully it gets merged in. When not, then you can always take a look at the commit: #220 feature SKIP_FIRMWARE · jpluimers/rpi-update@5a2ec0b

Run these commands to get going:

cd /root/bin
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jpluimers/rpi-update/5a2ec0bc552436d58127cc20e3791cb5b90fd5ba/rpi-update
chmod +x rpi-update
SKIP_FIRMWARE=1 UPDATE_SELF=0 ./rpi-update

You should see this when updating:

 *** Raspberry Pi firmware updater by Hexxeh, enhanced by AndrewS and Dom
 *** We're running for the first time
 *** Backing up files (this will take a few minutes)
 *** Remove old firmware backup
 *** As requested, not updating firmware and kernel modules
This update bumps to rpi-4.4.y linux tree
Be aware there could be compatibility issues with some drivers
Discussion here:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=144087
##############################################################
 *** Downloading specific firmware revision (this will take a few minutes)
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100   168    0   168    0     0    361      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--   362
100 51.2M  100 51.2M    0     0  1246k      0  0:00:42  0:00:42 --:--:-- 1446k
 *** As requested, not updating firmware and kernel
 *** As requested, not updating firmware and kernel modules
 *** Updating VideoCore libraries
 *** Using HardFP libraries
 *** Updating SDK
 *** Running ldconfig
 *** Storing current firmware revision
 *** Deleting downloaded files
 *** Syncing changes to disk
 *** If no errors appeared, your firmware was successfully updated to 818a860cf690d64c62d3227ad9c36d5867a671c2
 *** A reboot is needed to activate the new firmware

And the final goal of checking the firmware version now works:

# LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/vc/lib /opt/vc/bin/vcgencmd version
Jul 15 2016 17:50:10 
Copyright (c) 2012 Broadcom
version efa728fef77ea14ceb1500caf0146395fa282a0f (clean) (release)

–jeroen

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