Upgrade the Raspberry Pi 4's firmware / bootloader for better thermals

In October, the Raspberry Pi Foundation released an updated bootloader/firmware for the Raspberry Pi 4 which dramatically reduces power consumption and overall temperatures on the Pi 4 by setting the USB controller and CPU into a more power-friendly mode.

I wanted to post here the instructions for checking the current version, and upgrading, because I have a large number of Pis to upgrade over time, and I needed a quick reference. For more details, check out the Raspberry Pi Documentation page Raspberry Pi 4 boot EEPROM.

Checking if the current bootloader is up to date

Upgrade system packages and install the rpi-eeprom utility:

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt -y full-upgrade
$ sudo apt install -y rpi-eeprom

Check if an update is required:

$ sudo rpi-eeprom-update

If you see a difference in the output, you can restart to update to the newer version. If everything's the same, you're already on the latest version.

You can also use beta versions by modifying the /etc/default/rpi-eeprom-update file, or you can lock in a version (e.g. if you don't want the Pi to automatically update to newer versions) using the FREEZE_VERSION setting in the EEPROM config file. Read the EEPROM documentation for more details.


When going to run the 3rd command above (after running sudo apt update and sudo apt -y full-upgrade) - I get an error about not being able to locate the package. I've lead a sheltered life on macOS, so please have mercy on me.

pi@rpi-clstr-5:~ $ sudo apt install -y rpi-eeprom
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package rpi-eeprom

In case anyone else sees this now that the process has changed slightly, actually getting the available update to install now requires an additional parameter: `sudo rpi-eeprom-update -a`. If you don't add the `-a` parameter, nothing is done and you will still see an update available every time you reboot and try again.

For more information, check out the docs: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/computers/raspberry-pi.html#r…