Dan in Fairbanks, Alaska listens to Into Tomorrow on KFBX 970AM and asked us about putting Linux on his laptop:
Dave, I just bought a new computer with Windows 8.1 on it. I’ve been trying to put Linux puppy or Linux Ubuntu and I find it locked up. I was wondering if you could help out with that.
We don’t know exactly what you mean by “locked up” but you used to be able to install Linux by just running and installer, but in some newer machines, Windows has finer control over the hardware, and you may need to take a couple of extra steps.
For starters, you should shrink the partition that Windows is using so you have space to install Linux. That hasn’t changed, you’ve always had to assign each operating system a domain over which to rule, but if you haven’t been doing that, make sure you do it.
You will also have to turn off Fast Boot under System and Security on your Control Panel so that you can boot from your installer media (DVD, USB, external hard drive, or whatever you’re using), and you will have to turn off Secure Boot from your UEFI settings. After doing that you should be able to run the Linux installer without any problems.
Searching for specific information on your make and model of computer and including the keywords “linux,” “ubuntu,” and “freezes during installation” might also give you some pointers. It is possible, although perhaps not likely, that you need something adjusted in your build of Linux to compensate for some specific issue with your brand of computer.
By the way, alternatively, Windows 10 is out… maybe it’s worth considering too.