Linus Torvalds: EFI sucks

Here’s a big shout-out to “ISO Master” and Andrew Smith.
I had an old Mac Mini that simply absolutely would not install any of the newer Linux distributions, because they now support that abomination called EFI – and while EFI tries to be a “better BIOS”, it’s actually worse in just about all respects.

(Honesty in advertising: EFI does have one improvement in the form of support for GPT. But it would have been so infinitely much better if it had just done so with the old odd – but tested – BIOS interfaces rather than making up its own complicated interfaces that nobody seems to get right).

In particular, it’s worse because it’s totally untested – and thus generally doesn’t work. Apple has been using it the longest, and has the oddest bugs as a result. So try to insert an EFI-enabled CD into old Apple machines, and it will just confuse the machine and not work.

However, the BIOS emulation in bootcamp still does work, and doesn’t have the infinite bugs that EFI implementations tends to have.

Solution: use ISO Master to open up the ISO image, remove the “EFI” directory, write a new ISO file, and boot that instead. I’m sure I could have done it by hand, but ISO Master really made it incredibly pain free. Thanks.

Anyway, I’m sure that in another decade or so, EFI will be well tested. It’s just sad how people always try to “improve” on old standard interfaces by then over-designing the improvements to the point where the new interface is just overwhelmed by complexity.

Linus Torvalds