Model in use: Intel Core i7-6600 U @ 2.81 GHz with 8 GB Ram and Nvidia GPU 134B

I am getting sick of playing whack a mole with win 10.

I am seriously thinking of trying to run dual boot win 10 pro and Ubuntu. I understand that there may be some issues with this. What are these issues? How are they over come? Can I mount the image on a 128 GB sd card

I am a student so if I run Ubuntu what programs replace (for instance) Microsoft word (for .doc, and .docx), Drawing board (.pdf) and Power Point (.ppt, .pptx)?

I need the pen and touch usage will Ubuntu have programs for me to manipulate, and use these files in an efficient manner?

So how do I proceed?

  • on your current kit download the ubuntu ISO and burn it onto a memory stick using unetbootin ... then boot off from that ... you can do this to try ubuntu without installing it ... once booted into ubuntu you can confirm your touch screen is OK – Scott Stensland Aug 22 '17 at 15:34

Dual boot with Ubuntu

Shrink Windows partition

  1. Press search button on your keyboard type partitions
  2. Select Settings >> Create and format disk partitions
  3. Select the Windows partition (C drive, yellow-marked) and shrink volume. The free space is for your Ubuntu installation enter image description here enter image description here

Starting Ubuntu from Live USB stick

  1. Create a live usb stick with Ubuntu 17.04 (older versions do not support build-in keyboard OOTB on Surface Book), e.g. with Unetbootin

  2. Shutdown

  3. Open Surface BIOS by pressing both Power and Volume_up

  4. Change boot order by drag and drop, USB Storage as first entry enter image description here

  5. Change secure boot settings to Secure boot is Enabled with Microsoft & 3rd party CA key configuration. (There is no need to completely disable secure boot) enter image description here

  6. Plugin the live USB stick and restart, Linux bootloader should come up automatically

Install Ubuntu

  1. Simply click on the Installer shortcut and follow the instructions

  2. Choose "Ubuntu besides Windows Boot Manager". If you shrinked the Windows partition, partitioning can be done automatically. enter image description here

Office Suite

Opening Microsoft Word (.doc / .docx), Power Point (.ppt, .pptx), and PDF files is working out of the box. But depending on the document there are formatting issues.

Further improvements

Touch and Pen

GitHub user jakeday created a surface kernel where pen and touch is working. Thanks a lot!

Boot theme

The default boot theme in 3000x2000 is not optimal, here is an replacement:

boot theme

What is not working out of the box

Currently not everything is working/unstable:

  • front and back camera
  • sleep/awake, use hibernate instead
  • touch and pen (if custom kernel is not used)
  • dock/undock of the screen (if custom kernel is used)
  • WiFi sometimes required a reboot to connect again after system configuration changes
  • thanks, a question - you say to choose the "Ubuntu besides Windows Boot Manager", most tutorials prefer the last option (else/etwas anderes), isn't "Ubuntu besides Windows Boot Manager" going to mess things up in some way or form? What it does exactly, it just puts the loader on the boot partition, leaves win partitions intact and automatically creates (2?) new Linux partitions, is that it? THanks! – NSGaga Jan 11 '19 at 17:02
  • 1
    A have 5 partitions: (1) fat32 /boot/efi (2) Microsoft reserved partition msfres (3) ntfs partition with windows (this one with reduced size), (4) the Ubuntu partition ext4 formatted (newly created, that was part of 4 before) and the Windows RE tools partition (hidden, diag). So yes, it leaves all win partitions intact and creates one new Linux partition. Swap is not needed as it can be part of the linux partition. – Timo Bähr Jan 12 '19 at 13:59
  • thanks again - indeed your way seems recommended, in the end I've used the 'something else' (or other) option to specify / and /home partitions exactly, but you've helped me w all. On the formatting issues for .doc, you need microsoft core fonts installed. One thing that annoys me is the sound (even after the custom kernel installed), it's 'flat' and not even close to the true Dolby sound on Windows, well – NSGaga Jan 19 '19 at 16:03

For the most part you can dual boot Win10 and Ubuntu if you follow instructions. Here's an question that should help you: Dual boot Surface Pro with Ubuntu?

As for an alternative to Microsoft Word, OpenOffice or LibreOffice works 99.9% of the time. Ubuntu Desktop with the GNOME interface (the default setup for the image available from http://www.ubuntu.com/) includes LibreOffice by default, so you don't have to install anything.

  • The question you link to is for the Surface Pro (I believe it was written around the time of the SP 1 or 2). This question is about the Surface Book. I'm sure they are similar, but I'm not sure those instructions will work. Especially for things like the wifi card. – Seth Mar 4 '16 at 2:45
  • I expect that drivers will take care of themselves for the most part. It's not like Microsoft is using exotic parts when they build these things. The core of most peripherals like wifi is mostly the same across the board. just a few major chips. – Daniel Mar 4 '16 at 2:46
  • 1
    Actually in the original SP Microsoft did use an exotic driver and was a real pain to get working. Looks like from the revision history of that post they might have fixed that in newer versions of Linux and/or Windows or later Surface Pros. – Seth Mar 4 '16 at 2:50

The gist

The standard dual boot works with the basic features. The best tutorial on that is here.

Additionally, I'd recommend running these commands from this tutorial on Reddit once you're done installing Ubuntu (some may be outdated):

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
echo "deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/tigerite/kernel/ubuntu trusty main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/tigerite-kernel-trusty.list
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 984AE706D31B333A && sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linux-surface

A couple notes

  1. While most people seem to be suggesting the Surface Book's keyboard won't work until additional drivers are added, I'm in the process of installing a dual-boot on a Book right now and the keyboard works just fine in USB Live.

  2. You may need to disable BitLocker, System Restore, and/or defrag before shrinking the C: Drive in order to get a decent size partition.

    a. Disable System Restore:

    Please note this can really screw things up, so be careful and don't download any updates or viruses while System Restore is off or you could brick your machine. If that happens, reference this tutorial.

    1. Press the Start button, then search "System Restore"
    2. Select "create a restore point". This will allow you to remove System Restore.
    3. Select "configure"
    4. Select "turn off system restore"

    b. Disable BitLocker:

    1. Press the Start button, then search "Manage BitLocker"
    2. Select "suspend BitLocker" or "Turn off BitLocker" (I recommend trying to suspend first, but I ended up turning it off)

    c. Defrag the C: Drive

    1. Do the whole start button thingy with "defrag"
    2. Select "Analyze" if possible (don't worry if it's not)
    3. Select "Optimize"

    d. Turn everything back on once you're done!

    Generally a good idea, but it's really up to you. To turn them back on, follow the same steps as above, but enable things instead of disabling them.

Hope that helps, and good luck!

  • To format a sequence of terminal commands, select it and press the {} button in the editor. Also, a section header can be created by starting a line with # or ## instead of <h1> or <h2>. – Chai T. Rex Jan 27 '18 at 3:03

You can also run Office 2010 with PlayOnLinux.

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