Does Manjaro only work on the MBR system?

System installation (KDE), during the installation of majaro on the screen where you choose which HD (disk) the system will be installed on, it shows that my HD (disk) is in the MBR (Master Boot Record) file system, more it was GPT (GUID partition table). why ?

GPT is more security, right?

Hi @dOwN_lOaD,

It probably depends if you booted with compatibility mode, as BIOS or EFI. My PC uses (u)EFI:

$ test -d /sys/firmware/efi && echo efi || echo bios

…and all 3 my discs are GPT:

$ fdisk --list | grep 'Disklabel type:'

Disklabel type: gpt
Disklabel type: gpt
Disklabel type: gpt


Quoting the Arch wiki:

GUID Partition Table (GPT) is an alternative, contemporary, partitioning style; it is intended to replace the old Master Boot Record (MBR) system. GPT has several advantages over MBR which has quirks dating back to MS-DOS times. With the recent developments to the formatting tools, it is equally easy to get good dependability and performance for GPT or MBR.

Your computer can boot in BIOS or UEFI mode, and installer will tell you in which mode have you boot the installer liveUSB. You can control which mode to use from your computer boot menu.

Installer will also tell you which partition mode your hard disk is using: MBR or GPT. This is how your hard drive is actually formatted/configured, and it’s not trivial to change (although it’s not difficult either)

GPT is newer than MBR and has more properties, but you don’t necessarily need them. So don’t take too much pressure to change to it.

To elaborate on what @cfinnberg said, MBR and GPT are both partitioning schemes. MBR is already old and was specifically created for supporting HDDs in MS-DOS on x86 machines. GPT on the other hand is a more robust, more advanced and more universal partitioning layout, and can be used with other hardware architectures than x86. Security has nothing to do with it, by the way.

Now, the partition manager on the install media will by default always choose MBR if the machine boots up in legacy BIOS mode — either because you have a legacy BIOS, or because you have a UEFI with legacy BIOS emulation (CSM) enabled — and conversely, it will choose GPT if the machine boots up in native UEFI mode.


  • It is possible to use a GPT partition table with a legacy BIOS boot, but this requires an extra precaution, because then you need a special unformatted partition of type bios_grub to stop the legacy version of the GRUB boot loader from overwriting and damaging your first partition.

  • Likewise, in theory you can also use an MBR-partitioned drive with a system that boots in native UEFI mode, but — and here’s the catch — not all UEFI implementations support this.

The above two paragraphs are why the installer defaults to MBR for a legacy BIOS boot and to GPT for a native UEFI boot.

More information can be found at the links below… :point_down:


Well to understand GPT well I would say you’d have to understand the firmware on the ROM chip of the motherboard. What is firmware? Software stored in ROM chips (your motherboard will have one).

BIOS (which stands for Basic Input Output System), is a 16 bit based sort of “mini OS” that your hardware would ship with in the years 2016 and below.

UEFI is the new “mini OS” that are 32 and 64 bit, that are capable of including a GUI.

Both are what eventually load the bootloaders. GPT is preferred with UEFI because GPT file systems can work with UEFI features like secure boot, whereas BIOS cannot. That’s why you are probably seeing that an MBR partition is being created if you created them automatically, because you are using a BIOS based system.

Many systems are capable of both - the anecdote does not automatically mean the system is ‘bios based’. It is more likely that OP booted in BIOS mode and thats the explanation for what they see.
Of course its possible its only BIOS-capable, but it would have to be pretty old.

I’m not sure if I’m missing something here, but what the installer shows is the actual partitioning scheme of the selected drive. Maybe you are referring to what the installer recommends if the drive is completely empty and has no partitioning scheme.

I was talking of what the installer will, based upon how the system was booted up, default to for creating a partition table on a blank drive.

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