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Sorry to ask a hardware related question. Hope it's relevant enough to Ubuntu users in general not to get instantly down-voted and marked as a replica as a related hardware question did. I hope it's useful to others, as this hardware question was! (Subtle difference: I'm asking where do I find information, not what is the information).

I know the main ports of call:

  • Ubuntu hardware support (Lenovo doesn't even seem to be listed)
  • Ubuntu certified (lists v580 as being compatible: good sign, but not enough to overcome concerns about uefi)
  • Google (a load of scare stories about UEFI problems, which I suspect are the minority, but struggling to find a similarly large stash of "it works fine" stories.

These are general problems, so please think about the best generic steps that you would take when looking into a new lappy. And people less experienced with Ubuntu compatible hardware purchases (I've bought a few and it's still really hard - imagine what it's like for someone completely new to the wonderful world of Linux and computer hardware).

Thanks.

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my z580 worked out of the box once I allowed for legacy booting. nice performance. you do need to install bumblebee. I just bought without reading reviews first. The hardware is great (that is the least to say). –  don.joey Feb 25 '13 at 22:05

2 Answers 2

I got a Z580 just recently. Here's what I can say about it. It came with Windows 8 pre-installed. It survived on the laptop circa 24 hours after which I started installing Ubuntu. First I set out to install Ubuntu 12.10. Because I was aware of the whole UEFI/SecureBoot complications, first I Googled around to find out how to disable it. What I've learned is that you need to go into the setup (BIOS ? Is it still called BIOS?). You do this by turning the machine off and starting it with the small button right beside the power button.

Once inside the BIOS, go to security settings. Now here's a tricky part. I went there only to find out that the settings to disable SecureBoot were all greyed out, and of course it was set to Enabled. After more googling I discovered that you can only turn it off if you set a security password first! So that's what I did and I managed turn SecureBoot off. Also you have to enable legacy boot mode, but set it so that the system tries UEFI first, then Legacy mode.

After all this you can proceed installing Ubuntu as normal. If you want to install Ubuntu the UEFI way, remember that you will need a special partition for storing the boot loader. Because I like to lay out my partitions manually, I created a small 300MB EFI partition, one for swap, one for /, and one for /home. Ubuntu will recognize the EFI partition and use it for boot. The rest of the partitions are up to your liking. Remember that the partition table type must be GPT and not MBR for UEFI to work.

My experience with how Ubuntu runs on it is quite good. Almost everything works out-of-the-box, even the webcam. Except for the wifi which uses a Broadcom chip. But it can be made to work quite easily. Install the Additional Drivers utility and turn the proprietary driver on.

Since then I upgraded to Ubuntu 13.04 alpha. Everything works the same way, except that the webcam although recognized only shows a black or white image. So no video-chatting.

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Thanks for sharing your experience boteeka: that's what makes Ubuntu a pleasure to use, a great user community! For the record, since posting my question I've shifted my preference to the sturdy T530/W530 due to durability. ubuntu.com/certification/hardware/201205-11132 It says it's only certified with a pre-installed Ubuntu system, but they don't offer that even though it would be cheaper! Crazy economics sacred-economics.com –  RobinLovelace Feb 26 '13 at 0:08

Linux on Laptops is generally a good resource about configuration of specific distros on particular pieces of hardware. Unfortunately, as of today there are no reports on the Lenovo z580.

I'm sorry this is not really answering your question.

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