Sunday, August 23, 2015

Experiences installing Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on UEFI system with Boot Repair

I recently set up a new desktop PC (Dell Precision Tower 7910) for my work computer. For this new machine I've decided to move away from Fedora Linux (which I've used for the past four years) and go with the latest Ubuntu LTS release (14.04 "Trusty Tahr"). (While I've enjoyed using Fedora, the relatively high turnover of releases has been a nuisance - so the thought that I'd only need to do one install over the lifespan of this machine was an attractive one.)

Although this was a new machine with Windows pre-installed, I decided to trash this and install Ubuntu over it as a single boot setup(my preference is to run Windows inside a virtual machine on the Linux box, rather than dual booting). The system was also already set up to use UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, a replacement for traditional BIOS firmware), however according to the official Ubuntu documentation for UEFI ( for a single boot system either UEFI or "legacy" boot modes can be used.

So if  you don't really care which mode is used then the section on Installing Ubuntu for Single Boot with a Random Boot Mode suggests that the easiest approach is basically just try and install from the Live media, and see what happens. This was the approach that I took, installing from the Live CD and setting up my own partitioning scheme with /home separated from the rest of the system.

Initially attempting to reboot post-installation failed with no bootable devices. However it's possible to repair this quite easily and complete the installation using the Boot Repair utility. The basic recipe for obtaining and running it is summarised in the post at - but unfortunately the version from the repo given (yannubuntu/boot-repair) didn't seem to work for Ubuntu 14.04 - instead it's necessary to get it from a different location (kranich/cubuntu; see

Based on the above posts, I restarted from the Live CD and selected "Try Ubuntu" to boot from the CD. Once the system was ready I opened a terminal window and did:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kranich/cubuntu
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair
sudo boot-repair

which brings up the Boot Repair GUI. I selected the "Recommended Repair" option, and once this had completed I restarted the system again without the Live CD. This time Ubuntu booted okay directly from the hard drive, and the installation was complete.

Addendum: it looks like the system ended up being installed in UEFI mode, which according to the Ubuntu docs is indicated by the existence of the /sys/firmware/efi/ directory on the hard drive.

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