Enterprise: a UEFI boot loader for Linux

‘Enterprise’ is the name of a UEFI boot loader that is meant to boot 1 or more Linux ISOs off a USB thumbdrive. The last release was back in 2015, but there is recent Github code activity. SevenBits created ‘Enterprise’, in addition to ‘Mac Linux USB Loader’, which sets up a bootable USB with Enterprise.

Enterprise (named after the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek) is an EFI program that is designed to assist in booting Linux distributions from USB sticks on UEFI-based PCs and Macs, something that is continously regarded as being near to impossible due to quirks in vendors’ EFI implementations and really quite poor support from Linux distributions.  Using Enterprise, you can create bootable USB drives that boot on a UEFI-based computer without needing rEFIt or rEFInd to be installed.  Originally designed to compliment ‘Mac Linux USB Loader’, Enterprise can also be used on its own to boot Linux on a variety of UEFI-based PCs and Macs.  The purpose of Enterprise is as the first stage in a two-stage booting process for ‘Mac Linux USB Loader’-created USB drives. Enterprise is a custom UEFI boot manager designed to load Linux distributions, even those without UEFI booting support, directly from ISO files on UEFI-based computers.  Enterprise provides an easy-to-use and simplistic interface that automates many of the tasks necessary to boot distributions of Linux from an ISO file.  Enterprise supports booting multiple distributions, so you can have more than one distribution per USB stick and multiple configurations for each distribution. Enterprise requires a configuration file telling it about which distributions it should load. This configuration file is created automatically when you use tools like Mac Linux USB Loader, though it is possible to write your own file and configure Enterprise as one would configure other boot managers such as GRUB, gummiboot, and syslinux, albeit much more simply.  Enterprise is under the LGPL; it pulls in code from other software projects (namely, gummiboot). It is written in portable C, and can be compiled to run on both 32-bit and 64-bit EFI firmware types.


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