Ubuntu on Alienware 17

A friend of mine has an alienware 17 laptop and is getting tired of windows and what it likes to pull. We got a 1 TB HDD in it and he wants to put linux on it.

Since he is in a different state from me I know enough about the laptop to loosely describe the problems we're having. I know that we'll need bumblebee as it is either from the end of the high rise of GTX 770 laptops, or somewhere in the middle (mid-late 2012 thru mid 2013) and the iGPU is low end enough that it can't handle the fancy frames that Unity (DE) throws out. His wifi also does not work. I think it is an intel chip (I don't think killer was available yet [could be wrong]) but the LAN works.

What is the normal thing to do with this laptop concerning Ubuntu? My highest end laptop is an asus G50V and all of my systems are bios so my knowledge is way WAY before UEFI (but I do have a mac so at least I have an EFI system? Yay?) or any of this iGPU dGPU switching shit. What would we have to do to got this to work?

Just for note he got his laptop with windows 7 so the secureboot settings and everything are already set to either off or compatibility. And in case anyone is wondering he largely games and wants to start a YT channel with me. He has used linux and is comfortable (sort of) with getting his hands messy.

Also I keep trying to get him to join the forum. Make him feel welcome if he does!

Either way thanks. Been too busy lately to dedicate too much time to it so I need some help ^^"

Regarding UEFI: Ubuntu should be able to install normally as long as secure boot is disabled in the BIOS, if not, then one ugly solution is to just switch to legacy mode and install Ubuntu. Which again means if he's dual-booting, Windows won't boot in legacy mode; he has to switch between legacy & UEFI in the BIOS at boot depending on what he wants to use.

Bumblebee drivers should be in the default repos and should be plug-and-play, so the safest bet is prolly to just get an LTS version and install the apk's, add the user to the bumblebee group and run programs in bum mode with i.e. 'optirun steam'.

Doesn't that laptop have an i7? How can that not run Unity?

its defaulting to the terrible igpu I think

He could test running 'optirun startx' in another TTY, and try if that would make for a solution. If yes then it just needs to run at startup automatically I guess