PART 1 Intro:


Hi, all!


(This is simply an intro. If you want to save time, skip reading here, and go directly to part 2. There is no vital technical information here).

I've been looking for at small, cheap computer to play the role as a flexible, small (and smart) TTY/SSH client for a while. I was looking for a used 10.1” mini-PC, expecting to install OpenSUSE on it. Suddenly, I stumbled over a dirt cheap, brand new, 64bit 11.6” computer, touch screen, Windows 8 preinstalled – the works! It was an Asus S200E. I bought it last Tuesday, and since then all my spare time has been used to investigate it. Learn W8, the computer, install and adapt SW – and investigating how to keep Win8 while dual-booting into OpenSUSE 12.3. After all, this was all new to me: W8, OpenSUSE 12.3, UEFI, Secure Boot, GPT.

While investigating this, I found that many others were wondering about the same, and I did not find one posting that answered all my questions. So I decided to publish my findings when I had something to report. It seems to have some kind of “magic” connected to it to get things working, and that the results may be unreliable.

I set out to assemble knowledge in order to sort it all out, and to find a way to do it reliably. What is below is the results of my findings. I've tried to make it systematic and easy to read, yet complete. Where I think it isn't complete, I've said so. If you think I've missed something, please say so. There isn't much that is my own thoughts – most of it has been derived by piecing together information found elsewhere on the Internet. See “Useful links/further reading” below for the links I found most useful.

My impression and bold standing on this issue, is that as of now, dual-booting a preinstalled Windows 8 through UEFI Secure Boot is working, and behaves predictable - provided you do the right things, and that you do it right (isn't it always so?). The “only” unknown factor remaining, it seems, is what is being introduced by the firmware vendors – and that is inevitably going to improve as time goes by as well. So – if you've got a fairly new BIOS (which you probably do have, since you have Windows 8 preinstalled), the chances are that you will be fine.

I'll split everything into what I believe are logical parts to make it easy to look up what you need. Except for the troubleshooting part, which you hopefully will not need (I didn't – at least up to now), you'll need to broadly follow the sequence I've listed, though – at least on the “installment” level.

As you will see, I am not fully satisfied with my findings yet, as I want more tools and procedures to aid in the case of problems, although I did not run into any problems when doing as described below. However, please do supply any info you have to add, and be sure to complement, complete or correct any errors of mine. I will continue to investigate the troubleshooting part for some time – and update this thread when/if I find something. If I don't, I'll wait for some more time to go by – then return and update when something interesting has arrived. However, it is inevitable that the relevance of this thread will lessen as the UEFI/Dual-boot scenario matures and better support is offered from everywhere. My bet is that with the next release of OpenSUSE, most (all?) new PCs shipping will be reliable as far as UEFI/DualBoot goes.