Boot Ubuntu USB stick with Surface Laptop

How to boot and install Ubuntu 24.04 Noble Nimbat or other Linux  versions from a USB stick on a Microsoft Surface Laptop.

Before Proceeding

  • Ensure you have backup copies of your critical data.
  • Ensure you have access to your Windows Bitlocker Encryption key. Click here if you have a Microsoft account

Issue: Surface laptop will not boot from a Linux boot USB Drive.  The UEFI Bios is set to only trust Certificate Keyset from Microsoft Windows.

In this case Ubuntu 24 formatted to a 32gb thumb drive using Rufus (I tried Etcher as Ubuntu advised, but after three tries it always ended telling me I need to format my drive but I couldn’t as Etcher has roasted it, saying I needed to Format after the ~15min process completed – Rufus just straight up worked on first try).

Solution: Change your Surface laptops Secure Boot Certificate Keyset in the UEFI BIOS:

  1. Press and hold Volume Up key, press the power key while continuing to hold Volume Up
  2. Tap the Security section
  3. Under Secure Boot tap Change Configuration
  4. Change the Secure Boot Certificate Keyset to: Microsoft & 3rd party CA
  5. Tap OK
  6. Confirm Secure Boot is Enabled with Microsoft & 3rd party CA configuration
  7. Tap Exit
  8. Tap restart now – while holding the Volume Down Key
  9. Continue to Hold Volume Down key until you see the GNU Grub screen
  10. Choose to install, or Run Ubuntu from the USB drive (chose to run so you can checkout Ubuntu before comitting
    1. If you choose run: Ubuntu loads and launches the Install screen
    2. Click the X at top right of install Window to close
  11. Check out Ubuntu!


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