Linux distros with UEFI support

UEFI laptops are very common nowadays. Popular distros like Ubuntu, Fedora. OpenSUSE etc. come with UEFI support. But how about some relatively lightweight distros which can boot fast, from from USB and are useful for quick browsing sessions without saving anything on the disk? Unfortunately, UEFI support is still not very common across Linux distros. There are hacks to make them work (like I did for Slitaz or ArchBang in the past, introducing rEFInd etc.) but end-users will definitely look for something that works out of the box. While we couldn’t find distros as light as Slitaz, we found some less than 800MB distros which work out of the box on UEFI devices. We have only tested x86_64 ISOs as UEFI is more common on 64-bit hardware. We tested these distros on a UEFI VM and as there was no option to enable Secure Boot we can only claim that these work fine with Secure Boot disabled. Tested versions are recorded because older versions might not have UEFI support.

Evolve OS Alpha4

The distro is under development (Alpha stage) at the time of writing. Flaunts the beautiful Budgie desktop. 655MB ISO size.

Fatdog64-631

Lightweight and provides the Openbox desktop environment. “dd” the ISO to a USB flash drive to make a bootable flash drive. ISO size 248MB.

Manjaro 0.8.10

Based on Arch Linux and provides a familiar look and feel to users migrating from Windows. Comes with many Linux desktop environments through community editions. Find the UEFI live USB creation guide here. ISO size 687MB (Openbox edition).

Semplice 6

Based on Debian Unstable and the desktop environment is Openbox. Installation guide. ISO size 634MB.

Siduction 14.1.0

Once again based on Debian Unstable. Offers several desktop environment options like GNOME, KDE, LXDE, LXQt, Razor-qt, Xfce. Installation guide. ISO size 793MB (LxQt edition).

Slackel Live 6.0

Based on Slackware and Salix distros. Offers KDE and Openbox desktop environments. Couldn’t find a comprehensive guide for this one but the procedure should be similar to the other distros in the list. ISO size 696MB (Openbox edition).

This is a growing list. If you find any other lesser known Linux distro which works out of the box on UEFI devices please leave a comment and we will add it to the list.

12 thoughts on “Linux distros with UEFI support”

  1. November 19th 2015

    Are you still updating this list

    Not sure if Linux Mint fits your criteria but I was having problems installing Linux Lite on a new Lenovo Yoga 300 because it has Windows 10 upgrade I needed a Distro with UEFI 64 bit .

    I was pointed to Linux Mint 17.2 with Xfce as used by Lite . I put it on a USB drive and it installed worked out of the box . The boot into bios on the Yoga 300 procedure is different . It has a physical button down a hole operated using a paper clip etc similar to reset buttons

      1. Thanks for your quick response . I still think a list is helpful. My post was as a result of a Web Search “linux distro 64 bit UEFI” . There were not a lot of results that pointed to which distros are available to download . Yours was the first hopeful result I came across

        I have used Linux Lite for a couple of years and like it in spite having several problems that were resolve with a lot of work and help on their forum . I do not want to change but the developers say they are unlikely to provide a UEFI version because of needing to purchase a Licence from Microsoft ?

        The problem with the Linux distro system is because Linux is free to develop every man and his dog have produced their own distro . My problem is that there are too many to choose .
        I want a OS that works behind the scenes with little intervention from me . I want the computer to do what I ask it to do and nothave to tell it how to do it
        I want to be led by the hand using a simple to use GUI and not the unfriendly CLI which has to be learnt before I can use it properly . Most Linux distros seam to be for computer enthusiasts who want to play with the OS rather than use a computer for an end use .

        Colin

        1. My pleasure! I think you should try Ubuntu with LXDE. Check our article on that. I use it on UEFI myself. BTW, MS has the authority to sign the bootloader (or more, if required) before it can pass Secure Boot. If you disabled Secure Boot, you do not need the signed bootloader.

          1. Thanks for the MS update
            Is the Secure Boot something that MS has added itself . It sounds similar to having signed Drivers and Software on older Windows versions to try to make sure they are safe to use on their OS’s .

            From what you say I assume that any Linux distro can be provided with a UEFI interface instead of Bios Legacy and will work OK except for MS’s Secure Boot

            Colin.

            1. UEFI came from Intel, the Secure Boot concept “probably” originated from MS. A signed bootloader is required to pass the security check with the firmware.

              Note that a distro must support UEFI to boot in UEFI mode. The Secure Boot feature is an additional topping.

              1. Can a Distro for a Legacy Bios be converted to a UEFI one easily by a 71 year old ( brain cells not as quick as they used to be )

                I worked on Telephone Exchange Construction and Maintenance and Transmission systems – Been retired 20 years ago just when they became glorified computers .

                Played with Computers from ZX days ( that was quite low level programming by hand )

                Now I prefer to use them . I still work with the hardware ( ie open them up and change things) if needed

                Colin

  2. Thanks! Very informative.
    tiny core 64 boots well too. Unpack ISO. Drop kernel and initrd on bootable USB (GPT) partition. Also put the cde directory at the root of the USB stick. Tested with gumboot and elilo.

  3. Well netrunner-15-dvd-64bit.iso worked on my system unlike others, some that claim UEFI are not on my system, I have to disable UEFI before DVD will. boot.

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