Lenovo T470p Ubuntu 16.04 Install notes

Here’s some notes on installing Ubuntu alongside Windows on a fresh Lenovo t470p with Windows 10 preinstalled. It took a bit of trial and error for me so hopefully these notes will help someone trying to do the same.

1.Download Ubuntu ISO

The Ubuntu ISO image for your system architecture is available here: https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop. Download to your PC. It needs to be put onto a CD or USB that can be booted from, requiring some software. I used Universal USB Installer https://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3.

2. Create bootable USB

Find an empty USB drive with enough space (>2GB). Open Universal USB Installer, select the downloaded Ubuntu ISO image and the destination drive (the USB) and UUI formatting and click ‘Create’.

3. Prepare partition

In Windows, find the disk manager (>dskmgmt in windows command line) and select C: drive. Right click and select ‘shrink volume’. Reduce the size of the volume by the desired amount. I left Windows with 80 GB of space, leaving 420 for Ubuntu. Once this is done, a new partition will be visible, labelled ‘unallocated’. This is where Ubuntu will sit eventually, so check you have allocated enough space.

4. Restart laptop and access boot menu

With the bootable USB containing the Ubuntu ISO inserted, restart the laptop and hold down F12 (star icon) to access the boot menu. The boot menu shows options of drives to boot from, with the top one being Windows Boot Manager. Select the UUI USB option. A ‘live’ boot of Ubuntu will run from the USB stick.

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5. Install Ubuntu

From inside the live Ubuntu, the installer should auto-run. If not, there is a desktop icon for the installer that you can select. The install wizard is pretty self explanatory. I opted not to install any third party software, but otherwise maintained all the defaults. Select a username and password and choose a timezone, then click through to the end.

6. Restart

The final option on the installer is to restart. You have no choice but to do this, so do it. For me, the system booted straight into windows. I tried to rectify this by accessing the boot menu again using F12 (star). Although Ubuntu was visible and was the priority boot, selecting it just hung the system and I was forced to either boot Windows or Ubuntu from the USB rather than the full install. This is because the BIOS setting defaults to UEFI only, which is protected by Windows’s Secure Boot setting.

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7. Restart into BIOS

To access the settings, press F1 during startup. Navigate to the ‘security’ tab and find the option to disable secure boot. Then navigate to the ‘startup’ tab and find the option for ‘UEFI/Legacy BIOS’. Change the setting from ‘UEFI only’ to ‘Both’. Save and exit.

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8. Restart

Now on restarting the laptop, it will boot straight intop Ubuntu by default, with Windows accessible in its small partition by selecting the Windows Boot Manager from the boot screen, accessed by holding F12 during startup.

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9. Test and go!

So far, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS has run very well ‘out of the box’ on the Lenovo t470p, with no major hardware issues encountered so far.

Update (May 2020) – I have been using this system for all my main software development and general work for over 2 years and overall loved it – there have been some small niggles but the positives of moving to primarily running linux have vastly outweighed the negatives. I have now upgraded both my laptop and my OS to a Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen2 and Ubuntu 20.04 – see install notes here.

Disclaimer: I am just documenting my own experiences, I take no responsibility if you brick your computer by messing with the operating system, BIOS or anything else. Do this 100% at your own risk.

10 thoughts on “Lenovo T470p Ubuntu 16.04 Install notes

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I plan on running Ubuntu on this machine as well. Could you share the tech spec of your laptop specifically screen resolution (if you have 1440p model), storage (SSD or M2) and processor.

    I currently have an 2011 MacBook Pro 15, and T470p would be a perfect long term replacement, considering I’ve moved onto using neovim as my IDE and want to make a Linux distro my primary OS, and use dortfiles to keep my environments consistent.

    1. Hello, sure. My setup is Intel i7 7700HQ Processor, Intel® Kabylake GT2 graphics, 500TB SSD storage, of which 400GB was partitioned for Ubuntu. The screen is 2560 x 1440 pixels.

  2. I have a Lenovo L440 ThinkPad. I tried installing dualboot Ubuntu alongside my windows 10 two weeks ago. It installed quite alright but on restart boots windows 10 automatically. After many attempt to switch from legacy to both and other BIOS tweaks, it got worse, my windows couldn’t boot again. Had to reinstall windows, I had previously backed up my precious files to an external hard disk to save me unnecessary agony. But I still badly need ubuntu and don’t want Virtual Machine.

    Please help!

    1. Sounds like you might need to change the boot order to priorotise ubuntu over windows, although if you installed ubuntu after windows it should be the default primary option. You can check this in UEFI settings (press F12 during startup to access) – the installed OSs will be listed in order. To change it go to the settings menu (F2), go to boot settings, move ubuntu above windows in the list. See here: https://www.lifewire.com/fix-uefi-bootloader-issues-when-dual-booting-2200655. Could be other issues relating to the “BIOS tweaks” you mentioned.

  3. Thanks for the write up!

    The T470p is very reasonably priced now, so I’m thinking about getting one. Could you please tell me if it’s possible to completely power-down the GPU in Linux (so the machine it only using the iGPU)? If this is possible, what’s the power draw when the GPU is powered down?

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