Running RHEL 6 on EFI BIOS-based system

Been ages since I updated the blog. Was really busy lately with lots of commitments and work-related task.

Just wanna share 1 thing to remember when you intend to run RHEL 6 on EFI-based BIOS. Few months ago I was tasked to setup RHEL 6 on an EFI-based system (IBM x-series 3850 M3 if not mistaken). Linux on IBM x series? should be a piece of cake rite? Just put the CD, setup the partition and voila. How wrong I was. It took me and a friend of mine (which is an expert in Linux with more than 10 years of experience, mind you) around 8 hours to got it right.

To make matters worse, we could not find any documentation regarding it on the Internet and even RH Knowledge Base and documentation didnt help either (at that time, dunno now). To shorten the matter, here are the simple guideline that I can give you. We are installing a RHEL 6 64bit OS BTW.

Linux boot the OS from the /boot partition. Problem is after the installation, it fails to even go to the bootloader menu. And installation is never completed without Anaconda raising a flag that it fails to install RHEL 6. Turn out to be the boot for EFI BIOS partition must be in vfat format in order for the system to detect it. So you have to mount /boot on EXT-based filesystem and /boot/EFI on vfat filesystem (Anaconda labels it as EFI boot partition if I am not mistaken). That should make the server able to boot the OS properly.

What really annoys me is that Anaconda didnt do the proper detection to flag us that our filesystem configuration is not workable. Or put something on the knowledge base about this issue. However if you do the installation using the default setup without any customization, it will actually detect you are installing on an EFI system and put the partition accordingly (Thats how we manage to solve this problem BTW).

Hope this can help some sysadmin from going back late at night to solve the same issue.