Firmware Update v1.4+#
(NitroPad - Ubuntu Linux)
Starting with v1.4 due to elementary changes inside Heads and the firmware layout, the update requires some additional considerations. This applies for both NitroPads X230 and T430.
Should I update my NitroPad?#
When updating your firmware to 1.4 (without using an external flasher device) the graphical HEADS dialogues will be replaced with a less convenient text-only version.
If you use Ubuntu, Debian, LinuxMint, or Qubes 4.0 updating the firmware beyond v1.3.1 is (as of today) not needed. If you use Qubes 4.1 without the integrated Ethernet port, you don’t need to update the firmware either.
If you want to use Qubes 4.1 or newer and the integrated Ethernet port you need to update the firmware to 1.4.
If the .npf file is not accepted by HEADS, likely you do not run the latest HEADS version. So either 1st update to version 1.3.1 or unzip the .npf file and use the resulting .rom file instead.
How can I update my NitroPad?#
v1.3.1 onwards has two different ways:
Legacy update using either
nitropad-x230-v1.4.npffrom the Heads menu, see: Firmware Update
When using an external flasher device you can use the
-maximizedimages. This keeps graphical HEADS dialogues working. Read about the external flashing below.
Never try updating your NitroPad using the -maximized image, if you do not know exactly what you are doing! You will brick your NitroPad and it can only be repaired using an external flasher!
How can I update to -maximized?#
We highly recommend to NOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN, as long as you are not exactly know what you are doing!
We have a service to do this upgrade on your NitroPad, please write an e-mail to “shop at nitrokey.com” together with your sales order number (SOxxxxxx).
The following procedure describes roughly how to flash your NitroPad using an external flasher - it is intentionally on a high level as we do not recommend doing this process on your own. But for the sake of completeness we document this here for the curios.
Make sure you have a (
flashrom) compatible flasher like
ch341a_spiwith a SOIC-8 clamp.
Open the device (see coreboot docs) and make sure you can access both flash chips.
flashromread out the bottom flash (the 8MB image)
ifdtool(coreboot ifdtool docs) extract the
GbEflashregion from the image and replace the
GbE-region inside your
Split the modified firmware image using
dd(as described in the coreboot documentation) into
Flash the images to the matching flash chips using your flasher and clamp
Reboot into your system (you should see
-maximizedinside the Heads menu)
The new firmware class of
-maximized images change the firmware
layout in a way that it is incompatible with Heads’ internal firmware
upgrade feature on the NitroPads.
This change mainly originates from a reduces Management Engine size
inside the firmware image. Furthermore the
-maximized images do
contain all flash regions inside the firmware, this also includes
which contains the Ethernet MAC address.
-maximized images have no functional differences compared
-maximized images except of the reduced Heads GUI.