I have installed Arch Linux on a USB (Using GPT Partition Table)

I have partitioned it to 3 partitions (All of them are from type Linux filesystem:

  1. Partition 1 which is /boot I have formatted as FAT32
  2. Partition 2 which is the SWAP and formatted to SWAP
  3. Partition 3 which is / (The root of the FS) formatted as EXT4

I manage to boot it from my Dell Laptop, I have done it manually by adding a BOOT option and then set it to boot from /boot/EFI/GRUB/grubx64.efi.

However, when I connected this to my main PC (which runs GIGABYTE BIOS) It showed both Legacy and UEFI Versions of my USB stick automatically but when I select to boot from either it says that it can't boot from this device.

My theory is that the BIOS doensn't know from which .efi to boot, is there a way to make the BIOS point to my desired efi file ?

1 Answer 1


Some EFI implementations are more picky than others. For maximum compatibility, you should use

  • GPT
  • an EFI System Partition marked as such (not "Linux")
  • the ESP must be at least 100 MB (no hard evidence on this one, but seems to be a general rule of thumb)
  • the ESP must be formatted with FAT32 (many implementations can also read NTFS, but not all)
  • on the ESP, the bootloader should be stored at EFI\boot\bootx64.efi so the EFI can pick it up automatically
  • I have set everything according to your list, the only thing is that my bootloader is located in EFI/GRUB/grubx64.efi do I need to change that ?
    – Noft
    Jun 15, 2023 at 16:50
  • 1
    Do not confuse the ESP - efi system partition which must be FAT32 with boot, esp flags and formatted FAT32 with the /boot partition which must be Linux partitioned often ext4.
    – oldfred
    Jun 15, 2023 at 17:55
  • 1
    Indeed, the ESP is not /boot. In fact, you do not need a dedicated partition for /boot. On Ubuntu, the ESP is usually mounted at /boot/efi.
    – Hermann
    Jun 15, 2023 at 19:51
  • 1
    Oh nice, it worked thanks! For clarification what I did is simply cp /boot/EFI/GRUB/grubx64.efi /boot/EFI/boot/bootx64.efi and it fixed my issue.
    – Noft
    Jun 15, 2023 at 20:25

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