Jump to content
  • Sky
  • Blueberry
  • Slate
  • Blackcurrant
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry
  • Orange
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Emerald
  • Chocolate
  • Charcoal

OETF #16 - Open Extensible Firmware Interface

Recommended Posts


All OEFIs compatible must allow using conventional booting.
Note that OEFI has been made to be more architecture-independent and will support ANY architecture able to read files and uncompress URF1.1.


  • Application: Executable code booting using OEFI in the EFI1 or EFI2 format.
  • Conventional Booting: OpenComputers default booting method. Often called "BIOS"
  • Operating System (OS) : Complex Application with user interaction and/or providing an environment for programs. Concept only used in this document for Conventional Booting
  • OC: Shortcut for "Open Computers"


Due to the limitation of current OC booting method which basically searches for an init.lua file, a new and open specification has been made: Open Extensible Firmware Interface. The limitation OEFI fix in Conventional Booting in OC is:

  • In Conventional Booting, there is only one init script per filesystem, while in OEFI there can be multiple applications per filesystem.
  • The OS, once launched, cannot return back to the BIOS (or here, the OEFI), while OEFI have oefi.returnToOEFI()!
  • Conventional Booting doesn't have any native support for multiple applications. An OS that want to boot another one need to manually check for init.lua files in all filesystems, OEFI has oefi.getApplications() method for it, this is even worse for Applications booting on unmanaged drives

Application Table Format

The application table must contains tables as entries.
The tables must contains the drive address with "drive" key and the path (from drive) with "path" key


    drive = "af58dbe2-ff8c-433a-a871-c08723e01f25",
    path = ".efi/sampleos.efi"
    drive = "af58dbe2-ff8c-433a-a871-c08723e01f25",
    path = ".efi/osOnSameDrive.efi2"
    drive = "015f9d4c-cdfb-4686-91cb-bc8cf997f4ec",
    path = ".efi/another_os.efi"

For architectures not supporting tables, "drive" is index 0 and "path" is index 1

For architectures not supporting arrays inside arrays (2D arrays), the arrays should be appended in such a way it look like that: drive, path, drive, path, drive, path, ...

Application Finding

OEFI Applications can be found on any sort of drives, from disk drives to floppy, with raids, only if they contains a ".efi" directory.
The OEFI should search files in ".efi" directory:

If the file ends with .efi, then check if it contains URF1.1 signature, if no, boot in compatibility mode (OEFI1, which is not described anymore on this document).
However if the same file contains that signature, then boot as normal.
.efi2 will ALWAYS be in standard EFI2 format, unlike .efi which can be EFI or EFI2.
.efi can be EFI1 or EFI2 to keep compatibility with old OEFI Applications, and to allow 8.3 filesystems to still support OEFI (would be problematic otherwise)

Standard Methods

Methods are same as in Version 1, of course API version is now 2 (logic), and some new methods are being added, so here is the new list of methods:

  • oefi.loadfile(path) - Loads file from boot drive
  • oefi.getBootAddress() - replaces computer.getBootAddress()
  • oefi.getApplications() - Return an application table as described below
  • oefi.getAPIVersion() - Return API version number. Returns 2 for this version
  • oefi.getImplementationName() - Returns implementation name
  • oefi.getImplementationVersion() - Returns implementation version number
  • oefi.returnToOEFI() - Recalls the OEFI program, most of _G structure should remain as it was at boot. Meaning that if for example, component API is not accessible from global, this will just crash. That is the expected behavior.
  • oefi.execOEFIApp(drive, path) - Boot another OEFI app by using the implementation's routine

For architectures supporting tables (and global), API must be available in Global
Else, API must be available as a pointer/struct/class/anything like that available as argument to the code

Please also note that computer.getBootAddress() and computer.setBootAddress(addr) has been REMOVED! This is due to that Applications supporting OEFI doesn't need any compatibility methods as thoses conventional booting methods are only kept when booting a OS that only support conventional booting.
Implementation can create their own methods, however it should not be inside the OEFI API! This must be in their own table and only the OS will manage either or not it will be in OEFI library or be kept in global state. (example: Zorya-specific methods should be in 'zorya' and not 'oefi.implementation' or anything like that)


EFI2 is a new format for Applications, it replaces EFI(1) in , it is an URF v1.1 archive. All files in that archive must be placed at root and are listed here:

  • app.lon
  • app.exe

app.exe is only the Application, it contains the code designed for target architecture, and will be launched by the OEFI .

app.lon is a LON file (LON files are just Lua Tables/Objects, see examples in Fuchas). The file should look like this:

  name = "Application Name",
  version = 1.0,
  oefiVersion = 2,
  architecture = {
    name = "Lua",
    minimumVersion = 5.2,
    maximumVersion = 5.3

"name" is equals to the name of the Application.
"version" is equals to the version of the Application, if you don't want to fill it, just make it stay to 1.0
"architecture" is a table containing the fields "name", which is the name of architecture, "minimumVersion" and "maximumVersion" are self-explanatory.
Note that for minimumVersion and maximumVersion, -1 can be used if a version doesn't make sense to the architecture to have a version. (example: a 6502 architecture)
"oefiVersion" is equals to the OEFI version the Application has been designed to run with, if the "oefiVersion" field have a version incompatible with the current API version or if it's higher than the current one (ex. it's equals to 3 but we're on API v2, or it's equals to 1 but we're on API v2).

With all thoses fields in mind, the EFI2 was designed to be durable, with only changes being to app.lon and URF version.

Configuration Data

Everything is explained in that image:


Component Address Packing

To shrink down components to 16 bytes, since components address (and UUIDv4 in general) are just hexadecimal numbers converted to string, we can re-convert the string to a byte array and vice-versa.
To do it, the lines (-) must be ignored, and each group of 2 characters must be interpreted as a hexadecimal string, this should be easy with architecture supporting string to number with optional base (in our case base is equals to 16)
For example it turns:



{0x68, 0xCA, 0x0F, 0x59, 0xAC, 0x2C, 0x49, 0xF8, 0xBA, 0x6A, 0x3C, 0x4C, 0x7E, 0x5F, 0x06, 0x9B}

Here is a code sample submitted by AwesomeCatgirl to encode and decode the addresses:

function binToHex(id)
	local f, r = string.format, string.rep
	return f(f("%s-%s%s", r("%.2x", 4), r("%.2x%.2x-", 3), r("%.2x", 6)), id:byte(1, 16))

function hexToBin(addr)
	addr = addr:gsub("%-", "")
	local result = ""
	for i=1, #addr, 2 do
		baddr = result .. string.char(tonumber(addr:sub(i, i+1), 16))
	return baddr
-- example: hexToBin("68ca0f59-ac2c-49f8-ba6a-3c4c7e5f069b") == {0x68, 0xCA, 0x0F, 0x59, 0xAC, 0x2C, 0x49, 0xF8, 0xBA, 0x6A, 0x3C, 0x4C, 0x7E, 0x5F, 0x06, 0x9B}
-- "68ca0f59-ac2c-49f8-ba6a-3c4c7e5f069b" == binToHex(the array below)

Back to EEPROM data, implementation name and custom configuration are very easy to understand what they're about.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking about component IDs. Shouldn't they be minified? Like, "68ca0f59-ac2c-49f8-ba6a-3c4c7e5f069b" turns into a string of 16 bytes:

{0x68, 0xCA, 0x0F, 0x59, 0xAC, 0x2C, 0x49, 0xF8, 0xBA, 0x6A, 0x3C, 0x4C, 0x7E, 0x5F, 0x06, 0x9B}

Also, OEFI implementations need to have room for custom configuration, as something like Zorya needs some EEPROM space for knowing the device that the "zorya-module" and "zorya-cfg" folders are stored on. Maybe 64 bytes or so can be dedicated to custom config? 64 bytes should be plenty of space for basic configuration, yeah? 32 bytes would be too little, probably, as a component ID can only be shrunk down to 16 bytes.

As for how to convert binary component ID to text component ID and back again:

function binid_to_hexid(id)
  local f, r = string.format, string.rep
  return f(f("%s-%s%s", r("%.2x", 4), r("%.2x%.2x-", 3), r("%.2x", 6)), id:byte(1, 16))

function hexid_to_binid(id)
  local lasthex = 0
  local match = ""
  local bstr = ""
  for i=1, 16 do
    match, lasthex = id:match("%x%x", lasthex)
    bstr = bstr .. string.char(tostring(match, 16))
  return bstr

Otherwise, this looks pretty good.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review. I will make a version 2 (on same post) to add the changes you suggested and some others changes. I will also soon make a more presentable form of the specification.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, some recommendations for OEFI v2:

  • Storage of addresses in a binary format
  • Maybe a standard set of commands for an OEFI shell?
  • "oefi.loadfile(path)", which loads a file from the boot device
  • Vendor prefixes on extensions to OEFI (ie "oefi.vendor.extensionmethod()")
  • BIOS configuration space of 64 bytes, at the end of the EEPROM
  • Maybe a network boot protocol?
  • The OEFI library should be global unless booting in compatibility mode (for example, from an init.lua file)
  • OEFI implementation must allow the OS to return
  • Standard for passing kernel arguments (For things like Fuchas NT or Tsuki)
  • Maybe a sample OEFI implementation?
  • Must support compatibility mode, though maybe there can be an option to disable compatibility mode.
  • Maybe a URF-based bootable package?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice proposals, i'm still making the draft for version 2

The URF-based bootable package is a very good idea, however this would cause problem since the only implementation for writing/reading URF is uncertain of actually being standard and is only available from Lua from OC.
WIth my knowledge i could also make an application to extract/package URFs, but who would trust it anyways? So the best option is: Making an dedicated C/C++/Java app/library, finding a known archive extractor that support plugins. So based on my existing work and on the specifications, gotta try to make those

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair. Also, we could use binary CPIO for bootable packages. That would probably be the best bet. It's standard and been around for a while.


Also, OEFI v2 applications should end in `.efi2` to differentiate them from the OEFI v1 applications. OEFI v2 applications should also probably support a few basic arguments.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

.efi2 could probably be a CPIO archive. Entry point can be defined by a .cfg file in the root of the archive. Or, we could also check if it's a CPIO file or a Lua file. Dunno, it's up to you.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided to instdead use URF, sure it's less supported, but it is more adapted to OpenComputers, as it is made for OpenComputers

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.