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First test of Limine installer

July 14, 2022 — BarryK

As have posted about recently, I'm creating an installer for the Limine bootloader.
Today, tested it on a PC with UEFI firmware. First window:


No Windows OS on this PC. Next window:


Also only one drive, /dev/sda. Interestingly, I was reading on an EndeavourOS forum that the boot partition no longer needs to have the ESP flag set, only the boot flag. This is something that grub2 supports, and Arch Linux and EndeavourOS have embraced. Next window:


This final step uses the 'efibootmgr' utility to write to the UEFI nvram (non-volatile memory), so that, in theory anyway, there will now be an entry that will show up in the UEFI boot-menu -- except it didn't.

The Limine EFI file is installed at /EFI/limine/BOOTX86.EFI in the ESP partition. It is installed OK, and efibootmgr set it as the default choice; however, somehow the Debian and/or Mint install was stuffing things up. After a reboot, the limine entry in UEFI nvmram had been relegated to last on the priority list, and the Mint entry has gone back to the first. The Limine entry wasn't even listed.

I used efibootmgr to remove the Debian and Mint entries from the nvram, and then the Limine entry worked.
Next, I plan to reinstall Mint and observe closely what it does in /EFI in the ESP partition.

Oh yeah, the final window:


I will probably move that warning about Windows, to earlier, and only if Windows is detected.

One good thing, the installation of Limine can be removed simply by removing /EFI/limine. Though, it would be good to also use 'efibootmgr' to remove the entry.

I will test installing to a legacy-BIOS computer soon.   

Tags: easy