Linux Mint on Librem 15

I received my Librem 15 today and decided I want to run Linux Mint (Cinnamon) on it. I created the USB boot disk and for some reason I am unable to boot up LM. The following behavior keeps happening:

  1. Restart the computer

  2. On the Pureboot Main Menu I choose Options -->

  3. I then choose Boot Options -->

  4. I choose USB Boot

  5. On the Select your USB disk I choose the USB Disk that contains the bootable drive.

  6. I choose a Boot Option (there are several that mention Linux Mint) and it goes right back into Pureboot and I go through all of the above steps and always end up at the beginning of the Pureboot menu.

What am I doing wrong?

Thank you in advance for any assistance,

I don’t have a Librem, so I’m winging it, but…
Did you also change the boot order (moving USB to the top)?

How would you change the boot order on a brand new librem 15?

Here’s a link that may help (note that I’m not endorsing the author or domain):

What may be happening is that you’ve been selecting USB, but when you save and exit, the computer actually restarts, so it loads PureOS again. (Edit: without changing the boot order, that is.)

And again, I don’t have a Librem laptop (yet), so I’m only guessing, based on my experience with other computers.

I understand the concept and I know what key to use (esc) but no matter how much I tap on the that key, I don’t get a boot order to appear. I am not sure what PureOS logo they are referring to but the one that shows up on laptop is small and appears very quick with some command line output happening right below it. However I did try hitting the esc key during this and still nothing.

You might try a cold boot and just hold down the F1 as you turn it on (or if that doesn’t work, F2, or one of the other suggested keys…you might have to try several times). If that doesn’t work, maybe someone else in the forum has specific experience with the Librem, or you might have to wait until Monday when the Purism folks return to the office. Good luck.
(I love Mint, but I use the Mate desktop.)

I think I know what the problem is. I don’t think the new Coreboot/Heads bios has a function that allows you to choose a boot order. I may end up flashing the bios using their older SeaBios. I really want the ability to easily install other Linux distros on the hardware and their FAQs seem to indicate it was easy to do but I am not finding that.

Why Mate? More stable for you?

I guess I prefer Mate because it just continues the tried and true menu/point/click/organization/customizations/etc. that I’m used to. When it comes to software and OS, I just like things to be static (mostly). I’ve seen demos of Cinnamon, but never actually tried it, so maybe I should do so.
Good luck with the USB issue.

I don’t know how to do it right, but my thought is to remove the pure OS drive and boot from the Mint drive. At least you will know if mint can boot.

Uh, not sure why it works with Mint, but turn it on and off several times.

Mint is supposed to be Ubuntu stabilized. Which means it is far down from the latest updates. I use it, in place of Windows, because at least Mint does not broadcast what I am doing like Windows does.

Might try an earlier version of Mint. For a blank screen, if you get to the point where you might enter it. “nomodset”

Forgot to say. It takes a looooog time for the initial Mint Logo to show up on screen.

Perhaps, first try the live version of Mint 19.1.

Not sure what you mean by remove the OS drive. It is installed the SSD drive of the laptop.

I have been trying to boot into the live version. The Pureboot loader allows me to boot from a USB. When I choose the USB, I see several options there regarding Linux Mint including booting from the live version and doing an OEM installation. None of these works. When I choose them where I see the kernel being selected and a message saying booting from the LM kernel then the screen blinks and I go right back to the initial boot process that takes me back to the Pureboot loader. The funny thing is I am able to boot from the PureOS USB drive that came with the laptop. Just not with LinuxMint.

This may be the obvious but are you sure the boot USB is correct? Ie: can you use it to boot on another computer?

I am pretty sure it is. I will test it out on my desktop to make sure. Right now I am creating another boot USB with vanilla Ubuntu on it to see if that makes a difference. I am using Etcher as my USB boot creation tool.

It had to be the Linux Mint iso. I created a bootable USB drive for Ubuntu and was able to install that. Man Pureboot does not make it easy to install alternate OSes at all. The only way I can get Ubuntu to boot up is to bypass the key check on it. It won’t boot as the default boot even though I resigned everything with the Librem Key.

I did remove the original /boot partition as part of the Ubuntu installation process but I was able to select a new partition during the boot process. I wish there was better documentation for installing alternate OSes on a Librem 15.

Good documentation would be nice. I prefer Linux Mint to PureOS myself. I just wanted to let you know that I’m successfully running LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition). But it’s been on my Librem 15 for a long time, and I don’t remember what I did to get it working. I just know it works.

When I first got my L13 last year, I installed Ubuntu on it with no problems. Getting PureOS back on it, was also very easy. I don’t remember the process however. Everytime I’ve tried a new linux distro, I do so with a live usb. I haven’t had any problems so far. Of course I never tried Mint. Just Elementary (which is Ubuntu essentially) and regular Debian.

What I am saying then, is that if that SSD is simply not there and you have installed mint permanently on another drive using your live USB… does it work? If all the drives are enabled for boot purposes in the BIOS/equivalent then one would expect no problem at all if PureOS is not available to compete. Installing it that way does not endanger the pureOS system. If you want Mint to then work together with PureOS there are two options… 1. plug the pure OS Drive in (and I presume two options… A. update grub - I’m not not an expert B. select the boot drive with an F function key on startup) 2. Do the install from the live USB all over again to new partitions on the PureOS SSD (more risky if you are not sure of what you are doing)

Not much idea whether that is relevant - suspect not on an Librem 15 - but if it turns out to be needed, note the correct spelling: nomodeset

I don’t have the benefit of a Purism laptop to test on but I was live booting Mint the other day on a different computer and I note, as I downloaded it, that it described the iso as a “hybrid iso”. Maybe that is confusing the software that you are using to create the bootable USB and/or confusing the BIOS.

Needless to say that you should always verify the hash of the iso that you have downloaded before creating the bootable USB / DVD.