How to: Dual-boot (preinstalled) Windows 8 and Linux - UEFI etc.

There is probably some miscommunication about this.

As far as I know, EasyBCD is a GUI interface for editing the BCD database (BCD=Boot Configuration Data).

It is likely correct that EasyBCD still works for this with GPT/UEFI. I doubt that GPT/UEFI is even relevant.

However, many people think of EasyBCD as a tool for setting up booting of systems such as linux. And that probably does not work for GPT/UEFI. The problem is not with EasyBCD. Rather, the problem is that the Windows boot manager does not seem to provide any support for invoking efi bootloaders for other operating systems.

I assume, but have not tested, that if you tell Windows boot manager to use a boot sector, for say linux, it will attempt to do that. But then there’s the question of whether the BIOS provides support for traditional boot sector booting when the system has been started in UEFI mode. I don’t know the answer and I have not tested that. I don’t have a good way of testing it, and a test would only apply to the BIOS tested.

I’m inclined to say that:

  • In terms of “truth in advertising”, the EasyBCD people are correct to say that it works (as a GUI interface);
  • In terms of expectations for configuring Windows to boot linux, people are probably correct to say that it doesn’t work (for what they want to do).

Is that enough ambiguity?

Actually, one cannot blame users for their expectations. EasyBCD do say that they can boot Linux ( and BSD… and Mac OS X … They also say that they need a Windows OS as a host OS. ( I think that their major mistake is that they are so busy presenting an easy-to-use product that they forget to say that what EasyBCD does can actually be a little tricky and subject to not-so-apparent limitations (I expect EasyBCD to be subject to the same limitations that BCDEdit has), which is why such a product may be appropriate. I haven’t studied it, but the EasyBCD knowledgebase seems to be fairly extensive.

I plan to look more into that. At the moment, my understanding is that the BCD database and Windows boot manager do support other operating systems, but they provide no support for non-Microsoft OS-es, nor for outdated (MS) OS-es. But there also seems to be the limitation that these OS-es (in an UEFI/GPT environment) need to boot off a partition of the disk holding the ESP partition. MS only support one ESP, the one being on the disk from where you boot. This functionality may also be limited to MS Basic Data disks only. However, my link above to the EasyBCD knowledgebase for dual-booting with Linux, describes Vista in an MBR environment. Doing the same with UEFI/GPT should then be possible (within the same disk), but it would definately be a different technique.


I usually install linux on vmware when necessary will launch it on the window 8, which is one of the solutions you want to experience-based applications that do not want to install window 8 directly.