[SOLVED] Dual boot on an UEFI Acer Aspire 5 w/ SSD and HDD

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

[SOLVED] Dual boot on an UEFI Acer Aspire 5 w/ SSD and HDD

Postby Phaenix360 » 2019-12-12 19:47

I've recently bought an Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-83TN laptop.
It's got a 128GB ssd with Windows 10 installed on it (including the EFI and recovery partitions) and a 1TB hdd.
I want to install a dual-boot Debian Buster for my daily use and my programming activities ; I'll use Windows for audio production and retro-gaming emulation (up to the GameCube).
I'd like to have a unique storage for my documents shared by both Windows and Linux.

I've seen a lot of threads addressing my interrogations on different Linux forums, but most of them are either rather old (the most recent one I've found is from 2016) or they don't fully address my situation (such as the presence of a ssd drive of this size on my computer). This is why I'm opening a new thread.
I have three questions regarding the install process :

1) How do I overcome the UEFI limitations to fulfill the install ? Is there any up-to-date extensive documentation on that matter ? I've found a lot of information for Ubuntu but it is quite old and I'm not sure everything will work for Debian.
2) What partitioning scheme should I use ? I'd like to install my Debian system on the ssd but I'm not sure whether there's going to be enough space for both systems on 128gigs, mostly if I do some gaming on Windows. I'm not sure if installing Debian on the hdd is best either, though.
3) How do I do make Windows and Debian share the same partition for documents ? Once again, I've seen a few threads explaining different workarounds, but none is recent.

Thanks a lot !
Last edited by Phaenix360 on 2019-12-14 20:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dual boot on an UEFI Acer Aspire 5 laptop with SSD and H

Postby stevepusser » 2019-12-12 22:45

I have a 2016 model of a similar Acer Aspire 5, and for a Debian Buster derivative called MX 19, I have to turn off Secure Boot in the BIOS for it to work--I don't know about Debian's support for Secure Boot. Also, I am required to set a password to access the BIOS before I get into its settings to add the MX19 efi file to the list of those it trusts, and then move "MX19" to the top of the boot options so it boots into MX 19's GRUB, instead of directly to Windows.

What exactly will you want to be installing on the Linux side? 40 GB for the Linux side should be enough, unless you go hog-wild with large game programs.

Debian and Windows should both be able to access the spinning drive if you leave it formatted as ntfs, though I don't know if Debian installs ntfs-ng by default, which Linux needs to access that file system.
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Re: Dual boot on an UEFI Acer Aspire 5 laptop with SSD and H

Postby Phaenix360 » 2019-12-13 16:44

Alright, doesn't seem too difficult to overcome the UEFI then.
I only want to use my Debian for daily web browing, programming, text editing and ssh administration, so yeah, 50G seems fine. Now, I think Windows won't have enough of the 80G left on the SSD if I install Debian there. Is it suitable to keep Windows only on my ssd, then have a partition for Debian on the hdd and use the rest of the hdd for shared documents ? If I use this solution, will I have to create an efi partition on the hdd ?

For sharing documents, I've seen a method in which I could use symlinks from my Linux home ext4 partition to point to the corresponding folder on my hdd documents partitions : https://askubuntu.com/questions/223655/ ... between-os . Can this actually work ?
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Re: Dual boot on an UEFI Acer Aspire 5 laptop with SSD and H

Postby p.H » 2019-12-13 19:37

Phaenix360 wrote:I only want to use my Debian for daily web browing, programming, text editing and ssh administration, so yeah, 50G seems fine

It depends what kind of programming and text editing. Some programming or editing environments (LateX anyone ?) can be heavy.
FWIW, I have a Debian installation with graphical environment in less than 5 GB disk space.

Phaenix360 wrote:Is it suitable to keep Windows only on my ssd, then have a partition for Debian on the hdd and use the rest of the hdd for shared documents ?

Sure, but then Debian won't benefit from the SSD speed.
Phaenix360 wrote:If I use this solution, will I have to create an efi partition on the hdd ?

No, you can share the EFI partition on the SSD, however I recommend to create one on the hard disk so that both drives and systems are fully independent.
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Re: Dual boot on an UEFI Acer Aspire 5 laptop with SSD and H

Postby Phaenix360 » 2019-12-14 20:47

It depends what kind of programming and text editing. Some programming or editing environments (LateX anyone ?) can be heavy.
FWIW, I have a Debian installation with graphical environment in less than 5 GB disk space.


Most of my programming fits in Sublime Text with only a few plugins, the heaviest I do is Code::Blocks or Eclipse sometimes.

No, you can share the EFI partition on the SSD, however I recommend to create one on the hard disk so that both drives and systems are fully independent.


Alright I'll try that then, thanks a lot !
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