UEFI – Should the UEFI Partition Be First? Reasons Explained


In a non-English Ubuntu-it.org wiki page it's stated that the UEFI partition MUST be always placed at the start of the disk.

This is not the case in the English Ubuntu Community Help Wiki page.

So does the UEFI partition either "MUST" or "SHOULD" (assuming a bad wording in the former page) be first for some reason? If so why? Or this is totally irrelevant?

Best Answer

The key words "SHOULD", "MUST" and "MAY" (capitalised) in this answer are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

An (U)EFI System Partition (ESP from now on):

The only official limit is:

  • the ESP MUST reside in the first 2.2 Terabytes of the disk.

So, the ESP MUST reside anywhere in those first 2.2 TB of the disk, but there is absolutely no need for the ESP to be the first partition or reside on the beginning of the disk whatsoever.
(It's just that some large company in Redmond, WA advises system integrators differently)...

I would put it as the last partition on the disk (if < 2.2TB) as it's only used to load other OSes, but that's just a personal, totally subjective opinion!