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OpenSuse 12.3 Linux on Microsoft Surface Pro 64

I recently had to get a surface due to some requirements imposed by others. Of course, I "had" to see if I could put Linux on it so I could be more productive...

 I was able to install, boot into suse, and run Linus for a while, but then as soon as I booted back into Windows 8, Windows/UEFI removed the boot option and I could no longer access Linux. Here is information on what needs to be done to resolve this....

Though the UEFI stage is annoying, once a few little prerequisites were resolved, the actual install was easy and painless, and the touch screen worked even during the opensuse install steps!  Here is information on the pre-installation, installation, and post-installation processes. I will update this page as I progress...

I performed the entire process only using the Surface, without resorting to another system .

I installed all of Linux on a 64 GB micro SDXC card I added to the slot. I plan to get the 8 GB 256 GB Surface Pro 2 on October 22nd (Best Buy upgrade option), so want it to be easy to transfer (I hope).

First I downloaded the full 64 bit installation DVD from

Then I needed a USB drive I could wipe and dedicate to install. I used a 16 GB drive I had lying around. Anything that has around 4.5+ GB will suffice (but remember it will be completely wiped/formatted (or you could have it partitioned).

Then I needed to be able to burn the iso as a bootable image to the USB drive, simply grab this:

ImageWriter.exe (may need to run as Administrator)


Then there is a little trick with *.*, then hit ENTER, because otherwise only sees *.raw...

I was unable to do this with a 32 GB USB drive, but it worked fine with a 16 GB USB drive.

NOTE: Windows Imagewriter.exe, unlike Linux version, does not see automatically .iso files, only .raw, but it works with any of those files without problems. That leads to manual selection described below.

  • Open the downloaded ImageWriter
    • If the ImageWriter won't open, you'll probably need to download the .NET 2.0 Runtime
    • If you get an error right after you start the process, you may want to right-click the executable and "Run as administrator".
  • Press the select button
  • Type *.* in the file name box and find your LiveCD image
  • Select your USB stick and click the Write button

NOTE: You may meet this error on some MS Windows versions:

  • If you have done above steps correctly but still get error like this
    system.componentModel.Win32Exception:Access is denied
    try one or more of the following three:
    1. An opening Windows Explorer might have blocked direct accessing to a physical drive. If you opened the ImageWriter from a Windows Explorer, close the ImageWriter then open it again, after opened, close every window of Windows Explorer, then try to write the ISO again.
    2. In Windows XP or later, run this command using Run(WinKey+R, or in the Start Menu) or in a command prompt, to unmount the USB stick:
      mountvol driveletter: /d
      replace the "driveletter:" with your drive path like "E:". After unmount, the ImageWriter should work now. (You may unmount the drive before running ImageWriter.)
    3. Use a partiton tool to delete the whole USB stick partition, to make the partition 'RAW'. (Note this will destory all you data on the USB stick and before you format it again, you won't be able to use it as usual.) After that, rerun the ImageWriter and try to write the ISO again.


I couldn't delete it throuhg Windows Disk Manager (Even run as Administrator, so his was command line option to delete the partition from the USB drive:


UFD = USB Flash Device, such as, pen drive, thumb drive, usb stick.

Run CMD.EXE as administrator
Ctrl + Esc | type Cmd in the “Search Box’ | do not hit Enter |
right-click on CMD.EXE in the list of Programs | YES button (if asked)

Use DiskPart ----{type commands, follow each by hitting ENTER}
Type DISKPART ------{starts DiskPart; command prompt changes to DISKPART> }
Enter following DISKPART commands:
List disk ----------{list number assigned by DiskPart to the drives;
-------------------- note the numeral assigned to your UFD/SSD/HDD}
select disk 1 ------{the numeral 1 will be used in this example}
detail disk --------{info will help verify that you’ve selected the desired disk}
clean all ----------{write zeroes to all bytes of selected disk; depending upon 
-------------------- capacity and device speed, this can take awhile.
-------------------- Any bad sectors will be so marked and avoided.
-------------------- Wait for the DiskPart prompt to appear again.
-------------------- The DiskPart> prompt will eventually appear.
clean --------------{zeroes only first and last sectors to zero out boot info;
-------------------- This is much quicker and suffices for most cases. }
create partition primary -{create a primary partition in the selected disk}
select partition 1 -------{select the partition you just created}
active -------------------{mark the partition as Active}
format fs=ntfs quick -----{format the partition as ntfs}
assign -------------------{assign next available drive letter to the volume}
exit ---------------------{exit DISKPART and return to the command-shell prompt}
exit ---------------------{exit the command shell }



Next, have to modify the UEFI security settings to allow booting other devices and such...



Tricky part partitioning, /boot/efi....


Rest was easy.



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