Dual Booting Pop! OS on a ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Yesterday I finally installed pop on my ThinkPad X1 Extreme. I was a little nervous because it has been a loooooooong time since I’ve set up dual booting on anything. This ThinkPad is such a beautiful machine – it would be a shame to break it.

The main issue for me when I was looking into this is getting the Pop! OS boot loader to pick up the existing Windows installation. Pop! installs its firmware in a new EFI partition which is created during installation. The Grub bootloader, which many linuxes use, automatically detects any existing Windows installation – even if it is in a different EFI partition -and adds an entry to its boot menu. Pop! uses systemd-boot instead of grub, and systemd-boot doesn’t detect that Windows is installed with a different EFI partition. I read some advice to copy the windows boot files from the Windows EFI partition into the new Pop OS EFI partition, and some other advice saying that may not work well. I re-read what System 76 say about dual booting Pop OS and I finally got it:

To boot your other OS:

– If your device is in EFI mode, use your device’s built-in boot menu.
– If your device is in BIOS mode, a menu will automatically appear when powering on.

Choose your previous OS with the arrow keys, then press Enter.


I also read this comment from one of their devs:

So the deal is that if you let the machine start using the systemd-boot which was installed, then you will get a boot menu which basically offers Pop. To boot Windows you need to activate the Windows boot loader either by hitting F12 (on my machine) and selecting it from the system UEFI , or, possibly by selecting the Windows boot loader option from the systemd-boot menu.