If I do a firmware update via sudo rpi-update on Raspbian Buster on the Pi 4 and then flash another OS (e.g. LibreELEC) to the SD card, will the firmware still be up-to-date?

  • are you referring to the pi-4 eeprom bootloader? Commented May 20, 2020 at 11:37
  • If using rp-update the firmware is never up to date. It is noted that it may be unstable.
    – Ingo
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 16:45

2 Answers 2


The rpi-update command updates the kernel. The SD card's boot partition holds the kernel. So if you re-flash your SD card, the kernel will be replaced.

If you meant to say rpi-eeprom-update though, that is different. This command updates the RPi's internal EEPROM storage, and it will not be reset if you re-flash the SD card.

BTW you should never have to run either of those commands. Countless beginners have bricked their SD Cards with an unbootable experimental kernel, and the EEPROM is kept updated automatically via APT.

  • I though about updating the firmware because of the heat which the cpu produces. I've heard the firmware update cools the cpu a bit down.
    – Mike
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 14:55
  • Yes, past firmware updates have made the Pi4s run cooler. But again, APT should be updating that by default, and there's a systemd service called Check for Raspberry Pi EEPROM updates that runs on boot.
    – Botspot
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 16:28

No, "flashing" an SD cards destroys all data including the "boot" partition, which in turn includes the firmware files. The firmware will be reset to the version which is included in the LibreELEC image.


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