[ipxe-devel] [PATCH 0/2] Support platforms that do not process the CTRL key

Michael Bazzinotti mbazzinotti at gmail.com
Sun May 24 20:13:06 UTC 2015

On Sun May 24 15:31:52 BST 2015, Robin Smidsrød wrote:
> I'm fairly certain that this patch set will not be accepted. You should
> instead try to find the root cause for why the CTRL key is not being
> and fix that. Alternatively (on Mac machines/keyboards) you can use
> key (like CMD) and map it to CTRL.

 Hi Robin, I researched this issue and a lot of people have had problems
with it
in the past. Here are some relevant links (no solutions found):

 * https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub2/+bug/722950
 * https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=163231
 * https://sourceforge.net/p/etherboot/mailman/message/22886868/
 * http://etherboot.org/wiki/macbuild#refit

 It seems the problem is prevalent on macs.

 Fortunately, Grub includes CTRL key shortcuts *and* alternatives *hint
hint* I
tested it myself. I took pictures, but I'm failing to upload them. I think
get the point.

 Suffice it to say, I've contacted the creator of rEFInd (Roderick Smith)
his EFI and mac EFI expertise, to examine the point of remapping the CTRL
However, I expect that this fix will be too extreme to be practical. While
might be fun, in all practical sense, changing a few lines in iPXE and being
done with it is far easier than researching the depths of mac's EFI
implementation and determining a course of action for 'fixing' the CTRL key
issue. This could include modifying EFI firmware (doable?) or making some
of bootloader EFI program or some better solution that Mr. Smith comes up
If the solution is painstaking, then it would mean any mac user interested
trying out iPXE would have to take far extra pains getting the CTRL key to
vs. iPXE accepting alternative keys.

 Ultimately the best course of action would be to follow suit with Grub,
displays text messages like "Ctrl-X or ESC" - Exit. Going this path would
require further modification to the source, because as I recall the autoboot
function is currently only designed to take one key parameter, it would
need to
be modified to take at least two.

 Secondly, although it is not included in my patches, I did at one time try
printing in 'config' menu a message like "Press Ctrl-X or BACKSPACE" --
something along those lines -- and the string was too long to be printed to
screen. Perhaps a shorter string will suffice.

 Once those two things are patched it would be a nice solution IMHO.

 This is a really easy way of adding support for these unsupported
platforms. As
I've said, I'm pretty sure that trying to add CTRL support to the mac will
difficult and very out of the way, even though it sounds like fun learning
to do! However, when I hear from Roderick Smith, things may change. But I'm
sure I will be hearing from him; I get the sense that he is busy for at
least a
little while. I hope you will agree with my decision, unless you have a good
reason not to.

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