Dual boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu Mate

At the weekend I had to install Linux onto a new laptop. There are a couple of things that are probably worth knowing and sharing:

  • The laptop was a Lenovo 80g0 (see http://www.pcworldbusiness.co.uk/catalogue/item/P206816P). It’s not brilliant – plasticy feel (especially the keyboard) and an overly sensitive trackpad that gets in the way when typing, but it was in the price bracket for the people who wanted it and it does the job of getting them on the web.
  • It was supplied with Win 8.1 and I thought I would take the opportunity to update it to Win 10 as that is what Microsoft are after us doing. The download alone took about 4 hours on a not-that-great internet connection, and then the install took another hour or so. I looked at Windows 10 for about 20 minutes. It’s not something I think I’ll ever use but it seems to be easier to pick up than Windows 8.1. Other than that it’s Windows – others will know more and post more than me on that topic.
  • I downloaded the Ubuntu Mate iso in about 50 minutes. I booted into the live distro via USB to make sure everything was working. A couple of things here – to get to the BIOS/EFI interface to change the boot order I had to boot to Windows and disable Fast Startup (http://www.ehow.com/how_6803950_lenovo-bios.html). Then I restarted whilst pressing down the ‘Shift’ key – I think I went to Advanced and then boot to BIOS or something similar. Anyway, it gives some options – poke about and find the restart one. When it booted into Ubuntu the first thing that was evident was that the wireless didn’t work. I used ‘rfkill list‘ to see that there was a hardware block on the wireless card. So I then used ‘sudo modprobe -r ideapad_laptop‘  which fixed that problem. Time will tell if removing that module was a good idea or not – but it fixed the problem with the wireless.
  • The next thing to do was try to dual boot Win 10 and Ubuntu. I repartitioned the disk and then followed the instructions here (http://www.tweaking4all.com/os-tips-and-tricks/uefi-dual-boot-windows81-ubuntu/) which did the job perfectly.

Overall the biggest faff was doing the upgrade to Windows 10. The wireless issue was a bit of a surprise but was easily overcome and the instructions for the dual boot were comprehensive and easy to follow if you know what you’re doing.

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