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There are two words right now which might make you think twice about buying a new laptop if you want to run Linux. UEFI and Optimus both of which can render some Linux OS defunct. However my work Lenovo Z580 has both and I’m running 64 bit Linux with little to no fuss..
It’s probably a good point to say that there are other Linux Distros which will be able to do this, I’m just sharing my experience.
Installed Ubuntu 13.04 and had to turn off UEFI to get it booting, I could have worked round this, however in today’s Linux world I shouldn’t have to. Once I got Ubuntu install unity was running fine until I did an update then after logging in I got a blank Ubuntu Wallpaper screen.. No toolbars, this was due to a rather ropey Optimus driver… Again there are fixes, and they work.. I just didn’t want to go down shim and fudge to get this working..
The solution came in the shape of my now go to Distro Sabayon Linux, described as I have read somewhere as Gentoo for the Lazy.. Sabayon is built on Gentoo, it uses the most bleeding edge drivers and has a rolling release schedule so keeping it updated gets you a system the same as the next released ISO.. So unlike Ubuntu where you can do a release update (which have got better over the years) your normal daily update gets you to the same point as the next release.
Installing Sabayon was as simple as installing any modern Distro, usual keyboard, disk partition, username, where are you process. After a reboot with U.eFI enabled I was asked on a terminal window did I want do apply a UEFI patch (or words to that effect) drilling down into a menu system I was pointed to file called use_this_one.efi selected that, went back to the top of the directory and carried on booting.. (Head over to Sabayons site for the exact process) the point is its a one time menu because after a second reboot I was done didn’t see that menu..
My next issue was this pesky Nvidia Optimus card and I’d done my due diligence and found out how to get Sabayon working with Bumblebee however although the first boot was into the fallback gnome3, your graphics card ain’t working here is a point and click interface, I opened up a terminal and ran
Then did my obligatory reboot before doing anything else..
Bingo, working gnome3… No need for bumblebee, it seems a recent Nvidia update has improved the driver support.
Installing packages on Sabayon by the way is a simple task the Entropy package manager is as good as Ubuntu and equo works well on the desktop and is a suitable apt-get replacement. Sabayons package repositories have all the usual suspects and they process package and driver updates faster than Ubuntu.
I love Gnome3 I like the space, the pressing the Windows key to see the apps..
Boot times as well are blistering, I have a 256Gb SSD and can get a working desktop in 4.3 seconds…
Anyone out there using Sabayon? Love to hear your thoughts