Installation on Fujitsu LifeBook UH572

I’m having issues installing OpenSUSE on the new Fujitsu LifeBook UH572 Ultrabook. Here’s some relevant hardware information about the machine.

  • ULV Intel i5 Ivy Bridge
  • Intel HD 4000 graphics
  • USB 3.0 + 2.0 ports
  • No ethernet whatsoever
  • Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230
  • No optical drive
  • New Phoenix secure BIOS
  • Has UEFI, cannot disable

So, here’s what I did:

First, I installed and set up Windows on a 150GB partition and everything was fine. Then, using an external DVD drive, I popped in the 12.1 DVD and began installation of OpenSUSE. First thing I noticed was my screen had flickering vertical lines and the resolution was completely distorted as my screen was split in half right down the middle. I decided to continue with the setup and try to fix it once I finished installing. In the partitioning, I set up everything like I normally would. Normally I don’t assign anything to the /boot sector, but the installation manager told me that I needed a /boot/efi partition so I let it assign one automatically (~150 MB). Bootloader for 12.1 was ELILO (DVD would not give me any other choice because of EFI). In the drivers section, I noticed it did not recognize my wireless card. Installation went along without a hitch. My computer restarted and showed me the LILO boot loader with no menu selection, it went straight to SUSE. I decided I would fix this once I was logged in. I signed into GNOME and I was able to log in, albeit with a flickering, vertical lined and split screen. First thing I would normally do would be to install updates and try to fix these problems, but with no internet (my wireless card was not detected), I was stuck. At this point, the screen was unbearable to decided to scrap 12.1.

So next, I decided to try out 12.2 RC1. First I reinstalled Windows with the exact same setup. Popped in 12.2 and lo and behold, the screen looked fine and everything seemed to be going smooth. I got to the partition setup and assigned partitions like normal (no /boot/efi). The default boot loader of choice was GRUB2. Installation commenced, and at 96%, when the boot loader is being installed, it spewed out some errors and 12.2 did not install. Moreover, I couldn’t get my Windows back since the MBR or GPT table was messed up. At this point, I decided to try to get 12.2 working before I reinstalled Windows. I tried every permutation of (not) assinging /boot/efi and boot loaders (ELILO, GRUB2-EFI) to no effect. There were some options for ELILO and GRUB2-EFI that were blank by default and I could not fill in because I didn’t know what to put there.

At this point, I’ve gotten Windows reinstalled back and I’m sticking to it. Here’s what I think is going on. First off, I have UEFI and a GPT (I think) so I need a boot loader that supports EFI like ELILO or GRUB2-EFI (with all the options for image, init, etc. filled in by default, preferably). Second, I need a /boot/efi partition. Third, it’s easiest to have kernel 3.4.x that supports USB 3.0 and Ivy Bridge for built-in drivers.

12.1 seems to handle the EFI problem, but without presenting a boot menu (I think this just requires an edit to the conf file). 12.2 has the proper kernel I need for drivers, but does not seem to have EFI detection.

At this point, should I just wait for 12.2 RC2 and hope that it has proper EFI detection or is there another approach that I can try? I just don’t want to avoid reinstalling Windows since the updates take hours to download/install.

tl;dr Laptop with UEFI and Ivy Bridge has issues installing OpenSUSE 12.1 (due to 3.1.x kernel) and 12.2 (due to poor EFI support).