31 July 2013

Asus Zenbook with Ubuntu - part 2

Last time I blogged about this, I'd managed to dual boot Windows 8 and Ubuntu. Both were running off the large capacity HDD on my zenbook, Windows was using the 24Gb SSD as a cache drive. Ubuntu wasn't using it at all, and I noticed this in boot speeds. After a few weeks of this I hadn't booted into Windows 8 once so I decided to make the leap of faith and re-install Ubuntu over top of everything. Death to Windows 8!

I used the same method as before, go into UEFI, plug in the Ubuntu install key, change nothing and save and exit. Then immediately hold escape. This gave me the option to boot from USB and of course select install Ubuntu.

Ubuntu install started and I had to pick my language, wifi and a few other normal things. Then came the selection screen for where to install Ubuntu, this is the step I was more interested in. Ubuntu offered the choice to erase everything, or dual boot, etc etc. I was after "something else" down at the bottom. Basically the advanced setup. This allows you to customize where each piece of Ubuntu is installed, what extra partitions are setup and how.

This was quite advanced, a little tricky and quite a bit of background reading was required. This is a page I leaned heavily on for some advice:


I basically decided to install the OS on the SSD and install other crucial parts on the HDD. My reasoning being from what I've read and experienced, the SSD isn't bootable (which is lame). However booting off the HDD and then utilising the SSD for important file system reads works just as well.

To cut a long story short, after a considerable amount of time experimenting with partitions, I've now settled on, and have working the following partitions:

  • SSD - filesystem. Whole thing set up as /
  • HDD
    • 10Mb - BIOS Boot
    • 250Mb - EFI Boot
    • 200Mb - /Boot
    • 3Gb /Linux Swap file
    • Free space
That's about it, I had to repeat the method I did last time of finishing the install, then booting off the USB again, going into try Ubuntu and running boot repair. However that was easy this time and after that it all seemed to work!

Hope it's of some use.

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