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Old 08-13-2015, 06:39 AM   #1
polaris96
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the joys of EFI and reFind


Recently upgraded the MB on one of my servers. UEFI caught me sleeping. I was totally unaware of the new technology.

Even legacy failed initially. Note to others using new Gigabyte hardware: some MBs ship with IOMMU disabled.

A close(er) look at UEFI makes me very happy. The potential of EFI is really interesting: you now have an entire OS running at the hardware level. This present many more solutions than problems.

The topology and setup is very easy once you swallow the pill and chuck BIOS.

And then... ughh more grub2 drama.

...but...

There's rEFInd http://http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/

I really like this project. You should vheck it out.

We've got the plasticity and autodetection of grub2 with the straightforward configuration of grub legacy.

I should mention this project is neither grub nor gnu (in itself, that makes me happy). It is, instead, what grub2 SHOULD have been.

Except for Boot on lvm and, of course, BIOS support for the program itself (BIOS kernels are supported) rEFInd contains all the functionality of grub, and you could chainload grub if you needed lvm.

Check it out. You'll probably like it.

Last edited by polaris96; 08-13-2015 at 08:41 AM. Reason: spelling corrections
 
Old 08-13-2015, 07:33 AM   #2
Alien Bob
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Okay... so how does this relate to Slackware specifically? Your topic is so generic that it should have been posted in linux-general instead IMO.
 
Old 08-13-2015, 08:38 AM   #3
polaris96
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That's a very fair point. I stand corrected, sir, and beg your indulgence. Just trying to share a good piece of gear and I currently run slackware.
 
Old 08-13-2015, 08:54 AM   #4
dugan
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I'm just using ELILO with a firmware boot menu. It works well, but I'll check out rEFIND one of these days.
 
Old 08-13-2015, 09:52 AM   #5
Didier Spaier
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If I were happy enough that the EFI firmware can manage all my boot loaders in its own boot menu, I wouldn't bother to install another boot manager on a hard disk (that is basically what rEFInd or grub do).

This is not say say that grub or rEFInd aren't useful in other cases: they certainly are.

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 08-13-2015 at 03:18 PM. Reason: Typo fix.
 
Old 08-13-2015, 10:10 AM   #6
polaris96
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Absolutely agree, Didier. Unfortunately, my EFI firmware isn't friendly for selecting kernels. Using a boot manager adds a layer i'd prefer to be without, but it's better than entering setup every time i boot.
 
Old 08-13-2015, 03:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polaris96 View Post
That's a very fair point. I stand corrected, sir, and beg your indulgence. Just trying to share a good piece of gear and I currently run slackware.
To be fair, that web site http://http//www.rodsbooks.com/refind/ contains a wealth of information and is a prime candidate for bookmarking.
 
Old 08-14-2015, 02:23 AM   #8
enorbet
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I am really curious as to what you think is joyworthy about UEFI? There cn be no doubt that BIOS has lagged way behind for far too long and I welcome modernizing it, but so far as is all too common, instead of using the new functionality for something that benefits admins, users, or anyone except OS peddlers so far, ll we get is cosmetics and far more problems than solutions. IMHO, so far, UEFI is a net loss and nothing to be jumping for joy over. It approaches shameful.
 
Old 08-14-2015, 05:14 AM   #9
Didier Spaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
I am really curious as to what you think is joyworthy about UEFI? There cn be no doubt that BIOS has lagged way behind for far too long and I welcome modernizing it, but so far as is all too common, instead of using the new functionality for something that benefits admins, users, or anyone except OS peddlers so far, ll we get is cosmetics and far more problems than solutions. IMHO, so far, UEFI is a net loss and nothing to be jumping for joy over. It approaches shameful.
I encourage interested folks to read at least the chapters 1 Introduction and 2 Overview of the UEFI specification Version 2.5.

A little bit of knowledge is worth a lot of hearsay and baseless statements.
 
Old 08-14-2015, 07:12 AM   #10
rkelsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
I am really curious as to what you think is joyworthy about UEFI?
For starters, it is very easy to test new kernels with UEFI... But like everything new, I guess it takes some getting used to...

And it'd be a lot better if the manufacturers used a standard approach to implementation.
 
Old 08-14-2015, 11:17 AM   #11
polaris96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
I am really curious as to what you think is joyworthy about UEFI?
There are many aspects. Off the top of my head:
1. large physical partitions
2. a LOT of partitions
3. software access to the firmware at OS level
4. potentially persistent and unambiguous naming of devices down to the hardware layer
5. EXTENSIBLE (it's what the "E" stands for)... let the hacking commence...
5a. we will pay for this in some aspects. The extensibility, itself makes EFI/UEFI a potential nuke to a good (i mean BAAAAD) "Cracker with a cause."

Quote:
instead of using the new functionality for something that benefits admins, users, or anyone except OS peddlers so far, ll we get is cosmetics and far more problems than solutions.
Aside from being both reactionary and inflammatory, that statement lacks a body of evidence.

Please find me an admin who isn't happy that they don't have to worry about running out of partitions or MBR space, anymore.

I also don't see which part of UEFI "only" benefits OS-peddlers (I a$$ume that means people who believe in selling their product). Considering item 5a noted above, secureboot or something like it makes an awful lot of sense.

Truth to tell, it isn't hard to make an OS secureboot compliant. It just took time to understand and streamline the process. I'm sure the Win crowd had a leg up, but we haven't suffered for it. We can $ALL use the hardware without problems ( despite Apple's continual need to re-invent the wheel )

Quote:
IMHO, so far, UEFI is a net loss and nothing to be jumping for joy over. It approaches shameful.
That's fair and you're certainly entitled to your opinion AND I'm glad somebody posted a counterpoint.

But, I disagree. I'm VERY aware of the problems with MBR. They are now solved. I'm jumping for joy. EFI will have her own problems and we'll eventually have to deal with those.

Everything that was possible under MBR is still possible under UEFI. There isn't any loss at all.
 
Old 08-14-2015, 12:49 PM   #12
e5150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polaris96 View Post
1. large physical partitions
2. a LOT of partitions
[...]
Everything that was possible under MBR is still possible under UEFI. There isn't any loss at all.
There seems to be a perpetuated misconception about BIOS+MBR vs UEFI+GPT, that they necessarily are coupled in that way. ...none of the systems I use are UEFI. When I purchased my most recent workstation motherboard, I specifically looked for one that used BIOS. But all my hard drives are GPT-formatted, my workstation has a couple of 3 Tb drives with one single partition, and the laptop I'm currently typing on has six ("primary") partitions. I've taken advantage of GPT partitioning, while remaining a luddite wrt UEFI.
 
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:15 PM   #13
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
I am really curious as to what you think is joyworthy about UEFI?
Not having to set up chain loading in your bootloaders.

Here's my UEFI thread:

Switching my system to UEFI this weekend.

Last edited by dugan; 08-14-2015 at 01:17 PM.
 
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:58 PM   #14
Didier Spaier
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Originally Posted by e5150 View Post
There seems to be a perpetuated misconception about BIOS+MBR vs UEFI+GPT, that they necessarily are coupled in that way.
No, because the UEFI spec provides means to allow a smooth transition, as stated in part 1.7 Migration Requirements.However the GUID Partition Table (GPT) Disk Layout is part of the UEFI specification (chapter 5).
 
Old 08-14-2015, 05:20 PM   #15
polaris96
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@Didier (++POLARIS)&&(tyvm);

@e5150

As was mentioned there is good reason to think of "UEFI+GPT" as a system. They were developed by the same team at the same time to specifically support one another.

I'm glad you have a BIOS+GPT working well and that you're happy with it, but the stats are against you. Such systems are quirky and you apparently won the lottery. You can dig lots of info on this but the case is made concisely here: http://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/bios.html

I should mention this is the same guy who forked rEFInd from rEFIt. I'm not the fanboi type, but I definitely DO respect this guy's work. I agree with most of his conclusions and he's scrupulous about justifying his inferences. As AlienBob Mentioned, the site's full of really good info.

Finally, BIOS is definitely on the way out. Being a luddite has its place (one my absolute requirements for new hardware is that it fit my beloved IBM chassis(es) ) I think in this case, though, the effort would be better spent learning the system that we're all going to be living with for a while to come.

Last edited by polaris96; 08-14-2015 at 05:21 PM. Reason: correction
 
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