UEFI vs Legacy Boot?


Long story short, I did an oST install two days ago, had something go wrong (my fault but still don’t understand), and reinstalled the next day. First day, I loaded the USB iso as legacy boot and installed. The second day, it wouldn’t work when I did that and got stuck multiple times with the green OpenSUSE status bar at the bottom as it’s loading the installer. Waited 30+ minutes 2-3 times and it just wouldn’t load. Rebooted and loaded via UEFI and it worked like a charm.

What I didn’t realize is that would change the oST standard partition scheme, the boot loader, etc.

What I’m wondering is, which one is better? Should I have gone with the legacy version for some reason? I have a fairly new Intel NUC 8i7BEH (less than two years old ) with an 8th Gen Core i7 8559u 4 core/8 thread processor. It does support UEFI and secure boot, etc in the bios (which was just recently updated the latest version).

Which version would you keep and why? I’m about to finish setting up my system with all the apps/programs, etc and I’d love to be sure I’m running the most appropriate version before I invest that time, if possible. Thanks so much in advance!

When installing you have control of things. If you simply take defaults the installer may make default choices that may not be what you want. So always pay attention to what the installer intends to do. The installer may have decided to do a new install using new partitioning because there already was some partitions. You can tell the installer to use the existing partitions rather then adding more.

Ultimately, this is your choice.

Given the choice, I normally go with UEFI. That’s the future.

On my laptop, I use legacy booting. That’s because the laptop is old enough that it does not support UEFI booting. On newer machines, I go with UEFI.

But we cannot decide for you. It’s up to you to decide for yourself.

If you have a computer where Windows is already installed, it is best to go with whatever boot method Windows is using.

This is a fair statement and something I should have been clearer on. I did, actually, watch closely and forced it to delete all partitions and start over. I didn’t like the way it was doing it and the new partition numbering so I was careful on that. It’s a good thing to be reminded of, though, that we have control over the install.

What I’m still not sure of is whether I should be going UEFI on my hardware or legacy. And, I know just enough to know that I don’t know enough to screw around with it without knowing more - or I’ll bork my setup again. :slight_smile:

Thank you for this thoughtful and informative reply. I so appreciate it! It gave me exactly the info I needed to know.

When I wrote the OP, I tried to craft it carefully to not just ask “which is better” between legacy and UEFI but which is most appropriate. Obviously, I know they must both have their place or they wouldn’t both exist.

I’m fortunate, in that I don’t have to have Windows on this NUC at all, and the hardware is quite new so it supports UEFI. I think it may actually have been a benefit that I screwed up my system to the point where I needed to reinstall or I would have ended up with the legacy boot ongoing and missed out on the UEFI. I’ve also read that it can be complex to try to change over from legacy to UEFI or vice versa once it’s installed as much can go wrong.

Given the fact that I don’t need Win, my hardware supports it, and it’s newer technology, I think UEFI would be the more appropriate option for my scenario. But, as I said to another poster, I also know enough to know that I don’t know enough about this to fully decide without more input. I really appreciate you taking the time to share and help me learn more - especially in such a thoughtful and respectful manner. Many thanks!

For a modern systems use UEFI + GPT: and this is good for your case.
For an old systems use legacy BIOS boot + MBR.