Windows 10 reaches end of life next year. When my wife passed away, I ‘inherited’ her laptop, so I named it charpc. It is a Dell Experion 5000 series UEFI based device with TPM2, but the CPU will never pass the Windows 11 hardware requirements, so for about the past year (I like to be proactive), I have been trying various distributions on it in search of the one that will carry on after I remove Windows 10.
Since I have been running a lot of live distributions, I got a very large flash drive (a SAMSUNG FIT Plus 3.1 USB Flash Drive - 128GB (currently $14.99US on Amazon), and installed Ventoy (https://www.ventoy.net) to make managing ISOs easy. When I installed Ventoy, it created a ‘boot’/system partition (for the Ventoy system files) and another partition for the ISOs I want. When I boot the Ventoy drive, it lists all the ISOs I have stored in the non-system partition. When I choose an ISO, I get a choice of boot options, Normal and Grub2 Modes are the most useful for me. If the chosen image can boot with Secure Boot enabled, Normal Mode works well. If not, Grub2 Mode often lets me boot the ISO without disabling Secure Boot, although there are a few distributions for which I must disable it. Since I have plenty of storage space, I created a directory on the non-system partition (resources) to store any files/pictures I want available wherever I have the drive, and all-in-all, Ventoy has proven to be a very useful addition to my tool-set.
This past weekend, I gave Manjaro a try, albeit with some extra effort to get it to load with Secure Boot enabled, but that was much easier than I expected. I found a post that gave me everything I needed to know at [HowTo] Enable Secure Boot with rEFInd - Tutorials - Manjaro Linux Forum.
I disabled Secure Boot, then installed Manjaro. Everything went smoothly and the installation was very easy. After the initial reboot, I upgraded/updated the installed software, the began to follow the pertinent steps in the post I found (link above). When I got to the point where I was directed to reboot, I copied the remaining instructions to a text file so I could be sure to have everything I needed.
Following the reboot, I enrolled the newly created key using the MOK enrollment procedure, then enabled Secure Boot. At that point, Manjaro successfully booted up with Secure Boot enabled!
I now have a dual-boot system with Windows 10 and Manjaro, using the rEFInd Boot Manager (The rEFInd Boot Manager). My next step was to learn how to configure the new boot manager. The documentation on the rEFInd website is excellent (The rEFInd Boot Manager: Configuring the Boot Manager). I hid the unneeded boot options (there were several), and changed the background image to match what I use on my desktop and the Manjaro login and lock screens.
As a closing note, if you are not very tech savvy, you will be best served to get help from someone who is. I hope that someday, someone develops a rEFInd installation/configuration wizard to help non-technical users. UEFI and Secure Boot may not be the be-all-end-all of computer security, but it is another layer for the bad guys to get through. After all that work, won’t they be disappointed when they find that there’s nothing much to get on my systems.
I hope this post will help others,