Tag Archives: windows

Installing Ubuntu alongside Windows 8 on a UEFI System

Gone are the days when Ubuntu installed without a hitch. Now there’s UEFI and Windows 8 to contend with. The Ubuntu site has this advice: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI.  Here’s some advice based on my experience of installing Ubuntu on three separate machines over the past week.

1 Installing Ubuntu

  1. Put the iso on a pendrive/DVD in the usual way
  2. Turn on the machine and hit the key to bring up the boot options
  3. Change the settings so the machine will boot from USB first (naturally)
  4. If it’s UEFI, make sure secure boot is disabled and legacy boot is enabled
  5. Insert the pen drive and boot up. Ubuntu should boot in the usual way from the pen drive. It will then install with no problems (so far, at least.)

2 Troubleshooting

2.1 Machine won’t boot from USB/CD

This seems to be a Windows 8 feature. You need to boot up Windows 8 and do an advanced restart as follows:

  1. In Windows 8 goto PC Settings -> General -> Advanced startup.
  2. Choose Advanced Options -> Startup Settings

The machine will reboot and should hopefully find your USB/CD

2.2 Install Ubuntu alongside Windows option is missing from the install options dialog

Again, you have to boot into Windows 8 and then use the Windows disk partition manager to make a suitable partition. The Linux Partition manger doesn’t seem to work anymore

2.3 Ubuntu is installed, but machine still boots to Windows

Follow step 5 here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI

Easy! I don’t think so. Not only have Microsoft ruined a perfectly good desktop, they seem to be doing a pretty good job of ruining the ease of installation for other operating systems. I wish they’d get a grip.

Repeating Commands

Repeating Commands

C-x z   Repeats the last command.  Hitting z repeatedly keeps on repeating that command.

Once you know this trick, many other apparently complicated Emacs commands suddenly become clear. For example, why is the command to widen a window the extremely time consuming C-x }? That takes four keypresses on my keyboard, as I have to hold down shift to access the }. Surely it’s faster to use a mouse?

Not if you remember C-x z. Try it now:

C-x 3   Split into two vertical windows
C-x }   Widen the window one space
C-x z   Repeat the last command.  Now hit z until the window is wide enough.

Granted, this is still pretty complicated at first sight. If you’ve stumbled across this page whilst looking for something else you’re probably wondering why on Earth anyone would want to use Emacs, but that’s to miss the point. C-x z is another useful command that you can chain together with others to produce new results.

Whilst we’re here, here’s some useful window commands to remember

C-x -   Shrink the window to the size of the buffer text, if it's smaller

C-x +   Make windows the same size

C-x 4 0 Kill buffer and window

C-M-v   Scroll other window down
S-C-M-v Scroll other window up