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Author Topic: [EN] New hardware with UEFI and SSD  (Read 21712 times)

Offline GoinEasy9

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[EN] New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« on: 2012/05/07, 19:56:29 »
Hi all

I'm putting together a new system.  The new motherboard is an ASUS Sabertooth 990FX which comes with a UEFI BIOS.

I'm also adding an OCZ Vertex 3 SSD to the setup.

Now, I have devil's very detailed blog post about how to set up the SSD for optimal performance, so I don't think I'm going to have any problems there.  Here's the link to devils blog post if your interested:
http://siduction.org/index.php?module=news&func=display&sid=78&lang=en

My only concern is with the UEFI setup.  It seems that installing using UEFI is problematic.  At least it is when using Fedora.  Since the new box isn't built yet (all the pieces are here, I'm just waiting for the time) so I haven't been able to experiment with either Fedora or siduction yet, I'm hoping to get some feedback here.  

Using Debian/siduction installers, has anyone done a UEFI boot installation, and, was it accomplished out of the box, or, am I going to need some tricks and tips in order to do it successfully?

Any advice or links would be appreciated.

Thanks
Tom
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Offline dibl

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RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #1 on: 2012/05/07, 20:41:03 »
It looks like there might be some useful information here.

Like most folks who like to build their own systems, I am dreading UEFI, so I hope you will share your experience here.
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Offline GoinEasy9

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RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #2 on: 2012/05/07, 23:41:11 »
Thanks dibl, and, yes, I will be sharing what I'm doing, since, every link, including the one from Ubuntu, is more general than specific.
I've read that Fedora uses a modified legacy grub to install UEFI, which, I'm hesitant to use.  Damn, I just got used to Grub2.  Then again, that was in Fedora 16, so, I don't know if Anaconda has progressed to a different method with F17.  Since documentation is at a minimum till F17's release, I can only experiment when the hardware is set up.

The newer kernels have a EFI stub loader built in (at least that's what I've read), and to me, that would be the method I would like to use, so, I'm going through every blog post I can find to see if I can figure out the correct way to partition the SSD so the EFI System Partition and the /boot partition are created correctly.  At this pont, from what I can see, in order to use the kernel's EFI stub loader I'm going to have to create an ESP partition (possibly FAT32) and a separate /boot partition, although I'm confused as to why I would need a FAT32 partition unless that was the BIOS manufacturers choice.  

At this point my head is spinning from all the different explanations, so I may just start building the machine and come back to this later.  I'm still hoping there is an answer for this in Grub2, since, the capabilities are built in, unfortunately, not well documented.

The Ubuntu link you gave me, actually gave me hope that grub2 is an option, even though other posts say it isn't as reliable as other methods.

Do I sound confused?  Heh, YUP.  I'm still hoping to make this work with siduction, so I can leave my 32 Fedora installs alone.

Edit: BTW - This is the closest I can get to detailed instructions: http://www.rodsbooks.com/efi-bootloaders/installation.html
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Offline Lanzi

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RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #3 on: 2012/05/08, 00:44:28 »
the computer-magazine ct from germans heise-Verlag tested UEFI last week and the result was, that the most promising bootmanager for UEFI is actually grub2. Lilo an grub-lagacy wern't able to boot from it.

Unfortuantly the article is not online:
http://www.heise.de/ct/inhalt/2012/11/174/

Offline ralul

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RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #4 on: 2012/05/08, 01:21:46 »
I would try with newest LTS Ubuntu at first: Canonical has one of the most active grub2 upstream fixing guy (who is also Debian maintainer). Other distros can be installed later and without grub, only one is needed. You can then install Debian sid from ubuntu using debootstrap.

efi-Fat32 is in the standards specification as a starting partition. It is not the same as the fat32 specification, uefi-fat32 can be different, there was a bug about that distro maintainers were thinking wrong.
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Offline devil

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RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #5 on: 2012/05/08, 01:25:17 »
Here is instructions specificaly for debian: http://tanguy.ortolo.eu/blog/article51/debian-efi

greetz
devil

Offline ralul

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RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #6 on: 2012/05/08, 01:39:01 »
@devil, that blog is more like a wild guess, it has very unstructured hints, at least i dont understand ...
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Offline GoinEasy9

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RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #7 on: 2012/05/08, 04:14:47 »
@devil  Thanks, I did come across that link before, actually, I think it passed by in my Google+ stream.  The one good thing about that link is that it shows how to convert an existing MBR to UEFI.

Part 3 in that link is the one I'm interested in though.  It uses grubx64.efi to install UEFI using grub2.  If you're interested this link goes into the grub2 scenario: http://www.rodsbooks.com/efi-bootloaders/grub2.html

I also have a similar thread running in the fedoraforum.  That's where I met the author of that last link.  From what I can see Rod Smith knows a whole lot about UEFI, probably from trying to get it to boot on a MAC when it first appeared.  I haven't read all of his stuff yet, it starts here: http://www.rodsbooks.com/efi-bootloaders/index.html for those that are following.

OK, got sidetracked, let's see where I am.

Well, with both devil's article (Part 2.1) and confirmation from Rod Smith, I guess having the FAT32 partition is a must.  Actually, now that things are clearing up in my head, Part 2.1 seems to be the best method.  Since I'm already playing with the set up of the SSD, using the partitioning in that portion of the article sounds like a plan.  I do want to check out ralul's efi-FAT32 vs. FAT32 though.

Edit: I'm also being told that Grub2 is, at present, the least reliable of the boot loaders when using UEFI, so, even though I still like the Debian way from the Tanguy article, I'm still looking at different methods.
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Offline dibl

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RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #8 on: 2012/05/08, 12:35:50 »
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Offline ralul

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RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #9 on: 2012/05/08, 14:56:18 »
@GoinEasy, efi-FAT32 is a FAT32 but more or less constraints from its standards. Because you asked, I just wanted to emphasize what you already looked up:
An efi-FAT32 at the begining of the disk is standard.

What I dont know yet:
Is this efi-FAT32 partition usable as an ordinary /boot partition hosting your kernels?

One question regarding your statements:
Grub2 really is less reliable using with efi? Because fedora people do have more experience using other boot managers, because they rejected grub2 in beta state?
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Offline GoinEasy9

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RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #10 on: 2012/05/08, 19:16:20 »
@dibl Very interesting ending to that article.  Could the Ubuntu/Kubuntu installer actually work using Grub? And with the SSD?

I'm starting to think I might leave the SSD out of the equation while testing and just experiment using the HD.  Once I find a preferred method, then I'll use the SSD.

It's funny, but even Linus had an "I hate EFI" post on Google+ yesterday.
https://plus.google.com/102150693225130002912/posts/QLe3tSmtSM4

One of the links in that thread leads to Matthew Garrets experience trying to get Fedora working on a MAC.  Actually I think Fedora's main focus with getting GPT and EFI working was due to getting it working on MACs.  I find very little while searching that points to Fedora getting U/EFI working in order to take advantage of newer features, it seems all related to MACs.

@ralul  The reliability of Grub2 with EFI comment didn't come from Fedora dev discussions but from Rod Smith, who seems to be quite the prolific author of Linux books ( http://www.rodsbooks.com/books/index.html ).  His supplying of links to me has given me my basic understanding of U/EFI.

It's still a mystery to me why Fedora left grub legacy in their distro for so long, as they seem to be the first to throw every unfinished bit of new technology into a new release before it's ready.  I liked the fact that they held off on Grub2 until it matured a bit, but, this is not their MO.  As to why they decided to hack legacy grub in order to make it work with EFI?  Well, I guess that's what Fedora was using when the "It won't work on MAC" complaints started rolling in.

Edit: Sorry I hit submit instead of preview.

I was about to say that my first attempt will probably be the Debian Way from the article devil linked to.  Fedora 17 and the Anaconda installer aren't doing very well, even though it's due for release soon.  The newest TC3 won't boot on 32 bit and there are complaints about how it won't install over older GPT partitions.  That, and the fact that I believe they are still using the legacy grub hack for EFI, I may skip F17 all together.

Anyway, back to building the machine.
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Offline ralul

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RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #11 on: 2012/05/08, 20:08:51 »
@GoinEasy9, Rod Smith tends to write over complicated, perhaps to emphasize his site the only point of clue? Perhaps he is also over critical towards Grub2, because Grub2 claims to be the future one and only boot system ...

If you have a new and empty system, why not be experimental? And have a look at Magaia!
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Offline dibl

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Re: RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #12 on: 2012/05/08, 20:13:56 »
Quote from: "GoinEasy9"
@dibl Very interesting ending to that article.  Could the Ubuntu/Kubuntu installer actually work using Grub? And with the SSD?


Yep -- Steve Riley is very smart, and if he said he got it working, then it works.  I like ralul's idea -- install the Ubuntu grub-efi, then install siduction.  (Easy for me to say -- I don't have to make it work!)
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Offline devil

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Re: RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #13 on: 2012/05/08, 20:36:07 »
I have built a UEFI capable system about 1 year ago, but decided against using UEFI then. I had planned to buy a 2nd SSD which was not in the budget back then. Now this SSD hits the market (OCZ Vertex 4, 64 GByte)and will be available sometime this month.

So then I will set up this box from scratch with 2 SSD and UEFI.

And a note on my SSD tutorial: some things are not needed anymore today. Gparted e.g. can do the alignment correct these days from what I read.

greetz
devil

Offline dibl

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RE: Re: RE: New hardware with UEFI and SSD
« Reply #14 on: 2012/05/08, 22:13:15 »
Yes, fdisk and cfdisk and gdisk are now automatically starting partitioning at sector 2048, so no need to use the calculator.

If you have a main board with UEFI, then it looks to me like you could practice installing on a large USB key, right?  Then once you figure out how to make the /boot/EFI installation correctly, you are ready to install on the SSD or hdd.
System76 Oryx Pro, Intel Core i7-11800H, SSD 970 EVO Plus;  Asus ROG STRIX X299-E, Core i7-7740X, Nvidia GTX-1060, dual monitors, SSD 860 EVO