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Methods to UEFI Install Fedora 14

Methods to UEFI Install Fedora 14


Finnbarr P. Murphy
(fpm@fpmurphy.com)

Fedora 14 ( codename Laughlin) is probably the first version of Fedora which is likely to be
installed on a significant number of UEFI-enabled hardware platforms. However, you cannot do a
UEFI-install from the standard Fedora 14 distribution media such a DVD as you would on a legacy
BIOS-based platform. You have use one of a number of alternative installation procedures.

In this post I will describe three ways to do an UEFI install of 64-bit Fedora 14 on a 64-bit

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Intel-based UEFI-enabled platform. There is no technical reason that an UEFI install should not
work on 64-bit AMD platforms but I have not tested such a configuration. Since Fedora 14 is not

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yet officially released as I write this post, I used the Fedora 14 RC1 candidate images for testing
purposes but I do not think anything major relating to UEFI-installs will change prior to the formal
release of Fedora 14 in a few days.

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Although Fedora had rudimentary support for EFI/UEFI since at least Fedora 9, no mention of
such support was included in the associated Installation Guides. With Fedora 14, this has changed.
The Fedora 14 Installation Guide describes how to make a minimal UEFI boot image in section
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3.3.1 and discusses UEFI installs in section 7.1. You should read these sections of the Installation
Guide before attempting your own install. Note however that UEFI installation of 32-bit Fedora 14
is not supported. There is no technical reason why this could not be done; it would appear to be
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simply a business decision as was the decision not to make the standard Fedora 14 distribution
media dual bootable like Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and some other GNU/Linux distributions.
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Method 1
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This method uses the 64-bit Fedora 14 netinst.iso image. The output of the dumpet utility shows
that this image has two bootable entries.
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# dumpet -i Fedora-14-x86_64-netinst.iso
Validation Entry:
Header Indicator: 0x01 (Validation Entry)
PlatformId: 0x00 (80x86)
ID: ""
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Checksum: 0x55aa
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Key bytes: 0x55aa


Boot Catalog Default Entry:
Entry is bootable
Boot Media emulation type: no emulation
Media load segment: 0x0 (0000:7c00)
System type: 0 (0x00)
Load Sectors: 4 (0x0004)
Load LBA: 15693 (0x00003d4d)
Section Header Entry:
Header Indicator: 0x91 (Final Section Header Entry)
PlatformId: 0xef (EFI)
Section Entries: 1
ID: ""
Boot Catalog Section Entry:
Entry is bootable
Boot Media emulation type: no emulation
Media load address: 0 (0x0000)
System type: 0 (0x00)
Load Sectors: 864 (0x0360)

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Methods to UEFI Install Fedora 14

Load LBA: 18202 (0x0000471a)

Platform ID 0×00 is for legacy BIOS platforms and platform ID 0xEF is for EFI/UEFI platforms.

This image is a complete installation media which uses the Internet to retrieve the various
packages it needs to perform the user-specified installation of the Fedora 14 distribution. The
contents of this image are:

# cd /media/Fedora14
# ls -Ral
.:
total 12
dr-xr-xr-x. 5 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:35 .

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drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root 4096 Oct 29 14:42 ..
dr-xr-xr-x. 3 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:35 EFI
drwxr-sr-x. 3 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:34 images

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drwxr-sr-x. 2 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:34 isolinux

./EFI:
total 6
dr-xr-xr-x. 3 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:35 .

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dr-xr-xr-x. 5 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:35 ..
drwxr-xr-x. 2 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:34 BOOT

./EFI/BOOT:
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total 72
drwxr-xr-x. 2 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:34 .
dr-xr-xr-x. 3 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:35 ..
a
-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 168 Oct 12 19:34 BOOTX64.conf
-rw-r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 68392 Sep 13 12:05 splash.xpm.gz
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-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 449 Oct 12 19:35 TRANS.TBL

./images:
total 187525
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drwxr-sr-x. 3 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:34 .


dr-xr-xr-x. 5 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:35 ..
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-rw-r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 442368 Oct 12 19:34 efiboot.img


-rw-r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 36349952 Oct 12 19:34 efidisk.img
-rw-r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 155226112 Oct 12 19:35 install.img
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drwxr-sr-x. 2 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:34 pxeboot


-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 888 Oct 12 19:35 TRANS.TBL

./images/pxeboot:
total 34991
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drwxr-sr-x. 2 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:34 .


drwxr-sr-x. 3 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:34 ..
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-rw-r--r--. 2 fpm fpm 32043809 Oct 12 19:34 initrd.img


-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 441 Oct 12 19:35 TRANS.TBL
-rwxr-xr-x. 2 fpm fpm 3781792 Oct 12 19:34 vmlinuz

./isolinux:
total 36246
drwxr-sr-x. 2 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:34 .
dr-xr-xr-x. 5 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:35 ..
-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 2048 Oct 12 19:35 boot.cat
-rw-r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 84 Oct 12 19:34 boot.msg
-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 142 Oct 12 19:34 grub.conf
-rw-r--r--. 2 fpm fpm 32043809 Oct 12 19:34 initrd.img
-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 24576 Oct 12 19:34 isolinux.bin
-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 1023 Oct 12 19:34 isolinux.cfg
-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 165080 Oct 12 19:34 memtest
-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 462737 Oct 12 19:34 splash.jpg
-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 462737 Oct 12 19:34 syslinux-vesa-splash.jpg
-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 2451 Oct 12 19:35 TRANS.TBL
-r--r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 162860 Oct 12 19:34 vesamenu.c32

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Methods to UEFI Install Fedora 14

-rwxr-xr-x. 2 fpm fpm 3781792 Oct 12 19:34 vmlinuz


#

The size of the image is only approximately 220Mb. Either create a bootable DVD or USB stick. I
recommend the USB stick option as it is the faster of the two to do.

Here is how to use the dd utility to create a bootable USB stick (disk) assuming that /dev/sdb
points to the USB stick and netinst.iso is in the current directory. By the way, assume that
anything previously on the USB stick will be overwritten and lost – so back up anything valuable
on the USB stick.

# dd if=./Fedora-14-x86_64-netinst.iso of=/dev/sdb

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Insert this USB stick into your UEFI platform and select the USB stick to boot from using your
UEFI boot manager. The installation will proceed as normal. During the installation you will need

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to configure a network interface so that the required RPMs for the Fedora 14 distribution can be
downloaded over the Internet.

Method 2

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This method requires you to download the entire 64-bit Fedora 14 release and burn the ISO onto a
(bootable) DVD. Next mount the DVD and cd to the images subdirectory. Plug in a suitable USB
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stick and use the dd utility to write efidisk.img to the USB stick. As before, assume that anything
previously on the USB stick will be overwritten and lost.
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# cd /media/Fedora\ 14\ x86_64\ DVD/images
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# ls -al efidisk.img
-rw-r--r--. 1 fpm fpm 36349952 Oct 21 14:29 efidisk.img

# dd if=./efidisk.img of=/dev/sdb
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70996+0 records in
70996+0 records out
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36349952 bytes (36 MB) copied, 11.8982 s, 3.1 MB/s

# gdisk /dev/sdb
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GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 0.6.8

Partition table scan:


MBR: protective
BSD: not present
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APM: not present


Fo

GPT: present

Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.

Command (? for help): p


Disk /dev/sdb: 70996 sectors, 34.7 MiB
Logical sector size: 512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): 99DEEF6A-E513-488B-99A4-142A5EAED065
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 70962
Partitions will be aligned on 2-sector boundaries
Total free space is 0 sectors (0 bytes)

Number Start (sector) End (sector) Size Code Name


1 34 70962 34.6 MiB EF00 EFI System Partition

# mount /dev/sdb /mnt


# cd /mnt
# ls -alR

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Methods to UEFI Install Fedora 14

.:
total 22
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root 16384 Dec 31 1969 .
dr-xr-xr-x. 24 root root 4096 Oct 29 10:02 ..
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root 2048 Oct 21 18:29 EFI

./EFI:
total 20
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root 2048 Oct 21 18:29 .
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root 16384 Dec 31 1969 ..
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 2048 Oct 21 18:29 BOOT

./EFI/BOOT:
total 35302
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 2048 Oct 21 18:29 .
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root 2048 Oct 21 18:29 ..

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-rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 156 Oct 21 18:29 BOOTX64.conf
-rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 242985 Oct 21 18:29 BOOTX64.efi
-rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 32045806 Oct 21 18:29 initrd.img

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-rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 68392 Oct 21 18:29 splash.xpm.gz
-rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 3782016 Oct 21 18:29 vmlinuz

As you can see from the above a small ESP named EFI System Partition is created on the USB

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stick. It contains the absolute minimum number of files to UEFI-boot a Fedora 14 image. Well, it
could be slightly smaller if they skipped the Legacy GRUB graphic image, i.e. spash.xpm.gz.
Because it is removable media, UEFI understands that BOOTX64.efi is the image to load.
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Insert this USB stick into your UEFI platform and select the USB stick to boot from using your
UEFI boot manager. The installation will proceed as normal. As before you will need to configure a
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network interface so that the required RPMs for the Fedora 14 distribution can be downloaded
over the Internet.
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Method 3

If you have a Fedora 14 distribution DVD but poor Internet connectivity, you can still UEFI install
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Fedora 14. Make a minimal install on a USB stick as described in Method 2. On your UEFI
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platform, place the DVD in your DVD drive and insert/attach the USB stick. From your UEFI boot
manager, select the USB stick and boot from it. During installation do not configure a network
interface or select any additional software repositories. A “Found local Installation Media” will be
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displayed and Anaconda will retrieve the required RPMs from the what it calls the “Installation
Repo” i.e the Fedora 14 DVD.
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Methods to UEFI Install Fedora 14

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on
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Now that I have described the above methods for UEFI installing Fedora 14, let us examine the
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UEFI-specific artifacts created by the Fedora 14 install process. When UEFI-installed, Fedora 14
partitions a disk using GPT (GUID Partition Table) rather than using a MBR. For example, here is
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the default GPT created by Fedora 14 when the distribution was installed on a single 500Gb disk.
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# df
rs

Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on


/dev/mapper/vg_ultra-lv_root
51606140 3420032 45564668 7% /
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tmpfs 1027392 432 1026960 1% /dev/shm


/dev/sda2 495844 29534 440710 7% /boot
/dev/sda1 204580 996 203584 1% /boot/efi
/dev/mapper/vg_ultra-lv_home
424395160 233064 402604032 1% /home
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# parted /dev/sda
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GNU Parted 2.3


Using /dev/sda
Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands.
(parted) p
Model: ATA ST3500418AS (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 500GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: gpt

Number Start End Size File system Name Flags


1 1049kB 211MB 210MB fat16 boot
2 211MB 735MB 524MB ext4
3 735MB 500GB 499GB

# gdisk /dev/sda
GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 0.6.8

Partition table scan:


MBR: protective

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Methods to UEFI Install Fedora 14

BSD: not present


APM: not present
GPT: present

Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.

Command (? for help): p


Disk /dev/sda: 976773168 sectors, 465.8 GiB
Logical sector size: 512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): 2C5062C9-CFE9-4395-AB01-ED5FB78A9FFD
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 976773134
Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
Total free space is 2029 sectors (1014.5 KiB)

Number Start (sector) End (sector) Size Code Name

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1 2048 411647 200.0 MiB EF00
2 411648 1435647 500.0 MiB 0700
3 1435648 976773119 465.1 GiB 0700

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Command (? for help): c
Partition number (1-3): 1
Enter name: ESP

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Command (? for help): x

Expert command (? for help): i


Partition number (1-3): 1
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Partition GUID code: C12A7328-F81F-11D2-BA4B-00A0C93EC93B (EFI System)
Partition unique GUID: 8CCDE8E2-30A0-4C5A-A1AE-EB2056F04627
First sector: 2048 (at 1024.0 KiB)
Last sector: 411647 (at 201.0 MiB)
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Partition size: 409600 sectors (200.0 MiB)
Attribute flags: 0000000000000000
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Partition name: ESP

Expert command (? for help): o


MBR disk identifier: 0x00000000
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MBR partitions:
Number Boot Start (sector) Length (sectors) Type
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1 1 976773167 0xEE

Disk size is 976773168 sectors (465.8 GiB)


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The GPT protective partition starts at sector 0, i.e. it precedes partition number 1, and covers the
entire area of the disk used by three GPT partitions. Partition 1 is the EFI System Partition (ESP).
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The ESP is mounted on /boot/efi. Here is listing of the contents of the ESP.
Fo

# cd /boot/efi
# ls -alR
.:
total 26
drwx------. 3 root root 16384 Dec 31 1969 .
dr-xr-xr-x. 5 root root 1024 Oct 28 18:26 ..
drwx------. 4 root root 4096 Oct 28 22:36 EFI

./EFI:
total 28
drwx------. 4 root root 4096 Oct 28 22:36 .
drwx------. 3 root root 16384 Dec 31 1969 ..
drwx------. 2 root root 4096 Oct 28 18:27 redhat

./EFI/redhat:
total 252

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Methods to UEFI Install Fedora 14

drwx------. 2 root root 4096 Oct 28 18:27 .


drwx------. 4 root root 4096 Oct 28 22:36 ..
-rwx------. 1 root root 906 Oct 28 22:49 grub.conf
-rwx------. 1 root root 242985 Aug 5 15:06 grub.efi

The loadable image for the UEFI booting service is /EFI/redhat/grub.efi. This is a modified version
of GRUB Legacy which a UEFI loader can load.

According to section 3.4.1.2 of the current version (2.3) of the UEFI specification:

It is expected that on a non-removable media device complete FilePath can be used


which includes subdirectories and a file name for the boot target and the platform
will boot using this FilePath according to normal system policy.

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For Fedora 14, that FilePath is /EFI/redhat/grub.efi. It would be nice if this were mentioned

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somewhere in the Fedora 14 install documentation.

The current UEFI specification also states that:

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If for whatever reason, all the Boot#### variables referenced in the BootOrder
variable point to devices that are not present, the boot devices have timed out, the
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specific boot file does not exist, or there is no valid boot variable, default boot
processing may optionally occur.
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All the UEFI platforms I have encountered to date support such default boot processing. In the
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case of an X86_64 platform the system firmware will attempt to load the image
/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI. For this reason, as a backup boot mechanism, I usually create a
…/EFI/BOOT directory and copy the …/EFI/redhat/grub.efi and …/EFI/redhat/grub.conf files into
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this directory renaming them as BOOTX64.EFI and BOOTX64.CONF respectively.


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By the way the Fedora 14 install does not create an EFI volume label for the EFI System Partition.
If you wish, you can easily add one from an EFI shell if one is available to you.
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fs0: vol fs0 -n EFI_SYS_PART


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A number of utilities do not work after a UEFI install of Fedora 14. For example fdisk does not
Fo

work with GPT disks. In fairness, it does display a message to that effect. Many people use parted
which does understand GPT but I prefer to use the gdisk utility. Also
System/Administration/Bootloader (/usr/share/system-config-boot/system-config-boot.py) fails with
a /boot/grub/grub.conf not found error. This script needs to be modified so that it knows to edit
/boot/efi/EFI/redhat/grub.conf when an ESP exists.

Please let me know if you discover other interesting methods of UEFI booting Fedora 14 or any
other commands and utilities that exhibit failures due to a UEFI install.

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