Wednesday, 18 May 2016

UEFI Grub2 PTN2 menu system - Beta 3 now available (Release Candidate?)

Beta 3 is now in the 'Other Files' folder in the 'Alternate Downloads' areas.
Full documentation is here.
Just in case you are new to this grub2 menu system, it's main purpose is that it allows you to boot some ISOs via UEFI that will not-UEFI boot using .imgPTN files because those ISOs do not contain EFI boot files (grub2 gets around this).
  • Over 60 ISOs supported
  • fix AVG booting in MBR mode
  • systemrescuecd can now UEFI-boot (but startx may not work in EFI64)
  • archassault menu bugfix - now works on NTFS 64-bit, but not on FAT32 for some reason!
  • blackarchlinux x64 now works on NTFS (ISO too big for FAT32)
  • opensuse (4.5GB) works on NTFS
  • Excel spreadsheet updated
  • All xxx_extracted.grub2 menu files have been removed from the menu folders and placed in the \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu Files folder on partition 2. This speeds up the grub2 Main menu loading. Anyone who wants these 'extracted' menus will need to copy the correct .grub2 file to the correct menu folder.
  • Some menu bugfixes
  • Some .cmd scripts improved/updated
Beta 3 tested payloads - click to enlarge
After testing all ISOs on an NTFS partition 2, the following payloads only work when placed on a FAT partition:

FAT32 only ISOs
  • deftz
  • fedora
  • nst
  • centos
  • gentoo
  • sabayon
  • bitdefender
  • Easy Recovery Essentials for Win 10 (extracted)

ISOs which can now be booted via UEFI

I have marked in blue on the .xls spreadsheet which ISOs can now be booted to UEFI via the grub2 menu, even though the ISOs themselves as CD's/DVD's cannot be booted via UEFI and do not support UEFI-booting! This includes (iso name + extra EFI modes supported):

  • deftz EFI32
  • kali EFI64
  • kali light 32 EFI64&EFI32
  • nst EFI64&EFI32
  • ophcrack EFI64&EFI32
  • wt EFI64&EFI32
  • debian EFI64
  • fedora EFI64
  • knoppix EFI64
  • systemrescuecd EFI32
  • zorin32 EFI32
  • avira EFI32
  • bitdefender EFI32
  • pwh32 EFI32
  • drweb EFI64&EFI32

For example,  bitdefender can boot from a CD via EFI64, but not via EFI32, but by using the grub2 menu system, you can boot from an E2B USB drive on both EFI64 and EFI32 systems.

For ophcrack, it was not UEFI-bootable as a CD at all, but under E2B\grub2, you can now boot via 32-bit and 64-bit UEFI (although I don't think it understands Windows GPT partitions - untested).

Until I receive feedback, there will be no further Beta versions. I consider this a 'Release Candidate 1'. I am not going to spend my life adding more grub2 menus as each new distro changes, etc.
It should be fairly easy for you to write your own grub2 menus if you need them for a special or new payload.