Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy) on a Lenovo z400 touch

25 Nov 2013

Recently, my ancient Acer notebook (after 7 years of intense usage) decided that it had already served his duty and retired.

I’ve bought a Lenovo z400 touch, a notebook with good specs for a reasonable price. But, as virtually all new notebooks sold in Brazil, it had Windows 8 installed on it. In this post I will report the steps I’ve took to install Ubuntu 13.10 in dual boot with Windows 8, and I will do a quick review of Ubuntu on this specific notebook.

Update 1: after a few weeks trying to get used to Ubuntu, I gave up. Packaging is a cumbersome work, and I am having issues with a lot of packages. After all, despite the additional work at the installation, [Arch Linux][4] just works for me (with the bonus of having the latest packages). Nevertheless, I still recommend the listed dual boot steps (s/Ubuntu/Arch Linux/g), as there are necessary on the Arch Linux installation too.

Update 2: there seems to be a bug (seems to be on the kernel itself) on the latest Arch Linux image: the system does not boot with UEFI at all (even with secure boot disabled). Using an older install media image worked fine.

Dual boot steps

Simply put, I’ve first prepared the partition on the windows side, disabled fastboot and secure boot, and installed Ubuntu from a bootable usb. There was no need for Boot-Repair. I’ve run into some issues when trying to reduce the original “C” partition due to unmovable files, so some additional steps were needed. In more detail, the following steps were performed:

  1. Backup the system (Lenovo does not bundles recovery disks for Windows)
  2. Disable fastboot on windows (with fastboot windows hibernates on shutdown, which may be a problem for us)
  3. Disable the secure boot (shutdown and then press the “one key recovery” button to configure this)
  4. Disable hibernate support and disable (deleting all) Windows recovery points (thus avoiding unmovable files)
  5. Defrag the partition that will be reduced to provide space for the new OS partitions
  6. Reduce the partition size with windows “Disk Management” application
  7. Re-enable hibernation and recovery points, if desired
  8. Download and write the Ubuntu image on a bootable USB drive (using this, for example)
  9. Reboot the system, booting from USB (hold shift when clicking restart on Windows, and select USB)
  10. Boot Ubuntu and test the system
  11. Install the system selecting “something else” on the install menu, as we want a dual boot. At least, create a swap partition, a root “/” partition and a home partition. Leave every other thing as is
  12. Try booting to Windows / Ubuntu. If Windows does not boots, try using boot-repair.

Quick review

Almost everything worked as expected (wifi, mic, sound, graphics, webcam, etc). Some notes:

  1. To use the discrete graphics card, install Bumblebee. This allows one to quickly launch another X server using the discrete card to run applications with the nvidia card.
  2. The touchscreen does not works due to a [bug][4] in the driver (see link for workarounds). This bug has been fixed in new kernel versions.
  3. There is no support (AFAIK) for mutitouch with this touchscreen in the current version.

As an Arch Linux user, I’m not very happy about all the bureaucracy involved in the packaging process (I’m learning how to properly create a ppa for my projects), but after some struggle things seems to be working.