Solved Difference freebsd-boot efi partitions

Ekynox360

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Hello everyone! 👋

I'm discovering FreeBSD so I'm starting to read some literature about this system. I often see in documents a partition entitled freebsd-boot which weighs 512KB for efi boot. On my virtual machine, I rather see a 200MB efi partition. What's the difference between them and why freebsd-boot disappeared? :-/

Thanks!
 

Vull

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freebsd-boot is for older BIOS or firmware which isn't capable of EFI booting, and so must use MBR booting instead. EFI is the correct type for the newer EFI-capable firmware which your VM is probably using.
 
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Ekynox360

Ekynox360

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That is strange because he pretends his machine is efi. This may be a mistake. I'll try to contact him. 🙂
 

Emrion

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Hello everyone! 👋

I'm discovering FreeBSD so I'm starting to read some literature about this system. I often see in documents a partition entitled freebsd-boot which weighs 512KB for efi boot. On my virtual machine, I rather see a 200MB efi partition. What's the difference between them and why freebsd-boot disappeared? :-/

Thanks!
During the installation with a GPT scheme, depending on the root system file you choose and if your system is EFI capable, you may have the choice to install just a legacy boot ("BIOS"), just an EFI boot ("UEFI") or both ("BIOS + UEFI").

So, you may have just freebsd-boot, just efi or both partitions.
 

SirDice

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if your system is EFI capable, you may have the choice to install just a legacy boot ("BIOS"), just an EFI boot ("UEFI") or both ("BIOS + UEFI").
You always have this choice regardless of what the machine is capable of. But an EFI boot is obviously not going to work for a machine that only does BIOS boots.
 

Emrion

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You always have this choice regardless of what the machine is capable of. But an EFI boot is obviously not going to work for a machine that only does BIOS boots.
As I said, it depends on the root file system. You have actually this choice if you select zfs but not in case you choose ufs: EFI capable -> just UEFI, otherwise just BIOS (noticed that on 11.2 & 12.0 install discs).

Anyway, that wasn't the point.
 

SirDice

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If you want to know how the system booted (UEFI or BIOS):
Code:
dice@maelcum:~ % sysctl machdep.bootmethod
machdep.bootmethod: BIOS
 

paedubucher

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Sounds like you're reading "Absolute FreeBSD" by Michael W. Lucas? I had the exact same issue! Using efi instead of freebsd-boot solved my issue. Unfortunately, I didn't find any errata on this book.
 

Emrion

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Sounds like you're reading "Absolute FreeBSD" by Michael W. Lucas? I had the exact same issue! Using efi instead of freebsd-boot solved my issue. Unfortunately, I didn't find any errata on this book.
I don't understand your point. Is this the 3rd edition? Which page and what is the issue precisely?
 

paedubucher

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Third edition, page 36 on the very bottom. The author suggests to use "EFI freebsd-boot", but the screenshot clearly shows "freebsd-boot", not "efi".
 

Emrion

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Third edition, page 36 on the very bottom. The author suggests to use "EFI freebsd-boot", but the screenshot clearly shows "freebsd-boot", not "efi".
Indeed. He wrote "EFI" instead of "BIOS". Furthermore, he also states above: "Every GPT system needs a freebsd-boot partition" which is false. If you boot only with EFI, you don't need a freebsd-boot partition (just an efi one).

Maybe the best is to install both partitions (efi + freebsd-boot) unless your motherboard isn't EFI capable. So, your system will be able to boot in these two modes.

In your case, you could have selected BIOS legacy mode booting (CSM) in the settings of your motherboard. It would have worked without reinstalling. But, you have made the best choice, I think.

And last thing: forget UFS and stick to ZFS. There are too many advantages with ZFS.
 

Mjölnir

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If you install both EFI & BIOS/GPT boot partitions, you can put the disk into another machine regardless if it has UEFI or traditional legacy BIOS, and it will be able to boot. If you install only UEFI boot method, you can not boot on an older machine. Let's say you crash your laptop by pouring a cup of coffee over it, but the disks survives. Then you can put the disk into your old spare laptop.
 
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