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Lenovo UEFI Only Wants To Boot Windows, RHEL

Hardware

Published on 16 November 2012 01:04 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
33 Comments

It turns out that for at least one of Lenovo's computer models, their UEFI implementation is explicitly checking for Windows or Red Hat Enterprise Linux and refusing to boot the UEFI-installed system if neither operating system is reported.

While initially it sounded like yet another SecureBoot issue with Linux, Matthew Garrett investigated and found that the UEFI on the Lenovo ThinkCentre M92p desktop was explicitly checking for the presence of "Windows Boot Manager" and "Red Hat Enterprise Linux" upon installing an UEFI-supported operating system. If the UEFI sees either string within the firmware's descriptive string, the UEFI won't let the system load.

The Lenovo UEFI wouldn't even list the operating system at the boot menu. This problem was discovered when trying to install Fedora Linux to the Lenovo hardware. Matthew Garrett documented this UEFI problem on his blog.

The Lenovo ThinkCentre M92p is considered a business desktop/workstation that ships with an Intel Core i5 "Ivy Bridge" processor and is preloaded with Microsoft Windows 7.

This is a rather surprising move to see from Lenovo hardware since generally their products are well received by Linux developers since traditionally they tend to work good "out of the box" in most Linux environments. Fortunately, Lenovo tweeted that they are looking into the problem. "We're alerted the team and are looking into it." At least this is a better response than what Gigabyte recommends motherboard owners do in the event of Linux problems.

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