Installing manjaro kde on windows system

I need some help with installing manjaro kde. I have windows on one hdd and what to install manjaro kde plasma on my second hdd. I know on the installer at the top I need to select which hdd I want to install it to, but on the boot loader location do I need to select the same hdd? Also do I need a swap? My system is uefi, I have the fast boot and the secure boot disabled.

Welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:

If your system boots in UEFI mode, then you’ll need an EFI system partition ─ which you’ll probably already have, given that the machine has Microsoft Windows on it. So then you have the choice of either using the existing EFI system partition, or of creating a second EFI system partition (on the second HDD).

Either will work, but perhaps the latter approach is recommended, given that Windows updates have been reported to overwrite or delete the GNU/Linux boot loader entries.

That depends on how much RAM you have and whether you plan on hibernating the machine.

Personally, I don’t use hibernation, and this machine here is a desktop with 16 GiB of RAM. I’m not using my swap partition ─ I do have one but I’ve disabled it ─ and I am yet to run out of memory. But your mileage may of course vary, depending on what you use that machine for, and ─ again ─ how much RAM you have.

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I have 32 gun of ram. I don’t think I need a swap. Is that right that when I run the installer and come to the section of where I want to install it. I select the hdd at the top and then I want to erase that disk and do a fresh install, then down at the bottom do I select the same hdd fro the boot loader location?

You have to create an EFI system partition on the drive ─ roughly 512 MiB, formatted as vfat (FAT32), with the boot flag set, and mounted as /boot/efi ─ and then tell the installer to use that as the EFI partition. The boot loader will then be installed in the right place.

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Sorry to bother you again. Do I need a root and a home? Could you give me step by step instruction on this? I’ve been looking at some videos but they all are Dual Booting along side of Windows on the same hdd.

You always need a root filesystem ─ note: its mountpoint must be /, not /root! ─ but having a separate /home is not required.

It’s just more convenient if you do keep /home separate, in case you ever have to reformat and reinstall. That way, you can leave /home untouched and then you can preserve your user-owned files. But it is not a requirement.

Creating a separate /home is no more difficult than creating your root partition. You just have to keep some extra space when creating the root filesystem, and then you create your /home in that unused space. The partitioning tool will let you choose the mountpoint, and so you simply tell it to mount that partition at /home.

Your /home can be any size you like, but for safety’s sake, it’s best to reserve at least some 60 GiB for your root filesystem itself. The base installation will by far not be taking up that much space, but things can ramp up pretty fast once you start installing additional software, and especially so if you’re into gaming.

As for how to go about it all, just choose manual partitioning. Choose the drive that you want to partition ─ be sure not to overwrite your Windows drive! ─ and create three partitions…:

  1. A 512 MiB partition formatted with vfat (FAT32), with the boot flag set, and to be mounted at /boot/efi. This will be your EFI system partition.

  2. A ~60 GiB root partition, formatted with ext4 (or another Linux-native filesystem) and mounted at /.

  3. A partition for /home, formatted with ext4 (or another Linux-native filesystem) and mounted at /home.

Tell the boot loader to install itself on the Manjaro drive. It’ll use the EFI system partition you just created.

It’s all pretty self-evident. :wink:



I’m having some questions about partitions if you don’t mind me writing in the existing thread.
I wanted to install Manjaro on an external SSD (1TB).
When I chose the option to clean the disk (external of course) then the Manjaro after being installed booted properly.
Since I did’t want the whole 1TB disk used for Manjaro I went the custom partition way.
Created the 512MB fat32 partition, mounted it on the /boot/efi (even though it wasn’t in the dropdown), set the boot flag, created 256GB partition for / and carried on with the installation. Used MBR on /dev/sdb for bootloader. Everything was installed correctly, Manjaro didn’t boot up :frowning:
Tried the same with bootloader on / partition - the same, Manjaro is invisible.

Then I reinstalled it with the option in which Manjaro does all the magic.
It created only one partition. No efi boot partition at all.
Does it mean it installs the bootloader on the /dev/sda (internal SSD with Win10) MBR ? As far as I remember in this option it’s not possible to choose where the bootloader is installed.
If so, is it possible to install the bootloader on /dev/sdb (external SSD) and boot from this drive at all?

I’m almost pulling my hair off trying to make it work in a way I want it to work…


Aragorn, Thanks for all your help. I have one more question for you, I got it installed this way and put the boot loader on the same hdd. My question is by doing it this way I have to go and change the boot order in the bios to choose what hdd I want correct or does it have a grub menu to choose which one I want to use?

When I created the boot partition I did FAT32, the mount point did not have /boot/efi, I selected /boot and typed in the /efi after it, set flag to boot. As for the boot loader I installed it on the same drive I installed manjaro. I think the way I understand it is in order to use the manjaro hdd I have to go to bios at startup and select that hdd on the boot order. Hoped this help.

If there is no EFI partition, then your system is booting in legacy BIOS mode, and then the MBR is used of the drive that the system is set to boot from ─ whether by choosing said drive in an EFI boot manager menu or whether it actually is a legacy BIOS firmware chip.

Either way, if you’re installing in BIOS mode, then yes, you can tell the installer where the GRUB boot loader must go. It is however not a good idea to mix legacy BIOS boot with UEFI boot. Windows 10 demands UEFI boot, so it’s best to disable CSM in the firmware settings before installing Manjaro.

You probably installed Manjaro in legacy BIOS compatibility mode.

Thank you Aragorn for the answers.

If I let Manjaro do the installation on the whole (external) drive (Manjaro creates partitions), what mode is used then? Legacy or UEFI?
I checked the partitions on the external drive and there was only one partition, there was no 512MB fat32 partition created. Furthermore in this mode there is no option to choose which drivewill be used for bootloader. Is it using main drive by default to boot (even though I chose the external drive to install the system)?

That depends on your firmware and how it boots. Many UEFI implementations will default to legacy BIOS compatibility mode (CSM) if both UEFI and CSM are enabled, so it is best to disable CSM beforehand.

Also, with UEFI, it is recommended to use a GUID partition table (GPT) instead of an MS-DOS MBR partition table.

Native UEFI mode with GPT is a lot more flexible than legacy BIOS compatibility mode, and it deserves preference. :wink:

Aragorn, It was in compatibility mode. I shut it off and did a reinstall and I got it up and running… Once again thanks for your help… Peace

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Hey Aragorn, Got another question for don’t know if you know or not. I am using Asus Maximus Hero VI MB. When I’m using the hdd with Windows on it the Q-code is A0 which it should be, but when I use the hdd with Manjaro on it the Q-code is 00. Do you know anything about Ausu MB’s? If so will this hurt my system? Everything seems to be working alright. Thanks

I had to look up on that, because I had no knowledge about these brand-specific Q codes. From what I understand, A0 means that the system booted up from a cold start, and 00 means either that one of the CPUs is dead or that the PSU is dying.

If Windows does not show any errors, then it’s because Windows is brain-dead. It does not check and test the hardware on boot, and it’ll only report hardware errors when it actually runs into them at runtime. The Linux kernel performs more thorough hardware tests, and it does that at boot time.

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