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[FAQF] How to use UEFI - FAQ needed?
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Do you think it would be useful to write a FAQ?
yes, that would be great!
92%
 92%  [ 23 ]
no, ...
8%
 8%  [ 2 ]
I am not interested
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 25

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feng
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 7:49 am    Post subject: [FAQF] How to use UEFI - FAQ needed? Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I see a lot of questions about UEFI in the Gentoo Forums. I believe that many people don't know UEFI.
It could be useful that we write a FAQ about UEFI. Thereby, more people could understand the mecanisms or/and
the goals of the UEFI.

Feel free to make comments!

Best regards,

feng


Last edited by feng on Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Logicien
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The FAQ should not only concern the means by which we can install Gentoo on an EFI plateform but the users freedom too regarding this boot mode.
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feng
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am waiting...
  • the number of interested people
  • information that could be interesting or useful to write a comprehensive FAQ
... to know how we could organize ourselves.

Indeed, I think that most information about UEFI comes from the specification. However, the UEFI specification has 2 706 pages.
It isn't accessible for everyone and it takes time to read! This will be more effective if we share the work, ideas, ... .

Thank you Logicien!
  • giving for wich reasons we can or can't do certain things or explain why certain features may have an effect in terms of freedom for users.


Last edited by feng on Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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depontius
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one of my systems (the one I'm using now) running EFI boot, and it's been reliable. But I feel as if I got it booting by accident, not design. With that in mind, I have another system that will probably need to be booting UEFI (Windows 10 upgrade before the deadline on a dual-boot system.) soon, and I'm a bit worried about it.
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szatox
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few things I'd be interested in are:
* description of the boot process
* interfaces exposed by UEFI at runtime (after boot) - it seems there are some features legacy BIOS doesn't offer
* a short howto on booting with UEFI mode
* advantages and disadvantages of UEFI compared to legacy

I suppose those things could be very very helpful when it comes to replacing my current box with a new one.
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ct85711
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one system "supposedly" using UEFI, but it looks more like it's loading UEFI to load BIOS mode to do everything. The main problem I have been seeing on UEFI, is that the various manufacturers are not following the specification, but more of making their own implementation of it, some doing a poor job of it.

I don't know if the manufacturers has gotten better implementing the UEFI, as after I got mine working I ran away. As the only thing holding mine together is duct tape and, and fear to see the horrible mess when the tape falls apart.
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Tony0945
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The guides I have seen show the various choices in line which makes following them confusing. IIRC there are about three binary decision trees that would make about four paths (one path being using the kernel to boot which leaves no other decisions.

I'd like to see a guide that followed three or four (or five) of these paths without the reference to other choices. A preamble would discuss the alternatives then there would be links to the alternatives. I'm explaining this well, but I don't want to see a detailed list followed by "or you can do this instead". My gut feeling is that there are about three most popular paths.

1. built-in bootloader aka booting the kernel directly

2, booting a bootloader like grub2 or other (EXTLINUX? grub legacy?).

3. using rEFInd
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feng
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 7:20 pm    Post subject: A way to contribute. Reply with quote

Hi,

I appreciate your contribution! Thank you!

Well, things move a little!
I try to find a good way or method to define a collaboration.

I use a formalization. In other words, I try to define a structure using ideas, concepts and criteria to achieve the objectives.

In my mind, the objectives are the following:
  • A collaborative work accomplished with efficiency and complementarity.
  • Any interested person should be able to easily contribute.
... based on the following criteria:
  • a variable number of participants
  • a time dedicated to the development of the FAQ being variable for participants
  • a big specification taking time to understand
  • independent contributions
In my mind, the main issue is the size of the specification. I believe the specification may be understood in outline without complications.

... [I have to continue] ...

Best regards,

feng


Last edited by feng on Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have to say that no, I don't think it is needed for the reason that the documentation is there already. Both in the handbook and outside of it.

The thing is that it is a relatively new feature and many people are still not quite comfortable with it quite yet.

EDIT: By no means should my comment be read as opposition to writing one. If you want to, go for it!
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally think at a user level, UEFI is not that complicated at all. It's just another way to think of how the machine boots.

*HOWEVER* Secure Boot with UEFI is another topic altogether. This is a completely abnormal boot system not seen in previous machines before this.
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transsib
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An exceptionally good idea; would bundle up all experience, problems and questions
about the subject in one place.
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albright
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have one of my systems (the one I'm using now) running EFI boot, and it's been reliable. But I feel as if I got it booting by accident, not design


this ... is how I feel too

in fact, on my latest machine I installed ubuntu 16.04 first because it handles uefi / grub2
automagically, and then I just dumped the gentoo kernel into ubuntu's /boot

but this was after trying unsuccessfully gentoo's own uefi/grub2 and refind (refind somehow
did work on another machine but - as the OP said - it felt like I got it to work by accident

it would be good to have this all laid out in a comprehensible manner that is UP TO DATE
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jonathan183
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think an FAQ would be useful, it should include secure boot. There is already some good information on the Gentoo wiki. At present if you are using luks/lvm then sakaki-tools overlay will be needed (unless you are going to use external tools, create your on ebuild or compile by hand). I found most of the information I needed in a combination of the handbook, https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Sakaki%27s_EFI_Install_Guide and linked pages.
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alinefr
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The concept and the user setup for UEFI booting is be very simple but the caveats makes the path a bit hard for beginners.

Some HP laptops for example boot in first order EFI/Windows/bootmbfw.efi and ignores boot order changes from efibootmgr.

So we need
- A simple documentation providing step-by-step UEFI boot setup.
- The manufacturer caveats.
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krinn
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alinefr wrote:
The concept and the user setup for UEFI booting is be very simple but the caveats makes the path a bit hard for beginners.

I wouldn't define myself as beginner, but after trying to figure out why it doesn't boot and see uefi limits, i have just disable uefi and get back to old bios booting method with grub that is more flexible.
In theory, uefi with in kernel support and a nice uefi boot menu might allow me to do the same, but my theory works end-up as all docs i could read only speak about booting one kernel and i got bored.
But maybe we have better update docs now that would show a simple: "boot-this & boot-that" example instead of "boot-this" only example.
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feng
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 3:21 pm    Post subject: A lack of information in the existing docs ! Reply with quote

I didn't find ideas how we can collaborate together in an effective manner to write the FAQ about UEFI. :(

The Gentoo documentation doesn't have elements about the UEFI technology itself. Nevertheless, I suppose most users will be able to boot a system compliant with UEFI technology.

However, the information helps people to apprehend, understand, interact or control computers. The evolutions of the system components may change the system architecture.
Therefore, the UEFI technology (UEFI firmwares, UEFI, ...) may affect users in facts to their interaction and control of computers.

Best regards,

feng


Last edited by feng on Sat May 21, 2016 11:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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charles17
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

feng wrote:
I didn't find ideas how we can collaborate together in an effective manner to write the FAQ about UEFI. :(

Why not just start from https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/UEFI_FAQ? So everybody here could contribute to it.
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feng
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 7:44 pm    Post subject: Development of good documentation. Reply with quote

Hi !
charles17 wrote:
Why not just start from https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/UEFI_FAQ?

I think a complex task is done effectively if it follows a layout. The plan is used to evaluate the feasibility of the task and serves to judge the quality of the development and as a guide.
The problem is that only people who have read and understood the UEFI technology can write a FAQ. Writing the FAQ may take time for people who can write one.
The wiki allows collaboration of several people. I think a collaborative work can be wonderful. Here, a collaborative work is needed because understanding the UEFI technology requires energy and time.
My goal was to find a way for people to contribute whatever their knowledge and interests for the the UEFI technology. Thus, the FAQ would be complete and of good quality for a lot of people.
I believe finding a method would have allowed to develop a FAQ quickly and efficiency. The problem is how share the work to avoid do the same things knowing we have to understand what we do.

N.B : I use the term FAQ to refer all documents that can provide a concise explanation of the UEFI technology. The shape may resemble at the form of a FAQ.
For me, the UEFI technology is the set consisting of UEFI firmwares, UEFI, UEFI shell, ACPI, etc.

Best regards,

feng


Last edited by feng on Sat May 21, 2016 12:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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feng
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, UEFI followers! ... :D ... || ... :evil: ...

My contribution isn't successful over the middle period and now I think the wiki is a more suitable support (structured and formal contributions).

I think that a structured page (cf. the wiki) will allow everyone to participate with a modular way. I will try to participate gradually for UEFI because I'm busy.

  • Overview (concepts, freedom, new features, design, etc.)
  • FAQs (most issues, BIOS vs UEFI, etc.)
  • Howtos (new mechanisms beside BIOS, dual boot, etc.)
  • Secure boot (state of the art, design, etc.)
  • UEFI applications (UEFI shell, OS bootloaders, etc.)
  • Advanced knowledge: firmware platform, protocols, interfaces, GUID, etc.
  • ...

There are a few documentation about UEFI on the wiki. The purpose is to create a structured page defined as a framework: for example like, Kernel or SELinux wiki pages.

My wish is to avoid as much as possible duplicating information available elsewhere on the web (good: essential information, necessary explanations, or added value).

I asked that we delete the original "FAQs" because it is probably a bad approach and method.
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