How Do I Install Debian Buster on Dell G3 17 (3779)?

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

How Do I Install Debian Buster on Dell G3 17 (3779)?

Postby kishoreg » 2019-08-04 20:57

Hello,

I have a question regarding installing Debian Buster on my Dell G3 17 laptop. Right now, my laptop has an empty (uninitialized and brand new) Sansung 500 GB SSD. It also has a 500 GB NVMe SSD, which is what Windows 10 is on. What I would like to do is the following


1.) Transfer everything (including Windows 10) from the NVMe SSD to the brand new Samsung SSD.

2.) Delete everything off of the NVMe SSD

3.) Install Debian Buster (nonfree version with nonfree components) onto the NVMe SSD and be able to either launch into Windows 10 (on the Samsung SSD now) or continue to Debian (installed to the NVMe SSD). I don't want Debian Buster to touch anything on the Samsung SSD, only work with the data on the NVMe SSD so I have two drives with two operating systems (Debian on NVMe, old Windows 10 and data on new Samsung SSD)

How can I achieve this? If I install Debian on the NVMe SSD, will Grubmenu automatically recognize that there is a second drive (Samsung) that can boot into Windows and give that option? Or since I am using UEFI will Windows screw with the booting process if I have two drives with seperate OS's?

Secondly, here are the settings I have on my laptop currently: I have Secure Boot DISABLED. Should I enable it first and foremost before doing any of this? Debian 10 works with Secure Boot right? If I turn Secure Boot to ENABLED, would that prevent me from launching into my bootable Debian-installer USB?

Could someone walk me through the steps of how I should accomplish these things as I am new to Linux and would like some help without destroying my system.
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Re: How Do I Install Debian Buster on Dell G3 17 (3779)?

Postby kedaha » 2019-08-04 22:13

kishoreg wrote:Transfer everything (including Windows 10) from the NVMe SSD to the brand new Samsung SSD.

Although it can be done with Linux tools, if you don't know, then it is advisable to ask about this in a Windows users' forum. Once it's cloned, then make sure you can boot it before continuing.
kishoreg wrote:If I install Debian on the NVMe SSD, will Grub menu automatically recognize that there is a second drive (Samsung) that can boot into Windows and give that option?

yes, it should recognize the other system when installing grub.
kishoreg wrote:Or since I am using UEFI will Windows screw with the booting process if I have two drives with separate OS's?

I very much doubt it but only another user who has the same laptop and the same BIOS can confirm whether it's necessary or not to disable SecureBoot.
kishoreg wrote:Secondly, here are the settings I have on my laptop currently: I have Secure Boot DISABLED. Should I enable it first and foremost before doing any of this? Debian 10 works with Secure Boot right? If I turn Secure Boot to ENABLED, would that prevent me from launching into my bootable Debian-installer USB?

Yes it does, but there may be exceptions so the answer is to try it and see if it works. But maybe there is an option in the BIOS which you can select to override the boot order, i.e., boot the USB directly by selecting that option.
kishoreg wrote:Could someone walk me through the steps of how I should accomplish these things as I am new to Linux and would like some help without destroying my system.

Once you have cloned Windows to the other drive then it's very difficult to "destroy your system" unless you make a huge mistake and install Debian to the wrong drive. But even then, the first rule is to make a backup before doing disk operations just in case. And you can always abort the installation if you're not sure it's going to plan. Although most of the results you'll get will be about Ubuntu or perhaps Linux Mint, you may get some useful search results, like this, which may or may not be relevant to installing Debian on that specific laptop and, of course, wait for a few more answers to the question about UEFI you have posed here until you are confident enough to proceed.
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Re: How Do I Install Debian Buster on Dell G3 17 (3779)?

Postby kishoreg » 2019-08-04 22:20

kedaha wrote:Yes it does, but there may be exceptions so the answer is to try it and see if it works. But maybe there is an option in the BIOS which you can select to override the boot order, i.e., boot the USB directly by selecting that option.


Thank you. I know of Windows methods to clone my SSD over, so that should not be a problem. Debian Buster works with Secure Boot ENABLED right? So if I were to install Debian Buster with Secure Boot DISABLED first (to allow my bootable USB to work) and then after everything is installed, I go back into my UEFI firmware and ENABLE SecureBoot, it should work, right?

Secondly, my graphics card is a Nvidia GTX 1050 TI. Being a PC gamer, I usually do not have to do much to get it to work, as it usually works out of box. Now that I am installing Debian, is there some setup I have to do to get my Nvidia graphics card working? I am planning on installing the "nonfree" version of Debian, so would that automatically allow Nvidia to work?
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Re: How Do I Install Debian Buster on Dell G3 17 (3779)?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-08-05 14:17

kishoreg wrote:Debian Buster works with Secure Boot ENABLED right?

Yes.

kishoreg wrote:So if I were to install Debian Buster with Secure Boot DISABLED first (to allow my bootable USB to work) and then after everything is installed, I go back into my UEFI firmware and ENABLE SecureBoot, it should work, right?

It should be possible to boot the USB stick containing the ISO image with Secure Boot enabled. The live ISO images also support Secure Boot so you could test with those.

kishoreg wrote:is there some setup I have to do to get my Nvidia graphics card working? I am planning on installing the "nonfree" version of Debian, so would that automatically allow Nvidia to work?

The Debian installer will use the nouveau drivers by default and they may need non-free firmware to work properly with your card, this should be installed automatically by the unofficial non-free ISO image.

The proprietary drivers are available in the non-free component of the Debian repositories (and they apparently no longer require a custom X.org configuration, contrary to the instructions on the Debian wiki page) and they pull in a DKMS package that will rebuild the custom kernel module automatically after kernel upgrades, the versions from NVIDIA will not do this.
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Re: How Do I Install Debian Buster on Dell G3 17 (3779)?

Postby stevepusser » 2019-08-05 16:27

I'm pretty sure that laptop is an Optimus laptop, and uses the Intel GPU by default. The normal procedure is to set up Bumblebee to have the Nvidia GPU handle the 3D rendering for the more demanding applications, like games, Google Earth Pro, Mandelbulber2 with openCL, and so on.

Dells often need some additional kernel boot tweaks to get working with Bumblebee, so don't give up if it doesn't work out of the box. In the past, many of their Optimus laptops just booted to a black screen before anything else, and you had to blacklist the nouveau video driver in the kernel commands just to get anything to show up on the screen with the Intel GPU.
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