Installing Ubuntu 16.04 on a Lenovo Y700 laptop

I was a little hesitant to splurge on a new laptop that wasn't in the Ubuntu Certified Hardware list (as of May 2016) but there are usually only a couple of things that can go wrong (video and the wifi) so I researched those and felt confident enough to go for it. Other than a couple of minor hurdles, it's gone smoothly so far. I haven't seen any tutorials on these laptops so I thought I'd share.

The laptop I bought is a Lenovo IdeaPad Y700-15ISK 15.6". The price in that link is in Canadian dollars. I don't work for them and it's not an endorsement, I just can't find the exact configuration anywhere else. It's similar to these ones on the Lenovo site. My specs are below in case you don't want to click on the links.

My goal was to wipe Windows off the drive and install Ubuntu 16.04.

To start, you'll need Ubuntu on a bootable USB stick. Instructions are available for Windows, Ubuntu and Mac (a quick search didn't turn up anything I felt I could recommend).

The main hurdle you'll face is that many new laptops come with UEFI. It's the new way of doing BIOS. It's "more secure" so you don't "accidentally" install an different operating system. Right. Thanks.

To get around it, you have to disable the UEFI. Before we do that, plug in the USB stick you created earlier. While we're in the UEFI, we'll tell it to boot from that stick.

Now we're ready. To get into the UEFI, you need to hammer on the F2 button while rebooting. It took me a few tries. Tapping on it about 4 times per second during reboot did the trick for me.

Once you are in and see the BIOS-like screen, you need to head over to the boot options and set them as follows:

  1. Boot Mode = Legacy Support
  2. Boot Priority = Legacy First
  3. Fast Boot = Disabled
  4. USB Boot = Enabled (assuming you want to run the installation from a USB device)

Below these settings, there should be a list of available legacy drives to boot from. Move the USB drive to the top of the list.

Save your changes and exit. Your machine should boot up into the Ubuntu installation sequence.

All the hardware on the laptop was detected and worked for me but the driver for my video card (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M) didn't perform as well as the X.Org driver. To change drivers, tap the Super (Windows) key once and type "drivers" into the box. The Software and Updates tool should open to the Additional Drivers tab. Select the X.Org driver and close the window. Maybe reboot for good measure.

I hope this helps someone!

Machine specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6GHz Quad-Core (3.5GHz Turbo)
  • HDD Speed/Type:SSD
  • Optical Drive:External DVD+-RW
  • Graphics (Chip Type): NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
  • Graphics (Memory (MB)): 4096
  • Screen Size (Inches): 15.6
  • Memory (Installed (GB)): 2x4 DDR4
  • HDD (Capacity (GB)):256
  • WiFi Network: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Intel 8260 using the iwlfifi driver
  • Bluetooth Network: v4.0