Bootloader Firmware Update on Raspberry Pi 4

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It is recommended to utilize the latest bootloader firmware for your Raspberry Pi 4.  These updates may include important security, bug fixes and enhancements to improve your Pi computing experience. This article will show you how to check for and update your Raspberry Pi 4 bootloader firmware.


Currently, I only know of updating the Raspberry Pi 4 Bootloader Firmware with the standard Raspberry Pi OS. So that is where we will begin, by obtaining a copy of the default Raspberry Pi OS.

  1. Use Raspberry Pi Imager v1.7 to install Raspberry Pi OS (lite version without desktop is best) on SD card
  2. Copy empty text file called ssh.txt onto the system-boot partition of the SD card. Remove SD card from PC and insert into Raspberry Pi
  3. SSH into your Raspberry Pi. The default username is: pi and the default password is: raspberry
  4. Make sure you have the latest updates by using the following commands: sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade -y
  5. Restart your Raspberry Pi to apply updates using the following command: sudo reboot
  6. SSH back into your Raspberry Pi and update the rpi-eeprom script to use the stable releases. To do this, open the rpi-eeprom-update file and change the FIRMWARE_RELEASE_STATUS variable to stable using the following command: sudo nano /etc/default/rpi-eeprom-update
  7. Check the existing bootloader firmware version with this command: sudo rpi-eeprom-update
    If your bootloader is out of date your “CURRENT” value will differ from the “LATEST” value as seen in the example below:

BCM2711 detected
Dedicated VL805 EEPROM detected
BOOTLOADER: update available
CURRENT: Thu 16 Apr 17:11:26 UTC 2020 (1587057086)
LATEST: Thu 3 Sep 12:11:43 UTC 2020 (1599135103)
FW DIR: /lib/firmware/raspberrypi/bootloader/stable
VL805: update available
CURRENT: 000137ad
LATEST: 000138a1

  1. If your bootloader is out of date (as in the example above) you may run the following command: sudo rpi-eeprom-update -a
  2. Restart your Raspberry Pi to apply the bootloader updates using this command:sudo reboot 
  3. Finally, check to see if update was applied using the command in step 7 above: sudo rpi-eeprom-update



I welcome your thoughts, questions or suggestions on my article on updating your bootloader firmware on your Raspberry Pi 4.

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