I write to discuss a problem with Intel's bootable SSD Firmware update, and to share my workaround.
issdfut - This is the name of Intel's Linux binary which updates firmware on SSD devices.
Poky - Poky, for the sake of this post only, is the Linux image used by Intel to enable firmware updates using issdfut. (Poky is actually a neat offering from Yocto for a roll-your-own embedded Linux. Intel chose well to apply it for booting a firmware update engine.)
The Poky utility, as of Intel's version 2.2.3, fails to graphically render the issdfut user interface when NVidia 1080GTX GPU is present, causing Poky to boot to a blank and mostly unresponsive screen, unable to perform SSD firmware updates. If you have a NVidia GPU like mine, Intel's bootable SSD firmware update may not work for you without some tinkering.
Modify the boot command to include vga=ask for the graphical install option offered at boot. Choose native resolution (I chose mode 34D, but you'll see a list to choose from.)
When Poky boots this time, it sets the framebuffer resolution per vga=ask response, and successfully creates /dev/fb0 device. This changes the behavior of the Xorg detection, causing issdfut to load and flash successfully. Yay!
(Without vga=ask, the kernel never creates the framebuffer, and only creates the virtual device fbcon. When Xorg detects its settings to use and fbcon is the only option, you may lose your screen completely when Xorg starts. I did.)
My workaround is incomplete. Though the task is solved, a full understanding of the problem evades me. Here are some ideas for doing your own digging:
I feel so fortunate to have accidentally accomplished my firmware update. I hope this helps someone else do the same, and I also hope to one day fully understand the interoperability of framebuffer, framebuffer console, and Xorg. Doubly so when Nvidia is present; using NVidia devices on Linux can be a real chore given the state of framebuffer console behavior.
Thanks for sharing the workaround and the details with the community. This will be really helpful for other customers may that have this kind of issues.