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#1 2012-07-15 15:13:36

nTia89
Banned
From: varese, italy
Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 1,230

which EFI bootloader ?

hi to everybody,

i'm going to install Arch on my "old" macbook. i tryed many times in the past and constantly i failed due to lack of EFI support. now things are changed and despite EFI support is in a early stage the dirty work can be done. on the contrary i'm not able to decide which bootloader to use: grub2, efilinux, gummiboot
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=n … px=MTEzODY

anyone has had an experience with those softwares ? tell me......

thanks


+pc: custom | AMD Opteron 175 | nForce4 Ultra | 2GB ram DDR400 | nVidia 9800GT 1GB | ArchLinux x86_64 w/ openbox
+laptop: Apple | MacBook (2,1) | 2GB ram | Mac OS X 10.4 -> DIED
+ultrabook: Dell | XPS 13 (9343) | 8GB ram | 256GB ssd | FullHD display | Windows 8.1 64bit ArchLinux x86_64 w/ Gnome

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#2 2012-07-15 15:53:35

stlarch
Member
From: hell
Registered: 2010-12-25
Posts: 1,250

Re: which EFI bootloader ?

I don't know much about it but maybe this thread can help?
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=136833&p=1

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#3 2012-07-15 16:41:14

litemotiv
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2008-08-01
Posts: 5,026

Re: which EFI bootloader ?


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#4 2012-07-15 17:27:11

mynis01
Member
Registered: 2011-04-29
Posts: 66

Re: which EFI bootloader ?

I use grub2 to boot in efi mode on my PC, but I was under the impression most Linux-on-Mac-Hardware users used rEFIT

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#5 2012-07-15 17:28:27

progandy
Member
Registered: 2012-05-17
Posts: 2,151

Re: which EFI bootloader ?

I don't have experience, but for my next EFI computer I plan on ditching the external bootloader. I'll use gummiboot for a plain interface or rEFInd for a graphical boot manager to boot the kernel EFI stub loader.
When using GRUB with EFI all functionality is duplicated. EFI provides a similar environment to GRUB2 (can load filesystem drivers, display a boot menu, ...) Why do I have to use an EFI micro-OS to load the GRUB2 micro-OS to boot into Linux?

Last edited by progandy (2012-07-15 17:33:54)

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#6 2012-07-15 17:33:48

nTia89
Banned
From: varese, italy
Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 1,230

Re: which EFI bootloader ?

thanks, both are precious source.

because i'm going to install only arch on the HD i could easily use integrated kernel boot feature. there is a potential problem: arch kernel provides the images: default and fallback.
in this way i should install "over" the native kernel boot feature a bootloader thwarting this work ? or EFI let me a native way to select between the two images ? (i mean the macbook feature which pressing ALT key at boot)


+pc: custom | AMD Opteron 175 | nForce4 Ultra | 2GB ram DDR400 | nVidia 9800GT 1GB | ArchLinux x86_64 w/ openbox
+laptop: Apple | MacBook (2,1) | 2GB ram | Mac OS X 10.4 -> DIED
+ultrabook: Dell | XPS 13 (9343) | 8GB ram | 256GB ssd | FullHD display | Windows 8.1 64bit ArchLinux x86_64 w/ Gnome

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#7 2012-07-15 17:38:37

progandy
Member
Registered: 2012-05-17
Posts: 2,151

Re: which EFI bootloader ?

in this way i should install "over" the native kernel boot feature a bootloader thwarting this work ? or EFI let me a native way to select between the two images ? (i mean the macbook feature which pressing ALT key at boot)

Depending on the EFI implementation, you'll have a more or less useful boot menu which you can configure using efibootmgr. I don't know how well this is implemented in your macbook. gummiboot and rEFInd (fork of rEFIt) provide a custom menu if you don't like the native interface.

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#8 2012-07-16 08:44:44

picmantonic
Member
Registered: 2012-07-11
Posts: 13

Re: which EFI bootloader ?

Now that we are on the 3.4 series kernels it should be possible to boot directly from the kernel.
You may be interested to know the steps I took to get arch booting directly from its kernel file, without any bootloader (grub2, syslinux, etc).

After some struggle I can write an *outline* of how to do it on my iMac 11,2 (probably some differences on any other machine, and there are important details to add).

- Install rEFInd on OSX. It goes to somewhere like /efi/refind and has a config file - refind.conf. This file controls the scope of kernel scan, and defaults.
- mount the first (EFI) partition (type vfat) on your boot drive and create a subfolder, arch, under EFI/. This is where you put the booting kernel.
- Create an 'arch' partition on main disk, for installation of arch (20G ext4 for mine)
- Get archboot installer on CD and boot it.
- Install arch on the 'arch' partition.
- mount the EFI partition.
- Copy the files 'vmlinuz-linux' and 'initramfs-linux.img' to EFI/arch.
- create a file 'refind_linux.conf' in EFI/arch. It contains disk id and boot params for the kernel, e.g. sample line, including quotes:
"Boot using nosplash" "root=UUID=e5ead341-2bea-4933-969c-09ba528e9729 ro nosplash nomodeset"

rEFInd will find this kernel on next boot and show an icon for it. Select icon and boot (in my case I had to do add tweak - nomodeset - to stop the radeon kernel driver using KMS, otherwise my screen went black).
Obviously if the kernel changes it is desirable to update the two kernel files by mounting and copying to EFI/arch. This is manual at the moment. Each kernel added will be detected and presented at boot by rEFInd.

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#9 2012-07-16 10:30:02

nTia89
Banned
From: varese, italy
Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 1,230

Re: which EFI bootloader ?

thanks picmantonic for your useful how-to.

only a question: rEFInd isn't a bootloader?


+pc: custom | AMD Opteron 175 | nForce4 Ultra | 2GB ram DDR400 | nVidia 9800GT 1GB | ArchLinux x86_64 w/ openbox
+laptop: Apple | MacBook (2,1) | 2GB ram | Mac OS X 10.4 -> DIED
+ultrabook: Dell | XPS 13 (9343) | 8GB ram | 256GB ssd | FullHD display | Windows 8.1 64bit ArchLinux x86_64 w/ Gnome

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#10 2012-07-16 10:36:29

litemotiv
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2008-08-01
Posts: 5,026

Re: which EFI bootloader ?

nTia89 wrote:

thanks picmantonic for your useful how-to.

only a question: rEFInd isn't a bootloader?

rEFInd is an EFI bootmenu, it merely lets you select which EFI you want to start (in case your system bios doesn't support this).


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#11 2012-07-16 12:42:01

nTia89
Banned
From: varese, italy
Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 1,230

Re: which EFI bootloader ?

i think on mac* is equal to press ALT key at boot but i need confirmations

Last edited by nTia89 (2012-07-16 12:42:22)


+pc: custom | AMD Opteron 175 | nForce4 Ultra | 2GB ram DDR400 | nVidia 9800GT 1GB | ArchLinux x86_64 w/ openbox
+laptop: Apple | MacBook (2,1) | 2GB ram | Mac OS X 10.4 -> DIED
+ultrabook: Dell | XPS 13 (9343) | 8GB ram | 256GB ssd | FullHD display | Windows 8.1 64bit ArchLinux x86_64 w/ Gnome

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#12 2012-07-16 23:13:18

cfr
Member
From: Cymru
Registered: 2011-11-27
Posts: 5,675

Re: which EFI bootloader ?

Don't use efibootmgr on a Mac. From what I've read, this can brick the hardware. (But note that I don't have an intel Mac so I'm just reporting what I've read - I've no experience with this.)


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#13 2012-07-16 23:19:37

progandy
Member
Registered: 2012-05-17
Posts: 2,151

Re: which EFI bootloader ?

cfr wrote:

Don't use efibootmgr on a Mac. From what I've read, this can brick the hardware. (But note that I don't have an intel Mac so I'm just reporting what I've read - I've no experience with this.)

Right, this is even stated in the wiki here together with an alternative.

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#14 2012-07-17 08:34:10

nTia89
Banned
From: varese, italy
Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 1,230

Re: which EFI bootloader ?

thanks for this vital tips


+pc: custom | AMD Opteron 175 | nForce4 Ultra | 2GB ram DDR400 | nVidia 9800GT 1GB | ArchLinux x86_64 w/ openbox
+laptop: Apple | MacBook (2,1) | 2GB ram | Mac OS X 10.4 -> DIED
+ultrabook: Dell | XPS 13 (9343) | 8GB ram | 256GB ssd | FullHD display | Windows 8.1 64bit ArchLinux x86_64 w/ Gnome

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