Linux and UEFI

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Linux and UEFI

Postby rickdownton » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:23 pm

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum or has already been answered - but I suspect that the problems I am having are widespread.
Basically I'm trying to install Mint 16 Megamix from LXF 184 on my Dell laptop which was bought with Win 8,1 installed - but where are the instructions on what to do with Fastboot, SecureBoot, Legacy, UEFI etc etc. Eventually after much web searching I managed to get it sort of working, but it's not a good advert for installing Mint! How many have also tried and given up?

Pre-UEFI (I am that old!) life was so easy, and I would have happily converted fully to Linux, except I had to lecture about Windows - but now??? And please don't suggest moving fully to Linux - I still need to use Win as well.

Time for an LXF article which could be put on all the distro cover discs?
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:26 pm

And your point is?

Microsoft and Dell have sold you a Laptop which is difficult to install Linux on.

Secure boot and UEFI are just part of it.
Your Windows license is encrypted and stored in the BIOS.
How is that the fault of Linux?

Yes the old BIOS had to be replaced, we all agreed on that, but "Secure boot" is as secure as a Blu-Ray key, and is just an attempt by MS to make it harder for Linux.
Luckily the outrage over the key processes watered it down a little.

Dual boot has always been a problem. If you want to use Windows, don't expect Microsoft to make it easy for you to use anything else.

There has been some coverage in LXF, but the problem with UEFI is that every manufacturer does it differently.

The other issue is that a great many of us are avoiding Windows8.

I work on a large number of company networks, and I still rarely see it.
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Postby rickdownton » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:39 pm

I obviously didn't explain myself properly - I'm trying to persuade others to use Linux - but if installation is so awkward then people just will not use it! Linux is too good for it to fail because newbies use Win 8!

So how about an idiot's guide to UEFI installation?
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Re: Linux and UEFI

Postby linux_dan » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:53 pm

rickdownton wrote:Sorry if this is in the wrong forum or has already been answered - but I suspect that the problems I am having are widespread.
Basically I'm trying to install Mint 16 Megamix from LXF 184 on my Dell laptop which was bought with Win 8,1 installed - but where are the instructions on what to do with Fastboot, SecureBoot, Legacy, UEFI etc etc. Eventually after much web searching I managed to get it sort of working, but it's not a good advert for installing Mint! How many have also tried and given up?

Pre-UEFI (I am that old!) life was so easy, and I would have happily converted fully to Linux, except I had to lecture about Windows - but now??? And please don't suggest moving fully to Linux - I still need to use Win as well.

Time for an LXF article which could be put on all the distro cover discs?



See my post in the help section - found a great link that worked on a new Dell with Windows Hate .1 Good luck :D
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Postby johnhudson » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:43 pm

rickdownton wrote:So how about an idiot's guide to UEFI installation?


J.A.Watson has done a series covering several distros. This was his first one earlier this year: http://www.zdnet.com/hands-on-my-new-asus-laptop-uefi-and-linux-7000027284/
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:58 pm

Sorry, sometimes I get a little cynical.

To be honest it is dual booting that's the problem.
I have persuaded many users to drop Windows, but not by using dual boot.
At home, I don't use Windows at all, haven't for years. My wife and I use Android, Ubuntu and Mythbuntu.
And I know quite a few households that are the same.
I only use a dual boot laptop at work, and that is dual boot between windows 7 and 8.1, although we do have Linux servers and workstations.
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Re: Linux and UEFI

Postby ChrisThornett » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:29 am

rickdownton wrote:Sorry if this is in the wrong forum or has already been answered - but I suspect that the problems I am having are widespread.
Basically I'm trying to install Mint 16 Megamix from LXF 184 on my Dell laptop which was bought with Win 8,1 installed - but where are the instructions on what to do with Fastboot, SecureBoot, Legacy, UEFI etc etc. Eventually after much web searching I managed to get it sort of working, but it's not a good advert for installing Mint! How many have also tried and given up?

Pre-UEFI (I am that old!) life was so easy, and I would have happily converted fully to Linux, except I had to lecture about Windows - but now??? And please don't suggest moving fully to Linux - I still need to use Win as well.

Time for an LXF article which could be put on all the distro cover discs?


Hey Rick,

It's a subject that crops up regularly. As you've discovered there are ways round the SecureBoot feature of UEFI, but I wonder as Ubuntu 14.04 supports SecureBoot, whether that trickles down to Mint 17? Using a distro that supports the feature rather than circumvents it may be the preferable outcome as it is meant to help protect systems from bootloader malware.
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Postby dandnsmith » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:07 pm

I, too, am going through such a problem.
I wanted to dual boot Windows 7 with XBMCbuntu on a Compaq desktop PC (which, I think) has the UEFI stuff installed.
I got to the point where I found that a LiveCD with XBMCbuntu could be booted, but the same thing on a USB stick couldn't - and couldn't work out what to do to evade the block.
I could do with an article which goes into some of these matters (is it OK to try to change the partitions ...)
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Postby nelz » Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:05 pm

How did you copy the CD to the USB stick?

Did you turn off secure boot?

Did you enable legacy booting, sometimes called CSM?
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Postby dandnsmith » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:40 am

1. I created a bootable usb stick by following links on the XBMC site to get LiLi bootable creator. The distro iso is for 64bit hardware, and I can only access the one PC for this.

2. I ran into a morass of information, which led to not knowing how to turn off secure boot.

3.Again, I didn't find how to enable legacy booting on this PC

Thanks for taking an interest - it is in the latter two areas I find confusion and am hoping to find enlightenment. My aging brain doesn't cope as well as it used to.

Later: I spent some time playing with the boot menu and PC setup, and finally found an arrangement to let me boot from the USB stick. I've still no idea whether it is 'safe' to go ahead with an install, bearing in mind that it is not acceptable to stop Windows from booting and working.
Last edited by dandnsmith on Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby nelz » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:34 am

If the ISO is a hybrid, you can copy it to the USB stick with dd, the USB stick then appears as a CDROM. I hve found this the most reliable way of booting an ISO from a stick. You can check if it is a hybrid with

Code: Select all
sudo fdisk -l /path/to/iso


If it shows any partitions, this is a hybrid ISO.

If you post a photo of the boot section of the "BIOS" setup, maybe someone with a similar system can point out the correct option. It is neither documented nor obvious on this laptop.
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Postby dandnsmith » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:39 am

Our posts have crossed (see my previous), and I've now booted from the USB stick.
PC is Compaq CQ1040UK (it says on the side)
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Re: Linux and UEFI

Postby tobasco » Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:22 am

$100 aussie buys a 2 Tb usb drive.
Search windows 8 for 'Restore'. Follow the instructions to do a fully installable restoration of your pc.
Then begin the process of researching dual-boot / booting with UEFI disabled etc.
Backup is vital to your situation IMHO.
Cheers.
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Re: Linux and UEFI

Postby rickdownton » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:50 am

Out of interest, I ended up trashing the windows installation completely, so I just installed Mint as the only OS. Works fine, the only significant probnlems are the inability to get the report tool working in LibreOffice Base, and having to use Bluefish for maintaining websites!
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