UEFI Laptop - is grub needed?

Discussion in 'Linux Compatibility and Software' started by JCarter37, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. JCarter37

    JCarter37 Newbie

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    I bought a laptop with Elementary OS about 3 months ago, its good but some really silly things missing, like no minimise button!! I know it can be added but I if I am tweaking things, might as well go back to Gnome.

    So time to rebuild...

    I have read that UEFI can launch Linux without grub so it should be left out - but can't find much more than that. (Only have 1 laptop so quite hard to figure it out by trial and error as I always need it)

    Does anyone know how this is done?

    And if you can still enter recovery mode?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Actually Grub is needed to boot Linux based OS off the disk be it HDD or SSD irrespective of BIOS or EFI based BIOS.
    Are you asking about Secure Boot? If so, boot from USB with secure boot turned off. After installing, turn it on and linux should work.
     
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  3. JCarter37

    JCarter37 Newbie

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  4. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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  5. JCarter37

    JCarter37 Newbie

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    Makes quite a difference actually, only takes about 3 seconds to get to login screen (apposed to 8-10, didn't time it before).

    Only took an hour or so and 3 attempts :)
     
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  6. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Mine too, just 3 sec after selecting ubuntu to boot.
     
  7. mr_handy

    mr_handy Notebook Evangelist

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    I use systemd-boot (formerly known as gummiboot) which is much, much lighter than Grub2, and very easy to install/configure on UEFI, on my Gentoo systems. Before I found it, I just used the F12 menu with a different EFI entry, but having it always prompt me at startup is preferable.

    On my one Fedora system, it installed Grub2 and automatically configured it for dual-boot, so I stuck with that.

    On my Linux-only desktops, I don't bother with UEFI and just run grub classic :)
     
  8. Dennismungai

    Dennismungai Notebook Evangelist

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    Unless you plan to dual boot with alternate operating systems (such as Windows), GRUB isn't mandatory if you're on a pure UEFI stack.

    Alternate boot managers such as systemd-boot and even EFISTUB are sufficient for your needs.

    A few tips when you're handling a pure UEFI stack for booting:

    1. Please ensure that CSM (Compatibility Support Module) / Legacy compatibility mode is fully disabled. In your case, it's likely to cause more harm than good.

    2. Disable Secure Boot, especially if you use proprietary (unsigned kernel modules also apply) device drivers needed to use functions such as discrete GPUs from both NVIDIA and AMD.

    3. Alternate boot managers, such as rEFInd do exist, and are very useful especially if your UEFI stack has any show stopping bugs that prevent user-land facilities such as efibootmgr from updating NVRAM content correctly. It's getting less common as firmware updates from multiple vendors address such bugs, but its' good to keep that in mind. Speaking from past experience, I've personally struggled with this on an Asus G750JM-DS71 laptop that had a broken UEFI environment, and I documented that process here. Hopefully, its' something you won't need to do.
     
  9. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Yeah Secure boot can be disabled on OS basis using mokutil. Make sure you use grub-efi instead of grub-pc if u are on UEFI.
    Like @Dennismungai said efibootmgr is another alternative. I'm sure ubuntu efi can dual boot with windows just fine. If the booting fails use Boot-repair32bit or 64bit ISO to repair the bootloader and fix things.
     
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