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UEFI SLES/SLED 11 partitioning recommendations

This document (7003263) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 SP2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 SP1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11


Partitioning recommendations for SLE11 on UEFI systems


Attention: this procedure will delete any information from the disks!
  1. Boot to UEFI linux from DVD or CDROM.
  2. Select UEFI boot from BIOS boot manager or boot to shell and execute /efi/boot/elilo.efi from removable media.
  3. Follow normal boot instructions from YaST.
  4. When at "Installation Settings", select "Partitioning", then "Custom partitioning (for experts)".
  5. Under "System view" select Hard disks. Expand the hard disks to see the disks available.
  6. Select a hard disk and select the "Partitions" tab.
  7. Delete any old partitions on the disk.
  8. In order to create a GPT disklabel (EFI does not support booting from disks with MSDOS partition table!), select the "Expert" tab on bottom.
  9. Create new partition table and check GPT  (which is required for UEFI boot).
  10. To add an EFI system partition (VFAT or FAT), hit the "Add" tab.
  11. Select custom size (100-400mb) depending on what EFI driver and utilities you may want  to store on the EFI system partition. The ELILO EFI loader and kernel are about 300k and 4 Mbytes, so only 5-6 Mbytes is really required. Various plug in cards and raid setup utilities may require more. Check with your plugin card vendors first to make sure there is enough space on the system partition. If in doupt, using 200 Mbytes should be safe.
    1. For system partitions with RAID configuration you need to run the EFI setup utility first from the card vendor before running the YaST installation. This can be done during post time or from the EFI shell.
    2. As an alternative to using YAST you can also run the UEFI utility "Diskpart.efi" to wipe the disk first and make the disk GPT and create the EFI FAT system partition before running the Yast installation.
  12. In the "Formatting options" dialog select "Format Partition" -> "File system" -> "FAT".
  13. Under "Mounting options" select "/boot/efi" and hit "Finish". Now your boot drive has a GPT disk label which contains a FAT EFI boot partition. Make sure /boot/efi directory exists first. In case not, please, create it using "mkdir /boot/efi" command.
  14. The rest of the partitioning should be done as with any linux installation and is not unique to EFI, for example add a swap partition and add an EXT3 partition for root.
NOTE: you might need to disable XD in the bios and enable legacy only in case the installation doens't finish.

Additional Information

UEFI is not supported by SUSE Linux Enterprise 10.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7003263
  • Creation Date: 14-May-2009
  • Modified Date:13-Mar-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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