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Alienware Aurora R8 Linux Manjaro Install

One of the reason I’ve purchased my pre-build system was to run in Linux in a high-end system. Having done some on-line research about installing Linux distros in the newer Alienware Aurora R8., I’ve found out that not a lot of users have installed Linux or have failed trying to install Linux in an Alienware Aurora R8. Thus, I made it both a goal and a mission to do this install. I wanted to write and share my exploits with you. Prior to installing Linux Manjaro I had tried two other distributions. This first Linux installation (Debian 10 Buster) failed. The Second, Linux installation (Elementary OS) was aborted, I had the wrong CPU architecture load in the bootable USB.

I tried to install Debian 10 Buster into an Alienware Aurora R8 but this ended in failure. The failure [73.426159] hdaudio hdaudio COD2: Unable to bind the codec … most likely a device driver that was not loaded during install. This is fixable, in my next install I will prepare a second USB with the ISO images 2 & 3 readily available for the OS. Maybe this will help fix audio codec problem. Perhaps one of you out there know a better way. However, in virtual mode both Debian and Elementary OS install without any problems using virtualbox. I also want to add that you can do this installation directly to an external SSD or HD – and then boot up into the external device as a secondary OS.

First things first, a caution: The success or failure of this installation is largely determined by your technical knowledge. I Dr. Eric O. Flores shall bear no liability with regard to the success or failure of your installation. This is not for the faint heart, if you don’t know what you are doing don’t try it. Be aware that the instructions described below cannot guaranteed a successful installations. I shall bear no liability with regard to any damages incurred by you due to incorrectly installing the operating system. The installation is at your own risk. Once again, Install the operating system at your own risk. If you do not have the necessary installation experience and Linux know-how. I do not recommend you install Linux, have someone with the technical knowledge do it for you. In some cases opening the R8’s case will invalidate your warranty.

Linux Manjaro Alienware Aurora R8

Steps

  1. Download the required ISO files from Manjaro.org (i386/64 or AMD64)
  2. In a Windows system, download and install Balena Etcher into your windows system or laptop.
  3. Burn the Manjaro iso file i386/64 or AMD64 iso file to a USB using Balena etcher or similar type of software.
  4. If you are going to install an only Linux system, remove original HD or SSD from R8 (I used a blank 750GB Hard DIsk) – Insert your freshly purchased HD or SSD. I recommend one SSD of 500Gb for system files, and one 1TB or greater Hard Disk or greater for Home directories. If you don’t know how to partition your drives, then use the entire drive as the OS and Home. You can also do a dual boot installation, it is doable. I did my test install using a 750GB hard disk I had laying around.
  5. Prior to the installation you must prepare the BIOS.
    • Login into your BIOS R8’s screen.
    • Write down all of the current BIOS settings. (do this just in case you wish to return to your previous setup.)
    • Then proceed to make changes as described in step 6 below.
  6. Prepare the R8’s BIOS by disabling certain features that may conflict with the Linux Manjaro installation.
    • Ensure you are in legacy boot mode and not UEFI. (Legacy).
    • Disable secure boot
    • Enable USB support
    • Disable SATA operation, ensure you are in AHCI mode (change from RAID to ACHI).
    • Disable TPM firmware
  7. I don’t recommend you use WIFI during OS installation, connect the R8’s network card via cable directly to hub or router. Enable WIFI later after the installation is completed.
  8. Turn on system press F12
  9. Manually select USB device that has the Manjaro image. The OS will boot from the device selected.
  10. First, test the R8 with the live option, if you are satisfied with that you see then select the install option within the graphical user environment.
  11. The rest is easy just follow the prompts. Once the installation is complete you will be prompted to reboot.
  12. Reboot and login into your freshly installed Linux Manario desktop. Enjoy!
My Aurora R8 Setup with Linux Manjaro
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