Linux 3.6 Kernel Adds EFI Handover Protocol
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 27 July 2012 at 09:33 AM EDT. Add A Comment
The in-development Linux 3.6 kernel introduces an EFI handover protocol, which will ultimately lead to faster boot-ups and simpler EFI boot-loaders.

Right now EFI boot-loaders and the EFI boot stub in the Linux kernel carry the same initialization code to setup an EFI machine for booting the kernel. However, with this EFI handover protocol support, this redundant code could be eliminated. Intel and others want to have the initialization and booting of the kernel just within the kernel's EFI boot stuff than also copied within the boot-loader.

The Linux 3.6 kernel provides the handover protocol support on the kernel side but the EFI boot-loaders need to be update to support the EFI handover protocol entry point. When they do have this support, the responsibilty of EFI boot-loaders come down to just loading the kernel image from the boot media and providing any user-interface for boot menu options (e.g. selecting different kernels).

This support was merged into the kernel for Linux 3.6 with this merge window pull. Additional EFI handover protocol information can be found from the patchwork.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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