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Old 09-21-2013, 12:07 PM   #1
samac
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Do I need UEFI?


I have a motherboard that is UEFI capable and I am considering changing from legacy BIOS now that Slackware is going to be capable of booting UEFI from 14.1.

After reading about UEFI it appears that the main benefit is Secure Boot. I run a Slackware only, stand alone, machine.

So my question is: Do I need UEFI, would there be any benefit to my system to change from legacy BIOS and lilo?

samac
 
Old 09-21-2013, 12:09 PM   #2
Gumboherpy
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I don't see any need in it.
 
Old 09-21-2013, 01:17 PM   #3
volkerdi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samac View Post
I have a motherboard that is UEFI capable and I am considering changing from legacy BIOS now that Slackware is going to be capable of booting UEFI from 14.1.

After reading about UEFI it appears that the main benefit is Secure Boot. I run a Slackware only, stand alone, machine.

So my question is: Do I need UEFI, would there be any benefit to my system to change from legacy BIOS and lilo?
I'd say there's no benefit to using UEFI if you can just enable legacy BIOS and aren't trying to save an existing Windows 8 installation that requires UEFI. Using UEFI will require an additional EFI partition, and will complicate kernel updates a little bit. Both ways will work fine, though, and in practice there won't be any real noticeable difference. One issue that remains is that it seems mostly impossible to install a 32-bit kernel on a machine running UEFI, so you'll have to use 64-bit Slackware if you leave the motherboard in UEFI mode.

Regardless of whether you use BIOS or UEFI, I'd recommend using GPT over MBR to get away from the archaic primary/logical partitions nonsense.
 
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:14 PM   #4
chicken76
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You might have some trouble booting from drives bigger than 2TB if you use BIOS. That is if your boot partition is not a small one at the beginning of the drive. Other than that, I don't see any downsides to using BIOS.
 
Old 09-22-2013, 07:54 AM   #5
jtsn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samac View Post
So my question is: Do I need UEFI, would there be any benefit to my system to change from legacy BIOS and lilo?
The main benefit is that you can use ELILO instead of LILO, which reads the kernel and the initrd from the ESP using 64 bit high level firmware functions, thus booting faster and more reliable, insted of emulating a 1981 16 bit disk interface and reading blocklists. You can also build the kernel as an EFI executable and let the firmware boot it directly.

On x64-64 UEFI platforms you need a 64 bit kernel. Additionally you have an EFI framebuffer console available, if KMS is not enabled or not supported, without having to fiddle with vesafb.

Booting natively also allows you to disable the CSM to completely get rid of the 16 bit legacy stuff, which Linux doesn't need anyway.

Last edited by jtsn; 09-22-2013 at 08:02 AM.
 
Old 09-22-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
ozar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samac View Post
Do I need UEFI, would there be any benefit to my system to change from legacy BIOS and lilo?
It seems pretty clear to me that UEFI is going to take over in the not too distant future so I've gone ahead and made the switch to it rather than wait until it's forced on me. It took a few days to get my head around all of it, but now I'm okay with it, and while you may not 'need' it just yet, I'd recommend at least experimenting with it a bit now in order to familiarize yourself with it for your future needs.
 
Old 09-22-2013, 08:27 AM   #7
jtsn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozar View Post
It seems pretty clear to me that UEFI is going to take over in the not too distant future
UEFI already took over years ago. I don't see any BIOS systems on sale anymore.
Quote:
It took a few days to get my head around all of it, but now I'm okay with it, and while you may not 'need' it just yet, I'd recommend at least experimenting with it a bit now in order to familiarize yourself with it for your future needs.
Legacy booting is still supported due to the remaining popularity of Windows XP, which needs that to be able to boot. But on UEFI PCs this functionality is just an additional emulation layer, which makes things more complicated and potentially more unreliable.

So while UEFI itself is not in any way near the KISS principle, by using it natively you actually remove unneeded complexity. The simplest way is to build a kernel.efi (CONFIG_EFI_STUB) and put it into /EFI/boot/bootx64.efi on the ESP. You even don't need any additional boot loaders (GRUB, LILO, whatever) then.

Last edited by jtsn; 09-22-2013 at 08:32 AM.
 
  


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