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Bug#776317: Jessie RC1 amd64 mini image missing efi bootloader


Ian Campbell:
> Thank you (again?) for all the excellent info you've provided here and
> in your followups.

I hope this does not mean that enough is said on that topic.

> It seems (IMHO only) that mini.iso is mostly useful for d-i developers
> to dev test the netboot installer images without needing to rebuild the
> full netinst images

I am currently preparing a conclusion post to this bug,
where i emphasize that mini.iso is friendly to partition
editors (when on USB stick or alike).
The amd64-netinst images are crammed with baits for BIOS
and EFI. They violate about any specs and best practice
about partitioning.

So if the firmware partition on hard-disk-like media has
its use cases, then it seems worthwhile to develop a
layout for EFI bootability which preserves the feature
of mini.iso to look like a sanely partitioned device.

> But I think most end users would be better off being directed to the
> proper netinst images instead,

I agree as long as only the bootability of the ISO is
of interest.
An end user trying to edit the partitioning of amd64-netinst
will probably get a rough ride.

I dimly remember that firmware partitions were used
to allow the user to combine a free Debian with
proprietary drivers. Something like in

> At some point it seems like improving mini.iso more for end users would
> simply be duplicating effort with the CD team.

It depends on how large the potential audience for
the firmware issue is, and how much the booting OS
of mini.iso can make use of the FAT filesystem and
its content.

The partition was not added just for fun, i guess.

Are there traces inside the booting Debian that it looks
for such a partition and reads files from it ?
Above document says:
"debian-installer only prompts for firmware needed by
 kernel modules loaded during the installation."
"Any firmware loaded during the installation will be
 copied automatically to the installed system."


Ok, back to my work in libisofs to enable the production
of standard-compliant GPT together with isohybrid
and appended partitions.
When it is done, i will propose three alternatives:
MBR based, GPT based, crammed netinst plus firmware partition.
Only the MBR based one can be achieved by released xorriso.

Have a nice day :)


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