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Date:      Sun, 04 Jan 2015 18:25:04 +0100
From:      Christian Baer <christian.baer@uni-dortmund.de>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD with Win7 and UEFI
Message-ID:  <3064826.yDtrE01ODY@falbala.rz1.convenimus.net>
References:  <m7hfff$hno$1@ger.gmane.org> <20141226072950.GB13694@kontrol.kode5.net> <m7p8r5$jiv$1@ger.gmane.org> <alpine.BSF.2.11.1412281227150.86113@wonkity.com> <m7uerq$nlm$1@ger.gmane.org> <20141231044849.ebf531c1.freebsd@edvax.de>

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Polytropon wrote:

>> Yes, I've read about that and the fact that it has been quite hard. This
>> actually did surprise me a bit, considering that UEFI has been around
>> for a while now.
> 
> AS/400 is around since the 1980's, and still I can't find
> a Linux or BSD that will run on it. ;-)

There is no support for VAX either and that has been around even longer. :-P

In Germany we'd say, this comparison is limping, because although quite 
entertaining, it doesn't quite get the essence of the problem. Meaning: 
While FreeBSD does not target AS/400, VAX or any PDP (just to get really 
ancient here :-)) architecture, it is aimed at modern PCs like AMD64, Intel-
i or in my case Intel XEON based. Supporting UEFI is therefore a necessity 
since BIOS will probably die out sooner or later.

Relax, I don't want to argue this through now and I understand your comment 
was meant as a joke. I just wanted to point out that UEFI is something we 
are going to have to deal with, whether we like it or not.
 
> The problem with UEFI seems to be that, even though there
> is documentation and attempts of standards, it's still a
> tricky black box, and manufacturers don't want to tell what
> goes on in their "micro OS" BIOS replacement.

The usual problem of missing specs and documentation. I think this problem 
has been around since the rise of open source software and probably before 
that. OS/2 suffered from missing hardware support for similar reasons.

I'm not sure when this arose though. I remember the documentation of my 
Epson EX-800 was rather lousy (as in noone really wanted to write that 
document and the result was what the customer go anyway), but it was enough 
for me to write a well working driver for my C=64. There was software around 
that could make the printer work (like PrintFox or PageFox), but what was 
missing was something that printed out pictures or graphics in colour. So I 
sat down and wrote something that worked. :-)

When did the manufacturers start making a secret of everything?

> Using the traditional FreeBSD boot manager would surely
> be the more appealing option. Depending on if you can try
> to use MBR partitioning instead of GPT (and therefore,
> using the boot0 boot manager with MBR), this might be
> worth a try. UEFI seemed to support both MBR and GPT.
> But this is just a W.A.G., I don't have any UEFI hardware
> here to verify, and I'm not a "multi-booter" anymrore,
> sorry.

Relax! I appreciate any help or ideas I get here. I don't expect you to try 
them out for me.

Is boot0 the prefered way to go? Or are there other tools I should take a 
look at?

At work I sit at a Linux machine and really don't miss Windows at all. The 
only time when I think Windows could do something better is when I try to do 
something non-standard. Those things usually work pretty easily under 
Windows.

Example:
I have never run into trouble installing the driver for my graphics board 
under Windows. Under FreeBSD? Different story. As it seems the Linux compat 
changed and now the driver won't compile because the required Linux compat 
is missing. Taking the Linux support out of the options when compiling lets 
it compile and be installed, but it won't load just the same. When I figured 
out what the problem was, I deinstalled the driver and reinstalled it via 
pkg install, which also installed the required Linux libs. I am expecting to 
run into trouble with that in the near future because the UPDATING files say 
I should only use the new versions.

I will be spending most of my time under FreeBSD anyway. For gaming however, 
I have to boot Windows. :-)

> This is the typical limitation by UEFI. If you can use
> FreeBSD's boot manager, a default will be available which
> will boot the desired FreeBSD if no action is taken at
> system startup. But as far as I understand, this will
> require MBR partitioning in combination with UEFI...

I hope this also works for the combo BIOS/MBR.

Best,
Chris




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