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Re: Feedback from the community -> ARM

On Mon, Jun 14, 2021 at 12:14:26PM +0100, Pete Batard wrote:
> On 2021.06.14 11:14, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
> > As far as I can tell (please let me know if this has changed), the only
> > way to get UEFI boot on Raspberry Pi is to load an EDK2 from
> > a special partition on a bootable drive (µSD or USB).
> Not really.
> You can load everything from a standard FAT32 EFI System Partition (ESP), as
> least on the Raspberry Pi 4, which allows you to create media that is 100%
> UEFI compliant from the get go (no need for special partitions or anything)
> and also has the benefit of allowing you to install vanilla Debian using the
> same media for the target and the source (without even having to do any
> extra gymnastics for reboot), which can be a hugely beneficial thing on SBCs
> where connectivity might be limited or where users may not have the luxury
> of being able to afford 2 media.
> As detailed at [1], here is the overview of the entire installation process:
> > Create a GPT ESP (EFI System Partition) onto an USB, extract the
> > netinst.iso content there, add the latest Raspberry PI UEFI firmware
> > and proceed to a standard Debian networked installation. That's it!

Hi Pete

> And by the way, this method of installing Debian from a single media by
> leveraging the ESP is something that's also frequently used on x86 UEFI
> based PCs, so there's really nothing "custom" about that method, apart from
> the fact that you need to sprinkle a couple extra files besides the
> extracted ISO content.
This didn't work for me yesterday on two occasions. What _did_ work was
creating the ESP partition and formatting it [using parted for the creation
of the partition and fdisk to mark it as fat32. I put in an ESP partition of
512M, which appears to be too small to hold the contents of the  Bullseye
rc2. I then copied over the firmware and UEFI zip.

I used dd to put the iso onto a USB drive and used that to boot from.
Result: one successful install. [Only to discover that my RPi4 is one of the 
very early ones and appears limited to 3GB even if I toggle the setting under 

> Of course, it may require distro maintainers to shift from the idea that
> "people should only use DD when writing ISOHybrids". But then again,
> considering that the whole point of UEFI was to make booting possible from a
> simple media content extraction to a FAT32 partition (and even for ARM there
> are simple ways [2] to work around the 4 GB FAT32 limitation, if your worry
> is that you may have a >4 GB file on your ISO), this method should always
> have been something that image creators need to consider, along with some
> awareness that DD mode is not always the panacea that it's cracked up to be,
> as it can be very problematic for Windows users [3].

See above - not a problem for me. In fact, the Raspberry Pi Foundations
imaging software appears to work fine to write an iso to an SD card or USB
and that or Rufus would be a better thing to advise.

> Regards,
> /Pete
> [1] https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=282839
> [2] https://github.com/pbatard/uefi-ntfs
> [3] https://github.com/pbatard/rufus/wiki/FAQ#Why_doesnt_Rufus_recommend_DD_mode_over_ISO_mode_for_ISOHybrid_images_Surely_DD_is_better

With thanks for everyone's hard work and best wishes as ever,

Andy C

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