Dual boot Dell XPS 13 2018 with Ubuntu 18.10

It was time for a new computer at work, as my old MacBook from 2014 was starting to cost more than I was willing to put into it – adapter failures, magsafe port dodgy, battery needed to change etc. I have been dual booting Ubuntu up until 18.x as I just can’t stand macos (believe me, I have tried, it is not just my cup of tea, but that is off-topic).

So, my workplace let us developers decide on what hardware and tools we want to work with. This time, I wanted to get a laptop that had Linux pre-installed, and the natural choice was then the Dell’s XPS 13 2018 model. And so I ordered one, together with a TB16 box. It arrived, But – when I started it there was no Ubuntu, just a Windows 10 install. The horror! There had been a mix-up at my company, and so the Windows version was ordered instead of an Ubuntu one. No big deal, as the hardware still was the same I thought, and so I changed the plans, to installing Ubuntu 18.10 with a dual boot of Windows 10. However, as there were some things that had to be done, I thought I would save you some time by sharing my notes from the experience.

First, you need to partition the disk to leave some space for Ubuntu. Usually I use GParted, but instead of building an live-USB-boot, I just downloaded the freeware partition program AOMEI Partition Assistant for Windows, and resized the biggest partition to approximately 100 GB (I’m not using Windows very much) and left 300 GB+ of free space for the Ubuntu install.

Then we need a usb-stick and a fresh ISO of Ubuntu 18.10. Use TuxBoot from Windows to make a bootable USB-stick from the ISO.


After that, we need to reboot, and change some default Dell bios settings:

* At boot, Press the F2 key (or alternately press the F12 key then select the option to enter the BIOS setup).
* Disable Secure Boot as some options otherwise won’t be choosable
* In POST Behavior, Select – Fastboot the select the Thorough option.
* In System Configuration -Select USB/Thunderbolt Configuration -Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support
* In the General Tab, Advanced Boot Configuration, check Enable Legacy Option ROMs & Enable UEFI Network Stack if not already checked (Figure 3):
* Change the RAID mode for disks to AHCI, otherwise Ubuntu won’t find the disks
* Reboot the system, the USB Type-C device should now appear in the boot options.
* Windows wont start, so you need to start it in Safe Mode, F8 and it will repair itself.

With Windows all fine, and free space for Ubuntu, hit F12 upon upon boot, and you should see the USB stick with your Ubuntu live distribution. I’ll leave the installation itself to you, as there are many guides available for that.

After the installation, check out the list 10 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 18.10

Some things I also do after an Install:

Enjoy your nice Ubuntu 18.10 experience!!