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Fedora 29 To Fully Embrace The FreeDesktop.org Boot Loader Specification

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  • Fedora 29 To Fully Embrace The FreeDesktop.org Boot Loader Specification

    Phoronix: Fedora 29 To Fully Embrace The FreeDesktop.org Boot Loader Specification

    Adding to the growing list of features for Fedora 29 is a plan to fully support the FreeDesktop.org Boot Loader Specification and making use of their defined fragment files to populate boot-loader boot menu entries, including the kernel entries...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ot-Loader-Spec

  • #2
    Wow, so after this change the limitation that /boot cannot be on a Btrfs partition can possibly be lifted since Grub2 already supported booting from Btrfs default subvolume and grubby was the bottleneck

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    • #3
      I was about to say that bootloaders are obsolete nowadays since you can just skip them and boot straight into Linux from UEFI, then I read this section:

      Why not simply rely on the EFI boot menu logic?

      The EFI specification provides a boot options logic that can offer similar functionality. Here's why we think that it is not enough for our uses:
      • The various EFI implementations implement the boot order/boot item logic to different levels. Some firmware implementations do not offer a boot menu at all and instead unconditionally follow the EFI boot order, booting the first item that is working.
      • If the firmware setup is used to reset all data usually all EFI boot entries are lost, making the system entirely unbootable, as the firmware setups generally do not offer a UI to define additional boot items. By placing the menu item information on disk it is always available, regardless if the BIOS setup data is lost.
      • Harddisk images should be moveable between machines and be bootable without requiring explicit EFI variables to be set. This also requires that the list of boot options is defined on disk, and not in EFI variables alone.
      • EFI is not universal yet (especially on non-x86 platforms), this specification is useful both for EFI and non-EFI boot loaders.
      • Many EFI systems disable USB support during early boot to optimize boot times, thus making keyboard input unavailable in the EFI menu. It is thus useful if the OS UI has a standardized way to discover available boot options which can be booted to.
      Most of these are due to a shitty UEFI payload, better Coreboot/Libreboot support for modern hardware can't come soon enough.
      Really looking forward to when tianocore is more mature and has more features.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
        Wow, so after this change the limitation that /boot cannot be on a Btrfs partition can possibly be lifted since Grub2 already supported booting from Btrfs default subvolume and grubby was the bottleneck
        If they don't drop btrfs alltogether in the meantime...
        ## VGA ##
        AMD: X1950XTX, HD3870, HD5870
        Intel: GMA45, HD3000 (Core i5 2500K)

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        • #5
          Interesting. I would have supported EFI booting myself. There will always be failure points and this includes files on disk. However therecappears ao be much simplification and improvement here so maybe it is the right path.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by johanb View Post
            Most of these are due to a shitty UEFI payload, better Coreboot/Libreboot support for modern hardware can't come soon enough.
            It's going to be a long wait, Intel has basically locked down that and made it obsolete with the FSP firmwares (that are of course not available unless you are a large OEM that can pay for the privilege)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
              Wow, so after this change the limitation that /boot cannot be on a Btrfs partition can possibly be lifted since Grub2 already supported booting from Btrfs default subvolume and grubby was the bottleneck
              wtf?! grubby?!

              why the heck do they even need to use an abstraction layer to manipulate their own distro's bootloder? Does fedora even use more than one bootloader? I thought GRUB2 could run on any architecture.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by johanb View Post
                I was about to say that bootloaders are obsolete nowadays since you can just skip them and boot straight into Linux from UEFI, then I read this section:



                Most of these are due to a shitty UEFI payload, better Coreboot/Libreboot support for modern hardware can't come soon enough.
                Really looking forward to when tianocore is more mature and has more features.
                By most, you mean 2.5/5?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by brrrrttttt View Post
                  By most, you mean 2.5/5?
                  Well, pretty much all of them are related to some extent IMO.

                  • The various EFI implementations implement the boot order/boot item logic to different levels. Some firmware implementations do not offer a boot menu at all and instead unconditionally follow the EFI boot order, booting the first item that is working.
                  All desktop motherboards and most laptops have these features, but some x86 tablets do not and pretty much all non-x86 platforms do not care about these features in their payload.
                  If we had coreboot on those devices we could choose any payload we want on these devices such as tianocore/seabios or even develop your own.

                  • If the firmware setup is used to reset all data usually all EFI boot entries are lost, making the system entirely unbootable, as the firmware setups generally do not offer a UI to define additional boot items. By placing the menu item information on disk it is always available, regardless if the BIOS setup data is lost.
                  I have had this issue on my previous motherboard after a EFI upgrade, completely removed all boot entries except for my windows entry.
                  Had to get a live-usb to be able to boot my linux distro again.
                  When I updated my current AMD motherboard I did not have that issue though so at least it doesn't seem like it's common practice on most EFI implementations.

                  If we had coreboot we could choose to not use payloads which do not do such a critical thing without warning you.

                  • Harddisk images should be moveable between machines and be bootable without requiring explicit EFI variables to be set. This also requires that the list of boot options is defined on disk, and not in EFI variables alone.
                  Would be nice to be have a feature to be able to export and import the EFI boot entry list (as well possibly also other EFI settings).

                  • EFI is not universal yet (especially on non-x86 platforms), this specification is useful both for EFI and non-EFI boot loaders.
                  Example of how EFI is not mature enough on non-x86 platforms.
                  There's not any coreboot support at all for non-x86 platforms as far as I know so it's hard for free software developers to improve this.

                  • Many EFI systems disable USB support during early boot to optimize boot times, thus making keyboard input unavailable in the EFI menu. It is thus useful if the OS UI has a standardized way to discover available boot options which can be booted to.
                  IMO it is insane to be to not be able to easily choose boot drive, an example of a bad EFI implementation.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by brrrrttttt View Post
                    By most, you mean 2.5/5?
                    Only one that can be seen as unrelated is 4 (EFI is not universal), and imho isn't a bad thing to begin with.
                    BIOS could (and did) do fine on all other points.
                    uboot is 100% better than UEFI even on x86 (if it was even possible at all outside of specific x86-based products)

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