I'm purchasing a Dell server and want to use Ubuntu 16.04 as the OS. My server will be using UEFI due to hardware restrictions.

Is Ubuntu stable under UEFI as the only OS on the system?

The Ubuntu Community Wiki page here is from 2015 and it gives me the impression that Ubuntu is difficult to install under UEFI. However most of the answers about UEFI on Ask Ubuntu and the wiki page seem pertain to dual boot systems, or allude to complications when Ubuntu is installed with alongside other operating systems.

The wiki article states under the single boot instructions:

The following sections describe how to install Ubuntu in UEFI mode, either because you're single-booting and want to try this boot mode or because you're dual-booting with another OS that's already installed in this mode.

The word "try" in the introduction tells me that in 2015 UEFI was not the preferred installation mode for Ubuntu, and further indicates that it might not have been completely stable. Since UEFI hardware is going to become more standard moving forward, I think it is important to provide an updated explanation for single boot systems that addresses stability, functionality, and standard practice.

  • 3
    Ubuntu does not get releases as an unstable version. And a 2015 source is not good to go on. Ubuntu changes every 6 months. I would use a 2017 source help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/UEFI-and-BIOS/…
    – Rinzwind
    Sep 26, 2017 at 15:04
  • What do you mean by stable? Your question seems to focus on installation issues. Sep 26, 2017 at 15:05
  • 1
    Another Server UEFI thread. askubuntu.com/questions/355727/…
    – oldfred
    Sep 26, 2017 at 16:31
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    @Rinzwind: If he's purchasing a server, I strongly suggest a LTS version (of which 16.04 is the newest right now) instead of some 17.xx version he'll need to upgrade every 6 months. Sep 26, 2017 at 17:59
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    I have multiple systems running Ubuntu 16.04 that use both UEFI and RAID 1. I had difficulty with one system but I blame myself trying to do something when I was exhausted and working on something else at the same time. The system I'm using right this moment to type this comment is Ubuntu 16.04 using UEFI and RAID 1 :-)
    – Benny Hill
    Sep 26, 2017 at 21:10

3 Answers 3


Ubuntu is stable in EFI mode.

In 2015, the biggest issue was secure boot and varying implementations of EFI (some quite buggy) as manufacturers tried to do what MS wanted instead of meeting a standard.

Currently, Ubuntu has a signed loader and kernel; however, secure boot has to be turned off to install. EFI firmware has become more standardized.

Dual booting with Windows still causes some issues, as Windows always tries to take over booting.

  • 1
    "Dual booting with Windows still causes some issues, as Windows always tries to take over booting." Wow, pot calling the kettle black. It's always Ubuntu that wants to wipe the whole disk and install GRUB as the boot loader. And it was especially bad before UEFI came along, when GRUB would freak out as soon as you sneezed and stop booting. Be a little fairer maybe ;)
    – user541686
    Sep 27, 2017 at 7:30
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    @Mehrdad -- Ubuntu asks how you want to install and grub recognizes Windows and will boot it. Win would constantly overwrite grub and Windows loader will not recognize Linux. The Win10 Creators Update overwrites grub and deletes Linux partitions without asking. I am being perfectly fair. GRUB has been a very stable loader all the way back to GRUB4DOS.
    – ravery
    Sep 27, 2017 at 11:07

This is at least the third time I install Ubuntu in UEFI mode (I'm not really counting). Some of them were single-system configurations (I just erase Windows).

It's easy and stable.

Just remember to boot the LiveUSB in UEFI mode, so it will know it is supposed to install the bootloader corresponding to UEFI. (I forgot a couple of times and it's annoying to search around trying to understand what went wrong.)

You may need to disable Secure Boot at the BIOS menu.


My answer is go on and install it but make sure there are no non-Unix existing OS on the system. UEFI is an open standard and any OS meant for PCs will be built with this in mind. The point is not only about Ubuntu but if the Linux kernel is aware of UEFI and my answer is yes Ubuntu (as well the Kernel) supports this. This info about EFI and the GNU/Linux kernel is here https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/EFI_stub_kernel

Here is a link for Ubuntu with regards to Dell servers including specifics on EFI. https://linux.dell.com/files/supportmatrix/Ubuntu_Support_Matrix.pdf

Here is a link showing how dedicated canonical are in supporting various hardware and mostly Dell hardware. http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/b/techcenter/archive/2010/09/27/dell-poweredge-servers-certified-with-ubuntu-server-edition

  • 1
    @dawyda254 Thanks for expanding your post. Why do you recommend ensuring "there are no non-Unix existing OS on the system"? Sep 27, 2017 at 14:56
  • That's a handy PDF, I can't wait to wave it around the office at work tomorrow! It's good to know they're on board with Ubuntu, or at least have a list of what hardware is. Thanks!
    – WxPilot
    Sep 27, 2017 at 22:05
  • @Eliah Kagan due to known issues with dual-booting on a GPT partition table.
    – dawyda254
    Sep 28, 2017 at 10:26
  • @dawyda254 Since you've made that an important part of your answer (it's at the top now and in bold), you may want to edit again to include an explanation of this, including either an explicit statement of what the known issues are, or a link to information about them, or both. Sep 28, 2017 at 10:28

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