Thursday, 9 January 2014

Re: 32 bit UEFI

On 8 January 2014 00:04, Steve Langasek <> wrote:
> Hi Phillip,
> On Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 02:02:07PM -0500, Phillip Susi wrote:
>> It seems that the number of pure 32 bit UEFI systems is growing and so
>> we can't continue to ignore them. The reason that we don't support
>> UEFI on 32 bit images now is that some older systems have broken
>> biosen that blow up when the el torito boot catalog contains multiple
>> entries, and we don't want to have to maintain and test two separate
>> images.
>> What if we transition the main 32 bit image to UEFI support, and to
>> support those few people that still have very aged systems that don't
>> deal with it, we could have a non UEFI flavor of only the netinst
>> image? That should have minimal overhead to maintain.
> This is one of those compatibility requirements about which we have little
> data, to tell us when we should make the switch from maximal BIOS
> compatibility to UEFI compatibility. (Just like knowing when to switch from
> 32-bit by default to 64-bit by default, only worse.)
> At this point, I imagine that the newest 32-bit machines that don't handle
> El Torito multicatalog correctly are about a decade old; the oldest are
> probably much older. I suspect there aren't many of them left around that
> are targets for new Ubuntu installs (or reinstalls). In contrast, we know
> that there are an awful lot of new UEFI-only 32-bit x86 machines being
> manufactured (to my general surprise), and that users are going to want to
> run Ubuntu on these.

Does .iso / El Torito format of installation media makes any sense for
machines that are a decade old?
As far as I understand, all machines from a decade ago should be able
to boot off usb sticks.

All recent machines that I'm aware off do not come with CD/DVD-ROM
devices and other OS vendors have switched away from using DVDs/CDs.

There is no current configuration of any Apple hardware that supports
a CD/DVD-ROM. Mac OS X since v10.7 is only available as a digital
download, in-store installation or a usb-stick.

Window 8 / 8.1, as shipped by OEMs does not come with installation
CD/DVD, but instead only with a recovery partition (and typically some
forms of "recovery keys" e.g. Lenovo OneTouch recovery). Furthermore
the default inside Windows 8 is to create an "installation or recovery
USB stick", whilst an ISO image is also still supported.

None of the recent "ultrabooks" or "laptop/convertibles" are equipped
with a CD/DVD drive.

Similarly on the server side, I don't see many servers configured with

I understand that DVDs are still more cost-effective distribution
media than USB-sticks, but if all of them are destined to be converted
into USB sticks, maybe we should start focusing on delivering robust
"usb.img" with bios, 32bit UEFI, 64 UEFI support.

BTW is there a 32-bit signed-shim available?



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