Yes, this is where I was thinking too. While my “toy” RPI4 does indeed use UEFI+ACPI to boot, I can also use device tree. So this may not need to exclude DT booting machines, as grub can pass the DT.
I was thinking this would be a new kernel build, one that uses the Manjaro x86_64 naming conventions, so the grub and various scripts work and that is inclusively configured so it will boot most ARM with unknown hardware, similar to the x86_64 kernel configs.
I believe all of the ARM kernels install to /boot. If /boot is moved to the root file system, not the FAT partition which is /boot/efi, /boot then can support symbolic links (think vmlinuz->kernel-linux-5.12.30 and vmlinuz-> /boot/kernel8.img and initramfs-linux.img → initramfs-linux-5.12-30.img or whatever). /boot/grub/grub.cfg can then be configured via the symbolic links.
If this ISO installs its own kernel with standard naming, it can ignore the SBC kernels and perform a “normal” installation.
Then, if someone subsequently wants to install a SBC kernel, they can, as those are installed to /boot and use non standard names, so no file conflicts. They then just move the symlinks (vmlinux → kernel8.img) and grub boots the SBC kernel specific kernel. I assume anyone choosing this install option is capable of doing it.
The only thing in /boot/efi are the hardware (vendor supplied) and UEFI files… no kernels or initramfs files. So with grub.cfg and /boot symlinks, I think it possible to “normalize” the ARM boot setup. The ISO installs a standard setup and naming… but one that can be easily modified to accept specific SBC kernels, if desired.
The board specific kernel names are due to the firmware booting, ignore the firmware booting for this ISO… I think all UEFI will look for the grub installed EFI file, the one file the install creates and installs to the FAT partition… for the most part, totally ignore /boot/efi. Start with the grub efi and go forward in the conventional way.
And yes, /boot/overlays must be handled manually too if DT is used, but it all works… tested.