booting off GPT partitions

Vincent Hoffman vince at
Wed Jan 27 17:09:49 UTC 2010

GPT booting is I believe only natively supported using an EFI BIOS.
However if you wish to use GPT booting with FreeBSD its not too hard,
you just cant install using sysinstall.
The Examples section of the gpart manpage is what i used to configure
the disk for my home server, a zotac ion atom based board  (dont have
any production servers at work using it at the moment.) Then i just
installed using the files on the usb image.

>From what I understand gpart installs the pmbr file as a basic bootstrap
in the protective MBR present in the GPT partition scheme, this is
bootable by a standard bios and is able to understand enough GPT to look
for a freebsd boot partition, load the bootcode in that, which loads the
kernel etc.

So no they arent completely misguided, but its certainly possible to use
a GPT scheme without an EFI BIOS.
What I would like is an efi bootloader for i386 so I can get my
powerbook to run FreeBSD again as it has got an efi bios and bootcamp
wont boot freebsd for me at the moment :(


Dan Naumov wrote:
> Hey
> I was under the impression that everyone and their dog is using GPT
> partitioning in FreeBSD these days, including for boot drives and that
> I was just being unlucky with my current NAS motherboard (Intel
> D945GCLF2) having supposedly shaky support for GPT boot. But right now
> I am having an email exchange with Supermicro support (whom I
> contacted since I am pondering their X7SPA-H board for a new system),
> who are telling me that booting off GPT requires UEFI BIOS, which is
> supposedly a very new thing and that for example NONE of their current
> motherboards have support for this.
> Am I misunderstanding something or is the Supermicro support tech misguided?
> - Sincerely,
> Dan Naumov
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