UEFI is the replacement for BIOS that is being implemented by some motherboard manufacturers. The open source alternative to UEFI is Coreboot (which is available on AMD-processors). Also see UEFI Installation -- Ubuntu Community Help.
- See this article for information about disabling / bypassing SecureBoot on computers that allow this.
rEFInd (EFI Boot Manager)
The utility boot-repair is useful in repairing many incompatibilites between Windows 7 / 8 installations using UEFI and the Grub2 bootmanager installation used by (K)Ubuntu. For details see boot-repair -- Ubuntu Community wiki. Install from the private repository (or on the LiveCD for (K)Ubuntu 12.04.2 or later):
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install boot-repair boot-repair
- The biggest threat to user data and software choice (on their own computers) are implementations of the UEFI boot protocol "SecureBoot". See the FSF whitepaper regarding this issue. Certain hardware with this implementation rigidly ties hardware to the OS, giving control to the OS manufacturer, not to the user. Hardware failure in such a configuration causes unrecoverable data loss (as frequently happened when a similar mechanism was initially used for Windows XP a decade ago). Be extremely careful when purchasing hardware that includes the UEFI "SecureBoot"; many implementations do not allow the user to install (or modify) their own operating systems, making the computer or device essentially a short-lifespan disposable one. Do not choose hardware that puts your important data at risk. (If forced to use such hardware, user data should never be stored on such a computer or device.) H-node maintains a list of hardware compatible with flexible, free, and open source software and operating systems. Coreboot (with SeaBIOS) is an open source alternative to UEFI and is supported by AMD-based motherboards.