observations from manual UEFI install of 4.8

Andrew MacIntyre andymac at bullseye.apana.org.au
Sun May 28 06:55:09 PDT 2017

I just thought I would pass on some observations from manually 
installing DragonFlyBSD 4.8 into a UEFI system, having previously done a 
standard installation into a VirtualBox VM.  While I have long been 
acquainted with FreeBSD (back to v2.0.5), the VM installation was my 
first direct experience with DFly.  This post has also turned out longer 
than I expected - sorry about that.

The installation target itself is an Intel NUCI6CAYH with an SSD.  I 
already had a Linux installation on it with GRUB configured for UEFI 

I knew from the release notes that the installer wasn't going to work 
with the existing partition structure for the Linux installation, but 
having done some reading didn't have a great deal of trouble (typos 
notwithstanding...) getting the installation running.

I chose to install DFly into a single GPT slice (which ended up being 
s6), disklabel64'ed with the a/b/d (UFS/swap/HAMMER) layout per the 
manual install instructions.

Getting GRUB to boot DFly took some experimenting, but based on some 
information posted by the author of rEFInd the following GRUB menu entry 
(entered in the 40_custom template) worked for me:

menuentry "DragonFly BSD" {
   insmod part_gpt
   insmod chain
   set root='(hd0,gpt1)'
   chainloader /EFI/dragonfly/dragonfly_x64.efi

NB: the EFI system partition is in the first GPT slice, hence the "gpt1" 

I may yet install rEFInd - GRUB, while functional, isn't pretty.

In the course of this installation I stumbled over a couple things that 
were a little disconcerting though:
- after completing the file copies, I came across a reference to the 
installer creating a number of PFSes.  PFSes aren't mentioned in the 
manual installation instructions that I could find, so my installation 
now doesn't have them.  I'm not yet clear about whether this is 
something worth trying to rectify...

- I thought I might be able to use the standard installer to complete 
the post installation steps, but while the command structure implies 
this should work attempting to access the "Configure an Installed 
System" menu demanded that I select a disk and partition but couldn't 
make sense of my GPT layout :-(.  None of the functions in that menu 
seem like they would need to work at the disk level, so this is probably 
a design limitation of the installer.  I was able to do the time zone, 
passwd and user steps manually.

- the standard installer also appears to clean up the files copied from 
the live image (the "installer" login is one thing I have identified so 
far) for "production" use, but the manual installation instructions 
don't mention anything along these lines that I noticed - is there any 
documentation of what the installer actually does to sanitise the 
installed files ready for routine operation?

- this machine is coming up with syscons using efifb (the EFI 
framebuffer) which has 2 minor annoyances:
= I haven't been able to get the screen saver to activate though the 
splash_bmp and logo_saver .klds load fine;
= vt0 is stubbornly remaining in 80x25 mode (and only displaying in the 
upper left hand part of the display) while the other vts are in 170x48 
mode fully utilising the screen (LCD resolution is 1360x768). 
vidcontrol doesn't report any alternative video modes in either case...

I haven't tried to get X running yet...

Hopefully something above may help someone else or inform development 
for future releases.

Many thanks to DFly's developers for your work.

Andrew I MacIntyre                     "These thoughts are mine alone..."
E-mail: andymac at bullseye.apana.org.au  (pref) | Snail: PO Box 370
         andymac at pcug.org.au             (alt) |        Belconnen ACT 2616
Web:    http://www.andymac.org/               |        Australia

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