Debian Mssp4

Installing Debian on the Microsoft Surface Pro 4
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These instructions cover how to install Debian 'jessie' 8.x onto a Microsoft Surface Pro 4.

The instructions assume you are not new to Debian, though you may have no experience of UEFI and SecureBoot (I did not until now!).

What is Working

  • dual booting
  • SecureBoot
  • Touchscreen and Pen
  • typing cover keyboard
    • multitouch touchpad (two finger scrolling, etc)
    • special keys
  • 2D and 3D (OpenGL) acceleration
    • hardware video decoding
  • power and volume buttons on the screen
  • audio (including the microphone)
  • sensors - dev_rotation though gives nothing but zeros
  • wireless (is a 88W8897, a wireless/bluetooth combo module)
  • microSD reader - presented as a USB reader appearing when you insert a card
  • suspend (rather freeze), hibernate and resume works

Outstanding Issues

  • camera

  • opening the typing cover (or pressing keys) does not not automatically resume

  • AC adaptor events

  • there is an ACPI INT3420 entry for 'Intel Bluetooth RF Kill' which would be nice to have

  • enable the other I2C (INT344[2-5]) and SPI (INT344[01]) busses via drivers/mfd/intel-lpss-acpi.c maybe?

  • there are a number of hardware sensors via a MAX34407 on the I2C bus

  • there is no S3 'suspend to RAM' available as since the Surface Pro 3, connected standby (ACPI state S0ix) replaces it; although supported by Linux fundamentally by Linux, some practical work is still needed

    • this means that S3 'suspend to RAM' (echo mem > /sys/power/state) is replaced with S1 'power on suspend' (echo freeze > /sys/power/state) which uses a lot more juice; 100% charge lasts about 12 hours
    • amending the DSDT manually to remove the conditional that masks out S3 results in echo mem > /sys/power/state making the laptop power up as if power cycled. Probably works better with acpi_rev_override (_REV=2) and acpi_os_name="Windows 2012" (or earlier)
  • Caps Lock key light - 'fixed' by running sudo kbd_mode -u

    • this is not a problem with the hid-microsoft driver which if you want to use make sure you are using xserver-xorg-input-evdev >=2.10 as well as Option "IgnoreAbsoluteAxes" "on"
    • we use the hid-multitouch driver as it presents separate keyboard and touchpad devices, which means the xorg evdev driver does not handle the touchpad and mtrack sees it as a touchpad and can handle it
  • Wireless

    • power saving needs to be turned off otherwise after about a minute of idling, you start seeing 100ms+ first hop latencies
    • modprobe -r mwifiex_pcie; modprobe mwifiex_pcie results in a lockup; you need to reset the card inbeteen the unload/load with echo 1 > /sys/bus/pci/devices/0000\:02\:00.0/reset
    • on kernel 4.5.x (and I guess 4.6.x too) the driver is pretty flakey though there is a patch on the linked bugzilla
  • the GRUB with SecureBoot needs some more work, the fonts are bust, plus I need to find the problematic module so we can just load the lot in making the process simpler

  • gparted lockup investigation

  • move to using triggerhappy rather than xbindkeys so that the multimedia keys can still work with the screen locked

  • reading sensors (such as the ALS) occasionally takes a long time, which might be related to bad timings:

     [10805.080581] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to change power setting.
     [10805.080969] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to retrieve report from device.
     [10805.081317] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to set a report to device.
     [10805.081609] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to set a report to device.
     [10805.081887] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to retrieve report from device.
     [10805.484550] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to retrieve report from device.
     [10810.588300] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to retrieve report from device.
     [10815.691993] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to retrieve report from device.
     [10820.795814] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to retrieve report from device.
     [10825.899475] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to retrieve report from device.
     [10831.003440] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to retrieve report from device.
     [10836.107134] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to retrieve report from device.
     [10841.210879] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to retrieve report from device.
     [10849.482535] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to set a report to device.
     [10849.482955] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to change power setting.
     [10849.483393] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to set a report to device.
     [10849.483781] i2c_hid i2c-MSHW0030:00: failed to retrieve report from device.

Related Links


You will require:

  • an external USB keyboard, as the typing cover is not supported by Debian's kernel
  • a USB hub as there is only one USB port
  • a USB key dd'ed with the amd64 live ISO for gparted
    • WARNING: gparted-live-0.24.0-2-amd64.iso locked up after a few minutes of running, you of course do not want this midway through the resize. All I can recommend if you use this version, is to be quick
    • I have tried to boot 0.25.0-1 but it fails for various reasons whilst 0.25.0-3 the {md5,sha1}sums for the ISOs mis-match which explains why they do not work
  • a USB key dd'ed with the non-free amd64 Debian network installer; I used firmware-8.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso
  • an (open, WEP or WPA PSK) wireless network you can connect to (or an USB Ethernet adaptor)

Prepping Windows 10

The aim here is to shrink down the Windows partition to make room for Debian.

I wanted to keep Windows as Microsoft are constantly releasing updated firmwares which will only apply from under Windows. Of course if you plan not on dual booting you could skip all this, though I would not recommend to have something to apply those firmware updates with.

Let's start by disabling Bitlocker so that gparted can resize the partition later. This is done by clicking on Start, and clicking on 'File Manager'. From here you will be able to go to where drive C: is located, and right-clicking on it will give you an option to 'Manage Bitlocker'. From there you will be able to click on 'Disable Bitlocker'.

N.B. if there is an exclamation mark on the drive C: icon, you will need to firstly enable Bitlocker before you can fully disable it

Now we need to disable SecureBoot to let us boot Linux later on.

  • Either:
    • from Windows, click on Start -> Power -> (hold down shift) -> click on 'Restart'
      • go to 'Troubleshoot'
      • go to 'Advanced options'
      • select 'UEFI Firmware Settings'
    • whilst powered off, hold down the '+' volume button and turn on the laptop
  • you will be dropped into the Surface UEFI system
  • go to 'Security'
  • under 'Secure Boot', click on 'Change configuration'
  • select 'None' from the menu and click on OK

Before we go and shrink the Windows partition, lets start off by getting the latest updates (including firmwares) installed (I did this on 2015-12-31), so prepare yourself for a long and tediously slow process (hours) of watching progress bars and lots of reboot cycles as Windows 'does its thing'.

We now need to free up a space on drive C: and get ready for shrinking by:

Shrinking the Windows Partition

Insert the gparted USB key and boot it by either:

  • from Windows, click on Start -> Power -> (hold down shift) -> click on 'Restart'
    • go to 'Use a device'
    • select 'USB Storage'
  • go to the Surface UEFI system by powering on whilst holding down the '+' volume button
    • go to the 'Boot configuration' section
    • left swipe on 'USB Storage' to boot off your USB key

You should be able to boot into gparted now, and get something that lets you reduce the size of the NTFS partition; for me Windows took up 22GB of space so I left it in a 60GB partition to leave it enough room for Windows Update.

Once shrunk, you should test that you can still boot into Windows, and if you can, we are ready to move on (though you may wish to first go back into Window and re-enable hibernation, the paging file and Bitlocker). If not, you will have to figure out what is wrong.

For reference, my partition table looks like:

[email protected]:~$ sudo fdisk -l /dev/nvme0n1
Disk /dev/nvme0n1: 238.5 GiB, 256060514304 bytes, 500118192 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: B9B03E80-67C3-41C1-AF4F-367C32AF2CE5

Device             Start       End   Sectors   Size Type
/dev/nvme0n1p1      2048    534527    532480   260M EFI System
/dev/nvme0n1p2    534528    796671    262144   128M Microsoft reserved
/dev/nvme0n1p3    796672 130377727 129581056  61.8G Microsoft basic data
/dev/nvme0n1p4 494813184 500117503   5304320   2.5G Windows recovery environment
/dev/nvme0n1p5 130377728 493658111 363280384 173.2G Linux LVM
/dev/nvme0n1p6 493658112 494813183   1155072   564M Linux filesystem

Partition table entries are not in disk order.

N.B. you should set your swap space to about 1.5x the amount of memory you have to make sure you have space to hibernate

Installing Debian

Boot off your Debian installer USB key and work through it. Early on though you will be prompted on which Ethernet card you have, select "no Ethernet interface", then the next page you will be prompted to supply details on how to connect to your wireless network then the installation will continue as expected.

N.B. I would recommend keeping the ~2.5GB recovery partition so if you ever need to return the laptop, you will find the process dead easy; though it seems you could move the partition to external media or download it from the Microsoft website

For your information, I went for a /boot partition and put everything else on LVM.

When the installer gets to the point of installing GRUB as your boot loader, it will fail. To resolve this you will need to 'Execute a shell' and type the following:

mount --bind /sys /target/sys
chroot /target /bin/bash
apt-get install grub-efi
grub-install /dev/nvme0n1
umount /target/sys

Now click on 'Continue without a bootloader'.

You laptop should reboot and you will see the GRUB bootloader and Debian should boot.

N.B. until you install a newer (backports) kernel GRUB will not detect and boot Windows


Add Additional Repositories

You need to add Debian backports, stretch, sid, as well as some suitable pinning. So copy into place the required files under /etc/apt/. Now run:

sudo apt-get update


All you need to do is copy the contents of interfaces.d into /etc/network/interfaces.d/; plus create a suitable /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf file (if you are not using any network management tool).


First you need to set some kernel boot arguments which are set in /etc/default/grub:


N.B. you must adjust the resume argument to match where your swap space is, or if you plan not to use hibernation, replace it with noresume

N.B. if you are running a kernel earlier than 4.4, you will also need to add intel_idle.max_cstate=2 otherwise the GPU whilst modeset'ing will black out the screen and crash the system

Also, so that your keyboard works before the root filesystem is mounted, edit your /etc/initramfs-tools/modules file to include hid_multitouch.

Run the following to get your system ready to compile a kernel:

sudo apt-get install build-essential git fakeroot kernel-package
sudo apt-get install firmware-libertas/jessie-backports firmware-misc-nonfree intel-microcode
wget -P /usr/src

git clone /usr/src/linux
cd /usr/src/linux
git checkout mssp4
ar p /usr/src/linux-source-4.8_4.8.7-1_all.deb data.tar.gz | gunzip -c | tar xO ./usr/src/linux-config-4.8/config.amd64_none_amd64.xz | xzcat > .config

cat <<'EOF' >> .config

Now run make oldconfig (accept the defaults to all the prompting) so our .config changes are incorporated (we make nvme built in so hibernation works).

Time to compile the kernel (this will take about 40 minutes):

CONCURRENCY_LEVEL=`getconf _NPROCESSORS_ONLN` fakeroot make-kpkg --initrd --append-to-version=-mssp4 kernel_image

N.B. you can append kernel_headers to also build the linux-headers package too

Once compiled (roughly 40 minutes), you now need to install your new kernel:

sudo dpkg -i /usr/src/linux-image-4.9.0-mssp4+_4.9.0-mssp4+-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb

Now reboot into your new kernel.


Install the needed packages:

sudo apt-get install sleepd

Copy in the /lib/systemd/system-sleep helper files, /etc/systemd/sleep.conf and also /etc/default/sleepd.

You should be able to suspend (echo freeze | sudo tee /sys/power/state, or close the typing cover), hibernate (echo disk | sudo tee /sys/power/state) and resume (hold the power button for roughly five seconds).

If you have problems, such as stalls at boot time, there probably is a problem with your resume kernel parameter (did you compile the kernel with nvme built in?), so to break out of the stall add noresume to your kernel parameters.

Screen Locking

To lock your X11 console, you will need a few packages:

sudo apt-get install xautolock xss-lock

Then set your ~/.xsession accordingly to run these.


A number of PowerTOP suggestions are applied with:



All you need to do is so run:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup

Then select the 'Terminus' font, and the 16x32 sizing.

N.B. you can set the keyboard mapping for the console (and Xorg) with localectl ...

Unfortunately there is an outstanding bug (console-setup w/ systemd forgets font setting) which means you have to slip in /etc/udev/rules.d/90-setupcon.rules to stop them being shrunk again (and the keyboard mapping being forced back to US)


Start off by installing Xorg:

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-input-mtrack xserver-xorg-video-intel libgl1-mesa-dri libgl1-mesa-glx big-cursor

Now populate /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d and then you should be able to start Xorg (I recommend installing the lightdm package) and it will have 2D and 3D acceleration enabled. You can check this by running:

[email protected]:~$ grep AIGLX /var/log/Xorg.0.log
[     5.124] (==) AIGLX enabled
[     5.183] (II) AIGLX: enabled GLX_MESA_copy_sub_buffer
[     5.183] (II) AIGLX: enabled GLX_ARB_create_context
[     5.183] (II) AIGLX: enabled GLX_ARB_create_context_profile
[     5.183] (II) AIGLX: enabled GLX_EXT_create_context_es2_profile
[     5.183] (II) AIGLX: enabled GLX_INTEL_swap_event
[     5.183] (II) AIGLX: enabled GLX_SGI_swap_control and GLX_MESA_swap_control
[     5.183] (II) AIGLX: enabled GLX_EXT_framebuffer_sRGB
[     5.183] (II) AIGLX: enabled GLX_ARB_fbconfig_float
[     5.183] (II) AIGLX: GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap backed by buffer objects
[     5.183] (II) AIGLX: enabled GLX_ARB_create_context_robustness
[     5.183] (II) AIGLX: Loaded and initialized i965

If this does not work then you should check that the apt pinning brought in libdrm-intel1, libgl1-mesa-{dri,glx} and xserver-xorg-video-intel from jessie-backports.

Then from within X you should see something like:

[email protected]:~$ xdriinfo 
Screen 0: i965

[email protected]:~$ glxinfo | head
name of display: :0
display: :0  screen: 0
direct rendering: Yes
server glx vendor string: SGI
server glx version string: 1.4
server glx extensions:
    GLX_ARB_create_context, GLX_ARB_create_context_profile, 
    GLX_ARB_create_context_robustness, GLX_ARB_fbconfig_float, 
    GLX_ARB_framebuffer_sRGB, GLX_ARB_multisample, 
    GLX_EXT_create_context_es2_profile, GLX_EXT_framebuffer_sRGB, 


You can use (range from 0 to 937):

xrandr --output eDP1 --set Backlight 400

If you prefer, you might want to use:

sudo apt-get install xbacklight

Alternatively, look at /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/{brightness,max_brightness}.

Multimedia Keys

This depends on your environment, though I am using xbindkeys which should be pretty usable on all desktop environments.

sudo apt-get install xbindkeys libnotify-bin

Copy in a ~/.xbindkeysrc file and also the screen brightness setting script /usr/local/bin/mssp4-backlight.

Restart X11 (to pick up the load in your ~/.xsession file), or run 'xbindkeys' in a terminal.

Hardware Video Decoding

Lets install the drivers and a video player:

sudo apt-get install mpv/jessie-backports libva1 i965-va-driver vainfo

Test if you have VA-API acceleration available with:


If so, now configure mpv to use the API.

mkdir ~/.config/mpv
echo hwdec=vaapi > ~/.config/mpv/mpv.conf

When you play videos, you should find the CPU utilisation drops substantially; I saw a 3.5x improvement!

If this does not work (you see Using software decoding. in the output of mpv) it may be because this only works for videos encoded with a codec where VA-API accelerated decoding is available (you will see Using hardware decoding. when it works). For hints, example the output of vainfo and compare it to what mpv says the video codec is (for example h264).

Chromium (and Opera)

Lets install Chromium:

sudo apt-get install chromium

Open a tab to chrome://gpu and should see hardware acceleration is off for a number of things. To fix this, go to in another tab chrome://flags/#ignore-gpu-blacklist and enable 'Override software rendering list'. When you click on 'Relauch now' you should see 'Video Decode' is now enable in the chrome://gpu tab.

Now install the h264ify extension and then test by watching COSTA RICA IN 4K 60fps (ULTRA HD) w/ Freefly Movi and cranking it up to 2160p. Under the menu option 'stats for nerds' you should see pretty much zero frame drops and your CPU only going to 100%ish, rather than the 250%+ without and the stuttering that goes with software rendering at this resolution.


Similar to the Chromium/Opera instructions (override the software rendering list and install h264ify), you will also need to fetch vivaldi-snapshot from the Vivaldi website (it will auto-update afterwards). Now go and fetch chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra from Ubuntu and install it.

sudo dpkg -i chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra_51.0.2704.79-0ubuntu0.

Now install:

sudo apt-get install libvdpau-va-gl1 vdpauinfo

Now run vivaldi with:

VDPAU_DRIVER=va_gl vivaldi

For Firefox, which does not support any HTML5 video hardware decoding, you can persuade the (non-pepper) flashplugin-nonfree package to use hardware acceleration:

sudo apt-get install libvdpau-va-gl1 vdpauinfo
sudo mkdir /etc/adobe
echo -e "EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode = 1\nOverrideGPUValidation = 1" | sudo tee /etc/adobe/mms.cfg
sudo sed -i '/va_gl/ s/^# //' /etc/X11/Xsession.d/20vdpau-va-gl

You will now need to logout and back in to get the VDPAU_DRIVER environment variable set, or you can quickly test things with:

VDPAU_DRIVER=va_gl firefox

For me, I get about 20% CPU usage for Flash at 1080p, whilst with HTML5 I get 170%. It is worth installing one of the many Firefox extensions that force YouTube (and other sites) to use the Flash player to lower battery (and fan!) usage.

N.B. it seems that if you go above 1080p, the acceleration is no longer used and there is a significant uptick in CPU utilisation

Touchscreen and Pen

The driver (intel-ipts) is already in the compiled kernel (from the above instructions) so after copying the various binaries described below into place, you should be able to reboot and start using your touchscreen and pen.

N.B. you will of course need to pair your the (bluetooth) pen to your laptop


You will need the OpenCL kernel binaries that are located in your Windows partition at %WINDIR%\INF\PreciseTouch and you need to copy the contents of it all to /lib/firmware/intel/ipts and add the following symbolic links:

sudo mkdir -p /lib/firmware/intel/ipts
mkdir windows
mount mount -o ro /dev/nvme0n1p3 windows
sudo cp windows/Windows/INF/PreciseTouch/Intel/SurfaceTouchServicingKernelSKLMSHW0078.bin /lib/firmware/intel/ipts
sudo cp windows/Windows/INF/PreciseTouch/Intel/SurfaceTouchServicingDescriptorSKLMSHW0078.bin /lib/firmware/intel/ipts
sudo cp windows/Windows/INF/PreciseTouch/Intel/SurfaceTouchServicingSFTConfigSKLMSHW0078.bin /lib/firmware/intel/ipts
umount windows
rmdir windows

sudo cp /usr/src/linux/firmware/intel/ipts/ipts_fw_config.bin /lib/firmware/intel/ipts
sudo ln -s iaPreciseTouchDescriptor.bin /lib/firmware/intel/ipts/intel_desc.bin
sudo ln -s SurfaceTouchServicingDescriptorMSHW0078.bin /lib/firmware/intel/ipts/vendor_desc.bin
sudo ln -s SurfaceTouchServicingKernelSKLMSHW0078.bin /lib/firmware/intel/ipts/vendor_kernel.bin
sudo ln -s SurfaceTouchServicingSFTConfigMSHW0078.bin /lib/firmware/intel/ipts/config.bin

Once done, the directory structure should look like:

$ tree /lib/firmware/intel/ipts
+-- config.bin -> SurfaceTouchServicingSFTConfigMSHW0078.bin
+-- iaPreciseTouchDescriptor.bin
+-- intel_desc.bin -> iaPreciseTouchDescriptor.bin
+-- ipts_fw_config.bin
+-- SurfaceTouchServicingDescriptorMSHW0078.bin
+-- SurfaceTouchServicingKernelSKLMSHW0078.bin
+-- SurfaceTouchServicingSFTConfigMSHW0078.bin
+-- vendor_desc.bin -> SurfaceTouchServicingDescriptorMSHW0078.bin
\-- vendor_kernel.bin -> SurfaceTouchServicingKernelSKLMSHW0078.bin

GuC Firmware

Since kernel 4.7, the GuC firmware version has been bumped from 4.3 to 6.1. Debian jessie does not have this version so you need to downlownload it:

curl -s -f \
    | tar jxO skl_guc_ver6_1/skl_guc_ver6_1.bin \
    | sudo tee /lib/firmware/i915/skl_guc_ver6_1.bin >/dev/null
sudo ln -s -f -T skl_guc_ver6_1.bin /lib/firmware/i915/skl_guc_ver6.bin

The MD5 checksum of /lib/firmware/i915/skl_guc_ver6_1.bin should be:

md5sum /lib/firmware/i915/skl_guc_ver6_1.bin
07fa52bd5b7401868cf17105db7dc3ab  /lib/firmware/i915/skl_guc_ver6_1.bin



This sensor seems not to do anything for now which means xrandr auto-rotation is not available:

watch -n1 cat /sys/bus/iio/devices/iio\:device*/in_rot_quaternion_raw

N.B. of interest though, is that when you rotate the laptop onto its side, if you have the typing cover still plugged in it gets disabled


You can check the light level by running the following:

watch -n1 cat /sys/bus/iio/devices/iio\:device*/in_intensity_both_raw

Interact with the sensor by covering and uncovering sensor located the farthest on the right at the top of the screen.


Move the laptop about whilst running in a terminal:

 watch -n1 cat /sys/bus/iio/devices/iio:device*/in_accel_[xyz]_raw


Move the laptop about whilst running in a terminal:

 watch -n1 cat /sys/bus/iio/devices/iio:device*/in_anglvel_[xyz]_raw


It is possible to get Debian booting with SecureBoot. However, as well as having the listed restrictions below, it is a bit of a pain to set up, plus to be frank it is a lot of effort and hassle just to avoid seeing a red padlock on boot. Indeed there is some slight benefit of security, but if you insist on running untrusted code as root under Linux or administrator under Windows, then it hardly is going to save you ;)

Anyway, if you do want to do this, you should be aware of the following constraints:

  • you use the Linux Foundation Secure Boot System, PreLoader.efi
  • GRUB cannot load modules, so you need to generate a GRUB image with the modules you need built it
    • the solution below needs you to understand how to get GRUB to the point of being able to load /boot/grub/grub.cfg; my example below involves just a dedicated unencrypted non-LVM /boot mount point, you might need to adapt the /tmp/grub.cfg file accordingly for your own setup
    • grub-mkstandalone simply puts all the modules in a memdisk, so you still get the same problem
    • building in all modules does not work as there is a module (no idea which, let me know if you work it out!) that stops GRUB detecting anything except for procfs
    • it is really difficult to get a definitive list of what modules you need, it is a bit trial and error, plus you may want extras like cat, lspci, etc
    • every time the grub package updates, you should rebuild the image and re-enroll it

Start off by going into GRUB, and before Linux boots, go to the command line (pressing 'c'). On the command line, type lsmod and note down the modules loaded, now go back to booting into Linux.

N.B. for reference, my list is: fshelp ext2 part_gpt boot extcmd crypto terminal gettext gzio normal test disk loadenv video bufio font video_fb gfxterm efi_gop efi_uga video_bochs video_cirrus all_video gfxterm minicmd

Once booted, run:

sudo apt-get install efibootmgr

sudo mkdir -p /boot/efi/EFI/PreLoader
sudo curl -L -o /boot/efi/EFI/PreLoader/PreLoader.efi
sudo curl -L -o /boot/efi/EFI/PreLoader/HashTool.efi

sudo efibootmgr -c -d /dev/nvme0n1 -p 1 -L Preloader -l /EFI/PreLoader/PreLoader.efi

Now we generate a suitable GRUB image with built-in configuration we generate and a few extras needed modules:

cat <<EOF > /tmp/grub.cfg
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=prefix $(blkid -o udev $(df /boot/grub/grub.cfg | sed '1d; s/ .*//') | awk -F= '/ID_FS_UUID=/ { print $2 }')
configfile (\$prefix)/grub/grub.cfg

sudo grub-mkimage -O x86_64-efi -o /boot/efi/EFI/PreLoader/loader.efi -c /tmp/grub.cfg \
    [list of modules from the GRUB `lsmod` run earlier] \
    configfile search_fs_uuid search ls reboot halt \
    password password_pbkdf2 echo linux linuxefi chain fat efifwsetup

Then reboot into the UEFI GUI interface to configure the boot order to be 'debian' followed by 'PreLoader', then under Security, set SecureBoot to 'Microsoft & 3rd party CA'.

N.B. we make debian the first boot option, so that when you run with SecureBoot disabled, it will boot automatically, whilst with SecureBoot enabled debian will be silently skipped and PreLoader will be automatically run

Now, when you boot for the first time, you will be asked to enroll loader.efi, once done, your laptop will now boot with SecureBoot enabled.


If you get the following when running efibootmgr:

efibootmgr: Could not set variable Boot0006: No such file or directory
efibootmgr: Could not prepare boot variable: No such file or directory

You will find that if you were to run strace you would find out EFI has run out of space and is coming back with ENOSPC.

To clear up some space, use:

mkdir /tmp/efivars
mount -t efivarfs none /tmp/efivars
rm /tmp/efivars/dump-type0-*
umount /tmp/efivars

rm /sys/fs/pstore/dmesg-efi-*

Now reboot so the EFI firmware can garbage collect and free up the space, then you should be able to continue where you left off.

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