Putting PureOS on an Intel NUC6

I am getting ready to put PureOS on to an Intel NUC6. For those who are not familiar with the Intel NUC PCs, they all look like the Librem Mini, with multiple different options (depending on exact model number), that offer different types and numbers of different ports, processor types, amount of RAM, etc.

My only experience with PureOS was with only one attempt to install it on to an older Dell laptop. The Live CD actually worked pretty well. But after installing PureOS to the hard drive, I couldn’t get the graphics to work. All I could get was a full screen terminal (the Linux equivalent of Ms-Dos - no shell at all). I realized that that Dell laptop likely had several proprietary drivers that Purism may not have decided to support or trust. So I re-formatted the HD and put Ubuntu on it. That Ubuntu installation was flawless on the first attempt.

Does anyone know what I should expect in the installation process of PureOS on to a NUC6? Is it likely that I will need to do a lot of troubleshooting to make everything work? What is the likelihood that getting everything to work will require using unsupported drivers? Anyone here have this kind of experience installing PureOS on to non-Purism hardware? What should I expect?

Just a guess but PureOS will probably not contain out of the box a driver for the WiFi, if your NUC has one.

  1. If your NUC has ethernet you could decide that ethernet by itself is enough for your purposes or you could use the ethernet to download the needed proprietary driver for the WiFi.

  2. If your NUC had no ethernet but did have WiFi then you should plan accordingly e.g. download the driver on another computer and move it across via a flash drive.

You don’t give us any specification details but my guess is that the NUC has both ethernet and WiFi and so the first option applies.

It’s not so much “not support” or “not trust”. The design philosophy is “open source only”. So if there’s only a blackbox (closed source, proprietary) driver that is usable then the device is excluded from consideration and won’t be able to be used - unless you, as the user, are prepared to compromise on your security and privacy. Purism won’t make that decision for you but nor do they prevent you from making that decision.

Yes, the NUC6 is the CAYH model (NUC6CAYH). It came as a barebones model. I added an SSD drive, and RAM. I don’t know if it has WiFi because I have a plug-in ethernet connection and haven’t even looked to see if it has WiFi. Those little NUC6 boxes are sure handy. The one I plan to put PureOS on has Windows 11 on it now. But the older processor is not approved by Microsoft. So eventually they’re going to force that box back to Windows 10 (wipe and make a fresh install). I tried to buy a new NUC11TNHi7 yesterday and they were completely unavailable in the market right now (back ordered). I am considering getting a Librem Mini.

Does anyone here know if a Windows 11 virtual machine is likely to run as guest OS on a Librem Mini? Can the Librem Mini go as a headless server, or does it require a monitor/keyboard/mouse to boot and stay active?

  • I have not tested a Windows VM on the Mini but it is likely to work.
  • One of the uses that the mini was designed for is headless. I don’t use mine that way so I can’t describe the steps, but it should be fairly easy to do.

My Mini runs headless most of the time.
I’m not sure if I ever booted it without anything attached, but I expect that works fine.
The only caveat I know can happen is that Xorg might not properly start if no screen is detected, which can be fixed with a few lines in the config.
Don’t know if Wayland has that issue, too.
Basically it needs to decide on a screen size without having one.
Probably you could even run the VM without a graphical environment, in which case that problem would not exist.
IOW: don’t expect major problems. :wink:

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If the cpu is [1]supported by Windows 11, it will run as a guest.

I’m running Windows 11 on qemu-kvm with libvirt for my son. He needs Windows 11 for his software developer track at school, as they currently learn to work with C# WinForms and Visual Studio. At school, he starts an ssh-tunnel to home, over which he connects to the Windows 11 vm with rdp. This works remarkable well.

  1. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/design/minimum/supported/windows-11-supported-intel-processors

I have seen that with some Linux scenarios. If you don’t like a software fix then it is possible to buy a hardware fix i.e. a dongle that sits on the HDMI port and pretends to be a plugged in screen so that everything starts normally and if you ever do need a screen, you can replug. However I don’t own such a dongle.

If the computer will be on 24x7 then I find it better to have peripherals attached during boot but Linux is perfectly happy to stay active subsequently without those peripherals.

Gotta love the built-in obsolescence. Not.