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#1 2019-07-28 20:34:34

hoschi
Member
From: Ulm (Germany)
Registered: 2008-11-03
Posts: 402

Should the EFI System Partition (ESP) be always mounted?

Hello!

Should the EFI System Partition (ESP) always be mounted, during normal use? Years ago I setup my system on a ThinkPad X220. It's in pure UEFI mode and doesn't use Secure Boot. The partitions and mount points are laid out as following:

/etc/fstab

# <file system> <dir> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
# /dev/sda1    /boot/esp    vfat    rw,noatime,fmask=0022,dmask=0022,codepage=437,iocharset=iso8859-1,shortname=mixed,errors=remount-ro    0 2
/dev/sda2    /            ext4    rw,noatime,data=ordered    0 1
/dev/sda3    /home        ext4    rw,noatime,data=ordered    0 2

Currently our wiki suggests using /efi, but doesn't enforce a special mount point. I think it should  work like /boot/esp, if I setup a new system I will use /efi therefore.

/efi is a replacement for the previously popular (and possibly still used by other Linux distributions) ESP mountpoint /boot/efi.

https://github.com/systemd/systemd/pull … -234290236

So I will move it from /boot/esp to /efi.

The important point is, the ESP is not mounted by default and it works fine. I've read through our wiki and it seems nowhere mentioned, if the ESP should be mounted during normal operation. UEFI designates the use of FAT*, I remember that FAT is prone to damages - it has two (some variants only one) File Allocation Tables (FAT), while EXT2 uses blocks with inodes and more modern filesystems also journaling. I only mount it for updates of the GRUB UEFI application, with mount /dev/sda1 /boot/esp. I assume the UEFI System Variables are used for information exchange and storage and the ESP shoul not be modified. I've found this regarding Ubuntu, most of that I not applicable to Archlinux and GRUB. Especially when the actual mount point is not defined by a standard.


* As manufacturer you can extend your UEFI and add support for other filesystems, as Apple has done.

Last edited by hoschi (2019-07-29 09:11:08)

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#2 2019-07-28 20:37:12

graysky
Wiki Maintainer
From: :wq
Registered: 2008-12-01
Posts: 9,828
Website

Re: Should the EFI System Partition (ESP) be always mounted?

Mine has been commented out for years with no ill effect...


CPU-optimized Linux-ck packages @ Repo-ck  • AUR packagesZsh and other configs

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#3 2019-07-29 08:50:14

nl6720
Wiki Admin
Registered: 2016-07-02
Posts: 165

Re: Should the EFI System Partition (ESP) be always mounted?

Keeping the mountpoint commented-out in fstab will likely lead to forgetting to mount it when it's required.

Personally I use x-systemd.automount to mount it upon access and x-systemd.idle-timeout to unmount it after nothing accesses it for 300 seconds:

noauto,x-systemd.automount,x-systemd.idle-timeout=300

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#4 2019-08-07 12:36:11

hoschi
Member
From: Ulm (Germany)
Registered: 2008-11-03
Posts: 402

Re: Should the EFI System Partition (ESP) be always mounted?

Thank you. Both smile

I will leave it commented out.

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