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Thread: OpenSUSE 12.1 UEFI Install 64-bit

  1. #1

    Default OpenSUSE 12.1 UEFI Install 64-bit

    Greetings,

    For the past ten days I have been attempting to UEFI install OpenSUSE 12.1 (openSUSE-12.1-DVD-x86_64.iso) on the ASUS M5A99X EVO motherboard. So far no luck, that is, it will not install with a UEFI bootloader (ELILO) but will quite happily install GRUB/MBR. UEFI is required as hard drives larger than 2TB are being used.

    As per the following forum post UEFI booting/installing should be straightforward, but it is not.

    http://forums.opensuse.org/content/1...i-booting.html

    Contrary to what this post indicates, the install DVD does not have a UEFI bootloader (ELILO) so the UEFI bios does not show or detect a UEFI bootable media and thus boots the install disk in BIOS/MBR mode allowing only GRUB/MBR booting.

    Without writing many thousands of pages of what I've tried to accomplish a UEFI install, suffice it to say that if you can find it with Google I've tried it. From strictly using the Yast installer to coercing the install by preformatting the hard drive GPT with a FAT32 ESP partition as partition 1 - nothing will convince the installer to EFI boot.

    So the questions are:

    1. Does the 12.1 install DVD actually include a UEFI bootloader as the aforementioned forum post indicates (the ASUS EFI bios indicates that it does not)?
    2. Has anyone actually successfully installed 12.1 in UEFI mode on an ASUS UEFI platform, and if so, how did you get it to work?

    Again, UEFI is needed because I am using hard drives larger than 2TB which is beyond the capabilities of legacy BIOS.

    Note that this problem is not a single mobo, I have multiple M5A99X EVO mobos, all insist there is no UEFI bootloader on the 12.1 install DVD - this is not a failure of a single mobo.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: OpenSUSE 12.1 UEFI Install 64-bit

    Quote Originally Posted by fosdex View Post

    As per the following forum post UEFI booting/installing should be straightforward, but it is not.


    http://forums.opensuse.org/content/1...i-booting.html
    Did I say "straightforward"? Well maybe it was exagerated.


    Quote Originally Posted by fosdex View Post
    Contrary to what this post indicates, the install DVD does not have a UEFI bootloader (ELILO) so the UEFI bios does not show or detect a UEFI bootable media and thus boots the install disk in BIOS/MBR mode allowing only GRUB/MBR booting.
    It surely does. Whether the BIOS switches in UEFI mode is another problem.


    Quote Originally Posted by fosdex View Post
    So the questions are:

    1. Does the 12.1 install DVD actually include a UEFI bootloader as the aforementioned forum post indicates (the ASUS EFI bios indicates that it does not)?
    Yes. The DVD includes a UEFI bootloader, as shown on the picture (2 CDS icons, one for the UEFI boot device and one for the Legacy)


    Quote Originally Posted by fosdex View Post
    2. Has anyone actually successfully installed 12.1 in UEFI mode on an ASUS UEFI platform, and if so, how did you get it to work?
    Yes. The mainboard I used for the article is an ASUS M5A97. I installed openSUSE, Fedora Ubuntu and Windows 7 in any order. But, as I wrote in the article, you have to call the BIOS setup just before booting and make sure that the UEFI device has boot priority. Otherwise it will systematically boot the install disk in MBR/BIOS mode.


    Quote Originally Posted by fosdex View Post
    Note that this problem is not a single mobo, I have multiple M5A99X EVO mobos, all insist there is no UEFI bootloader on the 12.1 install DVD - this is not a failure of a single mobo.
    It's not surprising. They all default to Legacy BIOS/MBR. The only system that booted in MBR, despite I set the priority to UEFI was actually Windows. Then it installed with MBR partitioning. On the next attempt, it booted into UEFI and refused to install because it found a MBR on the disk. Thus, every time, I had to install Windows twice (by deleting the MBR the second time during setup).

    As soon as you get the BIOS in UEFI, openSUSE will boot in ELILO. Careful with ELILO! Don't set any boot option in the installation settings. It seems to fail parsing the options and it won't reboot and output garbage. Install Grub2 as soon as the installation is complete, using the script I provide or following the method described in the article.

  3. #3

    Default Re: OpenSUSE 12.1 UEFI Install 64-bit

    Quote Originally Posted by please_try_again View Post
    Did I say "straightforward"? Well maybe it was exagerated.
    I mean, it wasn't certainly "straightforward" for me, as I had to install in many different situations in order to write a consistent method. But it is expected to be straightforward for the user afer all. In fact, if your BIOS would have switched to UEFI mode, you would be done with the installation already.

  4. #4

    Default Re: OpenSUSE 12.1 UEFI Install 64-bit

    Quote Originally Posted by please_try_again View Post
    Did I say "straightforward"? Well maybe it was exagerated.




    It surely does. Whether the BIOS switches in UEFI mode is another problem.




    Yes. The DVD includes a UEFI bootloader, as shown on the picture (2 CDS icons, one for the UEFI boot device and one for the Legacy)




    Yes. The mainboard I used for the article is an ASUS M5A97. I installed openSUSE, Fedora Ubuntu and Windows 7 in any order. But, as I wrote in the article, you have to call the BIOS setup just before booting and make sure that the UEFI device has boot priority. Otherwise it will systematically boot the install disk in MBR/BIOS mode.




    It's not surprising. They all default to Legacy BIOS/MBR. The only system that booted in MBR, despite I set the priority to UEFI was actually Windows. Then it installed with MBR partitioning. On the next attempt, it booted into UEFI and refused to install because it found a MBR on the disk. Thus, every time, I had to install Windows twice (by deleting the MBR the second time during setup).

    As soon as you get the BIOS in UEFI, openSUSE will boot in ELILO. Careful with ELILO! Don't set any boot option in the installation settings. It seems to fail parsing the options and it won't reboot and output garbage. Install Grub2 as soon as the installation is complete, using the script I provide or following the method described in the article.
    Thanks for the reply. The question is then how did you get the BIOS into UEFI. The ASUS UEFI does not support a user selectable mode switch for this mobo. The mobo appears to go to legacy BIOS instead of UEFI if it does not find a UEFI bootloader. It also does not show any EFI bootable devices in EZ Mode as your post images shows (neither are any boot devices prefixed "EFI:" in the boot menu even though with the 12.1 DVD it should).

    enjoy...

  5. #5

    Default Re: OpenSUSE 12.1 UEFI Install 64-bit

    Quote Originally Posted by fosdex View Post
    Thanks for the reply. The question is then how did you get the BIOS into UEFI. The ASUS UEFI does not support a user selectable mode switch for this mobo.
    Neither did mine. Otherwise it would have been easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by fosdex View Post
    The mobo appears to go to legacy BIOS instead of UEFI if it does not find a UEFI bootloader.
    Yes, this is normal.

    Quote Originally Posted by fosdex View Post
    It also does not show any EFI bootable devices in EZ Mode as your post images shows (neither are any boot devices prefixed "EFI:" in the boot menu even though with the 12.1 DVD it should).
    That's not cool. The UEFI BIOS has a boot manager embedded. It handles the bootloaders whether they are on CDs or HDDs as boot devices. You should insert the DVD and maybe just power off to make sure that it will be found when you power on. Then call the BIOS immediatly with the DVD inserted and look at the boot priorities. The DVD should apper twice. If you don't see the UEFI bootloader, I don't know how it could boot in UEFI mode. It probably won't. In this case that would indicate a communication problem between your BIOS and the DVD: the EFI bootmanager doesn't read the bootloader on the DVD. Try with Fedora DVD and Ubuntu live CD (this one has a UEFI bootloader) to see if it makes a difference. What you should change in your BIOS is the boot priority of devices. Boot devices are actually boot loaders. You can have several bootloaders on the same physical device.

  6. #6

    Default Re: OpenSUSE 12.1 UEFI Install 64-bit

    Quote Originally Posted by please_try_again View Post
    Neither did mine. Otherwise it would have been easier.
    That's not cool. The UEFI BIOS has a boot manager embedded. It handles the bootloaders whether they are on CDs or HDDs as boot devices. You should insert the DVD and maybe just power off to make sure that it will be found when you power on. Then call the BIOS immediatly with the DVD inserted and look at the boot priorities. The DVD should apper twice. If you don't see the UEFI bootloader, I don't know how it could boot in UEFI mode. It probably won't. In this case that would indicate a communication problem between your BIOS and the DVD: the EFI bootmanager doesn't read the bootloader on the DVD. Try with Fedora DVD and Ubuntu live CD (this one has a UEFI bootloader) to see if it makes a difference. What you should change in your BIOS is the boot priority of devices. Boot devices are actually boot loaders. You can have several bootloaders on the same physical device.
    Thanks for the feedback please_try_again. The boot manager is not seeing any UEFI bootloader on the 12.1. It finally occurred to me to actually look at the content of the 12.1 install DVD. Sure enough, there is no UEFI bootloader so the UEFI bios is acting as it is designed and falling back to legacy BIOS mode. That explains openSUSE.

    However, I tried Ubuntu 11.10 (which actually has a UEFI bootloader) yet the UEFI bios does not see it and Ubuntu installs BIOS/MBR.

    The bottom line is no Linux installers are up to the trivial task of installing GPT/UEFI and the distribution disc fail to be UEFI format compliant. Its the usual **** that the Linux community revels in, always chasing a new idea but never completing anything while *****ing and moaning and flaming anyone who dares point out their inadequacies. Legacy GRUB never got done, but wait, GRUB2!...yea, that's the ticket, it will do EVERYTHING. Of course, GRUB2 is in the usual endless development cycle with marginally working releases of a bad idea gone mainstream. Fact of life is a bootloader need only load the OS, nothing else. Windoze is pure junk, but at least it installs effortlessly. How on earth could Linux not be mainstream? This is how. Enough ranting.

    So it is necessary to go low-level and do the bootloader by hand (EFI shell and such). Since I don't use Windoze all that is needed is ELILO. (Actually not even that, can use the UEFI boot manager or EFI shell.)

    I've got a message in to ASUS as regards the UEFI implementation and the problems observed. As far as I can tell the ASUS UEFI bios (actually AMI bios) is UEFI spec. The problem lies with the Linux installers. Anyhow, I don't expect any useful assistance from ASUS. ASUS customer support is beneath poor and it gets exceptionally bad when any issue involves Linux - ASUS corporate policy is to not support Linux with a big old one-finger salute.

    Again, thanks for the input. I'll post any useful info I find.

  7. #7

    Default Re: OpenSUSE 12.1 UEFI Install 64-bit

    Your BIOS sucks. That's all.
    Now ... sorry if it sounds like a stupid question but ... are you not trying to install the 32bit version of the OSes? All right, sorry, it was a stupid question.

    Anyway, get an ASUS M5A97 mb and an openSUSE 12.1 64bit install DVD, call BIOS setup just before booting, drag the UEFI device into the first position and you will see ELILO booting.

    The pictures in the second article clearly show that it uses GPT: Booting openSUSE on UEFI BIOS with ELILO and Grub2 (part II - Windows dual-boot ). It also shows all the bootloaders and the output of the efibootmgr command.

    • There is a EFI bootloader on openSUSE 12.1 install DVD (64bit). It boots and installs ELILO. You can use my script updateGrub2 to install Grub2-efi afterwards.
    • There is a EFI bootloader on Fedora 16 install DVD (64bit). It boots and installs a patched version of Legacy Grub, which supports UEFI. You can install Grub2-ef afterwards as well.
    • There is a EFI bootloader on Ubuntu 11.10 DVD and Live CD (64 bit). It boots and installs Grub2.
    • I haven't installed Arch Linux but it works too and is documented in Arch wiki.


    These are the facts.
    Good luck.

  8. #8

    Default Re: OpenSUSE 12.1 UEFI Install 64-bit

    Another possibility to use (and boot!) GPT on non UEFI machine is to install Fedora 16 on a blank hard disk (without MBR). In this case, Fedora 16 now creates a GPT by default and installs the bootloader in a BIOS partition (similar to the EFI system partition but much more tricky). I read it but didn't test it:

    Zum Einstellen des Plattenplatzes legt das Installationsprogramm von Verne auf leeren Datenträgern nun eine GPT (GUID Partition Table) an, selbst wenn die Hardware die installierten Betriebsysteme ohne UEFI (Unified Extensibke Firmware Interface) startet; bei bereits mit einem MBR (Master Boot Record) versehenen Datenträgern verläuft die Partitionierung wie gewohnt.

    When partitoning the hard disk, the Verne installer now creates a GPT (GUID Partition Table) on any empty disk, even if the hardware does not start the operating system using UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). If the hard disk already contains a MBR (Master Boot Record), the partitoning proceeds in the traditional way.

    CT' magazine 25/2011, page 80
    Of course, that would be stupid to do that on a UEFI system. You should get your UEFI BIOS to work and recognize the EFI bootloader on the DVD. But just to let you know that this possibility exists. This allows to use an boot hard disks > 2 TB on Legacy BIOS systems.

  9. #9

    Default Re: OpenSUSE 12.1 UEFI Install 64-bit

    I feel hard to believe that my (cheap) M5A97 works and your M5A99X does not. One more detail though: to be able to call the BIOS setup in time to change the boot priority, I had to use a PS/2 keyboard, Curiously, this mainboard has a PS/2 port. And if you insert the DVD during the POST, the UEFI BIOS won't see the EFI bootloader. It is tricky. The people at the computer store who were supposed to install Windows on this machine didn't get it either. I asked them to install Windows with GPT and it came with MBR - which didn't surprise me. I had to reinstall Windows myself (and I hate that).

    The key is "boot priority". If the EFI devices don't show up as icons, go to advanced options or whatever it is called. Look for the boot devices there. There should be an EFI and a 'normal' CD/DVD. The BIOS switches between UEFI and Legacy according to the first device in boot order. This is simply poor engineering.

  10. #10

    Default Re: OpenSUSE 12.1 UEFI Install 64-bit

    Quote Originally Posted by please_try_again View Post
    I feel hard to believe that my (cheap) M5A97 works and your M5A99X does not. One more detail though: to be able to call the BIOS setup in time to change the boot priority, I had to use a PS/2 keyboard, Curiously, this mainboard has a PS/2 port. And if you insert the DVD during the POST, the UEFI BIOS won't see the EFI bootloader. It is tricky. The people at the computer store who were supposed to install Windows on this machine didn't get it either. I asked them to install Windows with GPT and it came with MBR - which didn't surprise me. I had to reinstall Windows myself (and I hate that).

    The key is "boot priority". If the EFI devices don't show up as icons, go to advanced options or whatever it is called. Look for the boot devices there. There should be an EFI and a 'normal' CD/DVD. The BIOS switches between UEFI and Legacy according to the first device in boot order. This is simply poor engineering.
    The M5A99X also has a PS/2 port but works without problem with a USB mouse and keyboard. Windoze not spoken here btw.

    There is definitely a difference in BIOS behavior between these motherboards. The M5A99X simply will not detect GPT/UEFI boot media on either CD/DVD or hard disk. However, it does correctly detect GPT/UEFI boot media on USB memory. In no event will this motherboard boot into UEFI mode from any media, it will always switch to legacy BIOS. The American Megatrends UEFI bios on this motherboard (versions 0813 and 0901) are highly defective and do not comply with UEFI specifications. Sad because the hardware itself is great but there is no support for hard drives greater than 2.2TB due to the faulty AMI bios. No doubt ASUS is aware of this.

    As usual, ASUS support is totally non-responsive. But as any ASUS user knows, that's the norm. The M5A99X is a great mobo, but if you need drive larger than 2.2TB, forget it.

    It is easy to demonstrate that the M5A99X UEFI bios is not compliant with the UEFI 2.x specification (specifically section 3.4). Format a USB memory GPT and create the ESP partition. Copy the tianocore UEFI 2.0 shell into the ESP as /efi/boot/bootx64.efi. Under this condition, with the USB memory installed, the system should boot into the UEFI shell. However, the motherboard simply switches to legacy mode and requests bootable media be installed. The same exercise with hard drives fails similarly.

    The bottom line is this mobo is not UEFI and does not support hard drives larger than 2.2TB. It works fine in legacy bios mode.

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