Best way to dualboot on separate drives with secure boot support

What is the best way to dualboot Manjaro and Windows 11 on two different drives.
There seem to be lots of possible ways but I am looking for something that is stable (especially regarging windows updates)
I saw that you can use one or two EFI partitions altough multiple ones does not seem to be recomended.
In the ideal case I can also use secure boot and full disk encryption in manjaro.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions

Yeah, no. The best way is without secure boot, and without Windows Updates as they rewrite EFI, or even better - without Windows :upside_down_face:

Manjaro Linux as distribution does not support secure boot so if you want to use secure boot for Windows - you will have to switch it off to boot Manjaro Linux installation - this quickly becomes an annoyance :slight_smile:

It is possible to use secure boot but it is a manual process and unsupported by Manjaro Linux as distribution.

The process is the same as it is for Arch Linux with the exception that kernels are named differently with Manjaro LInux - please see [Unified Extensible Firmware Interface/Secure Boot - ArchWiki] for more info.

If you use the system’s firmware boot override you can boot without using grub.

If you are prepared to do this - manually - I recently stumbled upon [User:ZachHilman/Installation_-Btrfs%2B_LUKS2_%2B_Secure_Boot] page on the Arch Linux Wiki - totally unsupported even on Arch Linux - but you may find it being good primer on the whole encryption/setup/installation/maintain process.

I have installed a Manjaro Linux using the recipe - some small adjustments must be made - those adjustment requires you to keep a specific kernel but that should not be an issue as the current LTS is 6.6.

How would I do this? Do you recommend a single efi partition? I’d like not to use grub as it will complicate things more than needed.

Might have to rethink secure boot.

That equals pressing a key during boot - thus telling the system to select a different entry than the default.

Usually used for booting USB but can be used as a selector for efi entries as well.

I would create an installation completely detached from the Windows.

I would detach the Windows disk and install to the second disk. When you are satisfied with your second installation reattach the Windows disk.

I don’t recommend anything - but the above method implies there is an $esp partition on both devices.

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Is there a way to have two efi partitions without removing the windows drive?

I’m adding this before my initial posted reponse, as I may have misinterpreted the context of your question:

When adding Linux to create a multiboot with an already-installed Windows, it is recommended to first disconnect the Windows disk before installing Linux to a second disk; to ensure that Linux does not mess with your Windows installation during install.

Multiboot Windows and Linux on separate disks

  1. Shutdown, turn off, and unplug your computer.
  2. Disconnect the Windows disk.
  3. Plug in the power again.
  4. Boot with the respective Linux Installer (Manjaro).
  5. Install and configure Linux (Manjaro).
  6. Shutdown, turn off, and unplug your computer.
  7. Reconnect the Windows disk.
  8. Plug in the power again.
  9. Boot to your BIOS and select Linux as the first boot option.
  10. Reboot, and enjoy.

This will allow Grub to become your prime bootloader for both Windows and Manjaro. If extra convenience or simplicity is desired, consider adding rEFInd UEFI bootloader, as mentioned below.

Important: Next time you boot into Windows

  • Disable Fast Startup (if enabled).
    This can be done from an administrative command prompt:
powercfg /h off

Add rEFInd for easier multibooting:

You have two ESPs; one for Windows, one for Manjaro, with each on a separate disk. This is an ideal scenario for multibooting.

I suggest adding rEFInd into the mix, which will allow you to boot both Windows and Manjaro. Neither the Windows or Linux bootloaders are harmed by installing rEFInd; they are still usable directly from rEFInd.

rEFInd will detect the Windows bootloader, the Grub bootloader, and allows you to bypass Grub if desired, by booting the Linux kernel stub directly. This is handy if Grub fails to boot, as you can still boot into Manjaro and repair your Grub in relative comfort.

rEFInd is a graphical bootloader which allows customising with many themes available from Github sites and other locations.

So, to recap, rEFInd will give you these choices by default:

  • Windows
  • Manjaro (Grub)
  • Manjaro (Kernel)

(the naming will be different, but this gives a general idea)

The best way to see rEFInd in action is to use PACMAN and install it from the official Manjaro repos:

sudo pacman -S refind

This should automatically install rEFInd to its own folder on the Manjaro disk ESP. Reboot when finished installing. If it doesn’t boot into rEFInd the first time (it usually does), then reboot into your BIOS and make sure 'rEFInd UEFI bootloader` is the first in boot priority.

I hope this helps. Cheers.

A quick internet search revealed many themes. Here are two:


I did it without disconnecting the other drive and both OSs work. Manjaro automatically created a second EFI partitions.

Everything is installed and works except the speakes (I’m on a laptop) (headphones work)

Thanks to everybody who helped me. Going to try rEFInd now.

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