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Thread: GUIDE: (U)EFI installation

  1. #1
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    GUIDE: (U)EFI installation

    BACKGROUND
    EFI is a replacement of the older BIOS. If your motherboard supports EFI, this is how you use it.
    I have read a bunch of different guides/howtos, but i thought none of them were easy enough, or they where outdated. Here comes my version...
    INSTRUCTIONS
    EFI uses a whole partition (ESP=EFI System Partition) instead of the first 512B at the first sector as MBR does. A partition has to be reserved for that (see below).
    First you need a EFI bootable device with your favorite distro on. Use a USB memory, because most (?) CD/DVD readers does not seem to boot the OS into EFI mode, and will therefore not be able to automatically install EFI.


    • Create a bootable USB live "CD".

    • Boot into the live CD (USB).
    • Format the disk with a GPT partition table with for example gparted [screenshot 1].
      (Device -> Create Partition Table... -> GPT)
    • Start installation, create the desired partitions and make one of them the ESP [screenshot 2-3].
      (The EFI partition choice will not appear unless the live CD is booted into EFI mode.)
      The ESP does not necessarily have to be the first one in the partition table.
      I choose a 16MB ESP as the last partition in the table.
    • In the UEFI BIOS settings make sure all EFI bootable devices are ahead of the MBR devices in the boot order [screenshot 4].
      (Otherwise the empty DVD reader can rule out the EFI compatible hd, that you've put after the DVD in the boot order and the boot will stall.)
    NOTES

    • If you want to be able to dualboot with MS Win, then the ESP has to be FAT32. Most linux distros choose FAT16 as default (but handles FAT32), you can either preformat the ESP with FAT32 or covert it to FAT32 later on.
    • Be sure to download the 64-bit version of the OS if you have a 64-bit CPU, otherwise it won't boot using EFI.
    SCREENSHOTS

    Last edited by niglas; April 23rd, 2012 at 11:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: GUIDE: (U)EFI installation

    hi niglas,

    thank you for your efi-guide, it's very well done.
    I'll try to make an ubuntu-efi-install alongside with windows depending on your guide)when 12.04 is finally out.
    Please keep on with your fine guide.
    I believe for a lot of people it will be helpful.

  3. #3
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    Re: GUIDE: (U)EFI installation

    Quote Originally Posted by pulpo69 View Post
    hi niglas,

    thank you for your efi-guide, it's very well done.
    I'll try to make an ubuntu-efi-install alongside with windows depending on your guide)when 12.04 is finally out.
    Please keep on with your fine guide.
    I believe for a lot of people it will be helpful.
    A big +1.
    There's virtually no easily understandable how-to for installing Ubuntu (as a dual boot) onto a UEFI PC that already has Windows installed.

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: GUIDE: (U)EFI installation

    Thank you for this guide. On my UEFI capable system, I set up a dual boot by first disabling UEFI in the BIOS and selecting 'legacy' mode instead. When I upgrade to 12.04, I might try to do a UEFI installation.

    Are there any clear advantages to a UEFI boot over the legacy mode?

  5. #5
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    Re: GUIDE: (U)EFI installation

    Some of the advantages:

    • Faster boot time
    • Support for boot disks >2TB
    • Improved graphics
    • IPv6 support

  6. #6
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    Re: GUIDE: (U)EFI installation

    Quote Originally Posted by vasa1 View Post
    A big +1.
    There's virtually no easily understandable how-to for installing Ubuntu (as a dual boot) onto a UEFI PC that already has Windows installed.
    I agree. And more and more efi-boards are on the market.

  7. #7
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    Re: GUIDE: (U)EFI installation

    Hi niglas,

    Thanks for the explanation. I'm trying to follow your steps but using Gparted 0.12.1 (the latest) I'm not offered the "EFI start partition" option as an available format as you have in screenshot 2. Any idea why?

    Regards,

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: GUIDE: (U)EFI installation

    You format to FAT32 although the Ubuntu installer uses FAT16 which is allowed but really for older external devices like floppy disks not hard drives.

    Then in gparted you set boot flag.

    In GPT fdisk, ESPs have a type code of EF00. In libparted-based tools, you mark the ESP as such by setting its "boot flag." Note that the libparted "boot flag" means something entirely different under MBR, and you should not set the "boot flag" on any OS partition under GPT!

    Use can use gdisk to see type codes.

    Although niglas was able to put efi partition anywhere on his drive, the specification says it should be the first partition. It may have to do with it being FAT32 and the software will not read beyond a certain point on the hard drive and it is easier just to specify it to be first and not very large (~100 to -256MiB, FAT32). I would not try to put it at the end of a 1 or 2TB drive and expect it to work.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.




  9. #9
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    Re: GUIDE: (U)EFI installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Yahoé View Post
    I'm not offered the "EFI start partition" option as an available format as you have in screenshot 2. Any idea why?
    It all depends on if the live CD (USB) is booted in UEFI mode. Check in UEFI BIOS boot prio if the (blue) flag "UEFI" is detected [screenshot 4] on the USB memory, otherwise you'll not be offered the "EFI start partition".

    If not there try with a newer version of the OS or another USB memory.

    The only thing you need to do in gparted is to set the partition table type to GPT. The partitioning can be done during the installation and when you choose one of the partitions as "EFI start partition" the GPT boot flag will automatically be added. (Choose configure partiton table manually during the installation.)

    Good luck Yahoé!

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: GUIDE: (U)EFI installation

    Thanks guys.

    Right now on a brand new Lenovo G770, after install (all new partitioning as I would usually do), on reboot the laptop stays mostly completely dead, just the power light is on, no display, so no access to the bios
    Very odd. I can't believe that installing 12.04 would just result in a non-functioning PC just because of UEFI. Thousands of newbies, or even more experimented users that did not expect the issue will be left stranded...

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