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Installing Ubuntu 16.04 on an Alienware Aurora R5

Installing Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on an Alienware Aurora R5 with NVIDIA GPU support (Dual boot Windows)

I have compiled these instructions from my succesful installation on Nov 25.

Would you be happy to live without Windows? If not use Dual Boot.

This procedure is inspired from this DELL support page :

You can refer to the link above for additional steps and to see useful screenshots. However, please, make sure to take care about the GPU-related steps below.

Re-installing Windows 10 with BIOS Secure Boot to OFF

First, check that have only one disk installed in your machine. I have found that having one disk only makes it easier to re-install Windows.

Secondly, an important step is to create two USB Recovery disks. Use two USB memory sticks bigger than 16 GB supporting the USB 3.0 standard (file copy will be much faster).
Use the first one to create a recovery disk for Windows 10, as a backup if the installation does not go as expected or if you want to get rid of Ubuntu.
And use the second USB stick to create a USB installation stick for Ubuntu. I used Rufus to create it.
Do not hesitate to backup your important files from windows.

Shrink the windows partition to split the HDD space in half.

If Windows was not installed with BIOS secure boot enabled, then, you can safely skip these steps to the "Installing Linux Ubuntu" section below.

In the BIOS (accessed by pressing F2 on computer startup) under SATA operation set AHCI. Also, set the BIOS to use the UEFI Boot mode, Secure Boot to Off and set the Boot setting option Legacy to Off.

Plug the USB stick into the machine and reboot the computer.
On startup, press F12 to choose to boot over the USB stick and re-install Window 10.

Installing Linux Ubuntu 16.04 LTS next to Windows 10

Shutdown the computer and remove the NVIDIA GPU from the Desktop machine and plug your computer monitor into the only available Display Port at the back of the Central Unit.

This will allow us to use the default CPU display drivers when installing Ubuntu.

Now use the USB memory stick to install Ubuntu.
You can refer to the link to the DELL on how to partition your Hard-drive disk.
When installing Ubuntu, I created 3 other partitions inside the partition I freed under windows: "boot",  "/" and "swap".

Configuring NVIDIA GPU Support in Ubuntu 

After Ubuntu is installed, restart the machine and choose to use Ubuntu. Now install the NVIDIA drivers using this command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-375 

(Note that the NVIDIA-CUDA-TOOLKIT package installs the Cuda compilation tools, release 8.0. This is useful for developing high performance computing routines. I am installing this because I am interested in improving my Machine Learning and Deep Learning skills)

Shutdown the computer and insert your NVIDIA GPU back into the machine.
Reboot the machine again to Ubuntu and run the following command to validate the GPU installation:

This command should open a configuration window listing your current GPU.

Et voila!

Shutdown Hangs Issue

If your PC hangs when shutting down, press ESC on your keyboard and look at the displayed lines. If you recognise the following lines, in particular the bug from i2c_dw_isr in i2c-designware-core, then this solution can apply to you:
[OK] Reached target shutdown
 [ 143.1 ] : BUG: Unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at     (null)
 [ 143.1 ] : IP:  [] i2c_dw_isr+0x349/0x730      [i2c-designware-core]
 [ 143.1 ] : PGD 0
 [ 143.1 ] : Ooops : 0000 [#1] SMP

Create a new file in order to deactivate the module:

 $ sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-i2c-designware-core.conf
and copy the following line in the conf file: install i2c-designware-core /bin/false

Reboot the machine once, and then try shutting down again, now the computer should shutdown ok.

You can delete /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-i2c-designware-core.conf if this fix does not work for you.

Feedback appreciated :+1: on Github !


Anonyme a dit…
Do you have shutdown problem since I have also aurora r5 but always I am getting kernel panic error when I try to shutdown the computer. Reboot works without any problem. Thanks
Anonyme a dit…
Were you able to fix the problem? I happen to have the same problem as yours...
blogger0xCC a dit…
Hi Anonymous commentator! I have updated my post on the Shutdown issue. I hope it helps and if it does you can star my Github repository. If not you can submit some feedback or contribute on Github too!
OMG THANKS! This took me a while to figure out. for that shutdown issue I actually had to switch to a real time kernel because of this mess. This help me HUGE!
Kelvin Woo a dit…
Thank you very much. Helps a lot!
But I found this method only works on 4.10 kernel. After I updated to kernel 4.13, I found there is no more i2c_designware_core module.
Do you have any idea related to new kernel? Thanks
Ymilij a dit…
Hi! I faced the same issue shutdown issue myself on kernel 4.15.0 and found a solution. See my answer here for the instructions:
*******UPDATE*******Fix for kernels 4.15 and above! READ HERE PLEASE!, since this article has been posted the fix for shutdown hang does not work. This shutdown bug plagues the R5/R6/R7. A simple workaround is to install Manjaro and use their Kernel selector in the Manjaro Settings Manager, and choose the "Real Time" kernel or simply the one marked as "rt" then reboot, once you see the grub screen use arrow tab and selected advanced and then choose your new "rt" kernel. This has been tested on my machine which is an R5. The only other solution is to fall back to kernels 4.14 and below and use this blog to fix it. Also for Ubuntu users installing these sorts of kernels seems to be more of a headache, so why not go with a distro that has this selection built in right? Hope this helps someone.
Anonyme a dit…

Thank you so much for sharing this! Would that work also on the Aurora R6-7678? I want to install Ubuntu on mine but didn't manage to find a clear guide on how to do so.

Many thanks!

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