I'm trying to install OpenSUSE 15.3 from a multiboot USB key on a HP Proliant DL385 G7. I'm not experienced with OpenSUSE, but I need it (or CentOS, or Debian) in order to be able to install HP Management Agents to quiet down those deafening fans (But I'm also getting troubles with CentOS and Debian).

The boot disk is already partitioned (from the previous Debian install tentative on another boot disk) with

  • a 128GB ext4 partition,
  • a 1MB Bios Boot partition,
  • a swap partition, and
  • a Linux RAID partition

(I have 5 disks installed with the same structure).

  • When I manually configure my partitions, the installer does not allow me to specify a mount for my Bios boot partition. This might be normal, since I see no such mount on another machine booting from a Bios boot partition (however, I couldn't make it work).
  • If I try to reformat it, it doesn't offer the option to format it as a Bios Boot partition
  • If I try to format it as EFI Boot partition, it formats it a FAT (and mounts it as /boot/efi.

But whatever I do, the installer tell me:

The system might not be able to boot:

⏺ A partition of type BIOS Boot Partition is needed to install the bootloader.
⏺ Such a setup is not supported and may cause problems with the bootloader now or in the future.

Do you want to continue?

Is there a way to work around this problem ?

  • To install in UEFI boot mode, you must have an ESP - efi system partition which is FAT32 with boot/esp flags. For BIOS boot on a gpt partitioned drive, you need a unformatted 1 or 2MB partition with bios_grub flag. Those are for grub's use. But if drive is gpt why not UEFI install? Or is system so old as to be BIOS only? Do not know if OpenSuse then uses the BIOS version of grub.
    – oldfred
    Feb 5, 2022 at 3:36
  • This machine is probably about 10 years old. I'm not sure if this system can use UEFI, but the installer tells me it needs a Bios boot partition. I'd like to be able to make something with this machine, because it may be old but it came with many cores and a huge load of ECC ram.
    – Camion
    Feb 5, 2022 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


The Bios Boot partition shouldn't be mounted, nor formatted.

BIOS/GPT layout example

A BIOS boot partition is only required when using GRUB for BIOS booting from a GPT disk. The partition has nothing to do with /boot, and it must not be formatted with a file system or mounted.

GUID Partition Table (GPT) specific instructions

Create a mebibyte partition (+1M with fdisk or gdisk) on the disk with no file system and with partition type GUID 21686148-6449-6E6F-744E-656564454649.

  • Select partition type BIOS boot for fdisk.
  • Select partition type code ef02 for gdisk.
  • For parted set/activate the flag bios_grub on the partition.

For Opensuse 15 it is not possible to install it in Bios mode: GPT Partition Table

Old BIOS firmwares do not support booting from GPT partitions.

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