I want to update the firmware on my Godox devices, but I'm not on Windows, and the G1/G2 applications from Godox, and the F1/F2/F3 applications from Flashpoint only run on Windows. Is there a way to update the firmware on a Godox flash or trigger without having a Windows machine?
G3 / F3
Godox/Flashpoint has released an OSX version of the G3/F3 updater. However, at this time, it only supports updates for the following devices:
- for Pentax TT350-P and Xpro-P
- AD400 Pro
- Flashpoint R2 Pro II
For all other devices, or from Linux, however there are a few different ways you can do this, if you don't want to, say, purchase a cheap Windows tablet or haul that old Windows XP box you thought you'd retired out of storage.
If you're on OSX, you can install Windows on a Bootcamp partition, and run the G1/G2 or F1/F2 applications from there. This has the disadvantages of actually still using Windows and requiring space for a full installation, but will have the advantages of speed, and no issues with USB hardware recognition.
OSX and Linux options
If your device is the AD200 or later, and has a .dfu (Device Firmware Upgrade) update file that requires the Godox G2 updater, then you can use the open source dfu-util on the command line to copy the .dfu file to the device, as outlined by burning1rr on reddit. The basic steps, according to that reddit post, after installing dfu-util are:
- Connect the device with the appropriate USB cable, and run:
- Check the value of the
alt=flag in the output.
dfu-util --alt <alt_value> --download <dfu_filename>where alt_value is the value that was printed out in step 1, and dfu_filename is the path/name of the firmware update file.
dfu-util, however, cannot be used for updates that require the Godox G1 or application, since those firmware updates are not DFU compliant. It is also unknown if the G3 updates are DFU-compliant, as Godox is posting them as .bin files.
If you don't want to mess with Bootcamp or you're on a Linux box, a virtual machine has been known to work for Godox and Yongnuo firmware updates. A full video tutorial can be found here on Youtube.
If you're feeling cheapskate and want to try doing this for free, you can use the open source VirtualBox and a free 90-day Windows Developer's VMs from the Microsoft website. It should also work with Parallels or VMWare.
Often, without Windows, it's impossible to update firmware on devices that don't support operating systems other than Windows, unless some kind open-source developers take it upon themselves to support the products.
Some options to consider:
Use an old computer that still runs Windows. This is what I did last time I needed to update firmware on my Godox flash.
Dual boot (including Boot Camp). Takes up hard drive space, and requires taking main OS offline. Often doesn't work when needed. If Windows isn't used often, it may also freeze while attempting to download massive updates for itself.
A recent Windows update deleted user documents, pictures, and other personal files. Do you trust Windows to leave your main OS alone? What if it messes up the MBR and makes your main OS unbootable? What if wipes out your partition table so it can take over your hard drive?
Use Windows (to Go) from a USB drive. VMs can also be run via the same USB install, so you can check that Windows is functional and updated before taking down your main system to run the update. This is what I use to install BIOS updates.
Use virtual machines with USB-passthrough and other hardware interfaces. Often, the update fails before the flash attempt, but even if the attempt is successfully initiated, problems with the host OS could freeze or crash the VM mid-update. You should consider using VMs to update firmware to be risky behavior that is likely to brick your devices.
Although different VMs vary in reliability, updating firmware is likely not a well-tested use case in any of them. You may successfully update several times, but if something goes wrong the next time, you may end up with an expensive paperweight. I have bricked a phone this way.