In June last year, I bought myself a Lenovo Thinkpad E580 laptop. It also
came with Windows 10 pre-installed. After googling around the web and some
research, I managed to gather a fair bit of info, knowledge bases, how-to
forums, etc on how to dual-boot this PC. Later, I successfully installed
Ubuntu 18.04, dual-booting with the existing Windows 10 (which I hardly
used ever since). Then in August, I compiled all my notes on my dual-boot
install experience and gave a talk in that month's LUV Beginners Workshop.
Please find attached my notes (in Markdown format). I didn't include any
of the images linked in this notes, but they are just screenshots of my
installation. All the useful URLs are near the end of this notes, under
References & Resources.
Some points to note:
- As I had mentioned in my notes, the most important part is a number of
preparatory steps. After that, the actual Distro installation itself is
- Among them, is to keep the UEFI mode (rather than reverting to the
'Legacy' mode), but have the "Secure Boot" turned off (disabled).
- Even though a lot of online resources and opinions out there are
saying that the most recent Linux distros (e.g. Ubuntu since a couple of
years ago) can co-exist with Secure Boot enabled just fine, the majority of
the opinions I had come across suggest turning off secure boot before
installing a dual-boot linux - for the peace of mind down the track.
- For my new Thinkpad, its secure boot was disabled by default when I
got it - so I am not sure whether your existing Windows 10 would still boot
if you disabled the secure boot that was enabled by default. (Online
opinions generally suggest the outcome tend to be dependent on the
manufacturer of the PC or its BIOS/UEFI). Did your Lenovo P51 come with
secure boot On or Off?
- Another thing I found important is the shrinking of your Windows disk
partition to make way for your Linux distro install. In a sense this also
depends on the size of your PC's hard disk. If your disk is large (say
from 500 GB to 1 or more TB), then you can just use the Windows built-in
Disk Management tool to shrink your Windows partition to as low as you can
get - but this usually gives you a blank partition that is less than half
of the total disk size. However, if your laptop disk is relatively small
(like mine, which is a SSD with only 256 GB), then you can consider using a
third-party Windows tool - say: AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard (free) -
which can allow you to squeeze/shrink your Windows disk partition to even
further - to slightly lower than half the total disk space - thereby giving
you a larger blank partition to install your distro. (A couple of URLs in
my notes talk about this in great details).
I hope my notes here can be of help to your dual-boot attempt. I'm sure
you will get there eventually!
All the best!
On Wed, Jan 23, 2019 at 11:54 PM Jason White via luv-main <
Just to answer the questions below:
The braille output is controlled by whatever screen reader is in use, and
screen readers are specific to each operating system. There is no output
available until the screen reader is loaded (it's the same with text to
speech in that respect). I recall an effort to integrate braille support
into Grub, so that one could access the Grub menus independently. I can't
remember how far that progressed, but I know where to ask.
There's one possible option for enabling me to read BIOS/UEFI menus,
namely remote administration facilities. The Lenovo P51 laptop, for
example, has Intel Management Engine installed, though not presently
configured. If it supports a serial console or similar, I could access it
from another machine. I haven't investigated the details, but I'm
From: Mark Trickett <marktrickett(a)gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 4:33 AM
To: Jason White <jason(a)jasonjgw.net>et>; luv-main <luv-main(a)luv.asn.au>
Subject: Re: Contemplating a complex UEFI-based Linux installation
On 1/23/19, Jason White via luv-main <luv-main(a)luv.asn.au> wrote:
I have a Lenovo P51 laptop here (currently
running Microsoft Windows
10) on which I'm contemplating installing Linux - probably Arch Linux,
or perhaps Debian Testing - or another distribution that is kept fairly
is of interest in that the packages are kept fairly close to upstream,
which could be useful for some of my purposes (e.g., reporting bugs on
accessibility-related tools such as braille display software and
screen readers, and compiling development versions thereof).
Thank you for being involved in such ways. I know another blind computer
user, but in the USA, who is effectively tied to Microsoft, and loathes it.
As a diabetic, braille output is not an option, and should the screen
reader not work, the computer is unusable, and very difficult to fix, they
have "sighted minions" who are far from computer literate. As such the BIOS
screens are unavailable.
I need to keep Microsoft Windows around for work
purposes, due to
compatibility issues. I'm contemplating a dual-boot configuration. I
would rather not turn off Microsoft's virtualization-based security,
which requires Secure Boot to be enabled; unfortunately, there are too
many vulnerabilities and plenty of Windows malware is circulating.
I can understand and sympathize. Requiring the use of Microsoft software
says someone is not competent. That is not you.
On the Windows side, I have enabled Device Guard
and Credential Guard
in local group policy, set to require "secure boot with UEFI lock". I
don't know whether this will complicate Linux installation, or whether
it will need to be disabled, even temporarily.
At this point, neither an Arch ISO image (written to a USB drive with
dd) nor a GRML64 image will boot. I suspect Secure Boot is
responsible, unless of course this system cannot boot from these
prepared ISO images.
Were I any way close, I would like to offer to be your eyes for the BIOS
and the like before the OS comes up. Whether it comes up on the braille
output, it may miss out on some characters outside the standard ASCII set.
That may be significant.
I've read documentation on the Arch wiki and
elsewhere about UEFI and
Secure Boot, most of which is not very clear or somewhat incomplete.
There are several boot loaders from which to choose, for example, as
well as complications with Secure Boot. I've installed Arch before
(and Debian more than once), but only on BIOS-based systems and never
with another operating system also present. Further, there are various
reports of mixed success with Linux on this particular laptop model.
It isn't clear what information is up to date.
Also, I want to avoid corrupting the UEFI firmware or data in ways
that would necessitate board replacement; I've had to deal with
unrelated hardware issues recently and definitely don't want to have
to go through the pain of that experience again, if I can avoid it.
So, what would be my best source of advice at this point on how to
Suggestions and links would be welcome. I'm
also willing to discuss it
with someone who knows UEFI well, if necessary.
Knowing UEFI is the start, being there and seeing what messages flash up
on the monitor, and then disappear is also important. I suspect that
partial and poor implementations of UEFI may well be adding to the
confusion and misinformation you see.
To finish, some questions. When you browse a website, does the braille
output include all the HTML, or just the text, or can you toggle between
how much you get? Does the braille output work with the BIOS?UEFI screens?
Is there a braille output device that also "speaks"
luv-main mailing list