dual-booting FreeBSD or Windows

Kevin Bowling has an article that shows how to setup a UEFI system to work with FreeBSD — including ZFS on root — and another UEFI OS like Windows.



I’m not sure if this article is an improved version of or just a rebroadcast of:




FreeBSD 11.0 RC released

The first release candidate of FreeBSD 11.0-STABLE is out. Below, excerpted from their release notes, is an excerpt of some of the changes:

Initial support for the ARM AArch64 architecture has been added. [r280259] (Sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation)

Initial ACPI support has been added for FreeBSD/aarch64. [r284273] (Sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation)

The uefisign(8) utility has been added. [r279315] (Sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation)

Support for bzipfs has been added to the EFI loader. [r279950]

The mkimg(1) utility has been updated to support the MBR EFI partition type. [r276893] (Sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation)

The gpart(8) utility has been updated to include a new attribute for GPT partitions, lenovofix, which when set, which works around BIOS compatibility issues reported on several Lenovo ™ laptops. [r285594] (Sponsored by ScaleEngine, Inc.)

[arm] The arm boot loader, ubldr, is now relocatable. In addition, ubldr.bin is now created during build time, which is a stripped binary with an entry point of 0, providing the ability to specify the load address by running go ${loadaddr} in u-boot. [r282731]

Support for the “Virtual Interrupt Delivery” feature of Intel® VT-x is enabled if supported by the CPU. This feature can be disabled by running sysctl hw.vmm.vmx.use_apic_vid=0. Additionally, to persist this setting across reboots, add hw.vmm.vmx.use_apic_vid=0 to /etc/sysctl.conf. [r260410]

Support for “Posted Interrupt Processing” is enabled if supported by the CPU. This feature can be disabled by running sysctl hw.vmm.vmx.use_apic_pir=0. Additionally, to persist this setting across reboots, add hw.vmm.vmx.use_apic_pir=0 to /etc/sysctl.conf. [r260532]

Support for running a FreeBSD/amd64 Xen guest instance as PVH guest has been added. PVH mode, short for “Para-Virtualized Hardware”, uses para-virtualized drivers for boot and I/O, and uses hardware virtualization extensions for all other tasks, without the need for emulation. [r267536] (Sponsored by Citrix Systems R&D)

The bhyve(8) hypervisor has been updated to support AMD® processors with SVM and AMD-V hardware extensions. [r273375]

The Hyper-V™ drivers have been updated with several enhancements: [r282212] (Sponsored by Microsoft Open Source Technology Center)

A new device control utility, devctl(8) has been added, which allows making administrative changes to individual devices, such as attaching and detaching drivers, and enabling and disabling devices. The devctl(8) utility uses the new devctl(3) library. [r278320]

The pciconf(8) utility has been updated to use the PCI ID database from the misc/pciids package, if present, falling back to the PCI ID database in the FreeBSD base system. [r287522]

The acpi(4) subsystem has been updated to version 20150818. [r287168]

ACPICA has been updated to version 20160527. [r300879]

Firmware for Intel® Centrino™ Wireless-N 105 devices has been added to the base system. [r260552]

The stack protector has been upgraded to the “strong” level, elevating the protection against buffer overflows. While this significantly improves the security of the system, extensive testing was done to ensure there are no measurable side effects in performance or functionality. [r288669]

An issue that could cause a system to hang when entering ACPI S3 state (suspend to RAM) has been corrected in the acpi(4) and pci(4) drivers. [r274386]

Full relnotes:


FreeBSD UEFI status update

FreeBSD’s quarterly status update is out.

There’s two entries on UEFI, excerpted below:

EFI Refactoring and GELI Support: The EFI bootloader has undergone considerable refactoring to make more use of the EFI API. The filesystem code in boot1 has been eliminated, and a single codebase for filesystems now serves both boot1 and loader. This codebase is organized around the EFI driver model and it should be possible to export any filesystem implementation as a standalone EFI driver without too much effort. Both boot1 and loader have been refactored to utilize the EFI_SIMPLE_FILE_SYSTEM interface. In the loader, this is accomplished with a dummy filesystem driver that is just a translation layer between the loader filesystem interface and EFI_SIMPLE_FILE_SYSTEM. A reverse translation layer allows the existing filesystem drivers to function as EFI drivers. The EFI refactoring by itself exists in a branch on github. Additionally, GELI support has been added using the EFI refactoring. This allows booting from a GELI-encrypted filesystem. Note that the EFI system partition, which contains boot1, must be a plaintext msdosfs partition. This patch adds an intake buffer to the crypto framework, which allows injection of keys directly into a loaded kernel, without the need to pass them through arguments or environment variables. This patch only uses the intake buffer for EFI GELI support, as legacy BIOS GELI support still uses environment variables. EFI GELI support depends on the efize branch. These patches have been tested and used and should be able to handle use by early adopters. Note that the LOADER_PATH variable has been changed to /boot/loader.tst, to facilitate safe testing.

loader.efi has been updated to use an event timer to implement its internal time function. This is needed, as many UEFI implementations do not handle the GetTime runtime service method. This means that loader.efi will now correctly count down before automatically booting.



BSSSD: Trusted Computing for FreeBSD and OpenBSD

Excerpting the recent TCG announcement:

BSSSD: Trusted Computing now available for FreeBSD and OpenBSD: All pieces to utilize Trusted Computing and build Trusted Computing applications on FreeBSD and OpenBSD have been made available by the BSSSD-project.

Software components:
 * TPM device driver for the FreeBSD-kernel
 * TPM device driver for the OpenBSD-kernel
 * TCG Software Stack TrouSerS
 * TrustedGRUB boot-loader
 * TPM-Tools
 * OpenSSL-TPMengine
 * OpenCryptoKi
 * TPM-Emulator
 * TPM-Testsuite

Kernel drivers were developed for the following TPMs:
 * Atmel 97SC3203
 * Broadcom BCM0102
 * Infineon IFX SLB 9635 TT 1.2
 * Intel INTC0102
 * Sinosun SNS SSX35
 * STM ST19WP18
 * Winbond WEC WPCT200
 * TPMemulator


BSSSD: Trusted Computing Now Available for FreeBSD and OpenBSD


FreeBSD 10.3 released

Marius Strobl announced FreeSD 10.3, with changes to UEFI, amongst other updates and new features. An excerpt of the highlights listed in the announcement:

* The UEFI boot loader received several improvements: It now follows /boot/config and /boot.config files, multi-device boot support works and command line arguments are parsed. Additionally, its framebuffer driver has been enhanced with GOP (Graphics Output Protocol) and UGA (Universal Graphics Adapter) handling, allowing to set the current graphics mode on systems using one of these methods. Moreover, ZFS boot capability has been added to the UEFI boot loader, including support for multiple ZFS Boot Environments (BEs), e. g. those provided by sysutils/beadm.

* The bsdinstall(8) utility has been updated to allow for creating root-on-ZFS installations on UEFI-based systems in automatic mode.

* The mkimg(1) utility has been updated to support NTFS file systems in both GPT and MBR partitioning schemes.

* And much more …

More information:



FreeBSD 10.3.b3 adds new commands to UEFI boot loader

Marius Strobl of the FreeBSD project has announced the 10.3-BETA3 FreeBSD. In terms of UEFI, there are two new UEFI bootloader commands, ‘gop‘ and ‘uga‘:

 Two new commands have been added to the amd64 framebuffer driver
  of the UEFI boot loader.  The first is `gop` (as in Graphics Output
  Protocol), which allows to diagnose problems with efifb(4) but also
  to set the current graphics mode on machines employing GOP.  With
  `uga` (as in Universal Graphics Adapter), it is possible to do the
  same on systems using the UGA protocol, which mainly translates to
  Apple hardware.  The latter change also generally introduced UGA
  support and currently hardcodes the necessary settings for mid-2007
  iMacs (iMac7,1) and late-2007 MacBooks (MacBook3,1).  But it is
  likewise possible to manually supply the necessary information for
  additional systems.