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snum
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:54 pm    Post subject: [SOLVED]Is my bios uefi...? Reply with quote

Hi!
I have notebook hp-6450b. Bios information:revision 68CDE Ver. F.02, date 08/10/2010, mouse works(graphical bios), 'UEFI Boot Mode' option is unchecked .

I need to install kernel, grub and I don't know what should I use - uefi or bios?

How can I get bios info for my notebook?

P.S.: for 'uefi' - please give me steps for grub, kernel, gnome(?) installation(what option should i use or check).


Last edited by snum on Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

snum

Quote:
'UEFI Boot Mode' option is unchecked


Tells that your BIOS is UEFI capable but the capability is disabled, so your BIOS is in legacy mode.
Just follow the handbook to install grub.

Do you have a specific reason to want to use UEFI mode ?
Gentoo does not require it.
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khayyam
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
Do you have a specific reason to want to use UEFI mode? Gentoo does not require it.

NeddySeagoon ... I could think of a few: booting directly without the need of a bootloader, GPT partitioning, native use of some drivers, no writing boot info to disk, switch to any bootloader, kernel, or efi exectuable, with one or two simple commands ... and more. In short, its a more modern, and advanced, boot method.

I don't know what the OP's reasons are, but there is every reason to switch from legacy/MBR to efi.

best ... khay
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srs5694
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I basically agree with khayyam's list of UEFI advantages, although I'll add:


  • It's possible to boot Linux from a GPT disk even on BIOS-based computers. (There are occasional glitches, but it's usually possible to work around these.) Windows is more limited, though; it can boot only from MBR disks on BIOS-based computers.
  • Booting in EFI mode is sometimes a few seconds faster than booting in BIOS mode. This is because of firmware initialization issues, not kernel issues.
  • EFI boot loader maintenance is theoretically easier and saner than BIOS boot loader maintenance. In practice, the kinks are still being worked out of EFI, so the practice is often more neutral or even favors BIOS.
  • There's a learning curve to an EFI switch, which is turning off a lot of people. Once the learning curve is past, though, EFI starts looking better, particularly if your implementation is a good one rather than an awful one.
  • Boot loader selection is different for the two platforms. Of particular note on the EFI side is the kernel's EFI stub loader, which turns the kernel into its own boot loader. IMHO (and I'm biased), this is best paired with my rEFInd boot manager, which presents a friendly graphical interface and also makes kernel management very easy, compared to GRUB 2's complex scripts. Alternatively, you can boot the kernel directly. This works best on single-boot computers on which you seldom upgrade your kernel.


Personally, I'm using EFI on most of my computers now. Part of that's because I'm developing rEFInd and I need to be able to test it; but partly it's because it's easier to manage my kernels with the EFI stub loader and rEFInd than with GRUB 2 or even GRUB Legacy. That said, EFI is still pretty much a "bleeding-edge" technology. If you're stuck with a worse-than-average implementation, you may end up fighting it a lot. I don't know much about the firmware that HP is using, so I can't say anything about it specifically.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got confused even more)
The computer with gentoo + gnome for the following main purposes is necessary to me:

1) reading information (books, Internet);
2) creation of documents (text, charts);
3) video viewing;
4) programming;
5) drawing.

My linux way is ubuntu-openSuse-ArchLinux-Gentoo.
I have 4 gb RAM, processor I5 520.

I created sections (ms-dos tree partirion type):

dev/sda1 boot ext4 - 37 Gb
dev/sda2 swap linux-swap - 2 Gb
dev/sda3 home ext4 - 220gb
dev/sda4 windows ntfs - 20 gb


Almost installed system:

unpacked stage portage
reinstalled gcc-4.6.3
updated gcc-config
reemerge libraries, system, world
install kernel with without UEFI support

UEFI or BIOS using is not important for me .
I have two viewpoints:
1. BIOS + Grub
it is not necessary to do an additional section with Fat32, GTP tree marking (fdisk doesn't support GTP) and image of loading.
Grub with old version and I don't known how long it will be supported.
2.UEFI + Grub2
UEFI is new BIOS version. Grub2 is more improved Grub version
It is necessary to create the additional section and create an image

Usually, I update my system only if it is really required for it's normal work

P.S.: Correct me if I am not right.
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khayyam
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

snum ...

snum wrote:
I got confused even more

no need to ... the discussion simply took a diversion, we're now back on track :)

snum wrote:
I created sections (ms-dos tree partirion type)

In which case you've already set the stage for BIOS/MBR booting ...

snum wrote:
UEFI or BIOS using is not important for me. I have two viewpoints:
1. BIOS + Grub: it is not necessary to do an additional section with Fat32, GTP tree marking (fdisk doesn't support GTP) and image of loading.

The "EFI System Partition" (ESP) is vfat, but as you can use it as /boot its not really creating anything "additonal". While fdisk doesn't support GPT partitioning, 'gdisk' (sys-apps/gptfdisk) does, and its behavior is very similar to fdisk. Not sure what you mean by "image of loading" but I'll assume you mean "bootsplash", this is a feature of the bootloader and can be configured if your using BIOS or EFI.

snum wrote:
2.UEFI + Grub2: UEFI is new BIOS version. Grub2 is more improved Grub version. It is necessary to create the additional section and create an image

"grub" (aka "grub legacy") is still the default grub with gentoo, however grub2 is available, and boots both BIOS and EFI.

snum wrote:
Usually, I update my system only if it is really required for it's normal work

OK, but your question was "[...] I don't know what should I use - uefi or bios", but you'd already made that decision when partitioning the disks, and so you should go ahead and use BIOS.

HTH & best ...

khay
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

srs5694 ...

(offtopic) I have rEFInd installed but the ext2 driver doesn't work for me (macbook 1,1) and so am limited to using the EFS, I generally just re-run efibootmgr to change kernel and so a bootloader isn't so necessary. Anyhow, I don't want to derail this thread but one question, would you know what these last two entries are?

Code:
% efibootmgr -v
BootCurrent: 0001
Timeout: 5 seconds
BootOrder: 0001,0000
Boot0000* rEFInd        HD(1,28,64000,a5d32078-64a7-4c13-a0f1-1286c2f6422b)File(\efi\refind\refind_ia32.efi)
Boot0001* 3.4.3 HD(1,28,64000,a5d32078-64a7-4c13-a0f1-1286c2f6422b)File(\vmlinuz-3.4.3-geek-gnu.efi)
Boot0082*       ACPI(a0341d0,0)PCI(1f,2)ATAPI(0,1,0)HD(2,64028,946b860,45a0909b-6919-4ae1-860a-d500a15a3edc)
BootFFFF*       ACPI(a0341d0,0)PCI(1d,1)USB(0,0)HD(1,3f,9898,00000000)File(\efi\boot\bootia32.efi)

I've been assuming that 'BootFFFF' is related to having the 'alt/option' key provide 'Boot EFI' volumes, the other I have no idea, are they simply leftover remnants of some 'Software Update' procedure or what-have-you, are they required?

Again ... sorry, folks, for being offtopic ... best

khay
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snum
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have experiment with BIOS(Desktop have already used BIOS and Grub-1.99).

I must try to install gentoo with UEFI and check what is better.

Thanks.

Do you know where I can see correct simple install documentation for UEFI? handBook?


khayyam wrote:
snum ...

snum wrote:
I got confused even more

no need to ... the discussion simply took a diversion, we're now back on track :)

snum wrote:
I created sections (ms-dos tree partirion type)

In which case you've already set the stage for BIOS/MBR booting ...

snum wrote:
UEFI or BIOS using is not important for me. I have two viewpoints:
1. BIOS + Grub: it is not necessary to do an additional section with Fat32, GTP tree marking (fdisk doesn't support GTP) and image of loading.

The "EFI System Partition" (ESP) is vfat, but as you can use it as /boot its not really creating anything "additonal". While fdisk doesn't support GPT partitioning, 'gdisk' (sys-apps/gptfdisk) does, and its behavior is very similar to fdisk. Not sure what you mean by "image of loading" but I'll assume you mean "bootsplash", this is a feature of the bootloader and can be configured if your using BIOS or EFI.

snum wrote:
2.UEFI + Grub2: UEFI is new BIOS version. Grub2 is more improved Grub version. It is necessary to create the additional section and create an image

"grub" (aka "grub legacy") is still the default grub with gentoo, however grub2 is available, and boots both BIOS and EFI.

snum wrote:
Usually, I update my system only if it is really required for it's normal work

OK, but your question was "[...] I don't know what should I use - uefi or bios", but you'd already made that decision when partitioning the disks, and so you should go ahead and use BIOS.

HTH & best ...

khay
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

snum wrote:
I got confused even more)


Sorry if I created any confusion in my previous post.

Quote:
The computer with gentoo + gnome for the following main purposes is necessary to me:

1) reading information (books, Internet);
2) creation of documents (text, charts);
3) video viewing;
4) programming;
5) drawing.


Few specific computer uses make one boot mode more desirable than any other, and certainly the ones you've specified don't. Boot mode advantages and disadvantages tend to be both broader (in that they affect the whole computer) and more esoteric than that. Once booted, your Web browser, word processor, C compiler, and other user programs will work exactly the same no matter how you boot. (There can be exceptions to this rule if a boot problem renders hardware inaccessible, though. This would qualify as a system-specific bug, though, and such issues could cause problems for either boot mode.)

Quote:
I created sections (ms-dos tree partirion type):

dev/sda1 boot ext4 - 37 Gb
dev/sda2 swap linux-swap - 2 Gb
dev/sda3 home ext4 - 220gb
dev/sda4 windows ntfs - 20 gb


If Windows is installed and booting in this configuration, then you're using BIOS booting. I can say this with certainty because Windows ties the partition table type and the boot mode type -- it can boot in BIOS mode only on MBR disks and it can boot in EFI mode only on GPT disks. Thus, if you're using MBR (what you presumably mean by "ms-dos tree"), and if Windows is booting, then you're booting in BIOS mode. Switching Windows' boot mode, although possible, is a hassle, so I don't recommend attempting it. If, OTOH, you've not yet installed Windows, it's still possible (and not too painful) to switch to GPT and EFI-mode booting, should you decide you want to do so. Linux is more flexible in its boot mode; you can boot in BIOS mode from either MBR or GPT disks, and (at least in theory) in EFI mode from either MBR or GPT disks. (In practice, I've never tried booting Linux in EFI mode from an MBR disk, and some firmware implementations may throw up obstacles to this configuration.)

One comment: MBR is limited to four primary partitions, and you've used all of them. Thus, if you ever want to repartition to add partitions, you'll need to do some juggling, including either deleting an existing partition to create a new extended partition in which to place logical partitions; or converting at least one primary partition to a logical partition with FixParts or some other utility.

Quote:
I have two viewpoints:
1. BIOS + Grub
it is not necessary to do an additional section with Fat32, GTP tree marking (fdisk doesn't support GTP) and image of loading.
Grub with old version and I don't known how long it will be supported.


As khayyam says, gdisk is an fdisk-like program for GPT disks. You can also use GNU Parted, GParted, or various other programs based on libparted, which support both MBR and GPT disks. Note that gdisk can convert back and forth between MBR and GPT partitioning systems, with some limitations because of each system's idiosyncratic needs. In particular, GPT needs a few sectors at the start and end of the disk for its own data structures; and MBR needs at least one free sector before each logical partition for logical partition data structures.

GRUB Legacy is officially BIOS-only, but Fedora distributes a patched version that supports EFI booting. GRUB 2 officially supports both boot methods; but IMHO, GRUB 2 has gone off the tracks -- it's too complex, which leads to reliability problems, in my experience. This is especially true under EFI.

Quote:
2.UEFI + Grub2
UEFI is new BIOS version. Grub2 is more improved Grub version
It is necessary to create the additional section and create an image


Actually, EFI (or UEFI) isn't a BIOS, although most PC makers still use the term "BIOS," presumably because that's what people expect to see.

The EFI System Partition (ESP) isn't a big deal. GPT supports 128 partitions in its default configuration, so you're not in danger of running out of partition numbers. The ESP is also fairly small (typically 100-500 MiB), so it won't consume a significant amount of space on a modern disk. On a system with a complex boot configuration, putting boot loaders on the ESP can simplify boot loader configuration, since the boot loaders won't fight over the limited space for boot loaders in the MBR system. Thus, all things considered, the ESP is a good thing, IMO.

GRUB 2 is far from the only boot loader for EFI. See my Web page on the topic for a rundown of what's available. The list includes the kernel's EFI stub loader, ELILO, GRUB Legacy, and GRUB 2. There are also the rEFIt and rEFInd boot managers. (Technically, boot managers are distinct from boot loaders, but the distinction can get blurry at times.)

snum wrote:
Do you know where I can see correct simple install documentation for UEFI? handBook?


There's a Gentoo wiki page on UEFI, but it's a bit sparse. My EFI boot loaders page describes the available EFI boot loaders for Linux and how to install them. It's not Gentoo-specific, but between these two sources and the usual Gentoo installation documentation, you should be able to get something up and running. Keep in mind that the boot mode (BIOS vs. EFI) is pretty self-contained. You can switch your Linux boot mode by changing the boot loader you've got installed and nothing else. That said, there are partitioning implications. From a Linux perspective, doing GPT with both an ESP and a BIOS Boot Partition will give you the greatest flexibility. Windows is more limited, as already noted. If you want to experiment, you should do so before installing Windows.

khayyam wrote:
I have rEFInd installed but the ext2 driver doesn't work for me (macbook 1,1)


The versions of the drivers I've released to date don't work on Macs. You can use the drivers that came with rEFIt instead. I've fixed the problem, and the fix is available in source code form from rEFInd's git repository. I expect to be making a new release of rEFInd in the next day or two, and the fix will be included with it.

khayyam wrote:
I've been assuming that 'BootFFFF' is related to having the 'alt/option' key provide 'Boot EFI' volumes, the other I have no idea, are they simply leftover remnants of some 'Software Update' procedure or what-have-you, are they required?


The BootFFFF (EFI/boot/bootia32.efi) entry is a default boot name for IA-32 (x86, 32-bit) Intel CPUs. It's not normally included in the NVRAM entries, but it does sometimes show up. Your Boot0000 (EFI/refind/refind_ia32.efi) entry is obviously for rEFInd. The Boot0001 entry looks like an attempt to boot the kernel directly. The Boot0082 entry I'm less sure about. It might be an entry to boot an optical disc, or a sort of "generic" entry for a hard disk. You can probably safely delete it, and anything else you're not using. In a worst-case scenario, the firmware should regenerate what it needs to boot OS X when you reboot, or you can add new entries to boot Linux.

All that said, on a Mac, it's generally best to use the "bless" utility in OS X to install boot programs. The Mac's EFI implementation is a bit weird, and efibootmgr in Linux doesn't always work. That said, if you don't have OS X installed and/or if efibootmgr has been doing the job for you, you might as well keep using it.
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khayyam
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

srs5694 wrote:
I expect to be making a new release of rEFInd in the next day or two, and the fix will be included with it.

srs5694, et al ...

As this thread would be likely hijacked if we continued this discussion here I've started a new thread on the subject.

best ... khay
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khayyam
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

snum ...

snum wrote:
Do you know where I can see correct simple install documentation for UEFI? handBook?

Besides the links provided by srs5694 there is the following relevant information (how "correct" it is I can't tell as I haven't followed any of the information provided).

Firstly, the grub2 guide. Note that grub2 is not the only efi boot method .. there is also the kernel's efi stub and the elilo bootloader (referenced in the UEFI guide).

Rod/srs5694 has some information on the efi stub boot method on his website, and user darkphader has some simple instructions on their blog.

Besides these searching for 'grub2', 'grub2.efi', 'elilo', 'efi stub' should all provide some information, though not necessarily Gentoo related.

HTH & best ...

khay
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for ditailed information!
Currently, I've decided to use BIOS on my notebook.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you've opened a discussion on UEFI, and since Windows 8 isn't out yet, I presume there is nothing in there about code signing when you select UEFI?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

depontius wrote:
Since you've opened a discussion on UEFI, and since Windows 8 isn't out yet, I presume there is nothing in there about code signing when you select UEFI?

depontius ... I assume you mean "secure boot", right? Well, MS are presuring OEM's into implimenting it, and now Redhat has paid the hostage money (ie: bought a certificate in order to be complient) others will either have to follow suite, or some project steps up and provide a cert that every project can use (something which is technically feasable but difficult to manage).

I have'nt been following the subject that closely but I don't like the sound of it one bit, we can of course hope the whole idea fails, but it does seem that many (Redhat, specifically) are gearing up for its arrival, which isn't a good sign.

UEFI isn't technically tied to 'secure boot' and nothing in the standard impliments this, but I'd imagine it'll be the part that acts as the boot enforcer ... so hopefully that answers your question.

best ... khay
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