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Re: state of EFI support live/install images

On Tue, 7 Sept 2021 at 08:40, Patrick Welche <> wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 06, 2021 at 08:22:46PM -0400, Greg Troxel wrote:
> > I am doing everything with current/amd64.

Likewise, -current as of 5th of September.
> and in my case on a Dell inspiron

I have a similar vintage (2016) HP Envy 17.

> > questions:
> >
> > 1) I'll try configuring legacy boot, but I am wondering if there is a
> > way to build a live image.

The live image works fine; I haven't tested it for a while on this
machine; I wrote the expanded .img file onto a 32GB microSD card
(connected to a USB3 adapter) and was able to boot.

> I haven't tried the live image, but just writing boot.iso to a USB key
> and booting with that worked. (NetBSD bonus vs Ubuntu, was that Ubuntu
> would only install EFI if the key was booted EFI. If the key was booted
> "BIOS" then it wouldn't install EFI. NetBSD doesn't care :-) )

Boot mode is in LEGACY mode in my case; this allows me to select
(pressing F9 at the right moment) any disk in BIOS mode or any .efi
file I can browse to. On an earlier version of the BIOS I was able to
set a specific .efi file as the default boot file; unfortunately the
latest BIOS does not allow this and lets me select only what it thinks
is bootable as default (when this was possible, I had rEFInd's
bootx64.efi file as the default, which then scans for all available
options and presents a graphical menu; now I can manually start rEFInd
as well). Apart from Windows (11 atm) and NetBSD-current, I also boot
on occasion from the second RedHat 7.4 and opensuse tumbleweed.

> > 2) It seems obvious that one has to disable secure boot in the bios to
> > boot netbsd.  Correct?  Anything else I should know?

Yes, obvious indeed.

> That was it - disable secure boot.
> > 3) any other hints?

My laptop has an M.2 SATA connected device, recognized as wd0; at a
later stage I added a second SATA disk. Both are GPT formatted, the
original HP structure is kept on wd0, wd1 is split in some 10 GPT
partitions booting three systems, one of them - the last -
NetBSD-current, installed ages ago following the manual method. I can
boot NetBSD off this disk either by selecting its own .efi file or via
rEFInd. The newly created live image is, as mentioned above, just
BIOS, so I have to select it as a device. All in all, this laptop
turned out rather well with NetBSD.

> Pleasantly surprised how easy it was to add a boot menu entry in the
> Dell BIOS to say boot _that_ efi file for this entry. (so I happen
> to have EFI/Boot/nbsd_bootx64.efi, and left otherOS as bootx64.efi)

You will find out that if you install rEFInd, set it up as the default
boot and install as many operating systems as you want, it will be
able to find them and present them for boot - not that it is really
necessary, but it looks nice.

> Cheers,
> Patrick

BTW from the newly-created live image I am able to access the Windows
partition of the primary M.2 device - which should help you with the
other task. I was also able to setup wireless networking on the live
image - although I had some weird problem to begin with
(wpa_supplicant was working, I could 'tcpdump -i iwm0' and see all
packets, but nothing responded to pings; somehow this got resolved
after I merged the rc.conf from the on-disk installation to the live
image one).



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