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Thread: Separate /boot/efi partition, in FAT?

  1. #1

    Post Separate /boot/efi partition, in FAT?

    I am building up a laptop to dual boot OpenSuse 12.2 and Windows 7. My PC uses UEFI booting and GUID partition tables. Is it absolutely necessary for me to have a separate partition for /boot/efi? And should this partition be in the FAT format?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Separate /boot/efi partition, in FAT?

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by untarnished View Post
    My PC uses UEFI booting and GUID partition tables.
    GUID partition table, OK that's a GPT.

    My experience is:
    already version 12.1 of openSUSE would install fine from DVD in UEFI booting,
    and using a GPT.
    Only Windows 7 refused to install on the same hard disk if that had a GPT
    Even if I blanked the hard disk with only the GPT left,
    and let the Windows 7 installer run first, it refused to install.
    Try it.
    It's Windows 7 that makes the problems, not openSUSE.

    If you want to read more on how I found out, see here:
    https://forums.opensuse.org/english/...?highlight=EFI

    Good luck
    Mike

  3. #3

    Default Re: Separate /boot/efi partition, in FAT?

    Thanks for the input but let's please stick to this thread's question/topic. Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Separate /boot/efi partition, in FAT?

    Quote Originally Posted by untarnished View Post
    Is it absolutely necessary for me to have a separate partition for /boot/efi? And should this partition be in the FAT format?
    Please clarify your question. Do you ask whether /boot/efi can be contained in /boot partition? Or do you ask whether you can reuse existing ESP (you should have one because you already has Windows)?

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    Default Re: Separate /boot/efi partition, in FAT?

    On Wed 09 Jan 2013 09:16:02 AM CST, untarnished wrote:


    I am building up a laptop to dual boot OpenSuse 12.2 and Windows 7. My
    PC uses UEFI booting and GUID partition tables. Is it absolutely
    necessary for me to have a separate partition for /boot/efi? And should
    this partition be in the FAT format?


    Hi
    No, this machine only uses one for Windows 7 and openSUSE. And yes the
    partition type needs to be EF00 (FAT)

    When installing select the custom partitioning, but don't let the
    openSUSE install format it, you will get a warning but can ignore.


    --
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
    openSUSE 12.2 (x86_64) Kernel 3.4.11-2.16-desktop
    up 6:00, 3 users, load average: 0.03, 0.05, 0.05
    CPU Intel® i5 CPU M520@2.40GHz | GPU Intel® Ironlake Mobile


  6. #6

    Default Re: Separate /boot/efi partition, in FAT?

    Just to be crystal clear: (1) is it necessary (or maybe recommended) to have a separate partition for /boot/efi (instead of just letting it remain as part of the partition /), (2) should this partition have a FAT file system (and not ext4 for example). I further note that the OpenSUSE installer gives the option "/boot/efi" in the drop down menu instead of just "/boot" in Custom Partitioning for UEFI installation. Thanks!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Separate /boot/efi partition, in FAT?

    Quote Originally Posted by untarnished View Post
    I am building up a laptop to dual boot OpenSuse 12.2 and Windows 7. My PC uses UEFI booting and GUID partition tables. Is it absolutely necessary for me to have a separate partition for /boot/efi? And should this partition be in the FAT format?
    Using Windows (Fat32) EFI partition is fine. Just mount it in /boot/efi and of course don't reformat it! Be aware that openSUSE might create a hybrid MBR and that Windows might not boot anymore after that. The problem and the solution are described in this thread: Trouble dual booting 12.2 and Windows 7 on EFI enabled system

    Read it first! It's long but interesting.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Separate /boot/efi partition, in FAT?

    Quote Originally Posted by untarnished View Post
    Just to be crystal clear: (1) is it necessary (or maybe recommended) to have a separate partition for /boot/efi (instead of just letting it remain as part of the partition /)
    Yes it is required. But you already have one - provided your Windows has been installed in UEFI mode. Make sure by comparing the pictures in this article with what you have: Booting openSUSE on UEFI BIOS with ELILO and Grub2 (part II - Windows dual-boot ) . Don't follow the method decribed there to install openSUSE though. It applied to 12.1.

    Quote Originally Posted by untarnished View Post
    (2) should this partition have a FAT file system (and not ext4 for example).
    Absolutely! Fat32. Fat16 used to be possible for Linux, but not for WIndows.

    Quote Originally Posted by untarnished View Post
    I further note that the OpenSUSE installer gives the option "/boot/efi"
    So use it to mount the ESP you must already have. But do NOT format it!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Separate /boot/efi partition, in FAT?

    Ohh OK, I didn't realize that the trick was to use a single ESP for both Windows and OpenSUSE (I was thinking of having two separate boot partitions). This sounds interesting, I'm surely trying this out.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Separate /boot/efi partition, in FAT?

    I reinstalled OpenSUSE, this time mounting the Windows-created ESP as /boot/efi, without formatting the partition. Can you allow me a follow-up question? What exactly is the advantage of having a single EFI boot partition that handles both Windows and OpenSUSE, compared to having separate EFI boot partitions? I just didn't see a difference. In both cases, I select the OS I want to load through the UEFI Boot menu (I have to press F12 on my laptop to get there though), and not through the "other menu" (the menu that allows me to select "Advanced options for openSUSE"...which I guess is the GRUB2 menu?). Windows 7 and OpenSUSE 12.2 both load fine whether or not I choose to use a single ESP.

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