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HP-UX Reference > E


Itanium(R)-Based Processor Family Only
HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

Technical documentation

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efi — Extensible Firmware Interface description


The EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) is an interface between HP-UX and the Itanium-based platform firmware. The file system supported by the Extensible Firmware Interface is based on the FAT file system. EFI encompasses the use of FAT-32 for a system partition, and FAT-12 or FAT-16 for removable media. The system partition is required on a bootable disk for the Itanium-based platform.

For a hard disk, the system partition is a contiguous grouping of sectors on the disk, where the starting sector and size are defined by the EFI partition table, which resides on the second logical block of the hard disk, and/or by the Master Boot Record (MBR), which resides on the first sector of the hard disk. For a floppy disk, a partition is defined to be the entire disk.

The System Partition can contain directories, data files, and EFI Images. The EFI system firmware may search the \EFI directory of the EFI system partition, EFI volume, to find possible EFI Images that can be loaded. The HP-UX bootloader is one example of an EFI Image.

HP-UX contains a set of EFI utilities:


Initialize an EFI volume; that is, create a header and an empty directory.


Copy files to and from an EFI volume.


Create directories in an EFI volume.


List the contents of an EFI volume.


Remove files from an EFI volume.


Remove directories from an EFI volume.

The EFI utilities are the only utilities in HP-UX where the internal structure of an EFI volume is known. To the rest of HP-UX, an EFI system partition is simply a partition containing unspecified data. The EFI volume cannot be mounted to HP-UX currently.

An EFI volume can be created on any HP-UX file (either regular disk file or device special file) that supports random access via lseek(2). Within an EFI volume, individual files and directories are identified by 1- to 255-character file names. File names can consist of any alphanumeric characters (A through Z, a through z, and 0 through 9) and the certain set of special characters (. $ % ' - _ @ ~ ` ! ( ) + , : ; = # & ? ^ [ ] { } space). The first character of an EFI file name can be any valid EFI characters, except the space. When comparing two EFI names, differences in the case of alphabetic characters are not significant. For example, the following file names are considered the same:

ABC_file abc_file

If one exists, the user will not be able to create the other.

The directory may be made up of multiple components, separated by slashes(/). The last directory component must be followed by a slash to separate it from the file name. There are two special directory components, (.) and (..). They represent the current directory and the parent directory as in other file systems.

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