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EFI on BSDs problem

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# 1  
Old 10-14-2010
EFI on BSDs problem


at time I have some problems installing a BSD system on my GPT disk...

Thing is, I don't understand why support for the EFI seems to be so hard. Neither FreeBSD nor NetBSD nor OpenBSD seem to be able to install on GPT disks.
They all misconceive the hard disk would use an MBR and the DOS partition scheme. Why??!

EFI and GPT aren't so new, are they? And they're even much better!

I'm a bit despaired hence... Always have to use ugly workarounds, that doesn't make fun.

Is here anybody having the same problems, or perhaps a solution?
# 2  
Old 10-14-2010
I have not used any of the BSD distributions for a while but it is my understanding that FreeBSD has support for GPT since 7.1. Converting to an EFI based machine would simply require replacing the FreeBSD boot partition with an EFI system partition (ESP) and EFI boot code for FreeBSD x86 would need to be added.

IA64 BSD EFI booting is supported but from what I can see only experimental support exists for EFI booting X86 or X86_64. Some people have managed to do it using rEFIt on Intel Macs.

A better approach might be to use TianoCore DUET to boot an EFI-based GRUB loader which in turn can be configured to boot BSD. Here is a Using UEFI DUET to boot Fedora 12 which shows you how to UEFI boot Fedora 12 using DUET. Just add the necessary GRUB stanza for your favorite BSD distribution and it should boot.
# 3  
Old 10-14-2010
Thank you, but that's not my problem actually.

The problem is to install the system. The installers don't recognize GPT.

BTW, maybe OT: Is it possible to somehow substitute the BIOS with an UEFI thing? Maybe through patching it?
So that the "chip" on the mainboard keeps his old name "BIOS", but it's EFI in it? Sorry if that's a dumb question.
Edit2: Just found it, it is called coreboot, I will investigate in that. But go back to installing on GPT ;-)

Last edited by Blackbird; 10-14-2010 at 01:15 PM..
# 4  
Old 10-15-2010
I would not go down the EFI on coreboot approach. Yes, it is using TianoCore but there is a lot more work to be done before it is ready for prime time.

What is your hardware platform? Which specific OS and version do you want to install?
# 5  
Old 10-15-2010
Yes, I will go for that later on.

I'm using amd64, first I'd want to install FreeBSD 8.1.
It seems the easiest version would be to install it first on an usual USB stick and then make a manual install to the GPT disk, wouldn't it?
# 6  
Old 10-15-2010
EFI loader only supports IA64 currently on FreeBSD. According to the FreeBSD Status report Q1/2010, work on supporting EFI booting on FreeBSD/i386 resumed. The boot loader can now read an ELF file from the EFI FAT partition and they are now working on trying to boot a kernel.

It would seem that what you want to do is not supported OOTB at present.
# 7  
Old 11-09-2010
Ok thanx. I will go with it.
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