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Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:33 am
by pekoe
Is there a universal program that can make the USB boot in GPT with UEFI, instead of the old MBR method? I know rufus can but that is strictly Windows, I want a universal one that can also run from GNU/Linux. Thanks a lot :D.

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 5:47 am
by reddot
hi pekoe,
i have downloaded many distros, and i can tell you that linux mint 17.1+ will boot both UEFI and bios on same usb flash drive. unetbootin is what you are looking for, which can install/download a variety of distros. its useless if you cant boot in UEFI and bios from the same usb/dvd.

unetbootin is available in the software manager/synaptic.

i prefer torrent to download distros, it drives me crazy when there are no torrents for the distro i want :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:00 am
by pekoe
Thanks for the quick response, had another quick question, I think I can Live boot with secure boot on, but should I turn it off before live booting anyways where it won't boot in secure boot after installing Mint?

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:18 am
by pekoe
Hmm.. well I tried unetbootin and created the usb with cinnamon 64bit mint, seems it doesn't support uefi as there is no option for the usb to boot in uefi mode after using unetbootin. So I enabled legacy devices and tried booting in bios mode, but got an error says there is no operating system available on the usb. I formatted to fat32 and whatnot. I guess I'll have to use rufus but it's only for windows, was hoping for a Linux version. Ahh well.

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:11 am
by gold_finger
Two notes:

1. Unetbootin won't have a menu entry saying to boot in either UEFI or Legacy mode. You need to use UEFI/(Bios) boot menu of computer and select the correct boot mode of USB stick from there.

2. Unetbootin can be finicky sometimes and spit out errors rather than booting correctly. (Happens to me all of the time.) Just reboot again a time or two and it should correctly boot on one of the tries.



Other alternatives to create USB:

1. If computer you're using is a newer Mint version, try using MintStick application. (I've never tried it myself, but assume that will work.)

2. No matter what version of Linux your computer has, you could use the "dd" command in a terminal to make the USB stick. Make sure USB stick is not mounted and make sure you properly assign the input and output files in the command ("if=" and "of="), or you may accidentally overwrite the wrong drive. Eg. If USB stick is /dev/sdb, and location of ISO file you want to put on USB is at ~/Downloads/linuxmint-17.2-cinnamon-64bit.iso, command would be:

Code: Select all

sudo dd if=~/Downloads/linuxmint-17.2-cinnamon-64bit.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M
Note: dd command will not show any progress bar or output. Just wait until the prompt returns to the terminal window to know that it has completed and do not interupt it. Will likely take 5-15 minutes to finish.

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:37 am
by Laurent85
Usb sticks with plenty of space are common nowadays, I use MultiSystem to create a multiboot usb stick and install the iso images I need to boot live. Multisystem supports UEFI.

To install MultiSystem:

Code: Select all

echo "deb http://liveusb.info/multisystem/depot all main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/multisystem.list
wget -q http://liveusb.info/multisystem/depot/multisystem.asc -O - | sudo apt-key add -
apt update
apt install multisystem

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:44 am
by austin.texas
pekoe wrote:Is there a universal program that can make the USB boot in GPT with UEFI, instead of the old MBR method?
Supposedly, it is possible to create a USB which boots only in UEFI mode. I have never tried it.
How to create UEFI-only bootable USB live media?

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:13 am
by srs5694
pekoe wrote:Is there a universal program that can make the USB boot in GPT with UEFI, instead of the old MBR method? I know rufus can but that is strictly Windows, I want a universal one that can also run from GNU/Linux. Thanks a lot :D.
In most cases, the partition table type (MBR vs. GPT) is unimportant. Most EFI-based computers can boot fine from MBR-based removable disks. It's also possible to create a disk that supports both EFI-mode and BIOS-mode booting. In fact, if you copy the .iso image for most distribution installers (I think including Mint, but I'm not 100% positive of that) to a USB flash drive with dd, it should boot in either mode.

That said, EFI is still new enough that there are significant machine-to-machine differences in how they handle boot media. What works on one computer may fail on another one. Thus, you may need to try two or three different tools or option sets before you find one that works for you.
pekoe wrote: I think I can Live boot with secure boot on, but should I turn it off before live booting anyways where it won't boot in secure boot after installing Mint?
In theory, Mint should work with Secure Boot enabled. I recommend you leave it enabled unless you suspect you're having Secure Boot problems, in which case disabling it is worth trying. Note that if you get as far as a GRUB screen, Secure Boot is most likely not an issue. (In theory, it might fail when launching a kernel, but probably not.) If you never see a GRUB screen and the system boots straight through to Windows, especially if you see a message about security issues, then Secure Boot may be a problem and should be disabled. (The exact messages shown vary from one computer to another. Some are helpful and explicit. Others aren't. On one of my computers, the system hangs when it encounters Secure Boot problems.)

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 2:49 pm
by reddot
you can donwload the distro iso of your choice then use applications-->accessories-->usb image writer its fast, i use it all the time, works perfectly. dont like universal installers like unetbootin, i check the checksums all the time with gtkhash. there are somethings i prefer the gui way. like everyone else mentioned, you can use terminal to burn the iso and even check the checksum there too. it all comes down to your preference. as for only uefi bootable usb flash drive, i dont understand the need for such thing, but it can be done, let us know if you get it running. i dont use windows so i always remove secure boot, i can really help with dual booting other os like windows or mac, have not tried since 2010.

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:25 pm
by srs5694
reddot wrote:as for only uefi bootable usb flash drive, i dont understand the need for such thing,
Every time you add boot options (EFI vs. BIOS, GPT vs. MBR, USB flash drive vs. optical disc, etc.), you complicate the configuration of the boot medium. Such complications sometimes cause problems on some configurations. In other words, a medium that boots only in EFI mode is more likely to work correctly in that mode than one that boots in both EFI and BIOS modes, since the BIOS-mode supports might cause some EFIs to misbehave.

Another reason to use an EFI-only medium is that you can then be more certain that you really have booted in EFI mode. I've answered far too many online questions from people who've booted and installed Linux in BIOS mode when an EFI-mode installation was more appropriate. In some cases, these people thought they were doing an EFI-mode install, but they accidentally booted in BIOS mode. A medium that can't boot in BIOS mode makes such a mistake impossible.

That said, if you know what you're doing and if your firmware isn't problematic, a medium that boots in both BIOS and EFI modes can be perfectly acceptable. Even if you don't know what you're doing, such a dual-mode installer can work fine if you follow the right instructions or if you get lucky.

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:22 pm
by reddot
such a noobie i am!!! makes sense!!! well said.

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:54 pm
by eatenimpinia
reddot wrote:you can donwload the distro iso of your choice then use applications-->accessories-->usb image writer ....
I recently tried making a GPT USB Flash drive installation disk on Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon (x64) with USB Image Writer and it didnt' work. I started with a GPT formatted USB stick, but USB Image Writer appears to have wanted to convert it back to MBR. I had to boot back into Windows and use Rufus.

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:14 pm
by reddot
:( i must be a lucky one then, i have not had a single problem booting in EFI using that method. all my pc are EFI, i have a custom built rig, mobo GA-F2A88X-D3H boots fine, also 2 laptops made in 2015, dell inspiron 15 5551 and inspiron 17 5758 work fine with "MBR type" usb flash drive. i was not aware of such problems. i do remember helping someone with a samsung laptop boot problems that had exaggerating limited EFI options, he/she was forced to legacy :( maybe a GPT flash drive would of helped.

if a product gives me limited control i consider it POS

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:08 am
by pekoe
DaveLessnau wrote:
reddot wrote:you can donwload the distro iso of your choice then use applications-->accessories-->usb image writer ....
I recently tried making a GPT USB Flash drive installation disk on Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon (x64) with USB Image Writer and it didnt' work. I started with a GPT formatted USB stick, but USB Image Writer appears to have wanted to convert it back to MBR. I had to boot back into Windows and use Rufus.
As far a I know, the USB can be formatted with MBR and it will install on either UEFI or BIOS on your machine.

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:58 am
by Spearmint2
No reason to make an EFI boot on GPT formatted flashdrive for Mint. All that can easily be avoided if you use a 64 bit version of Mint and turn off Secure Boot in the Windows. That's all that's needed.

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:18 pm
by srs5694
Spearmint2 wrote:No reason to make an EFI boot on GPT formatted flashdrive for Mint. All that can easily be avoided if you use a 64 bit version of Mint and turn off Secure Boot in the Windows. That's all that's needed.
This advice is rather bad, at least speaking generally, for a number of reasons:
  • You can't "turn off Secure Boot in the Windows." Secure Boot is an optional UEFI feature, not a Windows feature. It's designed specifically so that it's impossible to disable Secure Boot from within an OS. (If it is possible on a particular computer, then that represents a bug.) Thus, if you want to disable Secure Boot, you must do so from within the firmware setup utility, not from Windows.
  • As I've already noted, Secure Boot is an optional feature of UEFI. In other words, if you were to disable Secure Boot in the firmware, then that would not, in and of itself, change the system from booting in EFI/UEFI mode to boot in BIOS/CSM/legacy mode.
  • Although disabling Secure Boot is occasionally necessary to get a system to boot Mint on EFI-based computers, Mint usually boots with Secure Boot enabled. I've verified that it does work on at least some systems. I suspect that the "disable Secure Boot" mantra originated either before Mint acquired Secure Boot support or when that support was very primitive and failed on some computers. It's propagated since then, and every time somebody follows the advice and has no problems, they think they've avoided problems because they disabled Secure Boot, when in fact there's no causal connection.
  • Secure Boot has absolutely nothing to do with partition table types (GPT vs. MBR).
  • Your response could be interpreted as advocating installing in BIOS/CSM/legacy mode. I don't know if that was your intent or not. Doing so can be a reasonable approach in some cases, but if the computer is already booting Windows in EFI mode, installing Linux in BIOS mode will almost certainly create more problems than it solves. Installing in BIOS mode can work past some initial issues in getting the installer to boot, but a BIOS-mode Linux installation next to an EFI-mode Windows installation will require later workarounds or awkward boot-time options. Fixing the problems booting the installer will almost certainly be easier than fixing the problems created by doing a mixed-mode install.
There's a lot of misinformation floating around concerning EFI and Secure Boot. EFI is very different from BIOS, and whenever a fundamental technology like the firmware undergoes a massive shift like the one from BIOS to EFI, it takes people a while to shed their old habits and understand the new environment. I'm well ahead of the curve on this; I wrote GPT fdisk and I maintain the rEFInd boot manager. I also own half a dozen EFI-based computers and have used others, so I know better than most about variability and pitfalls that crop up on just some systems.

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:53 pm
by Spearmint2
That's right, Secure Boot is located in the UEFI, and although required by Windows on newly manufactured Windows computers which shipped with windows installed on them, the Secure Boot is NOT in the Window OS itself. I said "in windows" and should have said "for windows".
--if you were to disable Secure Boot in the firmware, then that would not, in and of itself, change the system from booting in EFI/UEFI mode to boot in BIOS/CSM/legacy mode.--
Nobody claimed turning off Secure Boot would enable a change from UEFI to BIOS mode.
-- Although disabling Secure Boot is occasionally necessary to get a system to boot Mint on EFI-based computers, Mint usually boots with Secure Boot enabled. I've verified that it does work on at least some systems. --
But, not on all systems, and for help forums it's best to follow a method that will work more often than doesn't, and across the greatest amount of motherboards. People usually prefer the easiest path to assured success in any endeavor.
-- Secure Boot has absolutely nothing to do with partition table types (GPT vs. MBR). --
I don't believe anyone said that, but you may have misunderstood something that was posted, such as below.
--pekoe wrote; I started with a GPT formatted USB stick, but USB Image Writer appears to have wanted to convert it back to MBR. I had to boot back into Windows and use Rufus.--
So far as I know, he's correct, the USB Image Writer in Mint Linux wants to use MBR. Have you used it on a USB flashdrive successfully that has been set as GPT?
-- Your response could be interpreted as advocating installing in BIOS/CSM/legacy mode. I don't know if that was your intent or not. --
Not at all, not sure why you'd think that. My aim is to have him get a 64 bit UEFI aware ISO loaded to a USB flashdrive and that can be done easiest by using MBR and FAT32 on such flashdrive. That certainly doesn't then limit him to install by using MBR on the hard drive, thereby corrupting the "protective MBR" on UEFI motherboards which are also using GPT enabled hard drive.
Instead it is to enable him to successfully install the Linux Mint 64 bit to the GPT hard drive on the UEFI motherboard.

Re: Making USB with Mint - GPT with UEFI

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:02 pm
by Spearmint2
austin.texas wrote:
pekoe wrote:Is there a universal program that can make the USB boot in GPT with UEFI, instead of the old MBR method?
Supposedly, it is possible to create a USB which boots only in UEFI mode. I have never tried it.
How to create UEFI-only bootable USB live media?
I'd imagine the easiest way might be to make a copy of the "protective MBR" and after creating a flashdrive capable of booting only from a GPT partition system on it, overwrite the MBR that is currently on it from the ISO image placed on it, (which also allows MBR boot capability) with the "protective MBR" copy. It should then appear as a GPT only drive. I don't see why such would be necessary though.