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Draenin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:36 am    Post subject: The Gentoo minimal installation CD doesn't boot in UEFI. Reply with quote

Hello,

For installing Gentoo I downloaded the bootable Gentoo minimal installation CD (install-amd64-minimal-20160317.iso).

My doubt is, that installation CD is not UEFI-booting able, right? Or at least that's my problem, that CD doesn't boot in my (UEFI) PC.

I have the option, just when powering on the PC and the BIOS is doing the POST, to access the BIOS boot menu (F10). Just like when accessing the BIOS edit menu (F2) but accessing a boot menu instead. It is kind of a BIOS firmware boot loader. The thing is, from here I normally can choose to boot into the HDD UEFI loader or the DVD-ROM UEFI. But for this option to show up the CD has to be able to boot in UEFI, otherwise, it only shows the HDD option and then it's impossible to boot the CD obviously.

What bugs me is in the handbook, under "Installation" the part that says:

"Important: When installing Gentoo with the purpose of using the UEFI interface instead of BIOS, it is recommended to boot with UEFI immediately. If not, then it might be necessary to create a bootable UEFI USB stick (or other medium) once before finalizing the Gentoo Linux installation."

To boot with UEFI immediately? immediately to what? Is the CD able to boot in UEFI and I'm doing something wrong? I don't get the "immediately" part, when you boot the PC bootstraps from zero. It will have the same effect whether you boot immediately (to something?) or wait weeks to boot.

Thanks in advance for the info.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:53 am    Post subject: Re: The Gentoo minimal installation CD doesn't boot in UEFI. Reply with quote

Draenin wrote:
My doubt is, that installation CD is not UEFI-booting able, right? Or at least that's my problem, that CD doesn't boot in my (UEFI) PC.

Draenin ... correct ... the general advice for efi enabled install is to use sysresccd.

best ... khay
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Draenin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I'll do the SystemRescueCD thing. Can't wait to give Gentoo a shot.

Thanks for the info Khay.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So why gentoo install img dont support efi boot by default? Any particular reason?
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fedeliallalinea
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hypnoes wrote:
So why gentoo install img dont support efi boot by default? Any particular reason?

Only minimal cd not support uefi, but livedvd yes.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fedeliallalinea wrote:
hypnoes wrote:
So why gentoo install img dont support efi boot by default? Any particular reason?

Only minimal cd not support uefi, but livedvd yes.


Hi,
I think the question still remains, why does the minimal iso not support EFI boot?
Is it some technical detail? is it deemed being to large? or has there just not been any time spent on it?

I have been able to modify the minimal ISO to support EFI, modifications made to the script I'm using to rebuild the iso can be found at: https://github.com/ASoft-se/Gentoo-HAI/commit/fc81fee780f85273a92377e3f56355d6a0cd811b (also the commit before it is needed, which copies grub from SystemRescueCD)

I think most are fine with using SystemRescueCD for EFI, but it would still be nice to understand the reasons behind the minimal not supporting EFI.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NiXZe wrote:
fedeliallalinea wrote:
hypnoes wrote:
So why gentoo install img dont support efi boot by default? Any particular reason?

Only minimal cd not support uefi, but livedvd yes.


Hi,
I think the question still remains, why does the minimal iso not support EFI boot?
Is it some technical detail? is it deemed being to large? or has there just not been any time spent on it?

I have been able to modify the minimal ISO to support EFI, modifications made to the script I'm using to rebuild the iso can be found at: https://github.com/ASoft-se/Gentoo-HAI/commit/fc81fee780f85273a92377e3f56355d6a0cd811b (also the commit before it is needed, which copies grub from SystemRescueCD)

I think most are fine with using SystemRescueCD for EFI, but it would still be nice to understand the reasons behind the minimal not supporting EFI.


Why should anyone bother to recreate something that already exists? Sysrescuecd is already gentoo-based and already does everything a UEFI gentoo minimal.install cd would do. There is no need for it.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bammbamm808 wrote:

Why should anyone bother to recreate something that already exists? Sysrescuecd is already gentoo-based and already does everything a UEFI gentoo minimal.install cd would do. There is no need for it.

I mostly agree with you, with a few gotchas.

I will still ask for a reason for why EFI support is not fixed in the minimal ISO. (use SystemRescueCD is very well a solution, but it is not an answer to the asked question!)
From your answer it would be better to instead remove the minimal ISO all together.
Note this is not recreating something, the minimal already exists, it's only about improving/fixing it.

Now for a few reasons why (in some cases) one would prefer one over the other:
  • minimal iso ~300MiB vs SystemRescueCD ~546MiB
  • minimal iso has less going on (startup and background)
  • minimal has simple cdupdate.sh, SystemRescueCD supports different methods, might be the same, but it would need change of existing infrastructure.
  • in some environments this makes a big difference (technically maybe small, but political it can be huge)
  • SystemRescueCD is clearly superior when doing a desktop install (as long as you have the bandwidth)
  • For a headless server install minimal is clearly the winner

If the official stance from Gentoo is "use SystemRescueCD instead of minimal", then please remove minimal.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Download minimal ISO, run rm on it. Done.

Quote:
For a headless server install minimal is clearly the winner


How is that? Every computer enthusiast already has SystemRescue on a USB stick. Why bother downloading minimal if it has no advantage?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NiXZe wrote:
fedeliallalinea wrote:
hypnoes wrote:
So why gentoo install img dont support efi boot by default? Any particular reason?

Only minimal cd not support uefi, but livedvd yes.


Hi,
I think the question still remains, why does the minimal iso not support EFI boot?
Is it some technical detail? is it deemed being to large? or has there just not been any time spent on it?

I have been able to modify the minimal ISO to support EFI, modifications made to the script I'm using to rebuild the iso can be found at: https://github.com/ASoft-se/Gentoo-HAI/commit/fc81fee780f85273a92377e3f56355d6a0cd811b (also the commit before it is needed, which copies grub from SystemRescueCD)

I think most are fine with using SystemRescueCD for EFI, but it would still be nice to understand the reasons behind the minimal not supporting EFI.

I assume there is no support for EFI in the Minimal ISO simply because the Gentoo developer(s) responsible for creating the Minimal ISO has/have not had the time to do it, or does/do not have the enthusiasm to do it. I have no idea how to contact the person(s) responsible for creating the Minimal ISO, but you could file a bug report in the Gentoo Bugzilla and post your link in that report. Perhaps that bug report would be seen by the person(s) responsible for the Minimal ISO.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fitzcarraldo wrote:
... I have no idea how to contact the person(s) responsible for creating the Minimal ISO, but you could file a bug report in the Gentoo Bugzilla and post your link in that report. Perhaps that bug report would be seen by the person(s) responsible for the Minimal ISO.
It's the Release Engineering project. Contact information is on the linked project page.

++ on filing a bug.

- John
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NiXZe
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have gotten great feedback on IRC, also thanks John R. Graham and Fitzcarraldo for answering appropriately. (I really hope the community could be more constructive when someone tries to improve on things)

There seems to have been great work done on this in just the last few weeks/days https://gitweb.gentoo.org/proj/catalyst.git/commit/?id=f21f16418c91c5b5601aa6c7927f47c57f8d2d66 is one example.
There might still be issues in how the ISO is generated, but now I know where to look, and get this fixed properly one step at a time.

Thanks
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be fantastic if the releng team released a new 64 bit uefi bootable iso that also offered efi-32. There's several generations of hardware that run intel atom and bay trail cpu's that are incapable of booting from a 64 bit uefi binary. I've been tinkering with an old windows tablet trying to install gentoo but despite the amount of experience i have have had little success.

The hybrid livedvd is also over two years outdated. That should have been deleted and removed from the mainline Gentoo media offerings long ago and something new created to replace it.

While uefi has replaced legacy bios there is still a need to support legacy bios pc hardware. I still own several functional gentoo systems that do not boot uefi livecd's. Do keep that in mind when considering if the minimal livecd's that do not boot uefi mode have no benefits.

There certainly could be a benefit for creating new gentoo offered uefi bootable minimal livecd's as long as legacy bios hardware is still supported.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ali3nx wrote:
It would be fantastic if the releng team released a new 64 bit uefi bootable iso that also offered efi-32.

It seems that this is what they have done, at least as far as the bootloader goes, can't say anything about the kernel.

ali3nx wrote:

While uefi has replaced legacy bios there is still a need to support legacy bios pc hardware. I still own several functional gentoo systems that do not boot uefi livecd's. Do keep that in mind when considering if the minimal livecd's that do not boot uefi mode have no benefits.

There certainly could be a benefit for creating new gentoo offered uefi bootable minimal livecd's as long as legacy bios hardware is still supported.

Of course both should work from the same time and I'm sure that is the intent, at least I will "regtest" this myself and make sure that it does. (will however probably not test 32 bit)
My rebuild of the ISO from above should work just fine with both pcbios and efi64 as it is. (just like SystemRescueCD)
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never thought of it before, but the idea of removing the minimal iso sounds great. In fact, I would support removing all boot images from Gentoo and recommend the system rescue cd instead.

Newbies tend to think the installer image is magical when it's not. I used the installer iso the first time I installed Gentoo, and then never again after that. I also use the system rescue cd as a precursor to installing pretty much any other distro as well, because distros like Ubuntu tend to want you to format their stupid partition map way or use that crappy gparted monstrosity.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

why anyone wish remove minimal cd because a user is doing a mistake?
user need uefi it should not use minimalcd, but because user is doing the mistake, let's remove minimalcd then...

with that logic, we will remove 486, 686... build, because some users may wish amd64 image and keep downloading the wrong one.
i see myself an usage of something tag as "minimal" that... lack something(!), i see less usage if we start adding uefi64 and 32, and then a GUI, and a cdrecorder, and firefox, libreoffice, some video editing and and and...
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

krinn wrote:
with that logic, we will remove 486, 686... build, because some users may wish amd64 image and keep downloading the wrong one.
i see myself an usage of something tag as "minimal" that... lack something(!), i see less usage if we start adding uefi64 and 32, and then a GUI, and a cdrecorder, and firefox, libreoffice, some video editing and and and...

The minimal cd is different. It is less capable but also out of date. It should be removed if it is not updated. If space is th3e consideration, it should be renamed the legacy install cd. This is quite different from not supporting different microprocessors. MINIMALLY, the installation guide should make very clear that it is for legacy boot installation ONLY.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The minimal install CD is not outdated, it has btrfs-progs 4.17. :)
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally speaking when you install a Linux distro, you use the installer CD and it just works. Gentoo's installer works...unless you have current hardware??!?

The minimal iso only works for the older hardware, if you want to use EFI boot (which has been around for quite awhile) you need to read further and then .... Go use a disk not made by gentoo.org?

The truth is that Gentoo does not need an installer image at all with the way the handbook is setup. It would be extremely easy to modify the documentation to specify the system rescue cd. Then we're using an image which is maintained for system rescue, which is useful after the install. And Gentoo no longer needs to maintain two installer images. I'm sure they'd rather go do something else.

IMO it's better to not have something than it is to have half of something.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ayeyes, it's two years old, by definition it's out of date. Try updating a two year old system. It can be done, but it's not easy.

1clue, I quite agree. However instead of specifying, I'd like recommending.
BTW, for years before discovering sysrescuecd, I used Knoppix to install.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I performed my first iteration of installs on my laptops that use (u)EFI using ... Ubuntu.

Main reason I did was that when I first started doing all this, I looked at SRCD, and, while it had a lot of good tolls (which I had no need of during the bare metal installs) it is also set up to use a very old desktop profile, so trying to update anything on the installation medium itself (booted via USB) is well nigh impossible. 2 of my machines are laptops using (u)EFI and the third is a multi-monitor desktop using BIOS.

But, then I got smart(er). I used my desktop to SSH into the laptops and perform the installs, thereby skipping even loading X on SRCD and remaining at cli through the initial reboot, and even beyond. It worked out pretty well.

SRCD also has one other massive problem (at least for me) - it will only use a single monitor on your system when loading X. So, when I made my final set up ready to install on my desktop, I opted to use the Gentoo Live DVD instead.

While it would be nice if a new Live DVD was built, I'm obviously not gonna hold my breath for it. I could have just as easily used the latest minimal disc for the desktop (which is dated all of 4 days ago) but since I'm performing this install as a bare metal install as well, I opted to use the Live DVD for dual monitors, load up my configs, package files, etc from previous uses, and then have a terminal on one monitor and Firefox and various text files on the other - copy & paste, copy & paste, ad nauseum.

But I have to agree that the lack of inclusion for EFI booting on the minimal disc is a bit disconcerting, especially as it is the de facto method of booting on desktops and laptops for at least the last 5 years, and it is absolutely simple to get it to work (or, I should say more appropriately, seeing that I haven't performed 1000s of installs to base that statement on: at least it has been in my case).

I suspect, though, that maintaining compatibility across all the different vendors out there, using their 'tweaked' (u)EFI implementations, is what is causing the majority of the issue.

One thing I was able to do on both of my laptops was to boot via (u)EFI with secure boot enabled - on both - and then set up the laptops so they, also, booted with secure boot enabled. Perhaps newer machines have made it a lot harder to boot with secure boot enabled, forcing the user to jump through hoops to in order to boot a (u)EFI-enabled distro? I know that when I went reading on (u)EFI booting instructions on almost every other distro out there, the same piece of advice was given over and over and over: Disable secure boot....

Either that, or else the maintainer is simply using 10 year old hardware like my desktop :p
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess there's the main difference for me. I don't use X during installs at all. I have 2 boxes with guis and dozens of installs without guis, either on bare metal or VMs. Most of my hardware I install on is in a different location than I am, so I'm using IPMI or some virtual console when I install. The install is almost guaranteed to be on a headless server and will never have a gui on it.

I've been using srcd to do at least part of my installs for so long that I never really noticed how odd it was, or maybe I didn't remember how odd it was when I first found out that was the procedure for uefi systems.


Speaking to requirements, I don't know that a recent desktop on an installer is all that important. IMO the choices would be:

MINIMAL: No gui, but every conceivable tool that might be needed to install a box using the command line, for any boot mode.
FULL: Add gui tools to that.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While you can, of course, install without a GUI, a web browser is very useful for reading the manual or doing a web search to look something up. I also don't share your aversion to gparted. I have used Lynx but I'd rather have a root canal without Novocaine.

The installed system doesn't have to have a GUI, but it's handy for the installer.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony0945 wrote:
While you can, of course, install without a GUI, a web browser is very useful for reading the manual or doing a web search to look something up. I also don't share your aversion to gparted. I have used Lynx but I'd rather have a root canal without Novocaine.

The installed system doesn't have to have a GUI, but it's handy for the installer.


What's wrong with gdisk or fdisk?

I'm almost always installing by remote. My desktop has a gui. I use the browser from there. I can see where if I were to install directly on the hardware, I would want the gui to at least be available.

Most of the systems I touch have never had a keyboard, monitor or mouse attached.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gdisk and fdisk are, of course, perfectly usable, especially for a first time installation. gparted is handy for moving or shortening existing partitions.

I usually install at the machine. Your method is fine for remote installation. I assume you have a helper to insert the CD/USB stick and power on the machine. Or your at the machine with a laptop. I normally work in my basement. Sometimes in a friend's home. Once I brought a friend's hard drive home and stuck it in one of my machines. That was a lengthy install as I gave him three Linuxes to experiment with, RedHat (this was pre-systemd), Puppy Linux (he wanted it) and Gentoo, selectable by grub legacy menu.
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