UEFI Install Guide

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This tutorial will show you how to install Funtoo on a UEFI system. UEFI, also known as the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, is a new firmware interface that is used on some newer computers as a replacement for the traditional PC BIOS. It has an integrated boot loader, so setting up booting is different. The recommended approach is to follow the Efi Stub Method . Many have reported that they are now unable to boot their system using the other, older method.

This tutorial is meant to be an "overlay" over the Regular Funtoo Installation. Follow the normal installation and only follow steps in this tutorial when dealing with partitioning and configuring the boot loader (GRUB). All steps are otherwise identical to the regular installation process.

What Are We Doing?

This guide will show you how to set up your UEFI system to load the GRUB boot loader, which will then load your Funtoo Linux kernel and initramfs. This is the "UEFI + GRUB" method as described on the Boot Methods page.

First Steps

To install Funtoo Linux on a UEFI system, first you need to boot SysRescueCD in UEFI mode. To do this, enable UEFI in your BIOS, and if necessary disable legacy booting. After some fiddling, you should be able to boot SysRescueCD and get a black and white text menu instead of the traditional aqua/cyan-colored menu. The black and white menu indicates that you booted SysRescueCD in UEFI mode. Once you've accomplished this, you're ready to continue with your Funtoo Linux installation and partition your drive. See below for details.


If the /sys/firmware/efi directory exists, then you have successfully booted in EFI mode and will be able to configure your Funtoo system to boot in EFI mode. If the directory doesn't exist, fix this first. It is a requirement for setting up EFI booting.


To set up your partitions for UEFI booting, you will create a ~500MB FAT32 partition on /dev/sda1, and set it to type EF00 using gdisk.

Command: n ↵
Partition Number: 1 ↵
First sector: 
Last sector: +500M ↵
Hex Code: EF00

This partition will serve as your Funtoo /boot filesystem as well as the partition that the UEFI firmware can read to load GRUB. Then you will set up swap on /dev/sda2 and your root filesystem on /dev/sda3. To create the FAT32 filesystem, type:

root # mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sda1

Your /etc/fstab entry for this filesystem will also differ, and will look like this:

/dev/sda1		/boot		vfat		noatime	1 2



Make sure you add VFAT support to your kernel if you are building it manually.

EFI Framebuffer

If you have the following option enabled in your kernel, then uvesafb and efifb will not be able to detect the framebuffer:

Under Bus options (PCI etc.):

[*] Mark VGA/VBE/EFI FB as generic system framebuffer (NEW)

If you have that option enabled, you must also enable:

Under Device Drivers-->Graphics support-->Frame buffer Devices:

[*]   Simple framebuffer support

This is the preferred method of using the EFI framebuffer, the efifb and uvesafb drivers will be used as a fallback if the above is not compatible.

Boot Loader

EFI Stub method

Instead of bothering with the installation of GRUB and the risk that your system will not boot, you should consider using the UEFI firmware of your computer to boot your kernel. not only does this method reduce boot times slightly, it also removes the hassel of dealing with and configuring a bootloader.

Kernel Configuration

To prepare your kernel to boot with EFI stub, make sure that the following options are built in to your kernel: Under Processor type and features:

[*] EFI runtime service support
[*]     EFI stub support
[ ]         EFI mixed-mode support

[*] Built-in kernel command line
(kernel options that you want to pass go here)

Commands that you would normally pass, such as, video=uvesafb:1920x1080-32,mtrr:3,ywrap, should be put here. In other words, anything that you would normally add to /etc/boot.conf after params += should be added to the built-in kernel command line as well.


You should specifiy the position of your rootfs here. For example: root=/dev/sdb1.

If your system requires an initramfs to boot, do not worry, you can build that in to the kernel. One thing that you should know, however, is that the kernel only takes plaintext and .cpio files for initramfs source files. Therefore, if you use an application to generate an initramfs for you, make sure that it does not use gzip compression. To build better-initramfs-bin without gzip compression, disable the gzip use flag for the package:

sys-kernel/better-initramfs-bin -gzip

then emerge better-initramfs:

root # emerge better-initramfs-bin

If you check in your /boot directory, you should see a file called initramfs.cpio. See below to include this file in your kernel. Under General setup:

[*] Initial RAM filesystem and RAM disk (initramfs/initrd) support
For better-initramfs-bin:

Building and installing the kernel

After you have configured your kernel, build it, install it to /boot, and then create a copy of the image to store in the EFI boot directory:

root # pwd
root # make -jn
root # make -jn install modules_install
root # mkdir -vp /boot/EFI/Boot
root # cp -v /boot/vmlinuz-x.x.x /boot/EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi

When you have finished all of this, you should be able to reboot and enjoy yor new Funtoo system!

Grub method

Unmask Grub 2.02_beta2

Unmask the latest version of GRUB by placing this in your /etc/portage/package.unmask:


The 2.00 version of GRUB has known issues with UEFI booting.

Emerging GRUB

You will still use GRUB as a boot loader, but before emerging grub, you will need to enable EFI booting. To do this, add the following line to /etc/portage/make.conf:


Then, emerge grub. You will notice efibootmgr getting pulled in as a dependency. This is expected and good.

Installing GRUB

Now, for the magic of getting everything in place for booting. You should copy your kernel and initramfs (if you have one -- you will if you are following the default install) to /boot. GRUB will boot those. But how do we get UEFI to boot GRUB? Well, we need to run the following command:

root # grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot --bootloader-id="Funtoo Linux [GRUB]" --recheck /dev/sda

This command will simply install all the stuff to /boot/EFI and /boot/grub that your system needs to boot. In particular, the /boot/EFI/grub/grubx64.efi file will be created. This is the GRUB boot image that UEFI will load and start.

A more detailed explanation of the flags used in the above command:

  • --target=x86_64-efi: Tells GRUB that we want to install it in a way that allows it to boot in UEFI
  • --efi-directory=/boot: All GRUB UEFI files will be installed in /boot
  • --bootloader-id="Funtoo Linux [GRUB]": This flag is not necessary for GRUB to boot. However, it allows you to change the text of the boot option in the UEFI BIOS. The stuff in the quotes can be set to anything that you would like.
  • --recheck: If a device map already exists on the disk or partition that GRUB is being installed on, it will be removed.
  • /dev/sda:The device that we are installing GRUB on.

Configuring GRUB

OK, now UEFI has the GRUB image it needs to boot. But we still need to configure GRUB itself so it finds and boots your kernel and initramfs. This is done by performing the following steps. Since boot-update doesn't yet support UEFI, we will use boot-update, but then edit our /boot/grub/grub.cfg to support UEFI booting.

First, you will need to edit /etc/boot.conf. Format this as you would if you were booting without UEFI. If you are not sure how this should look, below is an example of what it could look like if you are booting from an unencrypted ext4 partition:

boot {
        generate grub
        default "Funtoo Linux"
        timeout 3

"Funtoo Linux" {
        kernel vmlinuz[-v]
        params += rootfstype=ext4 root=/dev/sda2

After you have edited your /etc/boot.conf file, run boot-update. If you check your /boot/grub/grub.cfg now, you should see something like this:

set timeout=3

  insmod part_gpt
  insmod fat
  set root=(hostdisk//dev/sda,gpt1)
  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 3CFD-6884
if loadfont /grub/unifont.pf2; then
   set gfxmode=text
   insmod gfxterm
   insmod vbe
   terminal_output gfxterm

set menu_color_normal=cyan/blue
set menu_color_highlight=blue/cyan

menuentry "Funtoo Linux - vmlinuz-3.16.3" {
  insmod part_gpt
  insmod fat
  set root=(hostdisk//dev/sda,gpt1)
  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 3CFD-6884
  linux /vmlinuz-3.16.3 video=uvesafb:1920x1080-32,mtrr:3,ywrap rootfstype=ext4 root=/dev/sda2
  set gfxpayload=text
set default=0

To get your /boot/grub/grub.cfg to support booting with UEFI, make your /boot/grub/grub.cfg look like this:

set timeout=3

  insmod part_gpt
  insmod fat
  insmod efi_gop
  insmod efi_uga
  set root=(hostdisk//dev/sda,gpt1)
  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 3CFD-6884
if loadfont /grub/unifont.pf2; then
   set gfxmode=auto
   insmod gfxterm
   insmod vbe
   terminal_output gfxterm

set menu_color_normal=cyan/blue
set menu_color_highlight=blue/cyan

menuentry "Funtoo Linux - vmlinuz-3.16.3" {
  insmod part_gpt
  insmod fat
  set root=(hostdisk//dev/sda,gpt1)
  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 3CFD-6884
  linux /vmlinuz-3.16.3 video=uvesafb:1920x1080-32,mtrr:3,ywrap rootfstype=ext4 root=/dev/sda2
  set gfxpayload=keep
set default=0

The lines that we have added and altered do the following:

  • insmod efi_gop and insmod efi_uga: Both of these involve adding support for the UEFI framebuffer to GRUB.
  • set gfxmode=auto: Instead of having the GRUB boot option screen being displayed at the smallest resolution possible, changing this to auto will make it fit the resolution of your display.

Known Issues

  • With pure UEFI boot mode, with legacy mode disabled, following error expected:
    • video driver not supported, boot hangs, hard reboot required.
  • Choose UEFI first, next legacy driver. It depends on motherboard vendor and efi bios version.
    • In UEFI bios choose grub option, if your succeeded with above guide, additional menu should appear in Boot Menu, otherwise it boots into EFI shell: grub:NAME of you hard drive
  • On some systems, installing the packages that are required for UEFI booting with any gcc later than a 4.x.x release may lead to a black screen after the GRUB screen. To fix this, before you begin installing any packages on your system, emerge =gcc-4.6.4-r2 and proceed with the installation as usual. Remember to switch your compiler back to the version of gcc that came with your system after you have finished installing. To do this, use gcc-config 2. This problem can also be fixed by following the Efi Stub guide instead of the GRUB one.


Remember to follow all other steps in the regular Funtoo Install Guide. Assuming you did everything correctly, your system should now boot via UEFI! We will be adding UEFI support to boot-update soon to make this process easier.