2.4 UEFI Install



  • After my upgrade to 2.4 failed via the GUI, I decided I'd do a fresh install.  So I could move to UEFI.

    I had saved my config just prior to the failed update, so it wasn't a big deal.

    Try as I might, I couldn't get the USB installer to boot beyond detecting the hard drives.

    I made my usb installer using the memstick 2.4 image, using Rufus 2.11.995.  I tried MBR, MBR For UEFI, and GPT partition scheme's within Rufus.

    Once I set my hardware back to BIOS, 2.4 installed without issue.  Did the UEFI support get dropped?

    My hardware is an i7 optiplex 9010 with 32GB RAM and Samsung 32GB USB3.0 drive.

    I know someone is going to say, why do I want UEFI, for me, it has nothing to do with pfSense.  I run 4 different appliances in my lab, all on the optiplex 9010 SFF platform.  I have 5 identical 9010's, one being a spare.  The only difference between the machine setups at this point is that the pfSense unit requires BIOS where the others all support UEFI.  It would just be nice if I could remove that one difference in my cold spare.

    What did I miss?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    UEFI support is still there and works fine for others. Could be that particular system's implementation combined with FreeBSD.

    Can you boot a FreeBSD 11.1 installer with UEFI?



  • Yes, and actually one of my other 9010's are running FreeNAS 11.x in UEFI mode.

    I wish I had taken a picture of the screen it hung at, but basically it said that it saw 1 UFS and 0 ZFS pools.

    There was only about 5 or 6 lines of text on the screen.

    CTRL-ALT-DEL WOULD reboot the machine, so it wasn't actually hung.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    You might check for a BIOS update or some setting in the BIOS that may help.

    If you do try again, get a picture of the output when it stops



  • Will do.  Might try and put it on my spare box just to see what happens.

    I'm assuming the preferred method to make the USB boot key is with Rufus and a GPT partition??


  • Netgate

    Most of us are using etcher these days but they all work. rufus, etcher, dd. The whole drive, including partitioning, is handled in the image itself.

    https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Writing_Disk_Images



  • Can't say I've been impressed with Etcher.  Seems like a step back in control of process.

    Plus, the suggestion it (Etcher) provides when trying to burn a windows install USB that you use Rufus is a little off putting, at least in my mind.

    Perhaps I'm too old of a dog, I'll give it a try on my pfSense image and see if that cures the issues I've having.


  • Netgate

    OK but we are talking about pfSense images not windows installers.



  • Very true.

    What's one more tool for the tool box, right?



  • What's the advantage of doing a UEFI install for pfsense?



  • In my case, it's simplicity.

    I have 4 optiplex 9010 i7 SFF.  All identical.

    I use 4 of them for various purposes in my lab, pfSense and FreeNAS are two.  Everything but pfSenses (up to 2.4) uses UEFI.  So by moving pfSense to UEFI I can move hardware around, swap spares in and out, without having to worry about about how I have the BIOS set.

    I asked this same question about a year ago, and was told there "was no advantage" on pfSense.

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=111226.0  Link on this forum discussing UEFI.



  • I see. Thanks. I don't remember if I installed pfsense in my APU2C4 boxes in UEFI mode. Is there a way to check in the shell or GUI?


  • Banned

    I have been also trying to do a UEFI boot with FreeBSD for over a year now even including version 12 and it still just hangs on the install at the beastie logo.
    No other OS does this and I have reported it many times to the FreeBSD group and it never gets any attention probably because it only affect some BIOS including the Dell Optiplex series. Every other Linux distro I have tested works. Only FreeBSD does not work.

    What does work though is installing with legacy mode turned on and manually booting to UEFI. Automatic boot to UEFI never worked with FreeBSD on these systems. One of the advantages to a UEFI boot is better screen resolution.



  • My FreeNAS 11 UEFI boots just fine on an identical Optiplex 9010.  Same bios, all were ordered at the same time and the service tags are withing a couple of characters or each other.


  • Banned

    I tried 3010, 7010, and 9010. FreeBSD will not boot the install disk unless you use legacy mode. Tried countless times over the past year. Maybe you have an older BIOS. I am using the latest one.
    Make sure you turn legacy mode off and disable the Legacy Option ROMs. All my systems are SFF, but use the same BIOS as the desktops and towers.
    If you are doing something different, please tell me so I can get this to work. I tried with FreeBSD 10, 11, and 12



  • Ah, you are correct, actually, if you don't have legacy option ROMs on, and don't have a VGA adapter, it won't boot at all.  Crazy, but true.  So I have legacy option roms on in UEFI just so I can boot.

    I'm running v24, haven't put v25 on yet.


  • Banned

    Ok, thanks. I thought I was going crazy here. Just tried it with the latest pfsense 2.4.0 using a 7010 with BIOS v25 and it hangs on the boot just before the beastie logo. Funny thing is, no other Linux or Windows distro will hang. Just FreeBSD. Even tried FreeBSD v12. Hope they eventually fix this.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    @kevindd992002:

    What's the advantage of doing a UEFI install for pfsense?

    It can boot on systems which require UEFI and don't have any other choice. If you have a choice of UEFI and BIOS then, unless you have a compelling reason to use UEFI, it doesn't matter much to pfSense.

    Assuming FreeBSD and that UEFI implementation get along…

    For example, our Minnowboard Turbot systems with dual ethernet require UEFI to boot, so they have to run 2.4.



  • @jimp:

    @kevindd992002:

    What's the advantage of doing a UEFI install for pfsense?

    It can boot on systems which require UEFI and don't have any other choice. If you have a choice of UEFI and BIOS then, unless you have a compelling reason to use UEFI, it doesn't matter much to pfSense.

    Assuming FreeBSD and that UEFI implementation get along…

    For example, our Minnowboard Turbot systems with dual ethernet require UEFI to boot, so they have to run 2.4.

    Gotcha! Is there a way to check if my current installation is already using UEFI? Or is UEFI only supported starting from 2.4? I'm not sure if the APU2C4 is UEFI-capable.



  • @kevindd992002:

    @jimp:

    @kevindd992002:

    What's the advantage of doing a UEFI install for pfsense?

    It can boot on systems which require UEFI and don't have any other choice. If you have a choice of UEFI and BIOS then, unless you have a compelling reason to use UEFI, it doesn't matter much to pfSense.

    Assuming FreeBSD and that UEFI implementation get along…

    For example, our Minnowboard Turbot systems with dual ethernet require UEFI to boot, so they have to run 2.4.

    Gotcha! Is there a way to check if my current installation is already using UEFI? Or is UEFI only supported starting from 2.4? I'm not sure if the APU2C4 is UEFI-capable.

    I'm not aware of a way to determine from the GUI, (there might be??), but if you used this system prior to 2.4, you aren't in UEFI.  2.4 is the first release with support for UEFI.



  • If it's using UEFI you will notice from the console immediately because the console is in graphics mode as opposed to the old VGA text mode that the non-UEFI installation uses. The other thing you can check is to run this from the command prompt (over SSH or from the Diagnostics->Command Prompt menu):

    
    $ gpart show
    =>      40  62533216  ada0  GPT  (30G)
            40    409600     1  efi  (200M)
        409640      1024     2  freebsd-boot  (512K)
        410664       984        - free -  (492K)
        411648   4194304     3  freebsd-swap  (2.0G)
       4605952  57925632     4  freebsd-zfs  (28G)
      62531584      1672        - free -  (836K)
    
    

    The first partition is of type "efi" which gives away that this is an UEFI install, if it's missing you're on the older style of installation.

    Also, you can tell from the BIOS set up program of your system right away if it's UEFI, it will tell it to you as just about the first thing, very hard to miss.



  • @kpa:

    If it's using UEFI you will notice from the console immediately because the console is in graphics mode as opposed to the old VGA text mode that the non-UEFI installation uses. The other thing you can check is to run this from the command prompt (over SSH or from the Diagnostics->Command Prompt menu):

    
    $ gpart show
    =>      40  62533216  ada0  GPT  (30G)
            40    409600     1  efi  (200M)
        409640      1024     2  freebsd-boot  (512K)
        410664       984        - free -  (492K)
        411648   4194304     3  freebsd-swap  (2.0G)
       4605952  57925632     4  freebsd-zfs  (28G)
      62531584      1672        - free -  (836K)
    
    

    The first partition is of type "efi" which gives away that this is an UEFI install, if it's missing you're on the older style of installation.

    Also, you can tell from the BIOS set up program of your system right away if it's UEFI, it will tell it to you as just about the first thing, very hard to miss.

    Yeah, I just checked. It's still using MBR so probably BIOS (not UEFI).