Installing Linux on a Surface Pro

Installing Linux on a Surface Pro

Q: Can I install Linux on a Surface Pro device?

A: There are two considerations to take into account if installing Linux on a Surface Pro device. First, by default, the Surface Pro has Secure Boot enabled, which requires the boot loader of the OS to be signed. Linux distributions today are not signed (however, this is in the works at time of writing). Still, it's possible to turn off the Secure Boot requirement.

With Secure Boot disabled, the next requirement to deal with is that the Surface Pro is a class 3 UEFI device--this means it has no Compatibility Support Module (CSM) which would enable the emulation of a BIOS environment.

Because the emulation of a BIOS isn't possible, to be able to install the Linux distribution on Surface Pro, the Linux distribution must support a UEFI bootloader. This requirement shouldn't be a problem for modern Linux distributions but will stop older Linux distributions from installing.

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