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Thread: grub2 EFI boot loader internal/external booting

  1. #1221
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Christchurch, England
    Beans
    156
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: grub2 EFI boot loader internal/external booting

    For anyone who might be interested:
    ubuntu 12.10 (quantal) can be booted from my iMac internal drive without using grub. This is pure efi stub booting using only the kernel and one config file, driven by refind boot manager (not boot loader). You do need to install refind on OSX (http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/).

    The kernel, and it's initrd image, sits on my disk0s1 (EFI) MSDOS partition under folder /EFI/ubuntu. Also there is a file called refind_linux.conf where I put the menu items for this kernel. Each item needs the disk root UUID, but I can include other options like nosplash or nomodeset.

    The general refind.conf file is on the main HPFS partition under /efi/refind, where refind was installed. This file tells refind what scope to use when scanning for kernels and what should be the default selected boot icon.

    If I do a ubuntu update including a new kernel then this new kernel, and the initrd image, need to be copied over to /EFI/ubuntu to replace the existing ones. You can do this easily from ubuntu by mounting /dev/sda1 and copying these files.

    EFI stub boot also works from the main mac partition (disk0s2) but it is MacOSX Extended with journalling, and not so easy to update from linux.

    The main problem I have had is the video. For a while I used Device "fbdev" in xorg.conf to get X to work. However, when kernel 3.4 was replaced by kernel 3.5 this stopped working and I was getting black screen on boot. I have cured this by specifying 'nomodeset' in the refind_linux.conf file. This is probably because kernel 3.5 is loading its radeon driver automatically, doing KMS, and that selects the wrong video connector.
    Windows is cheap, but linux is free

  2. #1222
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Uusimaa, FIN
    Beans
    2
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: grub2 EFI boot loader internal/external booting

    Nice! I installed to early Mac mini. Using refind I get "Failed to open initrd file" but using UEFI shell the system loads and works just fine. Did you have this problem? And which options did you change in /EFI/refind/refind.conf and what do you have in /EFI/ubuntu/refind_linux.conf?

  3. #1223
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Beans
    15

    Re: grub2 EFI boot loader internal/external booting

    I am in awe of the work people on this forum have done to solve problems and make things easier for everyone.
    Here is my problem and I am hoping someone might have some suggestions.

    I have an 27in iMac 11,3 with an Intel Core i5 dual core running at 3.6 GHz. It has 16GB ram and a 2TB internal hard drive, The hard drive is partitioned with Mac OS X 10.8.2 and Windows 7 in Boot Camp.

    I have been endeavouring to put Ubuntu 12.10 on a USB external drive. I have previously had Ubuntu 11.10 on a "third" partition on the internal HDD with triple booting, but that setup eventually proved unstable and I abandoned it.

    The external USB drive is a Western Digital 320 GB one. I have managed, using a Live CD, to install Ubuntu on it, and have installed (by copying from a flash drive I set up) grub efi.
    I have placed bootx64.efi and grubx64.efi in a folder on the ESP.
    ESP .../efi/efi/ubuntu/

    I am using rEFInd to pick the boot loader.
    When I select the Ubuntu EFI boot icon Ubuntu starts to boot. I am guessing it has loaded the linux inited.img. Then eventually it drops into a grub command line.
    ls at the command line produces a list of partitions. The one I want is listed as (hd2,gpt2).
    ls (hd2,gpt2)/boot/grub reveals the two efi files mentioned above.

    Now if I type

    configfile (hd2,gpt2)/boot/grub/grub.cfg

    Ubuntu loads the grub menu and I can select Ubuntu and it then continues to boot.

    So what should I do next.

    Should I copy the *.mod files and the grub.cfg and the various *.img files over to the ESP? I tried putting a symlink to grub.cfg but that wasn't allowed. I also copied the grub.cfg file to the ESP but that made no difference.

    Of course now that I have come this far I am very happy to have a working installation of Ubuntu on an external USB drive!!!

  4. #1224
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Beans
    112

    Re: grub2 EFI boot loader internal/external booting

    Quote Originally Posted by phillat5dock View Post
    The external USB drive is a Western Digital 320 GB one. I have managed, using a Live CD, to install Ubuntu on it, and have installed (by copying from a flash drive I set up) grub efi.
    I have placed bootx64.efi and grubx64.efi in a folder on the ESP.
    ESP .../efi/efi/ubuntu/

    I am using rEFInd to pick the boot loader.
    When I select the Ubuntu EFI boot icon Ubuntu starts to boot. I am guessing it has loaded the linux inited.img. Then eventually it drops into a grub command line.
    ls at the command line produces a list of partitions. The one I want is listed as (hd2,gpt2).
    ls (hd2,gpt2)/boot/grub reveals the two efi files mentioned above.

    Now if I type

    configfile (hd2,gpt2)/boot/grub/grub.cfg

    Ubuntu loads the grub menu and I can select Ubuntu and it then continues to boot.

    So what should I do next.
    I also boot linux from an external (firewire) drive, but most of this is still a mystery to me. That being said: I think both the apple bootloader and grub expect their files in a certain directory structure. What I have is (EFI partition)/EFI/grub/ , and both my boot.efi file and the grub.cfg live in this directory. You could try recreating this and see if it allows grub to find its config file automatically.

    Good luck!

  5. #1225
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Beans
    15

    Smile Re: grub2 EFI boot loader internal/external booting

    Quote Originally Posted by pindar View Post
    I also boot linux from an external (firewire) drive, but most of this is still a mystery to me. That being said: I think both the apple bootloader and grub expect their files in a certain directory structure. What I have is (EFI partition)/EFI/grub/ , and both my boot.efi file and the grub.cfg live in this directory. You could try recreating this and see if it allows grub to find its config file automatically.

    Good luck!
    Thanks. I read your post AFTER I finally solved this mystery.
    What I did was create a grub folder in the ESP and then copied grub.cfg into it. I also copied the x86_64-efi directory there too, after I had fixed the permissions.

    Now, when I connect the USB drive, rEFInd spots it and I can boot straight into Ubuntu.
    Having it on a USB HDD is so much more convenient than using a LIVE-CD on a flash drive, or boot Ubuntu into a VMWare virtual Machine.

    I wish it was possible to boot Windows 7 this way.

  6. #1226
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Beans
    1

    Re: grub2 EFI boot loader internal/external booting

    hello ..
    i have not good experience with linux
    i have MacBook Pro 8.1 13-inch, Early 2011
    ( Processor 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Memory 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 Graphics Intel HD Graphics 3000 384 MB )
    i have 4 native operating systems on it
    1- mac osx 10.8
    2- windows 8
    3-ubuntu-12.10-desktop-amd64+mac
    4-backtrack 5 r3 64 bit gnome
    i installed all the operating systems with no problem at all and i use refit boot loader to boot to each system
    the ubuntu-12.10 installed all the drivers automaticaly i didn't install any extra drivers the Intel HD Graphics is working with the same native resolution on os x operating system 1280x800
    the problem is
    on backtrack no drivers are installed so Intel HD Graphics is not giving me the native resolution 1280x800 it has to resolutions there 1024x768 & 800x600 the sound is not working to , the network allso not working i think the problem is that the backtrack has not efi booting but the new 12.10 ubuntu has it
    i thing i maybe able to merge files from ubuntu.iso with backtrack.iso to solve the problem
    the problem is the ubuntu iso files are very complicated it has the following files
    ..................
    boot > grub > loopback.cfg

    isolinux > grub > grub.cfg
    isolinux > grub > efi.img
    isolinux > grub > x86_64-efi > grub.cfg
    and many other files
    syslinux > grub > grub.cfg
    syslinux > grub > efi.img
    and many other files
    syslinux > grub > x86_64-efi > grub.cfg
    .................
    so how can i merge ubunto files with backtrack files without problems and which grub.cfg to edit
    i tried google and backtrack forums but nothing helped
    so could any body help here

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