Possible noteworthy packages
I nominate the following packages to be listed in the "noteworthy packages"
section of the next DPN:
amd64-microcode: Processor microcode firmware for AMD CPUs (non-free)
intel-microcode: Processor microcode data file for Intel CPUs (non-free)
iucode-tool: Intel processor microcode tool (contrib)
intel-microcode was completely reworked from the ground up, and AFAIK it was
never listed as noteworthy before. amd64-microcode and iucode-tool are
The reason for the nomination of a contrib and two non-free package is:
* These packages fix critical hardware issues that potentially affect many
Debian users. Usually people don't even *know* their system processors
may need updated microcode to operate properly. As the packages are in
contrib and non-free, their visibility is quite low, so the issue remains
This is a serious enough issue that the microcode patch level is now
disclosed in /proc/cpuinfo, so that it is known when bugs are reported.
The problems fixed by microcode updates can be found documented as errata on
Intel and AMD system processor documentation. It ranges from incorrect
operation (several of them potentially causing data or code corruption), to
Fortunately, most of these errata hit rarely, and the better motherboard
vendors will supply firmware updates that, when installed, update processor
microcode during system boot and when resuming from suspend.
On the other hand, users very rarely update the system firmware (BIOS/UEFI)
anyway, and there are way too many vendors out there that will not issue the
required updates for whatever reason.
"One disk to rule them all, One disk to find them. One disk to bring
them all and in the darkness grind them. In the Land of Redmond
where the shadows lie." -- The Silicon Valley Tarot