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  1. #1
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    Fedora/Mint Dual Boot and UEFI

    I currently have an F20 install on my laptop that was installed in legacy mode. I'd like to dual boot it with Mint. I think this will be easier to do with UEFI, since the Ubuntu and Fedora Grubs don't get along, or so I've read. So, first what would I need to do to convert the existing F20 install to UEFI, and second, once that is done what additional steps are needed to dual-boot Mint? I did some searching but didn't find much on answering my questions.

    thanks
    Lenovo W530
    Fedora 21 With Gnome

  2. #2
    PabloTwo's Avatar
    PabloTwo is offline "Registered User" T-Shirt Winner
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    Re: Fedora/Mint Dual Boot and UEFI

    You can't convert an MBR install of Fedora to a UEFI install. You would need to reinstall Fedora in UEFI mode. But there is no need to use UEFI mode install at all, unless you just want to for a learning experience. I am triple booting W7/F20/LinuxMint16 on /dev/sda of my desktop pc at present, all in MBR mode installs.

    You do not have to let the Fedora and Mint grubs fight with each other. Up until just recently I had just been dual booting W7/Fedora on the sda drive, and only added Mint16 about a week ago. All you have to do in the Mint installer is tell the installer what partition you want to put grub in (there is a drop down box to select the partition to put grub). Use the /boot partition you create for Mint as the target partition for Mints grub.

    Once your Mint install is complete, when you reboot you will of course just get the Fedora grub menu, so boot into Fedora, then reconfigure grub to pick up the Mint install.
    Code:
    # grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
    The next time you boot, you'll see Mint as a new choice in the Fedora grub menu. I don't use Mint's grub menu at all, just the Fedora grub to boot W7, Fedora and Mint. No problem.

    P.S. If for some reason Fedora doesn't pick up Mint, then before running the grub2-mkconfig command, mount Mints /boot and / partitions. And I'm only assuming you currently have available unused space on your hdd to install Mint.
    Last edited by PabloTwo; 12th February 2014 at 03:05 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Fedora/Mint Dual Boot and UEFI

    ok, that seems simpler. thanks
    Lenovo W530
    Fedora 21 With Gnome

  4. #4
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    Re: Fedora/Mint Dual Boot and UEFI

    If things go wrong and Mint installs it's grub boot loader where Fedora's is, overwriting it, that's easy enough to repair after the fact. In fact, I had to do that myself. I originally installed Mint16 onto a USB connected hdd (sdd) but that drive was starting to give me problems. So I pulled the plug on that drive and reinstalled Mint16 into the 60GB of free space I had left on my sda drive.

    In the process of reinstalling, I forgot to tell Mint where to put it's boot loader, so, of course, it just used the MBR of sda and overwrote Fedora's grub boot loader. But Mint picked op the Fedora install in it's grub menu. So while in Mint, I used the "grub-install" command to put Mint's boot loader in it's own /boot partition, then used Mints grub menu to boot into Fedora and used "grub2-install" to reinstate Fedora's boot loader into the MBR of sda. It all worked out nicely. Note the difference, in case you have to go there, of Mint and Fedora grub-install command. "grub-install" for Mint, "grub2-install" for Fedora.
    Last edited by PabloTwo; 12th February 2014 at 03:42 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Fedora/Mint Dual Boot and UEFI

    If you stay with the legacy MBR mode, perhaps install a multi-boot partition manager http://goo.gl/4zwd8u

  6. #6
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    Re: Fedora/Mint Dual Boot and UEFI

    Quote Originally Posted by PabloTwo
    You can't convert an MBR install of Fedora to a UEFI install. You would need to reinstall Fedora in UEFI mode.
    Fortunately, you're wrong about this. There are actually two issues, each with its own solution:

    • Partition table format -- BIOS installations most often use the MBR partition table, whereas EFI installations almost always use GPT. It's often possible to boot EFI from MBR, but this type of configuration is undocumented and unsupported (by Fedora). Thus, you probably want to do an MBR-to-GPT conversion. This can be done with GPT fdisk (gdisk, cgdisk, or sgdisk). You'll probably also have to create an EFI System Partition (ESP), which means resizing one or more of your existing partitions. You can use GParted for this task.
    • Boot loader installation -- You'll need to install an EFI-mode boot loader for Linux to get the computer booting in EFI mode. This is easily done once you know how, but you'll need to read up a bit to learn the ropes. Start with the page I just referenced. You'll need to choose a boot loader, install it to the ESP, and register it with the firmware by using the efibootmgr utility from an EFI-mode emergency disc. (There are variant ways of doing all of these things.)


    I've done such conversions several times. They're pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it, but doing it for the first time might be frustrating.

    As to the bigger question of "battling GRUBs," that's a problem with the way GRUB is implemented in both Mint and Fedora. In theory, it could be less of a problem under EFI than under BIOS, but the distribution developers haven't left BIOS ways of thinking behind, so it's really not much better under EFI -- at least, not with the default configurations. You might have better luck by using another boot loader, or at least by learning enough to configure your boot loader manually.

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