12/8/2016 - 9:37 AM

Install Ubuntu 14.04 on Alienware 15 R3 instructions

Install Ubuntu 14.04 on Alienware 15 R3 instructions

How to install Ubuntu 14.04.05 on Alienware 15 R3

Tiny guide to install Ubuntu 14.04.05 on a brand new Alienware 15 R3.

Let windows 10 install

Just next, next, next filling up your data.

You should get a BIOS update alert from the Alienware Update widget. If not, right click on the Down arrow icon in the bottom right extra icons ^ thing and right click, then click Check for Updates.

Install it. It will reboot your computer, try to not touch anything up until you are back to Windows.

Shrink the disk

Go to the disk manager (right click on Windows icon > Disk management) and Shrink the OS partition (right click on it, Shrink Volume...). It offered me shrinking by 115XXX MB. Just shrink it 110000 MB. Shrinking it more won't work.

Get Windows to boot on AHCI mode (SATA options)

For Ubuntu to see the NVME disk it needs to boot on AHCI not on RAID mode (the default). As you don't want to go to the BIOS to change the SATA mode every time you want to boot in one or another OS, we need to force Windows to be able to boot in AHCI mode.

For that follow the instructions (kindly taken from here):

  1. Run Command Prompt as Admin.
  2. Invoke a Safe Mode boot with the command: bcdedit /set {current} safeboot minimal.
  3. Restart the PC and enter your BIOS during bootup (F2 key).
  4. In tab Advanced change option SATA Operation from RAID on to AHCI mode then go to Exit tab and use Save Changes and Reset.
  5. Windows 10 will launch in Safe Mode.
  6. Right click the Window icon and select to run the Command Prompt in Admin mode from among the various options.
  7. Cancel Safe Mode booting with the command: bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot.
  8. Restart your PC once more and this time it will boot up normally but with AHCI mode activated.
  9. Enjoy your awesomeness.

Disable Secure boot

You need to disable secure boot in order to boot any other OS.

Enter your BIOS (F2 key on boot). Go to Boot tab and change Secure Boot option to Disabled.

Note that Boot List Option should be UEFI (it's the default).

Get the latest Ubuntu 14.04 and write it to a bootable pendrive

I got my image from the official Ubuntu releases link scrolling down to find ubuntu-14.04.5-desktop-amd64.iso. I used Firefox + DownThemAll! addon to download it faster.

I use UNetbootin for writing my images.

I use Gparted to format my pendrive to FAT32.

Add to the bootable pendrive the latest Gparted version (0.24)

Download from gparted. Scroll down to Download "gparted" and click on 64-bit deb package. The direct link is here which may or not work.

Copy gparted_0.24.0-1~getdeb1_amd64.deb to the pendrive root into a new folder, I created one called gparted_deb. You'll need it.

Boot from the live linux pendrive

Press F12 while booting and choose under UEFI OPTIONS to boot from your pendrive, for me it was USB1 - UEFI OS( USB DISK 3.0 PMAP).

Install Gparted 0.24

In order for the installation wizard to be able to deal with your NVME disk (the SSD) you need the newest Gparted.

To install it, open a terminal (Control+Alt+T) and:

cd /cdrom
cd gparted_deb # Or whatever you called the folder
sudo dpkg -i gparted_0.24.0-1~getdeb1_amd64.deb

Use the install Wizard

Just double click the Install Ubuntu 14.04.05 LTS desktop icon.

Configure as you like BUT DON'T ENABLE DOWNLOAD UPDATES WHILE INSTALLING NOR INSTALL THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE. It will freeze your installation. If you don't believe me, just try and enjoy your reboot.

Click on Something else.

Now you should see some partitions like /dev/nvme0n1. If you don't, you missed some step.

Now choose the free space partition that corresponds to the shrinked space we made before. For me it's 115343 MB. I'll just make a partition for / and another swap one.

In order to be able to hibernate in Ubuntu you'll need at least your amount of RAM as swap. I doubt very much it will actually work, but hey, you need to try.

I have 16GB of RAM so I'll do 115343 - 17 * 1024 = 97884 MB partition. (Yeah that's a 17, I'm a bit lazy to check for how much exactly it should be).

Click on that free space to be selected and click on the + symbol. Put your amount of MB for it (97884) in Size. Choose Logical as Type. Leave Location as Beginning of this space. Use as Ext4. Mount point as /.

Then on the left free space, repeat the process but make it of type swap.

IMPORTANT now you need to change the Device for boot loader installation to /dev/nvme0n1.

Now you can click Install Now.

In a few minutes you should be good to go!

Install Wifi and Ethernet