Sunday, October 9, 2011

EFI ➫ Fedora

Ain't unicode chars nice? :)

Finally, after much work EFI (much thanks to the anaconda team and all those testers) support is quite mature in Fedora 16 Beta. There are still some issues (➫ bugzilla) but in general it's working.

Hardware: It's not easy to see if your hardware supports EFI booting, best is took in your BIOS and see if the magic EFI keyword appears somewhere.

Boot media: If you want to try out an EFI boot media you've got two or three common ways of doing so.
  1. First you try the Fedora 16 Beta DVD or netinst images.
    You can write those images to a DVD using nautilus (right click on the iso ...).
    Note: If you want to use them via a USB-stick you need to use the livecd-iso-to-disk tool, part of the  livecd-tools package. Also remember to pass the --efi switch. In generall it should look somewhat like the following example:
  2. $ sudo livecd-iso-to-disk --format --efi \
      Fedora16-DVD.iso  /dev/sdg

  3. The other way is to use the efidisk.img which can be found in the images directory of the DVD images. This image can be written to a USB-stick using dd:
    $ sudo dd if=efidisk.img of=/dev/sdg

Also note that the LiveCD images are not yet now bootable on a native EFI system.  Normally those systems will fall back to a legacy BIOS boot, which also makes it hard to determine if a system is booted via EFI or BIOS. (The path /sys/firmware/efi exists on systems booted via EFI)

EFI plus some boot optimizations can then finally lead to quick boot process.

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