14 de maig 2015

Debian installation on a laptop with Windows 8 and UEFI

This is a English summary of the article “Instal·lació de Debian en un portàtil amb Windows 8 i UEFI”.

Updated on may 2015.
First version: may 2014.

Computer: Toshiba Satellite L50-A-1EH with Windows 8.1
Distribution: Debian GNU/Linux 7.5 “Jessie”

Download the proper Debian image, in this case a testing release iso image, amd64 architecture, DVD1 or CD1 with our favourite desktop environment.
Copy this into a pendrive with the command dd if=imatge.iso of=/dev/sdx bs=4M; sync where /dev/sdx corresponds to our usb device. Don't mix it up!

Enter in laptop's firmware configuration (old BIOS) pressing F2 at startup.
Go to Security and select Secure Boot disabled.
Go to Advanced and select Boot Speed normal (in other computers this option is called Fast Boot, and you have to switch it off).

Boot into Windows. Go to Control Panel, Power Options, Choose what the power button does, and uncheck Turn on fast startup.
Go to Administrative Tools, Computer Management and click on Disk Management. Select the partition where Windows is installed, which is the bigger one, and shrink it to leave enough place to Debian. Leave the free space as is.

Reboot the computer and boot from the pendrive with the debian installer (F12 on startup to enter boot device menu).
Install Debian as usual, using the free space we left before.
If the manufacturer did things right when booting you should see the grub boot loader with both Debian and Windows entries.
Sadly, it's not the case, and only Windows is loaded.

To fix this you must boot the computer with a live-cd or live-usb and open the UEFI boot partition.
Go to EFI/Boot and make a backup copy of bootx64.efi . Go to EFI/debian and copy grubx64.efi to EFI/Boot and rename it to bootx64.efi . With this we are forcing the computer to load grub.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: This trick has a problem. Every time you update grub you must repeat this process to copy the new grubx64.efi into place. If not, your computer won't load.

Post-installation notes

Running hardware after Debian installation:

Wifi (Qualcomm Atheros QCA9565/AR9565)SI
Audio (Intel HDA PCH)SI
Video (Nvidia GeForce GT740M, driver nouveau)SI
Webcam (Toshiba)SI
Bluetooth (Atheros)NO
Sleep modeSI

To fix bluetooth you need to install firmware-atheros package, from the non-free section (deactivated by default) and some bluetooth manager like bluedevil or gnome-bluetooth depending on your system.

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