It’s already easy to check what EFI firmware your Mac is using: open System Information, and it’s there staring you in the face, as Boot ROM Version. Like so much in that utility, though, the version is pretty meaningless if you don’t know what the latest release for your model of Mac is.
Late in 2016, Apple supplied some brand new MacBook Pros with SIP turned off. That, and the lack of information about security updates and EFI firmware versions, inspired me to develop a utility to run some basic checks – LockRattler. In its first version, which I released here just before Christmas 2016, LockRattler didn’t even report the EFI firmware version.
A lot of updates have passed under the bridge since those early days, and LockRattler’s window has become ever busier. If you like lots of numbers and controls crammed together, and checking results against webpages here, it’s close to ideal. But I can and should do better. Today I’m delighted to offer you the start of the next step in that process, a new app named EFIcienC, in its first beta release.
Using LockRattler to check whether your EFI firmware is up to date isn’t difficult, just unnecessarily tedious. Its window tells you which version is being used on your Mac, and it then links through to the page I maintain here which lists the latest firmware versions for each Mac model, where you look yours up. Each time that there are EFI firmware updates released, with the help of Pico and others, I bring that list up to date.
EFIcienC at present only looks at firmware updates, although I am already starting to add support for Gatekeeper and other security updates. It obtains the model number of your Mac and its current EFI firmware version, then obtains the current firmware version from a list I maintain on my GitHub. It next works out whether your firmware is current or not, and informs you. Recognising that many are using versions which are from beta releases, it tests to see if your version is newer that expected; if it is, it doesn’t complain spuriously that there’s a problem.
I am also working on a far cleaner interface, and EFIcienC is starting to explore how that might work.
It already, even in this first beta, comes with automatic checking for updates (set to 6 rather than 12 hours, as it’s under active development at present), help, and font size control. But this version only checks the EFI firmware, and I suspect that some of my version data is either incomplete or inaccurate. I therefore welcome you testing it, please, on as wide a range of recent models as possible. Being a beta, it also gives additional information to help me understand any errors or problems. However, it doesn’t transmit any information about your Mac, other than the minimal data required to establish its GitHub connection, nor does it try to send any information at all to me: you’re very welcome to check that using Little Snitch, etc.
I also welcome your comments and ideas as to where this all goes. I’m tempted to maintain the traditional version of LockRattler, at least through Catalina, but to develop this new app on the concepts of simplicity and automated checks and updates as much as possible.
This is notarized, of course, and should be good to run on El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave and Catalina, although I have only tested it on the latter two versions of macOS.