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Notice: HP Z210 Workstation - Best Practices for Installing Linux
The Z210 platforms use a new version of system firmware/BIOS known as UEFI. UEFI stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface. The UEFI-based BIOS in the Z210 CMT and SFF systems requires changes in the operating system to boot properly. These changes have not yet been universally released by the various Linux distributions available to the public. At this time, none of the major enterprise Linux distributions have made the changes required to boot an HP workstation system running native UEFI firmware.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 5 and older will likely never include the ability to boot natively UEFI systems. RHEL 6 will likely have the necessary changes with the release of 6.1. Novell will release the necessary changes with SLE 11 SP2. Other distributions will have different schedules for UEFI support.
If the user does not manually change the boot option when installing a variant of Linux, the BIOS will automatically default to using UEFI native boot methods. The Linux installation program will typically hang very early in the installation process when attempting to set up native UEFI boot methods until such time as the proper code changes are incorporated into the installation software. Novell SLE 11 is somewhat different. It will run the entire installation program properly until the very last step of installation where the link is established with a UEFI boot loader for booting the kernel installed on the disk. The UEFI boot loader is missing from the installed software so the installation fails at this point and the system is not bootable even though all the s/w is installed on the disk. There is no recovery other than to reload the entire disk using the legacy BIOS boot option.
The work-around to use is to manually select the legacy BIOS boot option when installing a system from scratch. This can be done by selecting the F9 boot option and selecting the appropriate legacy boot device option that matches the media you are using to load the system. Once the system software is loaded, the appropriate legacy boot method will be used for the life of that installed software and you will no longer have to manually select the boot option.