EFI support

Paul Sladen ubuntu at paul.sladen.org
Sat Oct 14 03:04:53 BST 2006

On Fri, 13 Oct 2006, Jerry Haltom wrote:
> On Fri, 2006-10-13 at 18:46 -0400, Scott J. Henson wrote:
> > On Fri, 13 Oct 2006 Jerry Haltom <wasabi at larvalstage.net> wrote:
> > > a) Partman cannot format disks to GPT. It can view/edit existing GPT
> > > partitions though.

First thing, is of course that should a feature or setup not yet work out of
the box, then that issue is a bug.  I'm sure both the Server and QA teams
will want to make sure a solution is forth-coming!

> > If I remember correctly, the new macbooks have efi bioses.
> The solution to this is BootCamp, which Apple releases, for Macs. It's
> basically a BIOS written in EFI. Purely compatibility.

Ubuntu was actually booting on Mactel before Bootcamp.  Once installed, with
EFI properly reconfigured, there is no need to use BootCamp.

Once installed directly onto a Mactel, 'elilo' is used to boot the Ubuntu
system; a variety of issues to do with GPT partitioning and HFS+ filesystem
creation currently mean that the Mactel doesn't /install/ from the normal
i386 CD---even though the standard Ubuntu kernel supports Mactel hardware.

In the case of Mactel, BootCamp is a workaround both for (a) not being able
to generate an HFS+ partition and (b) not having low-level information to
configure the Video-chipset from scratch.  The X drivers rely on a VESA bios
for initial setup, though this is partially solved by recent code from Intel.

'elilo' is probably the way to go for getting Ubuntu onto your new EFI
powered box.  Rest assured that you *will* get Ubuntu to work, it just might
take a bit of investigation!...

The most important thing for you to do is to *keep track* of what changes
you've done, so that once finished, the solution can be documented.  Clear
instructions can then be made available to other Ubuntu admins in the same
situation and---ultimately---fixed in the main Ubuntu distribution to work
out of the box.

Jerry: My guess is that it may be worth hunting down some Red Hat/IBM
documentation if there has already been a certification program for the
motherboard/server that you now have.

Hope that helps, happy exploring,

High on a tall bridge, surrounded by noisy lorries.  Southampton, GB

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