How To: Tell If You Are You Using UEFI or BIOS

Today’s article will be another short-form article, where we quickly learn how to tell if you’re using UEFI or BIOS with your Linux computer. Making a few short-form articles seems like a fun idea, so why not? There’s room for all sorts of stuff and now that I’ve done this for a couple of years.

In short, when you boot your computer there’s a bunch of stuff you don’t see, but the hardware needs to interact with the software. We used BIOS for many years, but the new and improved method is UEFI (which stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). 

UEFI is meant to improve on some BIOS limitations and to help increase your security. If you have a modern computer, it’s capable of UEFI but might have BIOS available. If BIOS is available, it may be referred to as ‘Legacy’ if you want to go mucking about to change it.

Linux supports both UEFI and BIOS booting. If you installed Linux yourself, you may already know if you’re using UEFI or legacy booting. However, if your Linux installer notices that it is in either mode, it will default to installing in that mode. So, I suppose it’s possible for some folks to not actually know if they’re using UEFI or BIOS.

This leads me to today’s article…

Are You Using UEFI or BIOS:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your new terminal open, type the following command (or cut and paste the command, if that’s easier):

If it lists an output, you’re using UEFI. You’re using BIOS if you get an output that’s something similar to:

It really is that simple. 

Closure:

Well, this is the shortest article I’ve written. At least I’m pretty sure that it’s the shortest article I’ve ever shared. Brevity is not my strong point, but at least now you know how to tell if you’re using UEFI or BIOS. So, you didn’t come away empty-handed – unless, of course, you already knew that.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Determine If You’re Using UEFI

Today’s article is going to tell you how to determine if you’re using UEFI or legacy mode. This is particularly useful if you’ve either forgotten. It’s also useful if you’re using a system you don’t know anything about. It’s handy for troubleshooting things like boot issues.

UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is not really a ‘thing’. It’s a set of specifications that determine how the OS interfaces with the operating system. While it does have its advantages, OEMs have been pretty sporadic with the quality of their implementation. UEFI was predated by EFI, which came from a vendor known as IBM. UEFI was predated by BIOS (legacy) and, for now, vendors seem inclined to more or less support both.

Why should you care? Well, it’ll tell you a lot about how you’re booting your system and it says a lot about how your system interacts with the hardware. While tools like boot-repair are able to work with either, you will need to know what type of system you’re working with if you’re doing it manually.

The good news is that it’s easy to figure this out. Even a beginner can figure it out! So, let’s find out if you’re using UEFI.

Are You Using UEFI:

Yup… You need a terminal open. So, let’s do that. All you need to do is press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Now, the tool we’ll be using is called ‘efibootmgr’. That tool defines itself as:

efibootmgr – manipulate the UEFI Boot Manager

I did some testing and it was installed by default on most of the operating systems I tried it on. If it’s not installed, it’s pretty easy to install. The only time I had to install it manually was with openSUSE Tumbleweed. So, the command for that is:

If it’s not installed on your system, just go ahead and install it. You may need to use apt, dnf, or whatever – but it should be available for your distro. Just install it like you’d install other software from the terminal, suited to your distro’s package manager.

Once it is installed, it’s really, really simple. Just run:

Then, check the output. If you’re not using UEFI, it will say:

If it says anything else, you’re using UEFI. 

See? I told you that it was easy. That’s all you need to know.

Closure:

Yup. Another article said and done. This one is about determining if you’re using UEFI or if you’re not. It’s so simple that even a rank beginner can figure it out. Don’t forget that you can use the comment section to ask questions that’d be suitable for new articles. Sometimes, even with my notes, it’s harder to decide the subject than it is to write the article.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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