So, having received and set up my new rig, I'll start off chronicling my journey with Linux and the fun I've had installing it and setting it up! The Great Installation When I first received it, the rig was without an OS (I wanted to install Ubuntu myself) and so I got started with running the installation process of Ubuntu, in UEFI mode - this is important, and something I didn't realise at the time. The process died pretty quickly at first; hitting "Install Ubuntu" lead to a black screen and nothingness. A guess on my part and a quick search based on it lead to the conclusion my set-up is too new for the Linux kernel 14.04.3 packages with to handle - this was resolved by adding a flag called "nomodeset" in the boot line for the process. Adding the nomodeset flag was trivial at this point, and so I managed to get the installation running. On a side note, I also added a flag called nolapic, which did nothing for me but no harm in running as basic a process as possible, eh? So I got Ubuntu installed, and I rejoiced. I then booted the machine, and to my horror it black screened again - with seemingly no opportunity to get at Grub - for those that don't know, the bootloader used by Ubuntu and the only easy opportunity to configure the boot process for Ubuntu. I tried various buttons, from the standards of Shift, F8 and Escape, to weird ones like the Super key... nada. I cried a little, and then spoke to some other people. One pointed out I could access the boot drive of the installation if I booted the livesystem that the Linux bootable USB installer offers. So I get into the livesystem, and start trying to fiddle with the settings of Grub in the installation proper. I then realise I have an issue: gotta run update-grub from within the installed Ubuntu system - doing it in the livesystem would succeed at nothing. So I play about with mounting the boot drive and chrooting into it and then running update-grub. Before I ran the command, I checked the boot directory to double check Grub was properly installed and found it barren. Completely and utterly barren. So I try to run the command anyway, because: "hell, why not?" I got an "error of unable to resolve host ubuntu" or something along those lines which was resolved by going into my hosts file in the installation drive and adding ubuntu as a valid 127.0.0.1 alias. Ran the command, and things looked like maybe I had fixed them. As another side note, this is almost certainly the hackiest, slashiest attempt to fix an OS boot loader ever, and I would never recommend it unless you know what you are doing at each step - I did it, but I already had a bricked system, so not exactly much more could go wrong. Reboot, and nada again. So at this point, I decide a reinstallation is a good strategy, so I do that. I tried to get into Grub again, this time just using shift - it's the only one that is commonly recommended so I assumed it would be right - to no luck. After some more discussion and a saviour on askubuntu reminding me of the escape key, I tried that out. To my wonder of wonders, I managed to get into Grub! It turns out that installing Ubuntu in UEFI mode changes the key used to access Grub - whhhhyyyyy?! After that it was a simple case of adding the nomodeset flag to the boot line for Ubuntu and getting my needed drivers installed so that my graphics card would work properly with Ubuntu. Once all of that was done, I realised I had no sound - the Z170 chipset is real new, and the kernel on 14.04.3 I guess is just a version or two too old. So I go and grab the latest stable unstable version of the Linux kernel (4.2.2) and install that - "stable unstable" because it at least isn't just a release candidate but at the same time isn't supported by Canonical (the guys that make Ubuntu). I now have sound, a functioning graphics card and a real nice responsive system! Come 14.04.4, if it's on a bleeding edge kernel version, I could potentially upgrade to that - I kinda want 4.3 so that Skylake's iGPU is explicitly supported.