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Yes, you can access the EFI shell on the Galileo board. When you power the board on, the first thing you will see on the serial console is a prompt to press f7 for the boot menu...... one of the options in the boot menu is the EFI shell.
Thanks arduino_4_life. Your answer is helpful.
Your answer leads to an additional question. If one is supposed to "press F7" that implies that the keyboard involved is a PC type keyboard and not simply an ASCII type attached to the UART serial port. Can you elaborate on that?
When accessing the EFI environment is a USB type PC keyboard plugged into the Galileo's host USB port?
Or in fact is some type of terminal emulator used from a PC host that sends an virtual F7 key as an encoded ESC sequence over the UART link into the Galileo board?
When connecting Putty to the serial port, the keyboard configuration called 'SCO' in Putty's keyboard settings seems to generate the codes that work the best in EFI and Linux - including the proper code for F7 in EFI. Don't ask me why, the terminal stuff is all black magic to me.
Once at the Linux serial console I also find the following command very useful:
stty rows 50 columns 150 # for instance
I had no luck getting any of the terminal software I had on my FreeBSD laptop to send the required sequence for F7. I did manage to get to the EFI menu by sending the sequence manually, with the three characters Ctrl+[ [ S