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Fedora Developers Discussing Possibility Of Dropping Legacy BIOS Support

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  • #21
    Fedora developers must be really stupid to propose such a thing.
    There are too many BIOS-only computers out there which are still working fine.
    Even on UEFI-capable computers something you have to dual-boot and the other OS requires BIOS so you must set to the owest common denominator which is BIOS.
    But yeah, some distros just like to shoot themselves in the foot.
    Just that I'm used to Ubuntu being that one.

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    • #22
      A couple things about this: GRUB has a lot of limitations with EFI booting, and Fedora developers already know this. Shim is a band-aid. Systemd-boot is built for UEFI booting though. You can boot systemd-boot with only 2 partitions: ESP and root. Systemd-boot requires an ESP, and must be formatted as FAT because it's part of the UEFI spec. With GRUB, you need a separate boot partition, and nested boot and ESP partitions aren't even recommended by the BLS although that's the typical setup for GRUB. Systemd-boot really is the simpler option over GRUB.

      One of the big problems that Fedora has done to themselves is that they build all of their images around GRUB. There's no flexibility with Anaconda in detecting the system boot mode and configuring an optimal bootloader preference based on what boot mode the system is in - either BIOS/MBR or UEFI/GPT. If they coded this in, they could preserve GRUB for BIOS boot and use systemd-boot for UEFI, but it's a lot of work for lesser and lesser return over time, since BIOS-only desktop and laptop systems have been deprecated pretty much since Windows 8.0 started shipping 8 years ago. When that happened, all OEM PC systems had to ship with UEFI (and Secure Boot, although that's a different part of the spec) to meet Microsoft's Windows Logo hardware certification program. Of course, server systems are a different story because they don't run desktop operating systems, but even so, most server systems from quite a number of years ago has shipped with at least a lower-spec hybrid UEFI and any recent server system will have UEFI 2.1 or newer. Core 2 motherboards from Intel had UEFI boot support and Microsoft has supported it since Vista SP1.

      There's a good writeup about this from a while back on Fedora Magazine: https://fedoramagazine.org/learning-...em-for-fedora/

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Danny3 View Post
        Fedora developers must be really stupid to propose such a thing.
        ...
        But yeah, some distros just like to shoot themselves in the foot.
        Why don't you read the thread before making the exact same comment that 10 other people already made? In particular, this post:

        Originally posted by RahulSundaram View Post
        Keep in mind, it is a public mailing list and anyone can post ideas. This is a volunteer contributor posting his personal idea.
        Last edited by tildearrow; 06-30-2020, 02:54 PM.

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        • #24
          Dropping legacy support is an interesting choice. And basically nonsense if they want a testbed for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux. I still know bad UEFI implementations using whitelisted EFI binaries, a "normal" user will be unable to boot from those systems. But Fedora could be on a whitelist if they are lucky - mainly found on Acer laptops.

          The next thing would be: do they want to support updates to a system installed in legacy mode? Converting to EFI is possible, did that several times, but this usually needs deeper UEFI knowledge - especially if the EFI binary is not found automatically...

          But if they really require UEFI, why not force the users to enable secure boot? Some Fedora devs really like to secure everything the maximum possible way - even if it could be hacked anyway. If an attacker gains root I am 100 % sure on the next boot there is no diff if signed kernel modules are enforced at the beginning or not.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by peterdk View Post

            Yeah, it's set to AHCI, I use ZFS for the HDD's. But I just couldn't select anything in the boot settings, also no boot ordering of HDD, just nothing. I have only Asrock boards for the past 5 years, and I really like them in general. Never had a real issue. But yeah, maybe next time I will look to a bit more premium brand.
            Asus boards are usually good, but MSI is like the cheaper alternative in relation to specs for your dollar. Don't skimp out and get a budget board though - every company makes cheap, shitty boards. Cheap Asus boards will just cost more for the brand. I only recommend buying mid-range and higher stuff if you're going to buy separate components, otherwise you're better off getting an OEM prebuilt system to save money (building cheap PC's rarely provides a good ROI anymore). Stay away from any retail parts with only a 1 year warranty (they should have minimum 3 years due to higher QA), and whatever you do, don't buy "OEM" RAM (like Samsung) or hard drives - good luck getting any warranty service for them.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by peterdk View Post

              Yeah I did the update. Didn't change anything. Ubuntu 20.04 is on the SATA SSD. I assume there is no special setting you need for being bootable by efi? Or does GRUB need to know about it and prepare some files? Anyway, will contact Asrock indeed.
              Is this a drive from another system that already had an OS on it?

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Giovanni Fabbro View Post

                Is this a drive from another system that already had an OS on it?
                Yes indeed. I am reading a bit about the UEFI part. I think it was not visible because it has no EFI partition and is a old style install.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by peterdk View Post
                  All 6 sata drives are not visible to the bios in UEFI.
                  Read your manual. This is common behavior in modern AMD mobos. If you populate the NVMe slots, some of the SATA connectors will not be available.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by eydee View Post
                    Considering that Fedora isn't a general use case home desktop, it's fine. If grandma buys a cheap laptop that is switched to legacy mode by default, as it ships with FreeDOS, the chances of grandma attempting to install Fedora instead and failing in the process is quite low. This would be more impactful for something like Ubuntu and friends, that are trying to catch computer illiterate folk too.

                    Virtualization is just a temporary issue. If demand for proper EFI supports grows, it's gonna be sorted out eventually.
                    Is this even an issue? Virtualbox is pretty shitty, but KVM supports EFI booting, and most distros have packages for OVMF which is a QEMU port of TianoCore, itself an open-source implementation of the UEFI. It's more-or-less a "full" UEFI implementation (full-enough for KVM, that is) that supports Linux, Windows, and BSD guest booting. From what I've read, Apple is adding support for VirtIO in macOS. Some people may be reading too much into this though, since they already have a "Hypervisor" for application development, likely to help with sandboxing apps as indicated here: https://developer.apple.com/documentation/hypervisor

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Giovanni Fabbro View Post
                      But also, Asrock boards are pretty much trash...
                      I do not own an ASRock board right now but compared to ASUS the UEFI implentation of Sandy/Ivy Bridge was certainly better. Also I don't know of any Kanotix user which had so bad experience with this brand. In my experience the brand for a desktop board does not really matter. You can expect that many lowcost boards just follow the chip vendors examples and do not use extra durable parts - which might be better for OC. But even then, usually motherboards don't die so fast, and even if it really happend then it would be much more likely that the root cause was a bad (cheap) PSU.

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