How to install Manjaro on a 32 bit efi / 64 bit cpu system

There are some pesky computers on the market that use a 32 bit UEFI loader system, but include a CPU capable of running a full 64 bit operating system. Some of these machines include:

  • Apple Macbook 2,1
  • Asus Eeepc
  • Asus T100TA
    These systems will not boot any ISO built for a 64 bit systems without a workaround. So if you have any of these systems, follow this tutorial to get your machine up and running with Manjaro!

Requirements before proceeding:

  • Github EFI Folder: https://github.com/Overc1ocker/I386-Grub-efi/tree/master
  • i386-efi.7z (also from github)
  • 4GB or higher USB stick formatted as fat32.
  • 32 Bit efi/ 64 bit cpu computer. Please verify your system meets this criteria before proceeding.
  • Some knowledge of grub, EFI, the grub.cfg, and the grub commandline.

:exclamation: Be warned :exclamation: This method is no way tested, or verified in any way. I have a MacBook 2,1, and just because this works for me, doesn’t mean it will work for you. You may need to solve problems yourself, and/or do more research about your issue to get this to work for your system. I will be happy to answer questions.


  1. Get a USB stick 4GB or higher. Make sure this USB stick is formatted as FAT32. No other filesystem will work.

  2. Grab the Github file you downloaded. It will contain a folder called efi, and a file called i386-efi.7z.

  3. Copy the efi folder to your USB DRIVE. Do not touch or move any files in the folder.

  4. Download your favorite Manjaro ISO, and copy it to your USB DRIVE as your would copy any other file. :exclamation:Do not attempt to write the image using DD, or any other program, such as etcher.

  5. Rename the Manjaro ISO file to boot.iso this is important, and if you skip this step, your installer will not boot. Same with step 6.

  6. Copy the new boot.iso to the efi/boot/boot-isos folder that is already on your drive.

  7. Copy the i386-efi.7z to your USB DRIVE.

  8. Set your computer to boot from USB, and disable secure boot if you have that option!

  9. Now’s the moment of truth! Reboot your computer and insert the USB DRIVE.

  10. If you did everything right, you will now either see a scary grub>prompt, or a friendly option that says Boot manjaro for 32Bit EFI. Either one is expected behavior. If its says grub>, type ls (hd0,1)/ if it shows you a efi folder, type configfile (hd0,1)/efi/boot/grub/grub.cfg. If ls (hd0,1)/ does not show the efi folder, try typing ls Tab-> / and trying each drive found until you get to the efi folder. After that, type configfile (drive-with,efi-folder)/efi/boot/grub/grub.cfg. Of course, replacing the (drive-with,efi-folder) with the actual drive name.

  11. Press enter at the Boot manjaro for 32Bit EFI option. If you need a different keyboard layout, or time zone, configure that in the installer.

  12. If everything goes well, you should see scrolling text, then a desktop. Now install Manjaro to your liking. Do not install a bootloader! Make sure however that you have a ESP partition mounted to your install at /efi/boot. Make note of where you install /.

  13. Watch the installer go! You are almost done!

  14. When the installer completes, DO NOT REBOOT NOW! Launch gparted or KDE partition manager instead.

  15. Find your / drive, and find out where it is mounted.

  16. Unzip the i386-pcfolder from your USB DRIVE if you have not done so already, and copy it to Downloads on the live system

  17. Run sudo cp -r /home/manjaro/Downloads (wherever your drive is mounted)/usr/lib/grub/
    Example: sudo cp -r /home/manjaro/Downloads /run/calamares/U8E4A-N4AE1/usr/lib/grub/

  18. Now run manjaro-chroot -a if that fails, just follow my guide on chrooting, linked at the bottom.

  19. Run sudo grub-install --target i386-efi /dev/sd(x) where /dev/sd(x) is your ESP partition. You can find out what (x) is in gparted.

  20. Assuming no errors occur, run sudo update-grub.

  21. Reboot, and enjoy your new manjaro install!


If you run any issues, or are not sure whether this guide applies to your device, feel free to leave a comment!

How to chroot:


Thanks to @gohlip for his guide!

The grub EFI files are from this tutorial: http://www.jfwhome.com/2016/01/04/latest-steps-to-install-ubuntu-on-the-asus-t100ta/ and the Manjaro 32 bit ISO.

6 Likes

Nice guide!
Is it tested enough? How many hardware was this successful on installing?

You might add (for convenience) that you can use Tab-> on the Grub command line with ls to find available drives.

1 Like

I have not really tested this much. I only have a Macbook 2,1 to try on… This has worked for me though, so I hope it works for someone else…

I would suggest we wait until at least one other successful application, to move it to the #technical-issues-and-assistance:tutorials section. Or we can do it, with a proper Disclaimer…

What are the sources that you used? (info, files…) You should mention those IMHO.

Edit: They are referenced at your Gihub page, I’ve just noticed…
I suggest you add this info to your OP.

I put 3 boot efi files in the repo. One is from the manjaro 18.02 iso, the other two are from http://www.jfwhome.com/2016/01/04/latest-steps-to-install-ubuntu-on-the-asus-t100ta/
The grub.cfg is taken from the linked forum post, and the rest of it is from trial and error, and instructions on chroot.

1 Like

Thanks for the changes!

Please add the link to the article on your Original Post, with a “requirements” list, as you have on your Github page.

Update: manjaro now supports this natively! This guide is depreciated. [Stable Update] 2019-05-17 - Kernels, Grub, KDE, Deepin, Gnome, XFCE, LibreOffice, Bash, Systemd

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