Getting UEFI working

DTD doug at
Fri Jul 27 18:38:42 UTC 2018

I solved [my??] UEFI booting problem. A first email on this described all the 
gory details. This IMO just obscured the larger message. If you want this to 
work there are two choices if you encounter a problem: (1) find hardware that 
works; (2) know the internals of the firmware on the failing system and enough 
about the UEFI boot process so you can find/write a first level module that the 
firmware in question will recognize.

I have used only FreeBSD for my work station since 4.5. So I have installed it a 
time or two and worked around various software issues. Having to figure out what 
the PC firmware is looking for takes the problem to another level.

TrueOS (iXsystems) seems to think using rEFInd is an answer. Starting with a 
free range version of that is a bit like rewriting termcap. The guide I found 
was for ZFS on a version of Windows those partition layout had little in common 
with what I had. Between the Lenovo BIOS and Windows boot options that could 
recovery from anything, I eventually got FreeBSD installed. None of the Windows 
versions (that I encountered in this go-around) had these options.

I did all this using the same install medium. The amd64-dvd1 iso and the USB img 
file (both 11.2). The hardware was Dell, HP, and POWERSPEC (Micro Center's 
brand). Only the Dell worked. I did a legacy and a UEFI install each taking less 
than 5 minutes. The POWERSPEC would only boot Windows and entering the BIOS did 
not work. On the HP I did a GPT install that worked followed by a UEFI ZFS 
install that rendered the system unusable. Only the Dell recognized the bootable 
USB which I used for both installs.

The rEFInd docs speak to setting various variables that will aid in booting. If 
rEFInd makes UEFI booting easier/possible it would be really nice if at a minium 
some of this information made its way into the handbook.

Douglas Denault
doug at
Voice: 301-217-9220
   Fax: 301-217-9277

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list