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The ambition of this page is to allow newcomers to discover Mageia by installing it alongside Windows on a computer that uses a UEFI firmware instead of the traditional BIOS (see hereafter for more details), using a system called dual boot. There are no IT skills required, Just roughly knowing what a partition is.

If your computer does not use the UEFI features, see this page
If you already know Mageia and just need some information about Mageia 5 and UEFI, see this page

If you don't know anything about Linux in general nor Mageia in particular, read this page First step with Linux and Mageia first. It will help. Honest. ;-)

About UEFI

Mother boards equipped with UEFI firmware appeared about 2005 to replace the BIOS firmware and its limitations (limited to 2TB disks, only 4 partitions, not enough space in the MBR for the complete boot loader, etc). Windows since Vista and Mageia since 5, both in 64 bits architecture only are UEFI compatible (UEFI for 32 bit systems might appear soon).
Since Windows 8.0, Microsoft requires that computers sold with Windows use UEFI and a new feature only possible with it called Secure Boot. This feature prevents the installation of any operating system that isn't authenticated by Microsoft, fortunately you can disable it.
Another feature brought by UEFI is the Fast Startup (aka Fastboot), it is a kind of hibernation that replaces the traditional power off and makes it faster to reboot. It must be disabled before the Mageia installation.
And last but not least, UEFI requires GPT disks, a new partitioning system with extended features.
To know more about UEFI, an Internet search is your friend.


We are going to find out about your configuration:

  • Windows release, architecture and if it is UEFI or not
  • The available place on the hard disks

For now, we don't need anything more, if your hardware is powerful enough for Windows, it will be fine for Mageia.

Some well-known PC manufacturers such as NEC, HP... sometimes refuse to honour their guarantee if any operating systems have been installed on the computer, other than those that it came with pre-installed.
Please note!
Paths in the menus are given for Windows 10, they have to be adapted for Windows 8

Which release and architecture do you have

Two way to find that out:

  • Menu -> Settings -> System -> About
  • Menu -> Windows System -> Control Panel -> System

UEFI mode or not?

  • Menu -> Windows System -> Control Panel -> Administrative tools -> Computer Management -> Storage/Disk Management

We can see that the second partition is called EFI System Partition (ESP), this partition only exists on GPT partitioned disks. To be totally sure, right click on Disk0 then on Properties and then on the Volumes tab. You can see here what is the Partition style.


How much available space for which installation

Two screenshots above, you can see, underlined in green, the available space on your Windows partition (93.31 GB). It is enough to install Mageia, but before going further, we need some information about Mageia Installer and decide what to do.

If the automatic way is chosen, the installer will share the available space according to the following rules:

  • If the total available space is lower than 50 GB, only one partition is created for / (root), there is no separate partition for /home, the user's folder. The main drawback is that in the future you won't be able to format / (for a new installation for example) without losing your data. However, Windows is working that way.
  • If the total available space is over 50 GB, then three partitions are created:
    • 6/19 of the total available space is allocated to / with a maximum of 50 GB
    • 1/19 is allocated to swap (RAM extend on disk) with a maximum of 4 GB
    • the rest (at least 12/19) is allocated to /home

You must also leave some space for Windows according your own needs. If you can't free more than 50 GB, and for a first installation in order to discover Mageia, we can content oneself with 40 GB and the recommanded three partitions:

  • 15 GB for /, the system's files
  • 20 GB for /home, the user's files
  • 4 GB for swap, the memory swap.

Shrinking Windows partition with the Windows tool

We have choice between shrinking the Windows partition now, with the Windows tools (often more simple), or let the Mageia Installer to do it later on. In both cases, a prior de-fragmentation of the Windows partition (C:) is necessary:
Menu -> Windows System -> Control Panel -> Administrative tools -> Defragment and Optimise Drives
To use the Windows tool now, right click on the Windows partition (C:) and select Shrink. In the pop up window, enter "40000" (for 40 GB) in the field "Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB".


Once the Windows partition is shrunk of 40 GB


If necessary later on, tools like Gparted allow resizing partitions without loosing data.

Media preparation

ISO image choice

You have choice between the Live DVD or Classical DVD. The Live DVD allows booting on Mageia and testing Mageia without installing anything, it is helpful to check the compatibility of the hardware. In the other hand, the Live DVD contains only one desktop, KDE or Gnome (remember that unlike Windows, Linux offers choice between many desktops, see here for more details). The classical DVD offers a wide choice of desktop environments, and even more are available from the online repositories.

Download and check

Click here to start the downloading. Keep in mind that for a UEFI installation you must use 64 bit ISOs.
Here is the last screen before the downloading starts.


Note the two given hexadecimal numbers, called md5sum and sha1sum. They are used to check the ISO integrity. Use only one of them. Both hexadecimal numbers have been calculated by an algorithm from the file to be downloaded. When you ask these algorithms to recalculate this number from your downloaded file, either you have the same number and your downloaded file is correct, or the number is different and you have a failure. A failure indicates that you should retry the download. With Windows, you can use the free applications MD5 Checksum or winMd5Sum.

MD5 Cheksum

Creation of the bootable DVD or USB stick

Once you have the ISO file and have checked it, you must, according to your hardware, either burn it to DVD or dump it to a USB stick. For the DVD, use you preferred Windows burner and set it to "Burn Image to Disc" or something similar. To create a bootable USB stick, you can use applications such as Rufus or Win32 Disk Imager. See the screenshot below to know the right parameters, let the default Cluster size. (See also Dump Mageia ISO on a USB flash drive - Alternative tools)

Dumping an ISO image on a USB stick using Rufus

Preliminaries prior to the installation

Your Installing media is now ready but not your computer yet. Some actions must be carried out:

  1. Disable Secure boot. See your mother board documentation or website to find out how to enter the firmware set-up (generally hitting the key "F2" or "Delete" when boot starts) and disable the secure boot.
  2. Check also how to boot on the DVD drive or on a USB stick. Asus example: [1] and then [2].
  3. Disable Fast Startup (aka Fastboot). In Windows, open the Menu -> Control Panel (icons view) -> Power Options -> Choose what the power buttons do -> Change settings that are currently unavailable uncheck "Turn on fast startup" under "Shutdown settings".
  4. De-fragment your Microsoft Windows mean partition (C:) if not already done.
  5. Check you can free at least 20 GB from the Windows partition, 40 GB is recommended.
  6. Back up the important data
  7. Decide which desktop environment you are going to install. KDE is more like Windows, Gnome more like OS/X. Xfce and LXQt are Lightweight Desktop Environments ... See more information here
  8. Have something to take notes at hand.


Please note!
Screenshots come from a classical DVD media. With a Live media, the first screen will ask you to choose between "Boot Mageia" or "Install Mageia". The first one will start Mageia without writing anything on the disk, it is slow but it works and allow you a first look on Mageia. The second one will install Mageia using a process very similar to a Classical installation.

Installation media in place, boot the computer. First thing you must see is this screen to select the install media:


If you see this one instead, there is a problem, your firmware is booting in BIOS (or legacy or CSM) mode, do not go on, you will lose Windows, reboot the computer and again enter the set-up and find out what doesn't match the prior info, or a problem may happened when dumping the USB stick.


Select the line for Install (not Rescue) and some information is displayed:

  • Detecting USB Devices
  • Detecting USB mass storage Devices
  • Loading program into memory...

Then, you will see the following screens:

  • Language

Select here the continent and country of the desired language. If you want several languages, it is possible, select first here the main language (the one Mageia will start with) and then click on "Multiple languages".

On this second screen, you find the main language you already selected and you can add some more.

  • License

Just read it, if you refuse, the installation is canceled.

  • Keyboard

Keyboard layouts matching the main language are displayed, if no one is fine for you, select another one (and only one) clicking on "More". Click on "OK" when it is done, although the selected keyboard will not be displayed, it is well taken into acount.

Choose the keyboard layout.

  • Partitioning

Computing the size and the free space into the partition.

The Installer found four possibilities for installing Mageia and we are going to detail them. According to your own hardware, you may have more or less.

Option: Use free space

This option is there because I freed space with Windows tools as explained here.
It is an automatic method, The installer will use the whole free space on the disk (or the selected one if they are several) to install Mageia using the rule described here. You have nothing to do, the next screen will be "Formatting". See the end of the installation below

Please note!
Due to a temporary bug, the installer will use the full size of the disk in the check to see if it's more or less than 50 GB instead of the free space, so the second rule applies, but then only on the 40 GB available.

The three partitions will be:

  • 6/19 * 40 = 12 GB for /
  • 1/19 * 40 = 2,2 GB for swap
  • the rest 24 GB for /home

Option: Use the free space on a Microsoft Windows partition

If you don't make the choice to freed space with Windows tools as explained here, the partitioning screen will look like this:
The option "Use the free space on a Microsoft Windows Partition" shows the size it is planning for Windows (127GB) and Mageia (24GB). It is a little too tight for Mageia.

If you put the mouse cursor at the border between Windows and Mageia, the cursor changes into a double arrow and you can move the border, to have for example 107GB for Windows and 44 GB for Mageia

No problem, since you defragmented Windows and the last shutdown was correct.

You are warned to not worry at the next Windows boot, it will have some checks to do.

This screen is not systematic, it depends how the installer manages the Windows partition. If this screen appears, click on OK and the computer will reboot. Be ready to start again on the same install media!. If this screen does not appear, the next one is "Formatting". See the end of the installation below

After the reboot, you have to redo the same screens about language, license, keyboard,.... and then you are back here. You can notice that the Windows partition has been shrunk and that the freed place has been divided into three partitions (in grey). We are now going to set this partitions to /, swap and /home. Click on "Custom disk partitioning.

Click on the first grey partition and on the "Toggle to expert mode" button. A new menu appear on the right.

Click on "Type".

As you like.

Choose ext4 partition type and click on OK.

Now the partition is a Linux one, you can see it in red. Click on it and on the "Mount point" button.

Choose / and click on OK. It is finished for this one.

Click on the next partition that will be the swap and on "Type".

Choose Linux swap partition type and click on OK.

No need to mount this one,click on the last partition and on "Type".

Choose ext4 partition type and click on OK.

Click on the "Mount point" button and choose /home.

Now that everything is done, click on "Done"!

OK. The next screen will be "Formatting". See the end of the installation below

Option: Erase and Use Entire Disk

Don't make this choice, it will use the whole disk for Mageia and you will not have Windows any more. It is not dual boot.

Option: Custom disk partitioning

You will get this screen:
It displays:

  1. A tab for each disk
  2. A banner showing all the disk partitions
  3. The place freed from the main Windows partition here
  4. The interactive menu
  5. The Windows recovery partition
  6. The Efi System Partition (ESP)
  7. The colour legend for the partitions (Windows in blue, Linux in red)

Click on the Windows partition, a "Resize" button appears in the menu and you can if desired, tweak the Windows partition size.

The Automatic way

Click on the empty place (3) and then on the "Auto Allocate" button. You will get the same result that with the option "Use free space" above.

The manual way

Here is the totally manual way, you are the only one to decide everything.

To use the empty place to install Mageia, click on it and then on "Create" in the menu.

Set the "Size in MB" slider to about 12 GB, "Filesystem type" to ext4 and "Mount point" to /. Click on OK and the first partition is created.

Click again in the empty place and on "Create" in the menu.

Set the "Size in MB" slider to about 4 GB, "Filesystem type" to Linux swap. Click on OK and the swap partition is created.

Click a last time in the empty place and on "Create" in the menu. Set the "Size in MB" slider at the far right end, to select all the remaining place, "Filesystem type" to ext4 and "Mount point" to /home. Click on OK and the last partition is created.

You can now see a disk full with the different partitions. If you click on one of them, the "Details" frame displays information and the menu is updated with only the possible commands for that partition.

For example, click on the second partition (ESP) and check it is well mounted on /boot/efi. If not do it wit the "Mount point" button in the menu. Click on "Done" when everything is OK.

OK. The next screen will be "Formatting". See the end of the installation below

End of the installation

  • Formatting

This screen is optional, it doesn't appear if formatting is mandatory, like for a first installation, but you can see it if you re-do your installation. If you have no personal data in the Mageia partitions, it is better to accept the formatting.

Formatting in progress.

  • Media Selection

For a first installation, don't bother with that and let it on "None". Later on (when you are more fluent with Mageia), mostly for an update, it is better to configure an internet connection with the Mageia repositories to have access to more packages than only the ones on the install media.

Act as written...

  • Desktop Selection

Choose "Custom" if you don't want neither KDE nor Gnome.

Now it will take a while for the installation itself (about an hour). during this time, you can read the "Release Notes"

  • Users Management

Enter an administrator password and a user password. Roughly, administrator (it is you, who is installing Mageia) has rights on everything whereas user has rights only on his/her own files. Keep in mind that the passwords are case sensitive. The shield at the password right is red if the password is weak and green if it is strong.

Some wait again...

This kind of screen is optional, it means that the installer ask some help to detect the right hardware. In this example, it is about the monitor. Use the drop down lists to make a selection or just accept what is suggested by the installer.

  • Updates

Updates have been released since the ISO image your are using was, "Yes" is a good choice to download them now. In case of internet connection problems, you can do it later on.

  • Summary

If something went wrong during the installation, it is written in red (use the scroll bar). Click on "Configure" to select the right settings. You can find them in your documentation. If you don't know, try something labelled "Generic", "Plug'n play", "universal"... As long as something is written in red, there is a problem but that does not prevent you to click on "Next".

Suspense ...

... it is won, don't forget to remove the boot media.

Here is the first screen you have with a dual boot, it is called the Grub menu, it allows to choose between Mageia and Windows.


  • After the first reboot you must configure the media sources and update your system: Software_management
  • You can enable the Fast Startup (aka Fastboot) again.


Windows starts directly

If you reboot the computer and it boots straight into Windows, that means either:

  • The Mageia installer failed somewhere, give it a second chance. Boot again on the Mageia installation media, but this time, just after the licence screen, another screen will appear, choose "Upgrade"

and in a few minutes (nothing to updrade!) it will be done.

  • Or it uses the wrong boot manager, the first one installed by Windows, not the second one installed by Mageia. To change that, start Windows and open a command prompt as an administrator:

Menu -> All programs -> Windows system -> right click on Command Prompt -> Run as administrator
Then Click on "Yes" in the dialog box and type:

 bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\mageia\grubx64.efi 


  • Or you can also try to enter your firmware setup and swap the boot order, check your documentation to do that.

Mageia does not start

Or it starts but fails in progress.

  • Like above, give the installer a new try choosing "Update". If that didn't solve the problem, carry out a new installation. At the "Partitioning" step, choose either "Use existing partitions" or "Custom disk partitioning" but certainly not "Use the free space on a Microsoft Windows partition", and check the partitions are big enough and correctly mounted on / and /home. Once in the summary screen, check there is nothing written in red (think to use the scrollbar). If so, that means you have a hardware problem, however, the computer may start anyway.
  • It is impossible to deal here with any possible hardware problems, if you have one, please, ask help on a forum.

Cannot mount NTFS partition even though secure boot and fast boot are disabled in Windows

Even though you have secure boot and fast boot disabled in Windows, Mageia is still unable to mount your Windows partition because it thinks Windows is hibernated and as a consequence, you can't access the Windows data.
It seems for whatever reason you still have a hibernation file (hiberfil.sys) on the Windows partition. You can try to disable it doing as follow:

  1. Open a command prompt as an administrator: Menu -> All programs -> Windows system -> right click on Command Prompt -> Run as administrator
  2. Then Click on "Yes" in the dialog box and type:
powercfg /h off 

Instructions to specific hardware


  • Plug the USB stick or insert the disc.
  • How to enter in Bios configuration: [3]
  • Then how to select the boot order: [4] French
    The media should be listed. Select it in "Boot Option #1".


On some HP machines, the BIOS will automatically boot Windows even after you have installed another boot manager. To boot Mageia, you will need to interrupt the boot process (by pressing the appropriate key for your machine - usually one of Esc, Del, F2, or F10) and select a different EFI boot image (you may have to try the options one by one to find the right one). Once you have booted Mageia, you should be able to fix this by executing the following command in a terminal:

[root@computer ~]# mv /boot/EFI/EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi /boot/EFI/EFI/Microsoft/bootmgfw.efi
[root@computer ~]# _

If you are using the grub2 boot manager, you will probably need to rerun the boot system configuration to let it find the new location of the Windows boot image. If you are using the rEFInd boot manager, it will automatically detect the new location.

To be continued


This section deals with the dual boot aspects only. You will find in this Wiki, all the other ones (sources configuration, updates ...).

  • Windows settings (firewall, anti-virus,...) have nothing to do with the Mageia working
  • The reverse is true also
  • The devices settings such as Internet box, Wifi, ..., affects the two systems
  • Firmware (former BIOS) settings affects the two systems
  • Windows updates doesn't affect the dual boot ??? to be checked
  • A new Windows release installation or a Windows restoration modify the boot order and put back the Windows bootloader first. See here how to fix that.
  • A new Mageia release installation doesn't destroy the dual boot.

Where to find help?

Mageia un-installation

Mageia didn't convince you or you can't install it correctly, in short you want get rid of it. That is your right and Mageia give you also the possibility to be uninstalled. That is not true for every operating system.

You can't just erase the Mageia partitions, doing so, your computer will not boot any more. You must first restore the Windows boot Manager. To do that from a Mageia console:

  • Open a console and get the administrator rights
[user@computer ~]$ su -
[user@computer ~]$ _
  • Enter your root password
  • Enter the efibootmgr command

[root@computer ~]# efibootmgr
[root@computer ~]# _
  • This command gives you the boot order (see the screenshot below). If you really are in this page scope, i.e. you first had Windows and then installed Mageia in dual boot, then the first boot manager (whatever its name is) in the order is the Mageia one (0000 in the screenshot, say 000x for you) and the second one was the first installed by Windows (0001 in the screenshot, say 000y for you). We will swap these two boot managers in order to have the Windows boot manager first, it boots straight into Windows. Enter the efibootmgr -o y,x command.
  • You should see now the new order
  • Reboot your computer, it boots now straight into Windows and you can now erase the Mageia partitions.


It is also possible to swap the boot order from the firmware setup, see your computer documentation for that.