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Iuz 02-06-2013 06:07 PM

Slackware on UEFI
 
I just bought a Acer Aspire M5 481t-6617 ultrabook and I cant stand this win8 bullshit, so my first option is my desktop distro (slack)..

I could not find any information on the model itself about drivers on the linux kernel and Im not sure if the stuff the comes with it will work properly on slack (and his vanilla(?) kernel), keyboard backlights, webcam, dvd drive, the wierd keyboard, the touchpad... but I dont care, I'll deal with that later..

Now on the bios I saw that there is UEFI and it is enabled, so Im thinking only desabling it and putting on legacy boot would do the trick for me? should I try to run slack under uefi?
I found this http://docs.slackware.com/howtos:sla..._uefi_hardware but to be honest, Im scared of trying..

Anyone can tell me their experiences with the uefi thing and theres a way to know for sure the if features on the ubook will work ?

ps: sorry for being a noob

volkerdi 02-06-2013 07:24 PM

The features are all likely to work fine. If you have Windows 8 and want to keep it, start by hitting (windows key) + X, select the disk management program, and resize the windows drive to make some free space for the Slackware installation. Boot the x86_64 Slackware install disc under the legacy boot mode and with Secure Boot turned off (probably you'll want to leave it off anyway). The installer handles GPT fine, so make your partitions using cgdisk. If you made a swap partition, run mkswap on it before running setup, and then proceed to install as usual. Skip the LILO installation.

Last step is probably the tricky one, but not too bad. It might be easier to do from the installed system than from the installer since you'll have network access there. Leave the machine in legacy boot mode for now, reboot the install disc, and use it to boot the installed system. Then, find the EFI boot partition. This is a smallish FAT partition with an EFI directory that contains a Boot and Microsoft directory. Make a slackware directory in there, and put your kernel (and initrd if you use one) in it. Download the elilo sources, and install the prebuilt 64 bit EFI elilo binary in /efi/slackware/. elilo.efi is a good name to give it. Last, you need an elilo.conf config file. The syntax is similar to lilo.conf. Here's an example I'm using here (still giving a few errors yet, but it works):

Code:

prompt
chooser=simple
image=/efi/slackware/vmlinuz-generic-3.7.1
        label=slackware
        initrd=/efi/slackware/initrd.gz
        read-only
        root=/dev/sda6
        append="initrd=initrd.gz root=/dev/sda6 vga=normal splash showopts load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 ro printk.time=0"

Now you can put the machine back in UEFI mode (without Secure Boot). To boot Linux, you'll need to use UEFI to add a menu selection that runs elilo.efi. Alternately, most UEFI implementations will allow you to boot from a file, in which case just browse the EFI partition to find elilo.efi and run it. When elilo boots, you might need to hit tab and type slackware to get it to go.

That's what I've got so far. Hope it helps.

pino_otto 02-06-2013 11:06 PM

This is a good news!

A good point for Slackware.

Iuz 02-07-2013 04:28 AM

thats awesome volkerdi, thank you !

I'll try it out on the weekend, need to do some research on how to find the EFI boot partition but this looks like its gonna be way easier than I thought...

Still dont think some of the features will work tho..
Anyway, much appreciated !

devnod 02-07-2013 05:23 AM

I will note here luz...it may not be so easy. The SecureBoot can be disabled and still prevent it from booting to a CD.

In most cases it means looking up the manufacturer's info on the specific make and model and find out if the BIOS can be changed to allow CD boots or if you have to re-flash the bios to something that will allow it.

I've already seen this problem a few times. It isn't fun..

AlleyTrotter 02-07-2013 01:33 PM

Doing a bare metal install the slackware64-14.0 dvd booted and installed automagically on an AsRock Z77 Extreme4 without any modifications to UEFI. Then I simple made a efi partition as PV describes and it was easy-peasy from there.

John

volkerdi 02-07-2013 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlleyTrotter (Post 4886437)
Doing a bare metal install the slackware64-14.0 dvd booted and installed automagically on an AsRock Z77 Extreme4 without any modifications to UEFI. Then I simple made a efi partition as PV describes and it was easy-peasy from there.

Really? I didn't think any UEFI implementations could boot an ISO9660 or UDF disc (at least not by accessing those filesystems). I'm using Tianocore booted from a USB stick to emulate UEFI though (so far, anyway... hoping to see prices on machines that don't suck come down a little). Discs I've seen that can boot on either BIOS or UEFI are crazy hacks that have a hidden FAT EFI partition on them and both MBR and GPT partition tables. I'm still not sure that we'll go to that extreme. I'd be happy to get a working USB installer image, but I'm not sure how well that's going to work without some other kind of trick. GPT expects a secondary table at the end of the drive, but probably a bootable USB image isn't going to be the same size as whatever stick it is written to.

Funny story. On the UEFI I'm testing with, until the kernel loads the KMS video driver and initializes the framebuffer console, there's no video. So when my tests began, I was running blind. I spent a couple of days trying to boot an installation from a GPT stick with an EFI partition, the huge kernel, and elilo. Every time it would hang, and since there wasn't any video yet I was left to guess why. First I thought the elilo.conf had a bug somewhere, then considered that maybe the huge kernel was too big (ran into that with LILO a few years back). I could get the huge kernel to boot the installer, and could get generic+initrd to boot the installation. I booted the installer (which still doesn't have the video support) and typing with no video tried to mount the root partition on /mnt, and run "touch /mnt/tmp/kilroy" just to prove I'd been there. When I checked on the system, it wasn't there.

That's when it occured to me that the huge kernel was probably giving /dev/sda to the USB stick. I booted the installed system again with the huge kernel but this time pulled the stick out as soon as the kernel loaded, and the system booted fine that time. :) Probably time to move the USB modules out of the huge kernel... or maybe even get rid of that thing, finally.

Didier Spaier 02-07-2013 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by volkerdi (Post 4886453)
Probably time to move the USB modules out of the huge kernel... or maybe even get rid of that thing, finally.

Should we consider this sentence as an RFC? If yes I'd personally be happy with only generic kernels, as long as the drivers for the FS proposed by the installer for / are built-in.
Of course assuming that auto-loading of the needed modules works. This is true for my laptop but I must admit that this is a very small sample of your users base ;)

D1ver 02-07-2013 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by volkerdi (Post 4886453)
I'm using Tianocore booted from a USB stick to emulate UEFI though (so far, anyway... hoping to see prices on machines that don't suck come down a little). Discs I've seen that can boot on either BIOS or UEFI are crazy hacks that have a hidden FAT EFI partition on them and both MBR and GPT partition tables. I'm still not sure that we'll go to that extreme. I'd be happy to get a working USB installer image, but I'm not sure how well that's going to work without some other kind of trick. GPT expects a secondary table at the end of the drive, but probably a bootable USB image isn't going to be the same size as whatever stick it is written to.

Is this something anyone would be interested in contributing to a 'kickstarter' style project for? I'd happily kick some money in to buy Pat his choice of UEFI machine, if it means that the laptop I buy next year will install Slackware 14.1 that much easier..

volkerdi 02-07-2013 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by D1ver (Post 4886524)
Is this something anyone would be interested in contributing to a 'kickstarter' style project for? I'd happily kick some money in to buy Pat his choice of UEFI machine, if it means that the laptop I buy next year will install Slackware 14.1 that much easier..

Thanks (really!), but so far it's working here to load UEFI from a stick. I think that will get things to where people out there can do some testing on machines with UEFI on the motherboard. Besides, I suspect that public hatred of Windows 8 will result in a glut of cheap used machines on eBay before too long. :D

volkerdi 02-07-2013 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Didier Spaier (Post 4886509)
Should we consider this sentence as an RFC?

I need to be careful... my offhand comments have a tendency lately to be interpreted as RFCs. ;)

Didier Spaier 02-07-2013 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by volkerdi (Post 4886531)
I need to be careful... my offhand comments have a tendency lately to be interpreted as RFCs. ;)

IOW, a wink of our BDFL (which could take the form of an old tweet, for instance) can trigger an earthquake (kind of a butterfly effect).

mrclisdue 02-07-2013 06:43 PM

I heard a rumour that Pat's dropping the huge kernel? Can anyone enlighten me?

cheers,

onebuck 02-07-2013 09:15 PM

Member Response
 
Hi,

I think eguh kernel is now the default. :)

Didier Spaier 02-07-2013 11:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onebuck (Post 4886714)
I think eguh kernel is now the default. :)

Here we used to call that parler en verlan.

Mais c'est un peu passť de mode ;)

Reference


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