Solved thinkpad t460p ufs boots but zfs won't

Greg Fitzgerald

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Just got a thinkpad t460p. I was able to get FreeBSD 12.1 installed on it, but had to use ufs.

When I installed with zfs it never made it to the boot loader. Tried both 12.1 and one of the 13.0 snapshots. Any way I can figure out what is going on and debug this? Is this a known issue?

Thanks.
 

SirDice

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When I installed with zfs it never made it to the boot loader.
Then you have other issues. They both load from the freebsd-boot partition (if using GPT+CSM boot) or efi (if EFI booting). Note however that the freebsd-boot partition needs to contain gptzfsboot(8) instead of gptboot(8).
 

SirDice

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Because they boot identically there must be some other reason why your ZFS install didn't boot.
 
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Greg Fitzgerald

Greg Fitzgerald

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That's why i'm here is to figure out how I can find out what might be going on. I dropped to a shell and everything looked fine after install with zfs. I tried several times. So i'm looking for some guidance on where to turn next. How can I confirm the bootloader is installed correctly?
 

SirDice

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First you need to figure out how it boots, does it use CSM (traditional BIOS boot)? Is the disk set up for MBR or GPT? Does it EFI boot? Each variant starts slightly different. This is where you may have gone wrong. Assuming a standard GPT install with CSM boot both ZFS and UFS boot exactly the same, except for the gptboot(8) vs. gptzfsboot(8) difference.
 
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Greg Fitzgerald

Greg Fitzgerald

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Using ufs it's using MBR zfs I think obviously uses GPT. I have it in legacy mode so that is probably why GPT wasn't working now I think of it. Do you think that was probably it?
 

mjollnir

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In short: Yes.
Long: I have a ThinkPad T450s, I guess there are no big differences. In the BIOS->Startup, you can select the Boot order: "Legacy fist"/UEFI first", or "UEFI only"(+/- CSM). That's all a bit confusing, right?! At least for me it was ;) Obviously, these settings must relate to what kind of boot loader you installed. AFAIC, the installer chooses the right boot loader to install depending on the situation that is currently active. I,e. if you install a MBR boot loader and change the BIOS boot method to UEFI (only) later, your system does not complain ("no OS found") but stays at the boot screen forever...
 
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