Just Got A Mini!

I just got a mini in the mail and have it setup. I got the GPG user and admin pins changed for security. I love the smell of the device. Is that weird? Thanks Purism. You folks are doing God’s work. I will be telling my friends and family about this! I had no issues with shipping or installing PureBoot. The guides are well written. The first reboot went without issue and I got all that updated. I took the cover off the device and was pleased to see the SamsungEvo NVME. I had removed the WIFI card and gently used small pieces of scotch tape to keep those two wires secure. I had an issue getting the cover screws out though as they were so small, I had to get new tools. I went to three different stores till I finally got a set that worked. That said, they still didn’t fit, and I had to use the smalled straight blade available in the kit. That was the only issue I had thus far.

I will post when there is more to update. Going to get the Internet connected and do the updates to the OS, and then resign the files and such.

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I used the command line to update the PureOS, apt-get update, apt-get upgrade, apt-get dist-upgrade, and everything worked out till about 80% of the way thru the dist-upgrade. The computer froze. Upon restart I of course had the warning pop up that I need to sign the keys after changing system files, to enter pin. I did and the pin was refused three times. So I think the librem key is locked. I did get into the PureOS through force start and I changed the librem key user and admin pin back to default. But I don’t have any more attepts left to enter the pin. so I am working on that at this point today.

This got me thinking, just in case there was an issue with the update/upgrade or say if I wanted to install a different operating system (not that I do), what would it take to reinstall PureOS? I seen the webpage and read the install on the .ISO, seems easy to me. But what I was wondering about was with all the security features, won’t I have to manage that with the librem key? Or would the defaults work on both the librem key and PureOS? I have the USB Vault with a copy of the GPG key for the OS. I am reading through the documentation and see nothing about a reinstall of the OS and having to manage any config there after.

I don’t think I need to do this, but was wondering. Say I installed Arch, or Debian, or something else on the NVME that has the PureOS installed? But then went back to PureOS… What issues would I have then?

Thanks for any clarity. :slight_smile:
I need to know how to reset the OS anyway, and the librem key for that matter.

  • the Librem Key can be unlocked/reset using the Admin pin (see Pureboot documentation)
  • reinstalling PureOS, regardless of OS installed, is as simple as booting the ISO and running the installer. Perform a Pureboot factory reset after to generate new keys and sign everything.
  • you can install any OS/distro you want, but Pureboot requires a dedicated, unencrypted /boot partition to function properly. Manual partitioning may be necessary depending on the distro
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Right. Got that much figured after the first boot and updates.

That is what I assumed. Thanks for clarifying the Pureboot facotry reset comes after the initial installation of said OS. I do recall there being a warning you have to confirm to do so.

Right. Assumed as much. Wanted to be sure about it though. I assume you mean to not have an encrypted drive to install the OS on due to the fact that the OS wants to encrypt the drive? (as for the reason I mean)

Thanks for the tips and clarification!

I am loving this tiny computer. Rather powerful for such a small device. Using a metal table helps wick the heat away and mine sits nice and cool when in use.

Thank you Purism! I will be sure to tell my work mates as well, when needing new hardware for our work.

no, you absolutely should use LUKS disk encryption on your root partition (/), but /boot needs to be a separate, unencrypted partition because of the way Pureboot validates the firmware and the contents of /boot.

I’d recommend a 2GB /boot partition (ext4) at the start of the drive, then your root/data partition, and swap at the end (>= size of RAM) if needed/desired

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Thanks for clarifying.

How long did it take from the time you ordered it to receive it?

I wonder if Windows 10 or 11 will run on the Librem Mini with the disabled Intel Management Engine disabled.

runs fine with my unofficial/unsupported coreboot/UEFI firmware, haven’t tested with the stock Purism coreboot/SeaBIOS firmware but it should work without issue

Just under two weeks in total.

Why would you even, and how dare you!!!

I agree. It’s just wrong to put Windows on free (free as in freedom of speech) hardware. It might not even run if it can’t see the Intel Management Engine.

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Why do you think Windows would require the ME to be present or functional? Outside of for DRM stuffs?

My guess is that Microsoft doesn’t want to allow any nefarious use of their operating system. Theoretically, without the ME, you could successfully commit some crimes and no one would know who you are. You could potentially be completely anonymous. With a working ME, they at least have a trail to follow. I don’t know how plausible this theory is. But I know that the ME allows the CPU to have its own unique ID.

well like I said, I’ve tested every Librem laptop/mini, they all work fine

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TBH I feel, and I do not know from experience, but seems that IF you are talking about using Pruism hardware, firmware, it is possible that the ME is inactive even if you install a windows operating system. The OS needs the hardware and other ME code related on the motherboard/cpu and wherever else, to operate. If Purism disabled the firmware in bios, did not install any ME or compromised hardware, I could assume it would be safe to run a windows instance. That said, IDK why anyone would install windows on these products, when linux offers what you need without any concern at all.

I had to install Windows in a vm for my son as for his study Software Developer, these weeks he needs to work with Microsoft Visual Studio (not available on Linux) to learn to code in C# WinForms (not available on Linux).

How ironic to tell someone that it is wrong (= not free) to do with its free-as-in-speech hardware as it likes :slight_smile:

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We are talking about a company that produces software that collects your data and does stuff with it that hardly anyone really knows. What is ironic is using those services. EXPECIALLY when buying a privacy focused machine. IF your son needs microsoft functionality, just go buy a regular laptop. Buying a tool that isn’t desinged for the job is human error. IDK why anyone would trust these comanies, Microsoft, Intel, Google, Facebook, when they are all inbed with LIFELOG in the first place. Id suggest your son learn to code outside of an institution that forces you to use products that litereally SPY on you and seek for information they can profit from.

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Why be a fundamentalist when you have the power to isolate? :slightly_smiling_face:

ICYMI: All your son needs is Visual Studio Code (Microsoft FOSS) which works plenty good on Linux, MacOS, and Windows for all the major programming languages including C# I don’t know about the WinForms aspect.

FWIW, I sent my daughter to many coding camps over the years but refused to let her take the free C# one at her school, since I didn’t want to corrupt her soul. Let’s just say Socrates was less guilty of corrupting the youth than C# pushers! :wink:

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Visual Studio Code is unfortunately much different from Visual Studio. He used Visual Studio Code but could not keep up with the lessons as it was all in Visual Studio. An experienced develper can work out how to proceed in Visual Studio Code (or any platform really) but for a starter like my son this is not doable.

I actually complained loudly to the teacher when he wrote to me that my son had to get a Windows laptop to be able to follow the next topic (C# WinForms) but obviously that did not change the curiculum :slight_smile:

For a coding camp that might be feasible, but for a four-year study it is not. I actually consider it not a bad thing though. It is good that my son gets to experience subjects I would steer clear from. This is the time to see what the world is about, and as much as we might dislike anything Microsoft, it is a big part of the world and he will sooner or later run into it. He’d better know what he talks about by then. Also, he needs to develop his own taste and knowledge on the subject, not just take my word for it. As with food, this means you have to try and experience yourself.

On the subject of C# btw, this is actually not a bad language at all to learn certain concepts (although I would have taken Java for that). Same with TypeScript, which is also a Microsoft language. TypeScript is actually a huge improvement over JavaScript. Not all Microsoft is evil :slight_smile: