How to install PureOS on a Surface Go


I want to install on a Surface Go the PureOS. But I cannot convince the tablet to boot from the USB stick.
Most probably due to the signing in UEFI?!?

I could install Ubuntu. This USB was recognized but not the PureOS one. Does anyone know what to do?

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I’m following this with much interest.

I do think that Ubuntu is your best choice though for compatibility. You’ll need to source drivers for everything to get it working with PureOS.

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PureOS only includes open source drivers. Most hardware requires proprietary drivers. UEFI is one problem, but even if you get around UEFI, you will probably have other issues (I expect WiFi won’t work either, because the WiFi card probably requires non-free drivers).

I’m not sure what sort of options you have on the Surface Go - if you can access the UEFI menu and change to Legacy/BIOS mode, you might at least be able to get PureOS to boot.


I assume you’ve done something like the following:

Also useful info here:

@kieran yes I did.

@2disbetter I thought of using the debian non-free repo to circumvent the problem with the wifi drivers or rather one has to run a specific script which will only then enable wifi.
But one could test it first with a live system but for this booting from USB is essential.

@taylor-williamc Ah the Sruface GOo only provides the ability to disable Secure Boot and TPM and supposedly the boot order (which is a lie ;( )

And my hope is that also on PureOS that the script on will help.

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WARNING: Thread Hijacking below…

I just had really sad endings to my attempts to put ANY Linux onto a couple of old Nexus devices; a Nexus 7 Gen II w/SIM slot and a Nexus 5 factory unlocked. I thought PureOS might be an option after failing at the KDE neon project for Plasma Mobile, but while searching for how-to instructions, I saw where PureOS stated explicitly in some part of their FAQ’s what @taylor-williamc said above, what's the point trying to run a Free type system on a totally non-free hardware, just use the other options existing for it now.

So Ubuntu dropped their mobile project before I ever decided to try installing it. The KDE one had a snag for “deb” that I reported and hope will get resolved someday, but as of now, I see no clear path to turning my mobile devices into Linux mobile devices.

Does anybody know of a recently documented successful method for achieving that end?

Side note: That KDE Plasma is beautiful. It’s now on an old laptop that wouldn’t take the PureOS. I’ve been a Ubuntu die-hard for a decade or more now. I have no logical reason to be brand loyal apart from not wanting to experiment with other ones; just defacto vendor lock-in from staying with the last working attempt. I dabbled in Red Hat back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, then tried a new cool one for laptops for a couple of years but their project vanished. It’s been Ubuntu ever since (both workstations and servers).

Why not just start a new topic? I’m not aware that you have a limit on number of topics. :slight_smile:

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For the reasons stated already you will not have a good experience on such a proprietary device and PureOS. However, some other distros work fine with some work. Debian and Ubuntu can boot on secure boot devices. Check out if you haven’t already. I had a Surface Go for a month or so and ran debian unstable on it w/ gnome and it worked pretty well.


The thought never crossed my mind, but since humans can make up an explanation to justify any gap in knowledge… :thinking:
It’s a Purism forum and an Android Nexus issue. Surveillance Capitalism Hardware and FOSS Ingenuity don’t mix. Or they do like Romeo & Juliet. :rofl::joy:

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now that you’ve broken the sacred vow with “FOSS” it won’t be a problem for Romeo and Juliet …

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you cannot currently install PureOS on a device with only UEFI boot, without jumping thru an inordinate amount of hoops


Thanks. Yeah also for ease on my nerves I will stay with Ubuntu :smiley:
I am still so sad that the Purism Tablet was cancelled though. But time will tell what happens.

My prio would be

  1. Dual Sim Phone
  2. Tablet
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I would like to see a “No SIM phone” - because the SIM is made virtual, so you can have as many “SIMs” as you want. I have no idea whether that is possible.

But we digress.

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Purism has said they will return to the tablet once the phone is more solid. I’d say the tablet will be available late 2020 or early 2021

This is why we can’t have nice things. :face_with_hand_over_mouth: And that’s exactly why we must all punish the thread hijackers the way it says to in the Community FAQ’s.