May 13 – 15, 2021
UTC timezone

Building the Linux Vendor Firmware Service: Forcing Hardware Vendors to care about Linux users

May 15, 2021, 5:30 PM


Ecosystem Growth


Richard Hughes (Red Hat)


The LVFS started as a side project running on a server under my stairs. In the last five years we’ve grown fwupd and the LVFS to the point where it’s a Linux Foundation project, listed on government purchase requirements and included on the CVs of people looking for jobs in the industry. Vendors now need to interact with the ecosystem we’ve built to get the Works With ChromeBook certification from Google, and Lenovo and Dell choose hardware partners based on how they work upstream with the LVFS and fwupd.

In the last 5 years we’ve built something that dozens of people are paid to work on and has provided more than 25 million firmware files to end users. We have used a few tricks over the years to convince vendors to “join the LVFS” and this talk will give lots of examples on how we grew the ecosystem from nothing into something that CTOs talk about over lunch.

I think a lot of the problems I’ve encountered building this project might be interesting to people trying to build a similar app ecosystem for Linux users.

Author(s) Bio

Richard has over 15 years of experience developing open source software.

He is the maintainer of fwupd, the LVFS, GNOME Software, AppStream-glib, PackageKit, gnome-packagekit, gnome-color-manager, colord, and UPower and also contributes to many other projects and opensource standards.

Richard graduated in 2007 from the University of Surrey with a Masters in Electronics Engineering. He now works as a principle engineer for Red Hat. Richard's outside interests include taking photos, eating good food and looking after his two daughters.

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