Dual boot - Win10 and Clear Linux - Not booting CLR

I have not found such issue in this forum so I am taking the liberty to open a new topic…
Problem I have:

  • Started fresh - set up SSD with GPT partition table
  • Installed Win 10, which created EFI system partition. Windows boots fine.
  • In empty space created CLR_BOOT and CLR_ROOT partition as prescribed in documentation.
  • Installed Clear Linux. It automatically detected CLR partitions (SDA6 and 7) and chose Advanced install mode.
  • Install of Clear Linux completed successfully. Rebooted.

In spite of Clear Linux installed alongside Windows there seems no way to make my laptop boot Clear Linux. Boots Windows no matter what I do. If I press F12 to invoke boot menu it shows Windows Boot Manager, SSD and Optical drive. Selecting SSD from the menu or Windows Boot Manager both boot Windows.
How can I make it boot Clear Linux?
Any help will be appreciated.

Some questions:

  • In windows, can you send a screen shot from the partition manager?
  • If you boot clear linux live usb, what is the output of
  1. I will try to figure out snapshot from Windows partition manager yet, but booting live linux shows partitions correctly set up.
  2. Output of lsblk you are asking for:
clrlinux@clr-live~ $ lsblk -po NAME,SIZE,TYPE,FSTYPE,PARTLABEL
/dev/loop0    2.6G loop squashfs 
/dev/sda    223.6G disk          
├─/dev/sda1   100M part vfat     EFI system partition
├─/dev/sda2    16M part          Microsoft reserved partition
├─/dev/sda3    54G part ntfs     Basic data partition
├─/dev/sda4   526M part ntfs     
├─/dev/sda5  96.7G part ntfs     
├─/dev/sda6   150M part vfat     CLR_BOOT
└─/dev/sda7  42.9G part ext4     CLR_ROOT
/dev/sdb       15G disk          
└─/dev/sdb1    15G part vfat     Main Data Partition
/dev/sr0     1024M rom           
clrlinux@clr-live~ $ 
  1. Yes, I read this doc on dual boot very carefully. All is fine except on boot (step 8) pressing F12 to show boot selection does no show specific Clear Linux partition but just the SDD, which hosts both Windows and Clear Linux. Selecting that for boot gets me Windows booting. There seems no capability of booting Clear Linux.
    This machine is T520, supporting both legacy and UEFI boot.

Just to add another observation:
Each time I do such install (strictly as documented) of Clear Linux on separate partitions alonside Windows, upon subsequent rebooting (first time after install) and selecting the SSD drive from boot menu (F12) it starts Windows in recovery mode as if install of Clear Linux did something to Windows boot record. Subsequent boots do boot Windows correctly but I have not found a way to point boot to Clear Linux. Do I need to install GRUB for being able to select Clear Linux? I have not seen such option though…
Thanks again for your help. I would really like if I can make it work alongside Windows on this machine. My other test machine (T410) runs Clear Linux fine but it is a standalone install on disk.

Try this:

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Are you able see CL as a boot option if you go into bios settings? (Should be F1 during boot.)
If so, set CL as primary boot device (Your machine may only allow one boot device at at a time)
Then follow instructions from that point here.
If not you may need to restore systemd-boot – if windows did something to it on that first start up – then set it as primary, and add an option for windows to systemd-boot. You’ll find instructions for that here. (Scroll down to step 6.)

Thanks. I do not see CL as boot option in bios boot list. Just the hard drive (SSD) where both Windows and CL are installed. This is standard bios used to support both Legacy and UEFI. So it does not let we set CL to boot first as it does not seem to show separate bootable partitions but rather the entire drive.
So I will try to restore systemd-boot and try to make it default per instructions you pointed to.
Is it equivalent to GRUB?

no systemd-boot is is not equivalent to grub. it’s a different boot method entirely. Is secure boot enabled? If so you may may want to try disabling it.

Thanks very much for the tips and procedure to use systemd-boot as boot manager. I went through the entire procedure to set up systemd-boot as boot manager and now I get boot menu upon starting:

  • Linux Linux OS
  • Windows Boot Manager
    Selecting Linux Boot manager from the menu boots now Clear Linux, just as I wanted.
    This setup seems to prevent Windows boot take priority.
    Just a minor question: The above menu shows up after power-on. However after Reboot from Clear Linux it boots Windows automatically, bypassing boot managers menu. Not important but if there is some setting to show boot managers menu also upon restart that would be great…
    Thanks very much for this help. It resolves my issue. Greatly appreciated…

In windows, disable fast startup. It leaves filesystems in an inconsistent state, which means that they will be, at best, ignored by Linux or other OSes. At worst, they’ll be mounted and damaged. This makes it imperative that this Windows feature be disabled in any dual-boot scenario. Note that one of the partitions that can be affected by this is the EFI System Partition (ESP), which holds boot loaders. Thus, you can encounter boot weirdness if you don’t disable this feature.

Press windows key, type cmd and press ctrl + shft + enter. Click yes when the UAC windows pops up. Type in powercfg -h off and press Enter.

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Many motherboard vendors will tell you fast boot and secure boot are for Windows only. If you ever need to boot other OS you need to disable both.

Understood. I never liked Windows fast boot feature as it does not fully shut down the system state. So I always turn it off in Settings. I did not know it can be dome quicker via powercfg command.
However in my post I was referring to Restart in Clear Linux.
Windows is in Fast Boot turned off but when executing Restart from Clear Linux it boots Windows automatically, not showing the Boot Manager menu.
As I said, it is a minor problem or just a minor issue but unfortunately after several times testing this my Windows installation got startup corrupted and tries to boot with "preparing automatic Repair’ and fails to boot. It seems I need to re-install Windows. I do not mind if I can end up with solid system though, But if I will not be able to make reliable dual boot working it is a problem for me as these are laptops so cannot have two separate drives installed.
So to summarize:

  • systemd-boot installation seemed to resolve the problem that PC was not able to boot Clear Linux partition.
  • However after several restarts eventually booting Windows got corrupted. It is possible that I have turned off Fast Boot after installation of Clear Linux, I do not remember. I will do it before installation of Clear Linux now and see what happens.
    Thanks and Regards.

Re-installed Windows, leaving Clear Linux installation in place.
Turned off Fast Boot right away, before rebooting.
Now dual boot seems stable and behaves slightly differently but very nicely:

  • When powering on (without pressing F12 for boot menu) boots Windows. No Boot Managers menu.
  • Restart Windows boots Windows as above.
  • Pressing F12 (For boot devices) during boot shows now Linux Boot Manager and Windows Boot Manager as menu items.
  • Selecting Linux Boot Manager pops the menu of Linux OS and Windows Boot Manager with timeout, as before. Selecting Linux boots Clear Linux.
  • Restart from Clear Linux results nicely in Linux OS and Windows Boot Manager menu as above.
    So looks to me that systemd-boot works nicely now in this setting, although machine boots Windows by default if F12 not pressed during boot.
    So far stable.
    Thanks again for your help in making this work.

Now that it does appear in your bios boot options, you should be able to set the default boot to your Linux boot menu, so that you get the option on every boot, by going into your bios settings (I think F1 during boot on your machine).

Great. I will set it up if lets me do it. Although even the current behavior is good enough, as long as it is reliable.
Strangely I just installed all this dual boot on another machine (Thinkpad X220), which appear to have exactly the same BIOS and the Boot Managers menu shows on every power on without pressing F12, so behavior exactly as you describe.
In any case if dual boot stays reliable and does not become corrupted then it seems this methodology is good.
Thanks again for your help.

Dunno if this is of help, but I noticed odd behaviors out of eMMC and flash memories (I get unknown device on the CL OS partition with those). May be related to some controllers’ drivers as I don’t have such problems on HDDs.
Nevertheless, I managed to keep the Win10 Recovery Environment and CL OS with UEFI and Safe Boot enabled messing around with BootICE directly from the win10 rec env.