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#1 2022-08-30 10:59:06

klapauzius
Member
Registered: 2019-07-22
Posts: 44

[solved] WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: xxx

In the past this has been subject of various posts and forums but - in my humble opinion - never satisfactory solved or answered.

While doing a 'sudo pacman -Syu' pacman warns

```
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: xxx
```

When somebody reports this the usual answer is "just ignore the warning".

On my little soho-homeserver the list of modules has been growing during the years. Therefore I would like to ask

1. why do ever more modules appear in that list? especially if much of this hardware isn't present in my machine?
2. how can that mess be cleaned up?

Answers beyond "ignore it" would be highly appreciated.

Last edited by klapauzius (2022-09-04 11:20:23)

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#2 2022-08-30 11:16:12

Lone_Wolf
Member
From: Netherlands, Europe
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 10,408

Re: [solved] WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: xxx

The warning doesn't come from pacman, but from mkinitcpio .

https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Mkinit … odule_XXXX


Disliking systemd intensely, but not satisfied with alternatives so focusing on taming systemd.


(A works at time B)  && (time C > time B ) ≠  (A works at time C)

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#3 2022-08-30 11:18:42

koffeinfriedhof
Member
Registered: 2017-11-30
Posts: 89

Re: [solved] WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: xxx

Depends on your hardware and the needed proprietary stuff (firmware blobs). The warning can safely ignored in the fallback creation. See mkinitcpio - missing firmware. Other firmware MAY be needed. Depends on what modules are missing. Are they required to boot properly? Add them to your configuration. If not, you can safely ignore them.

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#4 2022-08-30 11:51:21

klapauzius
Member
Registered: 2019-07-22
Posts: 44

Re: [solved] WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: xxx

Lone_Wolf wrote:

The warning doesn't come from pacman, but from mkinitcpio .

Sorry for landing in the wrong section. Should have been more careful while watching the output of the process.

koffeinfriedhof wrote:

Ahh, good read.

koffeinfriedhof wrote:

Other firmware MAY be needed. Depends on what modules are missing. Are they required to boot properly? Add them to your configuration.

The system boots nicely.

root@fileserver ~ # grep 'preset\|WARNING' mkinit.output
==> Building image from preset: /etc/mkinitcpio.d/linux-lts.preset: 'default'                                                                                          
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: xhci_pci                        
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: qat_4xxx                                                                                                            
==> Building image from preset: /etc/mkinitcpio.d/linux-lts.preset: 'fallback'                                                                                         
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: qla1280                         
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: qed                             
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: wd719x                          
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: bfa                             
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: aic94xx                         
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: qla2xxx                         
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: xhci_pci                        
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: zd1201      
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: zd1211rw    
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: wcn36xx     
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: p54usb      
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: p54spi      
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: p54pci      
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: orinoco_usb 
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: atmel       
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: at76c50x_usb
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: mt7603e      
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: rsi_usb      
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: rsi_sdio     
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: rtl8723ae     
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: b43legacy     
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: b43           
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: mwifiex_usb   
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: mwifiex_sdio  
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: mwl8k         
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: libertas_cs                     
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: libertas_spi                    
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: libertas_sdio                   
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: usb8xxx                         
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: softing_cs                      
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: mlxsw_spectrum                  
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: liquidio                        
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: nfp                             
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: bna                                                                                                                 
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: bnx2x                                                                                                               
==> WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: qat_4xxx

Indeed there is a big difference between default and fallback.

Last edited by klapauzius (2022-09-01 10:03:15)

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#5 2022-09-01 10:14:57

klapauzius
Member
Registered: 2019-07-22
Posts: 44

Re: [solved] WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: xxx

koffeinfriedhof wrote:

The warning can safely ignored in the fallback creation.

The questions remain:
Why is the above list growing over time?
Why can and should this list (especially for fallback creation) be ignored?

koffeinfriedhof wrote:

Add them to your configuration.

According to https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Mkinit … odule_XXXX a firmware-blob for qat_4xxx isn't available and for xhci_pci only in the AUR. As you wrote if the boot process works there is no need to act so I'm not installing them for now. Removing 'fallback' to get rid of the warnings is no option from my point of view.

koffeinfriedhof wrote:

If not, you can safely ignore them.

That answer is all over the internet but never substantiated.

Is it just me or is this unsatisfactory?

Last edited by klapauzius (2022-09-01 10:25:07)

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#6 2022-09-01 10:30:20

V1del
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-16
Posts: 17,032

Re: [solved] WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: xxx

The list is growing because there's more pieces of HW that get added to the kernel that don't have their firmware readily available in the usual place. In addition to that recently the "catch all" firmware package was split up in commonly encountered and seldomly encountered ones in order to safe substantial amounts of diskspace by not having firmware files floating around for uncommon hardware. If you want to reduce the list at no benefit to you and at the cost of 100s of MB of diskspace, install all linux-firmware variants. https://archlinux.org/news/linux-firmwa … splitting/

If you do not have any pieces of said HW you do not need to worry, if you had, you'd be worrying since a long time since some hardware in your system would not be working as designed.

The reason you see that list in the first place is due to the logical property of the fallback image to be a "fallback" that can be used under any circumstances, including substantial hardware changes that might render the optimized/slimmed down initramfs unbootable, by including support for all hardware. While it does include all modules to be doing that, it will warn you that it didn't find firmware necessary for certain modules that it does include.

If you do not do substantial HW changes that have an effect on how you boot your system then you can ignore these (you could even disable generation of the fallback image, if you are sure you are not going to change said HW often, however sometimes there can/have been bugs with certain combinations where the normal image fails to boot, so it's advisable to have at least one fallback, but these are exceptional and irregular cases)

Edit: Wait I realise I'm reiterating most of what's in the wiki link. If you have read the wiki link, why does the question remain? In any case I hope the above helps

Last edited by V1del (2022-09-01 10:43:11)

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#7 2022-09-01 11:22:42

Lone_Wolf
Member
From: Netherlands, Europe
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 10,408

Re: [solved] WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: xxx

Look at mkinitcpio sourcecode .

The code that adds the firmware files is in add_firmware() found in the file functions  .

If a module is present in the initramfs mkinitcpio adds every firmware that can be loaded by the module to the initramfs .

example : 
modinfo amdgpu | grep firmware: lists 400+ files .
All of those are added to every initramfs that includes the amdgpu kernel module.

mkinitcpio doesn't contain code to reduce that number and only select what is needed.

For the 'normal' initramfs the autodetect hook reduces the number of modules vastly and xhci-pci tends to be the only one with firmware that's not installed .

The fallback initramfs is intended to boot (almost) everything supported by archlinux .
Every firmware file for every module present in that initramfs is checked for and added if present , warned if it's not.

If you want to get rid of / reduce the warnings :

- remove the autodetect hook and include all modules you know you need .

For the normal initramfs this is doable, for the fallback initramfs it's much harder.

Note that if you don't include xhci-pci some or all usb ports may be unusable for the kernel during initramfs phase.
If the only keyboard present requires xhci-pci  you won't be able to input passwords and could have blocked yourself from using the pc .


Disliking systemd intensely, but not satisfied with alternatives so focusing on taming systemd.


(A works at time B)  && (time C > time B ) ≠  (A works at time C)

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#8 2022-09-04 11:08:05

klapauzius
Member
Registered: 2019-07-22
Posts: 44

Re: [solved] WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: xxx

V1del wrote:

recently the "catch all" firmware package was split up in commonly encountered and seldomly encountered ones in order to safe substantial amounts of diskspace by not having firmware files floating around for uncommon hardware.

Makes sense.

If you want to reduce the list at no benefit to you and at the cost of 100s of MB of diskspace, install all linux-firmware variants. https://archlinux.org/news/linux-firmwa … splitting/

As this is of no benefit I rather do without.

if you had, you'd be worrying since a long time since some hardware in your system would not be working as designed.

Understood.

The reason you see that list in the first place is due to the logical property of the fallback image to be a "fallback" that can be used under any circumstances, including substantial hardware changes that might render the optimized/slimmed down initramfs unbootable, by including support for all hardware. While it does include all modules to be doing that, it will warn you that it didn't find firmware necessary for certain modules that it does include.

Got it. The fallback is supposed to support every hardware there might be. Therefore it warns when there is no firmware for uncommon hardware available regardless if the hardware is installed or not.

so it's advisable to have at least one fallback

I support the idea of a fallback initramfs.

Edit: Wait I realise I'm reiterating most of what's in the wiki link. If you have read the wiki link, why does the question remain? In any case I hope the above helps

To that point I do not agree. In the wiki it just says that one option is to ignore the warnings. And what firmware packages exist. And that you can install those but don't have to.

It does not say that mkinitcpio installs all modules there are for the fallback-image although the corresponding firmware isn't available. Well, the warnings say that those firmware-blobs are missing. And leave it up to the reader to deduce what that is about.

Anyway, your explaination helped me understand. Thanks a lot.

Last edited by klapauzius (2022-09-04 11:24:03)

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#9 2022-09-04 11:14:04

klapauzius
Member
Registered: 2019-07-22
Posts: 44

Re: [solved] WARNING: Possibly missing firmware for module: xxx

Lone_Wolf wrote:

If you want to get rid of / reduce the warnings :

- remove the autodetect hook and include all modules you know you need .

For the normal initramfs this is doable, for the fallback initramfs it's much harder.

I'll keep the autodetect hook, however, it might be worthwhile thinking about installing the seldom firmware... at least before one changes the hardware configuration of the machine.

Note that if you don't include xhci-pci some or all usb ports may be unusable for the kernel during initramfs phase.
If the only keyboard present requires xhci-pci  you won't be able to input passwords and could have blocked yourself from using the pc .

Good point.

I use a tinyssh server to provide the LUKS password, however, at least for a fallback I want to be able to use the crappy usb-keyboard I have left.

Last edited by klapauzius (2022-09-04 11:27:00)

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