Saturday, 15 March 2014

Dual Booting Guide of UEFI enabled Windows 8 Systems and Linux

The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface(UEFI) according wikipedia means a specification that defines a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware.UEFI is really good boot system as it allows to boot into Partition bigger than 2 TiB
Apple Mac OSX  first implemented EFI system in OSX 10.4 Tiger but full support came from OSX ver.10.8 Mountain Lion.
Microsoft started to provide UEFI support from Windows Vista x64 bit and made it mandatory as it always does from Windows 8.
After the release of Windows 8 in second half of 2012 most of the laptops/notebooks/PCs that came pre-installed with Windows 8  had issues or problems installing Linux. Secure-Boot feature disallows unsigned bootloaders like Grub from booting into Linux.
Disabling Secureboot is most important part of Dual boot Windows 8 and Linux.

Most of the Linux Distros still have problems coping up with UEFi systems.
As we know most of the new Linux users are Windows immigrants.These linux newbies often start trying out Linux Distribution with Fedora(Redhat Linux based) and Ubuntu (Debian based).I recommend using Fedora or Ubuntu 
as they till date provide the best UEFi support compared to other Linux Distros.

Fedora which is used mostly by programmers,system admins(like me!) and students . Ubuntu is more of a linux for End users.
I use Dual boot  Windows 8 and Fedora 20 system.I use Windows only for sake of Video Games as there are many to choose from them .
I also like Ubuntu in fact I was using Ubuntu 13.10 before switching back to Fedora because of some obvious reasons.
Ubuntu from version Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin and Fedora  from version Fedora 18 provide better EFI support. 
I have used Fedora 18 it had problems dual booting with Windows 8 with default os-prober grub settings.

If you have UEFI setup for windows 8 .you have to search where your windows 8 bootmgr files are stored ,then disable Grub2 OS prober 

echo GRUB_DISABLE_OS_PROBER=true >> /etc/default/grub

Establish the EFI boot partition holding the Windows boot manager and probe it for string hints search parameter (in my case it was: "/efi/Boot/bootx64.efi". I found lots of examples it is pointing to "/boot/efi/EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi".

Note that, in fedora, the command for this is grub2-probe. Many examples online had grub-probe. This was confusing at first.

grub2-probe --target=hints_string /efi/Boot/bootx64.efi

or


grub2-probe --target=hints_string /efi/EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi


here your output will be  UUID of your EFI System Partition to get UUID
 type blkid command in terminal.

Create a custom menuentry for Win-8 UEFI-GPT system in "/etc/grub.d/40_custom" and add the results of the above command on the search line. It will look like the following:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
menuentry "Microsoft Windows x86_64 UEFI-GPT" {
insmod part_gpt
insmod fat
insmod search_fs_uuid
insmod chain
search --fs-uuid --no-floppy --set=root <UUID Of EFI partition>
chainloader /EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi
}
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
or

menuentry "Microsoft Windows x86_64 UEFI-GPT" {
insmod part_gpt
insmod fat
insmod search_fs_uuid
insmod chain
search --fs-uuid --no-floppy --set=root <UUID Of EFI partition>
chainloader /EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi
}

After that enter following command to update new grub entries

grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/fedora/grub.cfg

In Ubuntu you have to run following commands after adding menu entries. 

sudo update-grub
 
Download rEFInd from here.

Boot repair resolves EFI problems for Ubuntu and Linux Mint(ubuntu based edition).Download Boot Repair standalone iso from here.

Enjoy freedom and Install Linux now!!!.





   

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