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I'm trying to install Fedora 19 on a UEFI computer. The laptop is an ASUS Q500A with Aptio UEFI (firmware or BIOS) version 208, GOP (Aptio is American Megatrends). I downloaded the latest ISO from Fedora's site named Fedora-Live-Desktop-x86_64-19-1.

I cannot get the laptop to recognize the Fedora Live CD (DVD actually) as a boot device. When I enter Boot Menu, the DVD is not listed as an available boot device. The laptop is currently configured with Secure Boot OFF. Additionally, CSM Mode (legacy mode) is OFF.

I can boot to Gparted in the same config, I can boot to Windows 8 in the same config, and I can boot to rEFInd in the same config. I can also boot Fedora 19 if I switch to CSM Mode (legacy mode).

I've been chasing my tail in circles for three days with this. A couple of questions before I give up:

  • Can anyone confirm they've actually installed F19 on a UEFI system?
  • Are there any known compatibility issues between F19, ASUS, or Aptio UEFI?
  • Is there anything obvious that I missed to cause F19 not to be listed as bootable?
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, Fedora 19 is installable on EFI-based computers; however, EFIs vary greatly amongst themselves, and the standard Fedora 19 installation image is a real Frankenstein's monster that pushes various standards (GPT, ISO-9660, HFS+, etc.) up to, and perhaps beyond, their breaking point. The combination of these factors means that some EFIs are bound to choke on Fedora's monster of an image.

My recommendation is therefore to try writing the image to a USB flash drive. Try using dd (or something equivalent in Windows) first, and if that doesn't work, use unetbootin or some similar tool. With any luck your firmware will take more kindly to the lumbering monster of Fedora's image on a USB flash drive than on a CD-R; and if not, unetbootin or its ilk might simplify things enough for your firmware to accept it.

Another thing you might try is my rEFInd boot manager: Write it to a USB flash drive and boot into it, with the Fedora DVD also in the computer. With any luck, rEFInd will recognize the Fedora disc as bootable and let you boot it. If you don't see the Fedora disc immediately, wait a few seconds and hit the Esc key; this will cause rEFInd to re-scan for bootable media, which is sometimes necessary with removable disks.

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Thanks Rod. Everything you said was true. Have you suffered this in the past ;) –  noloader Dec 16 '13 at 21:00
Not that specific problem; however, as the developer of both rEFInd and gdisk, I try to keep abreast of EFI and GPT issues. I own four EFI-based computers, and I also use EFI in VirtualBox, so I have a lot of firsthand experience with the range of problems that EFI can present. –  Rod Smith Dec 17 '13 at 4:32
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EFIs vary greatly amongst themselves, and the standard Fedora 19 installation image is a real Frankenstein's monster that pushes various standards (GPT, ISO-9660, HFS+, etc.) up to, and perhaps beyond, their breaking point

Rod really nailed it with that statement. I'm including the following as a second answer because this was somewhat tricky to track down, it provides the cross references into the bug reporters with the script to actually fix the LiveCDs, and its too much to stuff under Rod's answer.

The problem was a negative interaction between the filename that Fedora chooses for BOOTx64.efi and the firmware. Ubuntu had the same problem. In both cases, the firmware is expecting a lowercase filename (EFI/BOOT/bootx64.efi).

I was able to fix the issue with Fedora 19 and 20 by building a new LiveCD after changing the filename to bootx64.efi. It also fixed the same problems on Ubuntu 12 and 13.

The shell script is rather easy to use. Download the LiveCD you want to use from Fedora or Ubuntu and the script does the rest. It mounts the existing ISO, renames to EFI/BOOT/bootx64.efi, and then builds a new ISO. The new ISO can be burned and booted.

Windows 8, Gparted, and rEFInd use lowercase filenames, and there was no problems booting to them in UEFI mode.

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That's a new bug to me, but it's not entirely surprising. I've run into case-sensitivity in EFI before, in the case of a Gigabyte board. (Read about it, and numerous other problems with that particular EFI, here.) What I've run into didn't affect filenames per se, but it did affect programs that used certain EFI system calls for string comparisons. This could result in programs failing to locate files with case that didn't match expectations. –  Rod Smith Dec 17 '13 at 4:29
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