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Re: [PATCH 0/3] Add support for EFI file system transposition

From: Michael Schierl
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/3] Add support for EFI file system transposition
Date: Sun, 12 Jun 2022 14:00:53 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.10.0

Hello Pete et al,

Am 06.06.2022 um 18:50 schrieb Pete Batard:
Hello everyone,

This series of patches adds file system transposition support, for UEFI boot 
media created with grub-mkrescue.

File system transposition means the ability to take the content of a UEFI 
bootable media and copy it, at the file system level, to a partition that was 
independently created and formatted by the user, while preserving the ability 
of the media to boot in UEFI mode.

We see this as a much needed improvement to GRUB when one of the core concept 
of EFI is to do away with the requirement to have to create boot media at the 
block level, one of the major pain points of BIOS systems' users.

I fully agree to these efforts, yet for a different reason.

It happens from time to time that I am (without any preparation) asked
to fix somebody else's computer (which probably does not boot or there
is another problem to use it for accessing the internet). In that case,
I always have a USB flash drive in my wallet that is USB2go capable
(i.e. has a second plug to connect to my smartphone) which is
partitioned as a single large FAT32 partition full of rescue tools
(acting as ESP) and some magic to be able to use some of the tools also
when booting in BIOS mode. Most of the tools are selectable from my GRUB
boot menu (secure boot capable, of course), yet some depend on specific
file names on the ESP, so I first need to rename some files on the
device to use them (which is not a problem as I can do this on my
Android smartphone prior to booting from the drive).

Also, sometimes while trying to help, I encounter an article about yet
another tool in the Internet, which I would like to download on my
smartphone and add to my USB drive to use right away. And here is the
caveat: To be able to do so, it either needs to come as an .iso (hybrid
or not) which is loopback.cfg bootable (i.e. has a loopback.cfg which
can be loaded from GRUB and then search the .iso on the ESP and boot
from it), or as an archive of an EFI system partition I can extract on
my smartphone (i.e. .zip or .iso) and copy to my USB drive (moving away
files that are in the way so that I can restore them afterwards).

And while lots of tools nowadays are "fit for UEFI" (unfortunately, not
so often Secure boot), finding an way to get those files on my USB drive
from my smartphone is often impossible, which means I cannot help them
right now and probably will have to do some "homework" before I meet
them next time.

Therefore, having more software that can be booted via either of the two
mentioned ways would help me as well (or other standard ways that
support the use case of adding software on demand without special apps
on an Android smartphone).

Just my 2ยข,


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