System Administration

Re: Wanted to install Linux alongside Windows-8 (UEFI)

Occasional Visitor

Wanted to install Linux alongside Windows-8 (UEFI)

I have HP pavilion 23 all in one PC., which came with Windows-8 pre-installed. I now want to install Linux alongside W-8. Any suggestions for Linux distribution with UEFI support?



B.W. Gore

Occasional Visitor

Re: Wanted to install Linux alongside Windows-8 (UEFI)

When I try to boot from Linux-DVD, the BIOS does not allow system to be booted from DVD in EFI mode. It always assumes legacy (non-EFI) mode for DVD boot. Hence, I am unable to install & boot into linux.


The error message thrown is:


ERROR: No boot disk has been detected or the disk has failed.



Honored Contributor

Re: Wanted to install Linux alongside Windows-8 (UEFI)

Not all Linux distributions have EFI-bootable installation DVDs yet. Fortunately, the legacy boot method usually works too.


Booting the installation DVD in traditional mode does not prevent you from setting up the Linux installation to boot in UEFI mode. It just means you must be careful with the installer and possibly perform some manual configuration steps.


You must tell the installer to NOT overwrite the Windows partitions and NOT install a legacy boot loader to the Master Boot Record. Luckily, the UEFI boot implies the system disk uses GPT partition table format instead of the legacy PC partition table, so the ancient restriction of only 4 primary partitions per disk will not apply.


If the installer sees just one partition that fills the entire system disk, stop: this is probably the UEFI placeholder MBR, and it indicates the partitioner component of the installer does not understand GPT. In that case, pick a newer Linux distribution with GPT support included in the installer. When viewing a system disk of a UEFI system with Windows already installed, you should see at least three partitions: the UEFI system partition, the Microsoft Reserved Partition (about 200 MB) and the actual Windows partition.


Installing the legacy Linux boot loader to the beginning of the Linux /boot partition is acceptable, although not very EFI-like. However, this might be the easiest way to make it work with Windows 8.


Another alternative would be installing a UEFI-based Linux bootloader and using the facilities of the UEFI BIOS to choose which OS to boot, if your system has a reasonably complete UEFI implementation. Either make sure the installer detects the UEFI system partition and installs an appropriate UEFI boot loader automatically, or install the UEFI boot loader manually.

 (If you want to dual-boot with Windows 8 and maintain the Secure Boot functionality, it is likely that some manual operations are needed anyway.)


Here is an example on using a traditional Linux boot loader with Windows 8, by chain-loading it from the Windows bootloader. This preserves the ability to use Bitlocker in Windows, as the Windows boot sequence will still be "secure":