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Old 11-06-2021, 09:49 PM   #1
dchmelik
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Question *BSD Unix with MBR or moving to non-UEFI GPT?


If I install NetBSD, FreeBSD, maybe OpenBSD, and DragonFlyBSD (which I heard does best symmetric multiprocessing, SMP) Unixes on my PC, can any boot on MBR from extended/logical partitions, or can I redo my solid state drive (SSD) as non-UEFI GPT and then boot them from any partitions, with LILO or GRUB2?

These day's I'd probably only install a DOS (FreeDOS or even MS/Win9x/ME) on my classic PC for classic graphics/music demonstrations (demos) & games but not on my main desktop PC, so I may as well switch to GPT when Slackware GNU/Linux 15 is out, if it'll make installation & booting easier, right?

Last edited by dchmelik; 11-06-2021 at 09:50 PM.
 
Old 11-07-2021, 07:31 AM   #2
JuanKenobi
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I would definitely convert from mbr to gpt. It gives you way more flexibility, especially with large drives. I currently have a 1TB hdd with 7 partitions, 4 different filesystems. FAT32 for EFI partition, NTFS for Windows 10, though Ive only booted into Windows ten or twelve times this year. Ext4 for Slackware, /home on a separate partition, and btrfs on a blank 100G partition I haven't had time to do anything with yet.

As far as UEFI, is it UEFI you're hesitant about or the so-called "Secure Boot". I read an article a couple of weeks ago that said a new piece of malware was found in the wild that targeted UEFI, and believed it had been active for almost 8 years! I finally gave in in 2019 went GPT/UEFI. Getting Grub to work was a little tricky at first, until I figured out how to write my own grub.cfg and disable Windows BCD. After Windows' monthly cumulative updates it would hijack the EFI. UEFI has grown on me, but "Secure Boot" is a joke. I don't understand how Microsoft can look you straight in the and say they know anything about a secure system.
 
Old 11-07-2021, 08:16 AM   #3
jggimi
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As noted in my more detailed reply to the same thread at daemonforums.org; both logical MBR and EFI/GPT multiboot are possible with OpenBSD but neither are supported by the Project.
 
Old 11-08-2021, 12:02 AM   #4
dchmelik
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I don't like UEFI because I don't like losing my first partition. I don't have much opinion on secure boot other than just about everything Micro$soft (M$) does is bad, but I hear some people like the idea of secure boot to sign their own kernels.
 
Old 11-08-2021, 12:37 AM   #5
HappyTux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchmelik View Post
I don't like UEFI because I don't like losing my first partition. I don't have much opinion on secure boot other than just about everything Micro$soft (M$) does is bad, but I hear some people like the idea of secure boot to sign their own kernels.
So just where does it disappear to? As is/was traditional the first partition was the /boot partition on a disk and with an EFI system this remains the case and it is movable. There is no law saying it must be the first partition on that disk, only the partition used for the EFI must be marked as a System Partition type EF00 on a GPT partitioned disk formatted as fat32, if present it is used for EFI booting. For the secure boot no clue on that never have used it probably never will.

Edit: and now it enters my mind it is only used for EFI booting if the EFI folder structure is there with the bootx64.efi or bootx32.efi is present, not totally certain on the 32 bit name as I have never booted a 32 bit EFI system to have seen the file name. Though I have seen the 64 bit and have had to replace it numerous times due that piece of junk grub or windows garbage overwriting it.

Last edited by HappyTux; 11-08-2021 at 12:45 AM.
 
Old 11-08-2021, 12:50 AM   #6
dchmelik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTux View Post
So just where does it disappear to? As is/was traditional the first partition was the /boot partition
I never used that and don't want to. My first partition was always my main operating system, and I want it to have the first number.
 
Old 11-08-2021, 01:07 AM   #7
HappyTux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchmelik View Post
I never used that and don't want to. My first partition was always my main operating system, and I want it to have the first number.
Then you make it whatever partition you want it to be and make certain the type and formatting is correct. The directory named EFI must be in the / of the partition along with a /boot directory containing the bootx64.efi along with the directory for the distribution, if ubuntu then that is the name, debian the same they contain the grubx64.efi file that is copied to the /boot using the name there that all EFI loaders search for to boot with.

Code:
root@zeus-H370M:~# ll /boot/efi/EFI/
total 12
drwx------ 2 root root 4096 Mar  3  2021 Boot
drwx------ 3 root root 4096 Mar  3  2021 memtest86
drwx------ 2 root root 4096 Feb  8  2021 ubuntu
root@zeus-H370M:~# ll /boot/efi/EFI/Boot/
total 4820
-rwx------ 1 root root 1341560 Feb  8  2021 bkpbootx64.efi
-rwx------ 1 root root  955656 Aug 20 02:51 BOOTX64.EFI
-rwx------ 1 root root   85672 Aug 20 02:51 fbx64.efi
-rwx------ 1 root root 1685376 Feb  8  2021 grubx64.efi
-rwx------ 1 root root  856232 Aug 20 02:51 mmx64.efi
root@zeus-H370M:~# ll /boot/efi/EFI/ubuntu/
total 3480
-rwx------ 1 root root     108 Aug 20 02:51 BOOTX64.CSV
-rwx------ 1 root root     126 Aug 20 02:51 grub.cfg
-rwx------ 1 root root 1734528 Aug 20 02:51 grubx64.efi
-rwx------ 1 root root  856232 Aug 20 02:51 mmx64.efi
-rwx------ 1 root root  955656 Aug 20 02:51 shimx64.efi
root@zeus-H370M:~# ll /boot/efi/EFI/memtest86/
total 6128
drwx------ 2 root root    4096 Feb 27  2021 Benchmark
-rwx------ 1 root root    4771 Feb 27  2021 blacklist.cfg
-rwx------ 1 root root 1098096 Feb 27  2021 BOOTAA64.efi
-rwx------ 1 root root 1209584 Feb 27  2021 BOOTIA32.efi
-rwx------ 1 root root 1318896 Feb 27  2021 BOOTX64.efi
-rwx------ 1 root root  260571 Mar  3  2021 MemTest86.log
-rwx------ 1 root root    6823 Feb 27  2021 mt86.png
-rwx------ 1 root root 2355408 Feb 27  2021 unifont.bin
As you can see my loader for the Ubuntu uses the shimx64.efi so that if I wanted to enable the secure boot I can using it otherwise I would make the BOOTX64.EFI a copy of the grubx64.efi to do so without the option of secure booting. Even memtest has the files to use for it to boot by default and now I see it the correct name for the 32bit booting is BOOTIA32.efi the other being for arm (BOOTAA64.efi) if my memory serves me correctly.
 
Old 11-08-2021, 06:34 AM   #8
cynwulf
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FreeBSD uses GPT by default, even on non UEFI systems.

No experience at all of UEFI on other 'BSDs. On OpenBSD I've always used MBR.

I'm not sold on UEFI at all, and certainly not on secureboot, but won't get into that here.

In my experience, getting the 'BSD's and any other OS to coexist on the same disk isn't worth the time and effort involved. If you need loads of different OS for some reason, use virtualisation.

On any desktop x86 PCs I've always used multiple hard disks, and then just configured whichever bootloader to boot the other OS (or even used the BIOS boot menu to switch).
 
Old 11-08-2021, 07:56 AM   #9
jggimi
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  • Secure Boot is an optional "feature" and is not required for UEFI firmware with EFI/GPT booting.
  • On UEFI-capable hardware, you're already using UEFI firmware. Booting from an MBR is using a "Compatibility Support Module" to emulate a legacy BIOS.
  • Some OSes have bootloaders which are hybrid, and can read GPT partition tables on systems which are non-UEFI. Wikipedia states this is possible for FreeBSD and select Linux systems.
  • As already noted, you can assign the EFI partition -- the "boot loader" partition -- to any partition number you choose.
 
  


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