Next Meeting

EFI and GPT Multi-boot Practices

Meeting Info
Bryan Smith and Nino Pereira
6/11/2016 10:00am - 12:30pm
Nova Labs II
1916 Isaac Newton Square W
Reston, VA 20190


  • Introduction: Purpose and Terminology
  • Background: Quick Overview of uEFI and GPT
  • Enablement: Enabling uEFI and Creating GPT Disk Labels
  • Booting: Linux and Windows Tools and Solutions
  • Practices: Rod Smith's rEFI Boot Loader and Author's Eccentric Ways

The purpose of these materials is to focus on the following concepts, realities and practices.


The [unified] Extensible Firmware Interface ([u]EFI) is here, and is virtually near 100% universal adoption. Knowing the firmware and booting realities are unavoidable, especially with an increasing number of uEFI-only systems lacking Compatibility Support Modules (CSM, legacy BIOS compatibility). The GUID Partition Table (GPT), whether used with uEFI or not (latter usually being non-bootable under CSM) offers many advantages too.


How I learned to stop worrying and love computers

This is a tale that starts back in the ancient days of the 1960's when the pterydactyls flapped through the skys over San Francisco Bay and I went for 8 years without owning a television set...

When I was an undergraduate at UC Bezerkeley in the early 1960's computers were not appreciated outside of the engineering department and only super intense, generally male math majors were also interested in computers. In fact the overall response to computers could be summed up in the chorus of one of the Free Speech Movenment's holiday carols sung to the tune of "Joy to the World"

Joy to the world, the word has come
Clar Kerr* has called us red.
If you're not 49 percent, you can't work for the government
The Knowledge Factory
Produces more GNP
Without your subversion on its property


Oh do not fold or spindle, oh do not fold or spindle,
oh do not fold or spindle, or mutiiiilate.

(* president of UC B)


So in the dizzyingly complex Linux systems I tend to work with (my Desktop being one of the worst), I've found locate to be my goto tool for locating anything and everything that's listed as a file. Locate is great, works blazingly fast, doesn't encounter permission denied errors like find. The only issue I've encountered with locate is that it uses an index database of the local file system to search for your pattern string. This database needs to be updated prior to searches, in some shared environments this update is controlled by a cron run, but if you have sudo rights or are the root user then you can run the "locate -u" command which is often aliased as "updatedb".

[email protected]:~$ locate tcpdump.
[email protected]:~$


In Drupal the ubiquitous "t" function is used to translate strings to a page language or a given user language. As such in module writing the "t" function should be used extensively to encapsulate all user readable text. The "t" function works with special placeholders that signal "dynamic information" in a string that needs "extra" filtering or should not be filtered or translated at all, such as URLs. There are three different placeholders that offer three different exceptions to the normal operation of "t".
!Prevents all manipulation by "t", text is inserted as is.

Ow my eyes!

So even my half colorblind eyes are in pain from the Geshi default syntax highlighting, but until I have time to go in and edit the files with the color choices(trivial) I think this is better than no highlighting.

Using GeShi filter for code highlighting

This website has the GeShi filter installed, so code can be escaped and formated with syntax highlighting. To have your code highlighted you must enclose it in "<code> </code>" tags. Just using these tags escapes the code and formats it as plain text. To add syntax highlighting, set the "type" inside the tag like this, "<code type="bash">. Supported languages are:
Language Name syntax "Type"
Bash bash
C c
C++ cpp
CSS css
Drupal 5 drupal5
Drupal 6 drupal6
HTML html4strict


drupal_goto($path = '', $query = NULL, $fragment = NULL, $http_response_code = 302) This simple function initiates an immediate redirect of the user to the URL indicated. The function contains additional parameters to handle complex URL building and supports RFC 2616 by registering an HTTP code for the redirect. The parameters are parsed by this code fragment: $url = url($path, array('query' => $query, 'fragment' => $fragment, 'absolute' => TRUE)); The array is relatively straight forward with the [0] element as the actual address, and the query(if any) loaded into an associative part of the array and the fragments(if any) also loaded into an associative part of the array. The PHP function 'header()' does the heavy lifting in the function by setting the destination and giving the response code to the users browser: header('Location: '. $url, TRUE, $http_response_code);

Linux Foundation Unveils New | The Linux Foundation

Check out the newly launched site run by the Linux Foundation. It would be nice if their vision came true...

SAN FRANCISCO, May 13, 2009 — The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the formal launch of The Foundation took over stewardship of the site in March, at which time it began soliciting input from the community to help define the new via its Ideaforge web tool. Today, it unveils the results of that input and a new online home for all things Linux.

The new will connect Linux users and developers, and by showcasing their skills through its guru listing, will connect individuals to jobs and collaboration opportunities. Instead of a static information site, the new will empower the Linux community to share its knowledge, get questions answered, download the right software and find hardware to solve problems.

MY first NOVALUG blog post

Just an initial blog post on Novalug from me to help get my blog started. I seldom get to attend meetings due to time demands of my family and kids, but I do lurk and participate (when I can) on the listserv. Maybe someday...

I really love using Linux, as I've been using Linux for years, but don't consider myself an expert, especially when comparing my OSS skills and knowledge to most on this list. My expertise is more in the business uses of Linux, as I deal with a variety of customers in that space daily.

About me -- I work for Novell in the Data Center solutions group, supporting a handful of strategic solution provider partners (mostly on the east coast). We focus on Novell products such as SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and PlateSpin management tools. If you ever have questions on that front, feel free to ask me.