25 04 | 2012

Debian: switch to UEFI boot

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Debian

UEFI logo: a cube with u, e and fi written on each visible face

For those interested, here is a way to install Debian and boot it with UEFI if you have an UEFI motherboard. Using UEFI with Debian requires expert knowledge so if you do not feel up to it, keep your BIOS system.

1  Background

UEFI is a specification for motherboard's firmwares which is replacing the old BIOS. For now, UEFI motherboards still include a BIOS compatibility layer.

The UEFI boot process is quite different from the BIOS one. It involves one specific piece of the motherboard's firmware, the UEFI Boot Manager, which is able to load boot loaders from FAT file systems on specially-typed partitions. It can offer a boot menu (boot: Debian from HDD, Windows from HDD, USB stick, DVD?), which can be configured from a running operating system.

So, basically, to boot a system with UEFI, you need two things:

  • to install an UEFI boot loader on a FAT-formated EFI System Partition;
  • to tell the UEFI Boot Manager to create an entry for that boot loader.

Read more Debian: switch to UEFI boot