How to identify Firmware Releases
Published:  12 October 2016


One of the first questions asked when trying to debug a problem on boards based on the WP8548 module is "what firmware are you running"? For newcomers to these platforms, this can be a tricky issue as the 'firmware' in the WP8548 is not a monolithic binary blob - rather there are three separate components that make up the 'firmware' and in general terms, each one of these is called 'Firmware' by the team that develops and maintains it.

Overview of WP8548 firmware components

The three components that make up the 'firmware' on a WP8548 module are as follows:

Modem Firmware

This is the code that runs the 'modem' processor on the WP8548 module. It is proprietary and cannot be modified outside Sierra Wireless. A sub-component of the Modem firmware is the 'Bootloader' - which manages the initial start-up of the WP8548 module.

Linux OS

The 'application' processor on the WP8548 module runs a customised version of Linux based on the 'Yocto' project. Sierra Wireless provide both a pre-compiled binary version ready for installation as well as the raw source code that can be customized by an end user and then installed on the WP8548.

Legato Application Layer

The Legato application layer is the component of the 'firmware' that most users will have the most contact with. 'Legato' provides a number of tools, services and APIs on both the target (WP8548) and development host PC to enable a programmer to quickly develop applications to run on the WP8548 module. See Article Anatomy of a Legato application for a detailed explanation of this process.

Each of these components is maintained by a different team within Sierra Wireless, and as such have different version identification structures.

To ensure that the three different firmware components work together correctly, Sierra Wireless do a 'Release' a few times per year. Each release is bundled together into binary files that are downloaded to the WP8548 module to update the 'firmware'. Since Release 12, this installer has been merged into a single 'click to install' binary image.

Identifying the installed 'firmware' components

Unfortunately, there is no single command to return all three versions. Instead the following two commands are used from a Linux console connection (see 'Connecting to the mangOH board' for more information on how to do this - TBA)

To get the Modem/Bootloader and Linux versions, use the following command:

fwupdate version
This will return three lines of information:

Firmware Version (modem firmware version)

Bootloader Version (bundled with the modem firmware)
Linux Version (Linux OS version)

To get the Legato version, use the following command:

legato version

This will return the version string for the currently installed legato version.


When developing applications on the host PC the version of the tools used to build the applications MUST match the version of Legato installed on the target board.

Get the Device, IMEI and Serial Number

When registering the board against AirVantage, the IMEI or Serial Number is required. This can be easily obtained from the WP8548 using following command in the Linux console:

cm info all
This returns the following information:


FSN (this is the device serial number)
Firmware (this is the same as the 'Firmware Version' returned from fwupdate query)
Bootloader (this is the same as the 'Bootloader Version' returned from fwupdate query)

Hardware SKU

Over time there has been a number of different SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) numbers for the WP8548. Occasionally the SKU may be required for debug or firmware update purposes. To get the SKU, you will need to connect to the modem AT port (see 'Connecting to the mangOH board' for more information on how to do this - TBA) and enter the following commands:


(returns OK)


(returns the SKU number)


the first command is AT!ENTERCND, not AT!ENTERCMD.

Release version strings

For full information about release versions and what has changed, please go to the Airprime WP8548 page on The Source and look at the 'Customer Release Notes' on the Firmware page.

Release 12

Date Released: 22 August 2016
Matching Legato: 16.07.0
Release Strings
Firmware Version: SWI9X15Y_07.11.09.00 r32989 CARMD-EV-FRMWR1 2016/08/11 18:03:20
Bootloader Version: SWI9X15Y_07.11.09.00 r32989 CARMD-EV-FRMWR1 2016/08/11 18:03:20
Linux Version: 3.14.29ltsi-c14b887744_0c284d02b3 #2 PREEMPT Thu Aug 11 20:50:27 PDT 2016
Legato Version: 16.07.0_cd4985660a55cc9a6f9a2ed28bcc757e_modified

Release 11

Date Released: June 2016
Matching Legato: 16.04.0
Release Strings
Firmware Version: SWI9X15Y_07.10.04.00 r32393 CARMD-EV-FRMWR1 2016/06/01 20:30:40
Bootloader Version: SWI9X15Y_07.10.04.00 r32393 CARMD-EV-FRMWR1 2016/06/01 20:30:40
Linux Version: 3.14.29ltsi-c14b887744_39dcf2256d #2 PREEMPT Wed Jun 1 23:37:34 PDT 2016
Legato Version: 16.04.0_63633d9200de787b7c2a6dca03d2cff3_modified

Release 10.1

Date Released: 6 May 2016
Matching Legato: 16.01.2
*Release Strings
Firmware Version: SWI9X15Y_07.09.02.00 2016/03/31 20:05:28
Bootloader Version: SWI9X15Y_07.09.02.00 2016/03/31 20:05:28
Linux Version: 3.14.29ltsi-13c67b16ff_922830eb31
Legato Version: 16.01.2_9e91388c2b14980a4d419259910a4d65

Release 9

Date Released: 16 February 2016
Matching Legato: 16.01.0.Beta
*Release Strings
Firmware Version: SWI9X15Y_07.08.02.00 2016/02/05 23:29:29
Bootloader Version: SWI9X15Y_07.08.02.00 2016/02/05 23:29:29
Linux Version: 3.14.29ltsi-5d7a6bf7c6_ed88cc68b5
Legato Version: 16.01.0.Beta_aa0684bddf31f5ea2d457b53d2218972

* Denotes release version strings taken from 'Customer Release Notes' documentation provided by Sierra Wireless. Other version strings have been read directly from firmware installed on WP8548 module.