How to Install Linux on a Windows Machine With UEFI Secure Boot

How to Install Linux on a Windows Machine With UEFI Secure Boot


When Windows 8 rolled up to the curb, Microsoft did its best to enforce a protocol known as Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Secure Boot. This was to be a modern replacement for the aging BIOS system and would help ensure boot-time malware couldn’t be injected into a system. For the most part, Linux has overcome those UEFI hurdles. However, with Windows 10, those hurdles could be returning.

This BIOS replacement, UEFI, caused some serious problems with “alternative” platforms. For some time, it was thought UEFI would render Linux uninstallable on any system certified for Windows 8 and up. So what are you to do when you have a new system and you want to install Linux? The answer isn’t always simple.



Submitted by: Jack Wallen


  1. For Ubuntu install Linux Foundation’s PreLoader in \EFI\BOOT\BOOT{arch}.EFI with your loader of choice as loader.efi next to it. The Ubuntu images have been supporting Secure Boot for a while now, but they expect to be executed from \EFI\ubuntu\boot{arch}.efi from the boot catalogue, which some firmwares ignore, the method above can fix that. And that was the whole drama with UEFI: functionally broken firmware. Microsoft’s mandatory Secure Boot requirement in Windows 10 will not make this any worse. Manufacturers will make it worse(!) by micro managing and probably disallowing any other Microsoft(!) signature and loader than the particular one to boot Windows. No customer asked for this, Microsoft didn’t even ask for this (what would be the point of singing binaries when manufacturers blacklist them?), but I can image that this is a possible (though pure speculation) scenario. What to do? Don’t accept this brokenness. Require that the devices you buy boot Linux before purchase and demand the you as a Linux user are a customer eligible for customer support or some other company will make the sale. That’s the other issue here, if the manufacturer doesn’t want to support Linux (by deliberately disallowing it’s bootloader) than it’s not Linux’s fault and you shouldn’t complaint to the community trying to help you, just buy another device.

  2. The Ubuntu Unity install media disables secure boot but the Ubuntu Mate media does not.

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