How to install Ubuntu on computer with UEFI

  • Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is a modern replacement over the BIOS for booting up operating systems. In most BIOS settings, you can choose whether you want UEFI enabled or disabled.

  • Ubuntu works best with BIOS, not UEFI. So, if you are only installing Ubuntu on a computer or you have Windows 7 or older on it then you can disable UEFI in the BIOS settings and proceed to install Ubuntu with a / partition and a swap partition.

  • However, if you already have Windows 8 or 10 installed on the computer, it will be using UEFI to boot and so UEFI cannot be disabled. Also, if you intend to install and dual boot with Windows in the future, it may be a good idea to keep UEFI enabled.

  • If you already have Windows 8 or 10 installed then you will notice an extra 100MB partition named EFI while installing Ubuntu. Do not touch it and proceed with creating a / and swap partition. Ubuntu will automatically install GRUB to use that EFI partition for booting.

  • If you do not have Windows, but want to keep UEFI enabled, then you will need to create a 100-200MB partition and pick its type as boot EFI while installing Ubuntu. The rest of the partitions for Ubuntu are the same. Just remember to create an EFI partition.

  • If you forgot to create an EFI partition on a UEFI enabled computer and installed Ubuntu, then the installer will fail at the end with this error:

The `grub-efi-amd64-signed` package failed to install into / target/.
Without the GRUB boot loader, the installed system will not boot.

Tried with: Ubuntu 16.04

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Keyboard not working in GRUB boot menu

Problem

I faced this strange problem on a friend’s computer which had a USB keyboard. The keyboard would not work in the GRUB boot menu! It would however work fine inside the BIOS setup and after booting into Ubuntu, it would work there too. Why was it not working only in GRUB?!

Solution

The solution turned out to be Legacy USB support. I enabled this in the computer’s BIOS and it started working in the GRUB boot menu! 😄

Ubuntu x86-64 CPU error on VirtualBox

Problem

Installing 64-bit Ubuntu on VirtualBox fails with this error:

This kernel requires an x86-64 CPU, but only detected an i686 CPU. Unable to boot – please use a kernel appropriate for your CPU.

Solution

First, make sure you have a 64-bit CPU. Second, make sure it has support for virtualization. If both of these are true, then it means that some of the virtualization features might be turned off. Reboot your PC, get into the BIOS setup and turn on all the virtualization features of your CPU. 64-bit Ubuntu should install without this error after that.

Tried with: Ubuntu 11.10 64-bit and VirtualBox 4.1.12 on a Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 CPU