Do I need UEFI bootable USB to install OpenSuse on laptop with UEFI?

It’s been a while since I installed Linux on a brand new laptop and apparently, a lot of things has changed since that. My new laptop will have UEFI instead of BIOS, and also Secure Boot (however it should be possible to turn it off). It also won’t be equipped with a DVD drive so I’ll be limited to installation from USB devices. And here comes my question.** Does the install USB disc have to be created in any special way because of UEFI?** I’ve found many tutorials recommending to use standard tools like UNetbootin but I have also found tutorials that claimed that it is necessary to create a special UEFI bootable USB and provided rather complicated howtos (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/UEFI#Create_UEFI_bootable_USB_from_ISO for example).

In order to install openSUSE to a GPT formatted disk, you must be able to do a EFI boot from your installation media which requires it be hybrid as I understand it. Here is the latest info on making a USB boot drive: https://en.opensuse.org/Live_USB_stick. I have a partitioning write on MBR and GPT disks you can read here: Formating and Partitioning Hard Disk During Install . I would read all about the partitions, create a USB boot device and see if my UEFI PC found the Grub EFI boot mode before I did anything else. It is possible to convert the disk to MBR, but Windows would need to be reloaded and one has to be careful you might render Windows unbootable in making any MBR changes to a GPT disk. If the disk is under 2.2 GB and if you don’t mind reloading everything, you can do away with GPT even if the PC is UEFI based.

Thank You,

On Sat 16 Mar 2013 10:06:02 PM CDT, tobice wrote:

It’s been a while since I installed Linux on a brand new laptop and
apparently, a lot of things has changed since that. My new laptop will
have UEFI instead of BIOS, and also Secure Boot (however it should be
possible to turn it off). It also won’t be equipped with a DVD drive so
I’ll be limited to installation from USB devices. And here comes my
question.* Does the install USB disc have to be created in any special
way because of UEFI?* I’ve found many tutorials recommending to use
standard tools like UNetbootin but I have also found tutorials that
claimed that it is necessary to create a special UEFI bootable USB and
provided rather complicated howtos (http://tinyurl.com/7qo6jqk for
example).

Hi
I did a UEFI install no issues via the DVD on a 8GB usb device. It
detects is secure boot is active (I don’t have secure boot), so
shouldn’t have issues if dual booting. I used SUSE Studio imagewriter to
copy/create fro the iso image.


Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 12.3 (x86_64) Kernel 3.7.10-1.1-desktop
up 19:00, 3 users, load average: 0.06, 0.03, 0.05
CPU Intel® i5 CPU M520@2.40GHz | GPU Intel® Ironlake Mobile

You will need the 64-bit DVD image. The live KDE 64-bit probably also works, but I have not tested installing with that.

In my case, I downloaded the 64-bit DVD image, and verified it. I use gpg to verify, but the md5sum or similar check should be okay for checking.

I copied to the USB using “dd_rescue”. In my case:


# dd_rescue   openSUSE-12.3-DVD-x86_64.iso   /dev/sdf

but the device is probably something other than “/dev/sdf” on your existing linux system. Other ways of copying are with “dd” or with imagewriter

Before installing, I enable secure-boot on my UEFI box (because I wanted to test whether that worked).

All went pretty well. The installer wants to mount the EFI partition as “/boot/efi” which is fine. However, for me, it also wanted to reformat that partition. That would be a disaster. So check carefully to make sure that the EFI partition is not being reformatted. It will be the partition mounted as “/boot/efi” and it will have a FAT file system. If the installer says to format, then uncheck that format box.

Apart from that, install was relatively straightforward.

Why would that be a disaster? Because it would destroy the Windows installation?

Anyway thanks for the answers, apparently I don’t have to worry about this :slight_smile:

On Sat 16 Mar 2013 11:46:02 PM CDT, tobice wrote:

nrickert;2536400 Wrote:
>
> All went pretty well. The installer wants to mount the EFI partition
> as “/boot/efi” which is fine. However, for me, it also wanted to
> reformat that partition. That would be a disaster. So check
> carefully to make sure that the EFI partition is not being
> reformatted. It will be the partition mounted as “/boot/efi” and it
> will have a FAT file system. If the installer says to format, then
> uncheck that format box.
>

Why would that be a disaster? Because it would destroy the Windows
installation?

Anyway thanks for the answers, apparently I don’t have to worry about
this :slight_smile:

Hi
If you make a backup of the efi partition, you should be fine good
thing about UEFI is it’s just files sitting in a partition. I used
gparted to set up mine, it needs to be a minimum of 128MB and set to
type ef00. To format I use;


mkfs.vfat -F 16 /dev/sdX

This is for my HP Probook (uses gummiboot);


NAME   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda      8:0    0 465.8G  0 disk
├─sda1   8:1    0   256M  0 part /boot/efi
├─sda2   8:2    0   128M  0 part
├─sda3   8:3    0    30G  0 part <-openSUSE 12.2
├─sda4   8:4    0    30G  0 part / <-openSUSE 12.3
├─sda5   8:5    0   338G  0 part /data
├─sda6   8:6    0   7.4G  0 part [SWAP]
└─sda7   8:7    0    60G  0 part <-Windows 7

and this notebook (uses grub2-efi);


NAME   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda      8:0    0  55.9G  0 disk
├─sda1   8:1    0   128M  0 part /boot/efi
└─sda2   8:2    0  55.8G  0 part / <-openSUSE 12.3
sdb      8:16   0 232.9G  0 disk
├─sdb1   8:17   0 200.9G  0 part /data
├─sdb2   8:18   0     8G  0 part /tmp
├─sdb3   8:19   0     4G  0 part /var/tmp
├─sdb4   8:20   0     4G  0 part /var/log
└─sdb5   8:21   0    16G  0 part [SWAP]

Both Windows 7 and openSUSE 12.3 installed via USB, 12.2 was via DVD.


Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 12.3 (x86_64) Kernel 3.7.10-1.1-desktop
up 1:40, 3 users, load average: 0.01, 0.03, 0.05
CPU Intel® i5 CPU M520@2.40GHz | GPU Intel® Ironlake Mobile

On the EFI partition data or even code of every OS present on that system is stored.

Would you really like to wipe that ?

You may, if you only have one single OS, and if you’re just about to re-install.

Otherwise … :wink:

Take care
Mike

If the Windows boot loader is there, it would destroy windows, though perhaps it would be repairable.

And you of course reported it so it can get fixed?

It is part of Bug 809038

Well… I kind of expected that if OpenSUSE provides a way to wipe it, it also provides a way to fix it :smiley: Just like regenerating GRUB menu. But apparently it is a bug, so thanks for the advice :slight_smile:

I think you guys are little confused with UEFI and GPT (GUID Partitioning Table). You can use simple DVD image (DVD/USB -> slect boot from UEFI: name_of_device_to_boot_from) to install on UEFI system (not Legacy BIOS). As per GPT partitioning, you want it if your HDD/SSD/SSHD is larget than 2.2GB, otherwise use the plain old MBR partioning. Using GPT is not a prerequisite on UEFI systems. Secure Boot, unless you have some corporate mandated notebook, I’d switch it off.


In addition to the standard PC disk partition scheme, which uses a [master boot record](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record) (MBR), EFI works with a new partitioning scheme: [GUID Partition Table](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table)  (GPT). GPT is free from many of the limitations of MBR. In particular,  the MBR limits on the number and size of disk partitions (up to 4 [primary partitions](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_partition) per disk, up to 2 [TiB](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tebibyte) (240 [bytes](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byte)) per disk) are relaxed.[19]](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface#cite_note-UEFIDrivePartitionFAQ-19) GPT allows for a maximum disk and partition size of 8 [ZiB](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebibyte) (270 bytes).[19]](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface#cite_note-UEFIDrivePartitionFAQ-19)[20]](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface#cite_note-Redmondmag64bitQuestion-20) The UEFI specification explicitly requires support for [FAT32](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Allocation_Table) for system partitions, and FAT12/FAT16 for removable media; specific implementations may support other [file systems](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_system).



I am using T430s with UEFI only and MBR partioning table with Win8/openSUSE 12.3 on my 500GB SSD, with Secure Boot switched off (don’t need it, for now).

openSUSE 12.3 has full UEFI support and experimental Secure Boot support.

How did you manage it? Windows 7 will refuse to install on MBR if EFI is detected. May be Windows 8 changed in this respect.

It is possible to have additional (non Windows boot) disks with MBR, but not boot disk.