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UEFI Build Test

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UEFI Build Test
« on: January 01, 2016, 12:43:09 AM »
 

Jerry

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I'd like a few volunteers to test some of the UEFI builds I've been working on.  If you have a UEFI computer and would like to help test this ISO, please reply to this thread and let me know. This cannot be tested on VirtualBox, it must be installed to actual hardware.

I've added a license file to go with this - https://www.linuxliteos.com/files/EFI-LICENSE.txt You'll have to agree with this first, thank you.
 
During this test please report the following:

- Is Secure Boot and or UEFI enabled on your computer
- What install options you choose (check boxes on the installer etc)
- Whether this is a dual, multiple or single boot
- Any errors that occur during the install: please keep an eye on the installer, see where it crashes
- Screenshot any crashes or error messages

Anyone wanting to use as is where is test builds of Linux Lite with UEFI support can get them here - http://repo.linuxliteos.com/uefitests/

Notes:

- Some Grub menu items are missing/not working
- You should be able to upgrade from within a Series once this is installed
- You will need an internet connection to install this
- ISO is larger than 1.1Gb so it may not work on all BIOS's
- Lite Widget not showing Updates Status
- Please check the rest of this thread before asking any questions

This is no indication that LL will start producing Linux Lite with UEFI support, this is simply an experimental project and perhaps the only chance to get a Linux Lite stable UEFI build.



Thank you in advance, Jerry :)
Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 01:29:53 AM by Jerry
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Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2016, 01:09:22 AM »
 

m654321

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This was very welcome news, Jerry.

I'd be more than happy to see if this works on my AsusG750js - I have a spare drive to set it up on.

Cheers & a Very Happy New Year!

Best wishes
Mike
Left WinXP in 2014, moving to LL1.08 after trying lots of distros. Family's laptops (in order of manufacture year) are given below. All use a 64bit OS installed on an MBR (msdos/ext4) formatted SSD.  
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(4) 2007 - Dell Latitude D630 (2cores 0threads) ~ Intel T7100@1.8GHz - LL3.8 / Manjaro / Win7 triple-boot - LL really zippy !
 

Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2016, 01:12:48 AM »
 

Jerry

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I've added a license file to go with this, necessary to ensure this stays as a private test - https://www.linuxliteos.com/files/EFI-LICENSE.txt You'll have to agree with this first, thank you. You will need to install Filezilla to access the ISO.

Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get install filezilla
Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 01:14:47 AM by Jerry
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Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2016, 07:20:34 AM »
 

m654321

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Quote
I've added a license file to go with this, necessary to ensure this stays as a private test - https://www.linuxliteos.com/files/EFI-LICENSE.txt You'll have to agree with this first, thank you.

The only caveat is that I wont be able to do this immediately, due to work pressures.  However, I will give it a go during my next block of holiday, which will be towards the end of March, if not before.

Mike
         
Left WinXP in 2014, moving to LL1.08 after trying lots of distros. Family's laptops (in order of manufacture year) are given below. All use a 64bit OS installed on an MBR (msdos/ext4) formatted SSD.  
(1) 2014 - Asus G750JS (4cores 8threads) ~ Intel Core i7-4710HQ@2.5GHz - LL3.8 multiboot - LL was working perfectly
(2) 2011 - Samsung NP-N145 Plus (1core 2threads) ~ Intel Atom N455@1.66GHz - Manjaro - LL2.8 previously worked very well, but LL3.x lagged
(3) 2008 - Asus X71Q (2cores 0threads) ~ Intel T3200@2.0GHz - LL3.8 working well
(4) 2007 - Dell Latitude D630 (2cores 0threads) ~ Intel T7100@1.8GHz - LL3.8 / Manjaro / Win7 triple-boot - LL really zippy !
 

Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2016, 07:22:42 AM »
 

Jerry

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I'd say the test will be well over by then. Cheers anyway.

Folks if you want UEFI, we need volunteers. If I don't get enough, it simply won't happen.
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Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2016, 08:27:07 AM »
 

gold_finger

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Really, really wish I could help out on this but I don't have a UEFI computer.  Sorry.
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Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2016, 08:32:48 AM »
 

Jerry

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Not a problem gold_finger, appreciate the reply :)
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Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2016, 11:59:12 AM »
 

avj

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I wish I could help, but all of my hardware is too old.  It seems like a perfect chance to be part of a major step in bringing Linux Lite to more people who are using the newer versions of windows.
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Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2016, 11:59:49 AM »
 

technomancer

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I have a UEFI computer ASUS GL551JM I can test on.
I have limited knowledge of UEFI, but am willing to learn and
offer my time to test and post results appropriately.
I am familiar with FTP. Ready to test !
Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 12:46:59 PM by technomancer
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Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2016, 04:13:53 PM »
 

Jerry

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Excellent. In the interests of keeping this as simple as possible, I would recommend you use a spare hard drive for these tests. If you want to use an existing hard drive already in your pc thats ok too, I just don't have the time to go through any hiccups you may encounter with existing data. We just need to concentrate on this UEFI thing only. If this ends up working on half a dozen different pc's or more, that's conformation enough for me. Cheers :)
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Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2016, 05:02:05 PM »
 

gold_finger

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@ technomancer and anyone else who may try UEFI install,

Although I don't have a UEFI computer myself, I've guided many, many people through that type of install.  Below are a few pointers.  If you run into problems, post back and I may be able to help.

Like Jerry said, if you have a spare drive use that so no risk of wiping out your main drive.  Boot the LL dvd/usb and open a terminal to make sure it got booted in UEFI mode by entering this command:
Code: [Select]
ls /sys/firmwareIf you see "efi" listed in the output, you're booted correctly in UEFI mode.  If not, you're booted in Legacy mode.  Boot again and try to find a boot option specifying UEFI/EFI for the dvd/usb.  (The dvd/usb will install in same mode that it got booted in, so you need to make sure it's booted in UEFI mode before installing.  Otherwise, it will install and work in Legacy mode and you will probably not realize that is what happened.)

Once boot mode is confirmed, run installer.  If you pick first option to erase and use the whole disk, the installer should automatically create the necessary partitions: a FAT32 "EFI System Partition", an "Ext4" root partition and a swap partition.  Try that option first to see if all works well.

If you feel adventurous and want to run another test to create partitions manually and add a home partition, go ahead and do that, but don't forget to create a small (550MB), FAT32 partition near beginning of drive.  Set mount point to "/boot/efi" and make the "Device for boot loader installation" point to that partition instead of the default "/dev/sda".

If all went well with tests and you want to try dual-boot with Windows, clone Windows to spare drive (keeping original untouched), then follow this tutorial:  http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=163126

If don't have spare drive make sure you have a means of restoring Windows (if that's what is on the computer) before you run test install of LL.  There are tutorials on the Windows forums for creating a new install/restore USB.  Search there and create one if you don't already have this done.
Windows 7 Forums
Windows 8 Forums
Windows 10 Forums


P.s.
If install seems to go well but computer won't boot into it, go into your UEFI/Bios settings and make sure it is set to UEFI mode booting.  (Might not be a bad idea to disable "Secure Boot" also, just in case that is causing the problem.)
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Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2016, 06:36:54 PM »
 

Coastie

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I may be off topic but I still don't understand this problem. I installed LL 2.6 on this new computer with the help of ASUS. I did not understand how to change the boot order since it does not have the good old BIOS so it would boot from a DVD (or USB) before the hard drive. Once they talked me through changing the boot order, LL installed with no problems. Would a UEFI build change the boot order?  :-\


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Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2016, 07:29:46 PM »
 

technomancer

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I have a spare SATA HDD 250GB, and will install fresh everytime. I understand this is only related to testing UEFI.
All i need now is a copy of the build. I agree to the terms.
Thank you gold_finger for the tips !

Excellent. In the interests of keeping this as simple as possible, I would recommend you use a spare hard drive for these tests. If you want to use an existing hard drive already in your pc thats ok too, I just don't have the time to go through any hiccups you may encounter with existing data. We just need to concentrate on this UEFI thing only. If this ends up working on half a dozen different pc's or more, that's conformation enough for me. Cheers :)
@ technomancer and anyone else who may try UEFI install,

Although I don't have a UEFI computer myself, I've guided many, many people through that type of install.  Below are a few pointers.  If you run into problems, post back and I may be able to help.

Like Jerry said, if you have a spare drive use that so no risk of wiping out your main drive.  Boot the LL dvd/usb and open a terminal to make sure it got booted in UEFI mode by entering this command:
Code: [Select]
ls /sys/firmwareIf you see "efi" listed in the output, you're booted correctly in UEFI mode.  If not, you're booted in Legacy mode.  Boot again and try to find a boot option specifying UEFI/EFI for the dvd/usb.  (The dvd/usb will install in same mode that it got booted in, so you need to make sure it's booted in UEFI mode before installing.  Otherwise, it will install and work in Legacy mode and you will probably not realize that is what happened.)

Once boot mode is confirmed, run installer.  If you pick first option to erase and use the whole disk, the installer should automatically create the necessary partitions: a FAT32 "EFI System Partition", an "Ext4" root partition and a swap partition.  Try that option first to see if all works well.

If you feel adventurous and want to run another test to create partitions manually and add a home partition, go ahead and do that, but don't forget to create a small (550MB), FAT32 partition near beginning of drive.  Set mount point to "/boot/efi" and make the "Device for boot loader installation" point to that partition instead of the default "/dev/sda".

If all went well with tests and you want to try dual-boot with Windows, clone Windows to spare drive (keeping original untouched), then follow this tutorial:  http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=163126

If don't have spare drive make sure you have a means of restoring Windows (if that's what is on the computer) before you run test install of LL.  There are tutorials on the Windows forums for creating a new install/restore USB.  Search there and create one if you don't already have this done.
Windows 7 Forums
Windows 8 Forums
Windows 10 Forums


P.s.
If install seems to go well but computer won't boot into it, go into your UEFI/Bios settings and make sure it is set to UEFI mode booting.  (Might not be a bad idea to disable "Secure Boot" also, just in case that is causing the problem.)
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Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2016, 10:59:01 PM »
 

gold_finger

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I may be off topic but I still don't understand this problem. I installed LL 2.6 on this new computer with the help of ASUS. I did not understand how to change the boot order since it does not have the good old BIOS so it would boot from a DVD (or USB) before the hard drive. Once they talked me through changing the boot order, LL installed with no problems. Would a UEFI build change the boot order?  :-\

In a word -- No.


Some basics:

After powering on the computer, firmware built into the motherboard handles the initial boot process.  It performs basic tests of components to make sure all is well, then passes on responsibility to complete the boot process to operating system boot loaders on the hard drive.  On older computers that firmware was called BIOS = Basic Input/Output System.  Most new computers now use firmware called UEFI = Unified Extensible Firmware Interface.  UEFI has expanded capabilities over the older BIOS firmware.

Hard drives can be formatted to use either MBR/(msdos) partitions, or GPT partitions.  MBR partitioned drives can only have 4 primary partitions, or 3 primary partitions and one extended partition that can then house multiple logical partitions to overcome the 4-partition limit.  The first 512 bytes on an MBR drive contain the Master Boot Record (MBR) and the partition table for the drive. The MBR holds initial boot loader code for installed operating system(s).  Most BIOS-based computers use MBR drives and after initial P.O.S.T. (Power On Self Test), the firmware points to the MBR of the hard drive to boot the installed operating system(s).  (Only one operation system can have initial boot code in the MBR.  The initial boot code there points to second stage boot code located elsewhere on the drive to complete the boot process and/or offer choices to boot multiple operating systems if others are installed.)

In contrast, most new computers with UEFI firmware use GPT partitioned drives.  GPT drives don't have a 4-partition limit and have other advantages over MBR drives.  Also, boot loader code is placed on a special "EFI System Partition" (ESP) instead of on the MBR and UEFI firmware points to that partition to finish booting an operation system after initial system checks are done.  The ESP can hold boot loader files for multiple operating system.  Typically the UEFI firmware will provide the user with a way to specify which operating system to use as the "default" system when booting the computer.

Not all UEFI firmware is implemented the same way -- it varies from one manufacturer to the next.  Read your computer's user manual and/or boot into the UEFI settings menu and have a look around at the different options available.  Eg.  If you have Windows on the computer and later install a Linux distro, sometimes the firmware will automatically make the last installed system (Linux) the default OS to boot into.  Others may keep Windows as the default and not show a Linux choice until you manually change that in the settings.


Now, getting back to what you stated about installing LL after talking to Asus.  I'm going to make a guess that you installed LL as the only OS on the computer and wiped-out Windows.  Is that correct?

The reason I say that is because I highly doubt that they would have known how to guide you through a UEFI dual-boot install with LL and Windows.

My guess is that you installed LL in Legacy mode, not UEFI mode.  Assuming that Windows was installed originally in UEFI mode, that would mean that the hard drive was using GPT partitions.  If you installed LL in Legacy mode, dual-booting would not work without you having to manually change boot modes depending on which OS you were trying to boot.  Since you didn't state having to do that, I'm assuming that you only have LL on the computer.

You can confirm that LL was in fact installed in Legacy mode (not UEFI mode) by running this command in a terminal:
Code: [Select]
sudo parted --list
Assuming the line "Partition Table =" says "gpt", you will likely see a small (1-16MB), unformatted partition labeled "bios_grub", (or "bios_boot") as part of the output.  The presence of that partition would confirm that you have a Legacy mode install.  (That is not a problem and does not affect the operation of LL.  I'm just pointing out that you probably don't have a UEFI mode install.  In all likelihood, the Asus people had you change the UEFI settings to use CSM/Legacy instead of UEFI.)

If "Partition Table = msdos", then you also have a Legacy mode install of LL.

P.s.
If you are dual-booting with Windows, then my guess is that both OS's are installed in Legacy mode.
Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 11:12:39 PM by gold_finger
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Re: UEFI Build Test
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2016, 11:54:50 PM »
 

Coastie

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In a word -- No. ...

If "Partition Table = msdos", then you also have a Legacy mode install of LL. ...

Thanks for the explanation, gold_finger.

Model: ATA TOSHIBA DT01ACA2 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 2000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: msdos

Number  Start       End        Size        Type         File system     Flags
 1           1049kB  1988GB  1988GB  primary     ext4                boot
 2           1988GB  2000GB  12.0GB  extended
 5           1988GB  2000GB  12.0GB  logical       linux-swap(v1)

Yes, I installed LL as the only OS on the computer and wiped-out Windows. So if you want the "advantages" of the UEFI, you need to have a UEFI a build of LL. If you are satisfied with the legacy mode, the current build is fine even it you want more than one operating system on your computer?  :-\


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