Last week I bought a new Lonovo G505 laptop for the purpose of installing Linux. After removing Windows 8 I tried to install three different linux distributions, none of them worked. None had a compatible wifi device driver, and none of them could start the X server after installation was finished.

Anybody have any suggestions how to make it work? Could the problem be that the laptop is just too new?


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Not to put you down but it looks like you didn't really look into real world use and other hardware research... I personally love Ubuntu Linux but I admit it's a pain in the ass to get drivers working on almost all Linux distributions, Ubuntu is notorious for lack of Wifi driver support, that's why most use a ethernet hookup. Although (I have done this) there is an application you can install called ndiswrapper which essentially wraps Windows drivers so they can run on Linux.

Although you can't fetch Ndiswrapper from the repositories without internet on your laptop so what you're going to have to do is grab the source, place it on a usb stick or something of the like, transfer it to your laptop and compile and install ndiswrapper. After that's done you should be able to wrap your driver of choice. Just search up ndiswrapper and you should find plenty of tutorials and such.

Hope I helped at least a tiny bit :D

commented: I learned the lack of wireless driver the hardway. The one that I overwrote Windows on the only computer available. +2

Windows 8 has enabled EUFI secure boot. You need to disable that via the BIOS settings, or you need to be sure that the Linux distribution you are installing is secure boot enabled (signed kernel and drivers). This is a serious problem these days. IE, don't purchase ANY computer with Windows 8 pre-installed if you want to run Linux on it! Yes, you can, but it is a serious PITA. FWIW, you cannot disable secure boot on ARM systems (tablets) with Windows 8 or RT pre-installed.

t it looks like you didn't really look into real world use and other hardware research.

You're right -- I just thought all laptops would be able to run Linux, but that's what I get for thinking :) I went to Best Buy and said "I want the cheapest laptop you have", and I guess that's exactly what I got.

I see Dell has a laptop with Ubuntu pre-installed -- but it's mighty expensive.

Windows 8 has enabled EUFI secure boot

Yes, I already disabled that in the bios -- didn't help at all.

There is a company that only sells Linux systems (laptops, desktops, servers) at reasonable prices:

commented: nice link +14

I suggest you go to the manufacterers website and fetch the drivers for the wifi than try getting it up and running with ndiswrapper.

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AD be more specific. What flavours of linux did you install and what were the versions. You should know this by now :D

I tried Ubuntu 12.<something>, Depian and Mint. None of them can start the Xserver. I have Ubuntu installed right now, and when I type startx it displays a lot of stuff, then quits with "No displays found". I checked ubuntu forums and found my exact same problem here. However when I checked /etc/X11 there is no xorg.conf file. When I run Xorg -configu (link) it displays a list of graphic device drivers then exists with "No screens found".

Are you trying to say Unity won't start?

Are you trying to say Unity won't start?

I don't know what Unity is -- The graphic desktop won't start, AFAIK it's called XServer.

So, it sounds like you have it installed and sitting at a CLI prompt.... Is it just X that wont start then?

that and the wifi doesn't work either for lack of a device driver that works on the laptop. I tried ethernet connection and it won't work either. I think I'll just return the laptop from where I bought it and get one that already has linux (Ubuntu?) installed, most likely from where ruberman mentioned earlier today. I contacted Lenovo this afternoon and they are sending me a DVD with the operating system on it so that I can restore it on the laptop.

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You shouldn't need to manually start X server for Ubuntu.

Have you installed the server edition?

Linux is ideal for working on the go, when you need a distro that's stable, secure and works well with the apps you need.
With this in mind, there isn't much choice beyond Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSUSE. Of these, the first two are fantastic desktop distros.
OpenSUSE looks professional, and is well integrated with the suite and Evolution email client. It's available in two installable live CD flavours, depending on your choice of desktop environment, as well as a 4.7GB DVD image with lots of software.
You also have access to a large collection of proprietary software on the mirrors or via the non-OSS add-on CD.

commented: spam advertising +0

The above post helps no one as finding a distro isn't his problem. Also The command startx should start any GUI that you have installed. If you don't have one I think you incorrectly chose an option in the installer or you installed the wrong version over all.

I'm assuming the laptop is 64-bit. Did you choose the 64-bit version of Ubuntu? I've never tried the 32-bit version and don't know if that might be causing the issues with your graphics hardware.

Yes, it was 64-bit. But it doesn't matter anymore because I restored the os to Windows 8 and returned it to where I bought it.

As an experiment, I tried installing the latest version of Ubuntu and Kubuntu and, on first reboot, the installs crashed at hardware detection. Subsequent reboots reproduced the same crash. There seems to be an upstream problem with the Ubuntu repositories. Mint 15 Cinnamon also experiences similar crashes, thanks to relying on those repositories as well.

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