[personal profile] mjg59
Some people have complained that they can't install Linux on new machines because their firmware won't let them choose a boot device. This is part of Windows 8's fast boot support - the keyboard may not be initialised until after the OS has started. To deal with this, insert the install media and reboot your computer. Wait for Windows 8 to start. While holding down shift, click on the power icon and click on restart. When the menu appears, click "Use a device" and then click your install media. If it's listed more than once, choose the one that says "UEFI" in front of it. Your system will now restart and boot off the install media.

Date: 2012-12-28 01:42 am (UTC)
baggyeyes: Princess Leia (#dw and labrats)
From: [personal profile] baggyeyes
Thank you for this. I am a rusty Linux user, so this helps enormously.

Booting Linux on Windows 8 machines

Date: 2012-12-28 03:27 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Dear Sir,
Could you please clarify the following ?
Is the problem encountered on machines
with Windows 8 pre-installed ? What
about machines that come in DOS mode,
or motherboards from various vendors
(ASUS, MSI, Intel etc.,) -- do these
have the same issue as well ? I have
a machine which uses a MSI motherboard
and runs Fedora 15, and I am planning
to purchase a similar board for Fedora
17 or 18. Please advice.

Re: Booting Linux on Windows 8 machines

Date: 2012-12-28 06:52 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thanks for those last tidbits, hadn't heard them before. I've been thinking about purchasing a Linux laptop rather than buying a Win machine and dealing with hardware compatibility problems, and that's another push in that direction for me.

Date: 2012-12-28 06:46 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Or, alternatively, use one of the Linux distributions with a Windows-based installer to bootstrap from.

Debian Wheezy...

Date: 2012-12-28 09:27 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
... has UEFI support, and there is a Windows-based installer. I don't know about signed UEFI, though.

Re: Debian Wheezy...

Date: 2012-12-29 02:00 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

The windows thing just writes a kernel, an initrd, and a grub with NTFS support to the hard disk, and then uses Windows' own boot menu system to boot it. That means that if Windows can boot the hardware, then debian-installer can boot the hardware. The only potential issue is that support for this kind of boot menu may have been significantly altered or even disappeared altogether with Windows 8 (I have no idea whether it has one way or the other).

At any rate, once you've managed to boot wheezy's debian-installer, no matter how you got there, UEFI is supported.

Date: 2012-12-28 01:07 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Ubuntu has EFI booting, and a Windows installer. I have no idea if the two work together or not.

Date: 2012-12-28 10:01 pm (UTC)
cjwatson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cjwatson
At the moment, they do not.


Date: 2012-12-28 11:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gedmin.as
When I got my new Thinkpad, I wasn't quick enough to get into the BIOS (well, UEFI, actually -- this is an X220 -- but no signed boot support as far as I can see) boot menu and it booted the preinstalled Windows 7. The setup screen for the preinstalled Windows 7, to be precise. Which gave me no option to reject the Microsoft EULA or reboot -- even the power button would just make it suspend and later resume back to the installer screen. I had to hold down the power button for 30 seconds to get a chance to boot from a USB key with my Linux installer.

This makes me curious: does Windows 8 have any initial setup screens like that, where you can't go anywhere or even reboot without accepting the EULA? How does one boot from an alternative boot device if the BIOS doesn't react to keyboard input then?

Re: Curious

Date: 2012-12-28 04:46 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Pretty much what I was wondering... Must people now accept the EULA to install some *other* OS on otherwise new hardware? ugh.

Re: Curious

Date: 2012-12-30 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yeah, I had the same thought, and if true that actually pisses me off way more than SB itself. Well, sigh.


Re: Curious

Date: 2012-12-31 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I suppose that also means that you can't get a refund for your Windows license then? That would be ugly...


Matthew Garrett

About Matthew

Power management, mobile and firmware developer on Linux. Security developer at Google. Ex-biologist. @mjg59 on Twitter. Content here should not be interpreted as the opinion of my employer.

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