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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.