AMD has just alerted us that they have released a BIOS fix to their motherboard partners that takes care of the issue around booting newer Linux distributions on the new Zen 2 processors.
Earlier this week I mentioned AMD would be working on a BIOS fix to address the fundamental problem with booting newer systemd-using Linux distributions on their new Ryzen 3000 series processors. However, I hadn’t expected the fix to make it to motherboard vendors in less than one week!
RdRand issue looks like will be fixable by a BIOS update.
— Michael Larabel (@michaellarabel) July 8, 2019
The problem is the RdRand issue colliding with systemd that is making use of the RdRand instruction directly and not jiving with the expected behavior. There’s been a patch in systemd since May but that hasn’t been found in a released version yet. But for newer Linux distributions like Ubuntu 19.04, Clear Linux, Fedora Workstation 31, Arch Linux / Manjaro, and others, it’s meant not being able to boot the distribution due to all systemd services failing to start.
See my Ryzen 7 3700X / Ryzen 9 3900X Linux review from launch day for more details. These CPUs have been running great on Linux besides this embarrassing fault that made it in due to AMD focusing their tests on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and not vetting Ubuntu 19.04 or others pre-launch.
I just received the following official statement from AMD:
AMD has identified the root cause and implemented a BIOS fix for an issue impacting the ability to run certain Linux distributions and Destiny 2 on Ryzen 3000 processors. We have distributed an updated BIOS to our motherboard partners, and we expect consumers to have access to the new BIOS over the coming days.
Hopefully it won’t take too long for motherboard vendors to release new BIOS updates. But considering it also has a fix for the Desinty 2 Windows game rather than “just a Linux fix” plus with the rush of other motherboard BIOS updates now that more consumers are getting their hands on these exciting new processors, hopefully most motherboards will be patched in the very near future. Stay tuned and I also have more AMD Zen 2 Linux benchmarks on the way.