[lfs-support] Help with Installing to UEFI Motherboard

Alan Feuerbacher alanf00 at comcast.net
Sun Nov 17 14:10:57 PST 2013

On 11/16/2013 6:10 PM, Dan McGhee wrote:

> If I can't make any head-way in the next few days, I'm going to install
> a minimal ArchLinux system and try the various GRUB options.  I don't
> think they sign their kernels--see last paragraph--and that will test
> the GRUB stuff.

About 3 weeks ago, as part of my attempt to learn about UEFI stuff, I 
successfully installed ArchLinux on another hard drive. I did a lot of 
reading about UEFI on their website. The installation used their 
gummiboot boot manager.

> @Alan
> Did you remove GRUB from your MBR Protected Layer or are you still using
> it?

I never installed it. Following ArchLinux and the rodsbooks.com website, 
I've been trying to use the EFI Stub Loader along with Rod Smith's 
rEFInd boot manager, since he claims it's the most reliable method he's 
come across.

>  Do you use an initrd or initramfs?

I created the latter using the BLFS webpage "About initramfs":

> Did you boot your kernel
> successfully before you started these EFI experiments?

No. The LFS installation assumes you're using the standard MBR boot 
method, but I'm using what appears to be the latest methods: EFI, GPT 
and LVM. I'm trying to connect the dots.

 > Does your
> failure message come from the kernel or from the LFS bootscripts?
 > What does it say?

The kernel. It dies with a message like "... kernel panic ..."

> Must you do a "hard" reset to start over or can you use

I have to recycle the power.

For background on my comments below:
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V LK with latest BIOS update #1104
Intel i7-3770K
16G Corsair DDR3
2 Western Digital 2TB hard drives
One drive has Fedora 19 installed on it.
The other drive has all the LFS stuff on it.

I had a setback today. Up through this morning, I was able to execute 
"Launch EFI Shell from filesystem device", and to do various things in 
the EFI shell. But after making some changes to my hard drive 
arrangement several times in an attempt to get the system to boot up, 
this simply quit working. No matter what I name the EFI shell -- 
shellx64.efi and variations of that -- and no matter which hard drive I 
power up -- one or the other or both -- and no matter which SATA slot I 
plug the drive(s) into, the BIOS will not launch the EFI shell. This, 
even after I updated the BIOS again. So I've filed a technical request 
with ASUS Support to try to get some explanation, and hopefully 
documentation, on what's going on. I'm really frustrated because it's 
like the ASUS BIOS changes itself without input from me.

The really weird thing about the ASUS board is that no matter which SATA 
slot I put the hard drives in, it always finds the Fedora Linux image, 
but never the LFS image. This tells me that the BIOS is doing some 
undocumented things.

> There is only one other option that's keeping me from booting in this
> environment.  It's so distasteful that I don't even want to write it.
> But, at least in my firmware, it may be necessary for me to "sign" my
> kernel.  That's not even for "secure" boot.  I hope that's not true.

What are the implications of that? Why is it so distasteful?


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