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FW_UPDATE(1) General Commands Manual FW_UPDATE(1)

fw_updateinstall non-free firmware packages

fw_update [-adinv] [-p path] [driver ...]

The fw_update utility installs, updates, or deletes firmware packages for driver from the Internet. If no driver is specified, the fw_update utility tries to determine which firmware is needed on the system.

Since firmware with an acceptable license is already present in OpenBSD, fw_update exists purely to deal with firmware that may not be freely distributed with OpenBSD.

The options are as follows:

Install or update firmware for all drivers. It is an error to specify this option with any driver arguments.
Delete firmware for driver. If used without parameters, delete all firmware that is not required by a driver. If used in conjunction with -a, delete firmware for all drivers.
Display information about firmware which is installed or missing, and whether it appears to be required by a driver.
Dry run. Do not actually install or update any firmware packages; just report the steps that would be taken.
Use the firmware found at path, being either a local directory or a URL, instead of the default location.
Turn on verbose output. This flag can be specified multiple times for increased verbosity.

Firmware is downloaded from release-specific directories at The files are in the format required by pkg_add(1), but direct use of pkg_add is discouraged.

pkg_add(1), dmesg(8)

The fw_update program was designed by Alexander Hall <>, current code was written by Marc Espie <>.

May 27, 2016 OpenBSD-6.7