Newbie trying to load Trisquel on Acer Computer.

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john.rook
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Joined: 04/08/2018

Recently bought an el cheapo Acer Aspire 1 (computer not chrome-book) with long battery life & zero memory for when I'm away from home needing wifi. Came with a disgusting spy-prog installed, called 'Windows 10'. Up until now I've begrudgingly used Windows 7. A friend suggested Trisquel as the simplest, most ethical alternative & said that as the Acer had Intel Graphics it would work fine.

I installed Trisq7 on a stick (pendrive linux, steep learning curve for me) & it boots up on my home laptop (though poor graphics & runs very hot - I'm told due to AMD). Nonetheless, on start up it gives you the option to load Trisquel.

However with the Acer Aspire 1 it just goes straight to Windows 10 without any options.

Seeing as Trisquel may work the Acer unit, can anyone point me in the right direction to sort this? Linux is new to me, so need a simple step by step explanation.

____________________________________

Mini troll/rant: I've always known Windows was back-doored (=same Macs). Tech never my strong point, I could just about live with Windows up to 7. After seeing 10 though, with all the Normie crap it just shoves in your face, I'm so disgusted I'm now committed to never using any Gates sh-- ever again (unless I have to for work). According to friend, I can't use Trisquel successfully on my home PC because of AMD. This is a shame. There must be millions with AMD out there + thousands like me who'd welcome a practical ethical OS if it was painless to install/use. Not all of us have the minds for tech or the time to spend on it. At least I know what not to buy in future if I'm to use Trisquel. The Forum looks very helpful, apart from a few effective trolls. No doubt total sad-asses, maybe sitting in some NSA/GCHQ basement somewhere. I'll contribute financially.

Magic Banana

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Your difficulty actually has nothing to do with GNU/Linux and everything to do with the piece of software on the motherboard that takes care of initializing the hardware and booting the operating. It needs to be configured to boot on the pendrive rather than on the hard drive. To enter the configuration, the key to press, right after the computer powers on, varies from hardware to hardware: http://www.tomsguide.com/answers/id-1805141/bootable-usb-flashdrive-work-acer-aspire.html seems to provide it for yours though.

Also, you probably want Trisquel 8, which is around the corner: http://jenkins.trisquel.info/makeiso/iso/trisquel_8.0_amd64.iso

gd_scania
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Joined: 09/13/2017

I need to remind John why dnt you order a Librem laptop from https://puri.sm? I have ordered one using Bitcoins and waiting for a right moment to have my payment.

strypey
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Joined: 05/14/2015

Hi John, I also own an AA1, although mine is a bit older than yours (click on my name next to my comment to see the specs). Mine was originally sold with XP on it, and it runs Trisquel 8 nicely (running it off the USB as I post this), so I'm sure it will work fine on yours. Feel free to DM me if you need any help.

MagicBanana is right that you will need to change the BIOS settings so that it boots of the USB instead of the internal drive. I suggest you dual-boot at first (install Trisquel side-by-side with Windows), so you can boot into Windows to ask for help here, if you run into any problems. Once you are confident using GNU-Linux, everything is working smoothly (which won't take long), you can format the Windows partition and replace it with an EXT4 partition to use as a /home drive for your user files.

Welcome to Trisquel!

grimlok
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Joined: 04/16/2013

I think what John is running into is the UEFI Bios. With most Win10 machines these days there aren't any prompts for BIOS setup. You usually see the manufacturer's logo and then a windows logo, and then the system boots.

You usually have to be really quick with the setup key press. Once you find your way into setup you'll have to put the device in legacy mode or disable secure boot I believe to be able to boot from the USB.

At least, that's the route I usually take on a Dell.

Also of note is that Win 10 doesn't shutdown completely normally and you need to do a full shut down usually to even get to setup. Sometimes ill just boot the machine and hold down the power for a few seconds to force it off so I know it's been killed.

Hope some of this helps!

Magic Banana

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If you can read French, here is a manual I wrote (translation is welcome!): https://trisquel.info/fr/wiki/d%C3%A9marrer-un-syst%C3%A8me-live-installable

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

From a DDG search, it looks like the key you need to press is F2, so just shut the system off, then power it on, and keep pressing F2 until you see the setup screen.

Another thing you could do is bring up the boot menu with F12 it looks like, but it looks like you have to enable that in the settings first:

https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2104140&s=8261378ddf5b92927852621ab2bc2fb7&p=12451596#post12451596

Actually, that same thread has another interesting post a couple posts down from the person who started the thread:

"I finally managed to resolve the problem myself. I knew that it must be possible to get to the boot menu, because I've seen other posts on linux forums discussing issues with this particular model of Acer Aspire.
In case anybody else wants to get to the boot menu, you need to hit F2 when booting the machine. This will initially take you into the very restricted Setup menu (which doesn't enable you to change boot order). Once in the Setup menu, hit Esc to exit. The system will try to start Windows, but if you quickly hit F2 again it takes you into a full Setup menu which enables you to set the boot order."

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

I'm soooo glad I don't deal with mainstream laptop manufacturers' nonsense anymore...

john.rook
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Joined: 04/08/2018

Thanks for all the help magic Banana & everyone else = very cool bananas.
Will get onto it shortly & let you know if successful. Really excited to use this open source OS.

loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

Trisquel is part of the free libre camp. Open sores is another camp. You might want to read more about the fundamental difference between these movements.

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.en.html

Actually, the free software movement is by definition a movement while open source is practically a mundane development methodology invented to appease corporations and forget about the uneasy part of social change and downplay the importance of philosophical and ideological questions.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software_movement

For proponents of free libre software, practical questions and philosophical ideas are part and parcel. There are primordial tenets called the four essential freedoms as defined by the founder of the free software movement Richard Stallman.

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

strypey
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It's just as accurate to say that Trisquel is "open source" as it is to say it's "free software" (or as I prefer to say "free code software"). Let's not scare the GNUbie away with internal politics and language policing (that can come later ;)

loldier
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That's exactly how Perens and Eric S. Raymond started the schism. To not "scare away".

I think it's pretty much obligatory to start with the definition of free libre as opposed to open source. They have many things in common but yet they are separate things. Shall we say "open source" (code) is a subset of the free software movement. It's a frequent misconception to lump them together as if they were interchangeable, though. One is a development model, the other is an idea.

Richard Stallman on Toronto Star and Red Hat open source milestones

The Toronto Star article criticized Red Hat for omitting the GNU Project from a list of milestones in "open source" software. I must defend Red Hat for this; it would be improper to include GNU in such a list, because that would be associating us with the wrong movement. We have done our work as part of the Free Software Movement, it reflects the idealism of that movement, and we want users to know this. So we ask people not to label us or the GNU operating system with the term "open source".

By contrast, the inclusion of Unix in the list is both anachronistic and incorrect. Unix was developed many years before the Open Source Movement was started (in 1998), and it never met that movement's definition of open source software. The source code of Unix was available only under a nondisclosure agreement, which for most people was available only for a prohibitive fee. And redistribution of the source to the public was not allowed at all.

Red Hat did right not to add the GNU Project to *this* list. But it would be right and proper for their history page to present another list, describing milestones in the development of the GNU/Linux operating system. GNU and the Free Software Movement should figure prominently in that list.

pengnuin
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Joined: 08/17/2017

To sum it up - welcome to Trisquel.

Most users on the forums prefer the term of "Free Software", as we think of it as an ethical issue.
It's about software that is free as in freedom of speech.
The 'open source' camp (best term I can think of) merely decides to let others work on their code as well,
because they think it's convenient.
While in most cases Free Software and open source software are the same, the idea is a different one.

I hope that explained it simply enough. In any case, enjoy your free computing experience (assuming you got Trisquel to work)!

john.rook
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Joined: 04/08/2018

Free software = got it. So happy to be using it.

Booted Trisq up on the Acre Aspire 1, works well - thanks all for your help.

For anyone else with a new AA1 - Was just a matter of holding down F2 - which took me to the BIOS (right word?) where I put Triquel to the top of the list & then had to navigate to 'security' to get rid of the 'secure boot'.

Have used open office for years, so Trisquel suits me fine + the interface is simple, clean & pleasant. IMO simplicity is an art.

I'd like to full install Trisqel & get rid of Gates crapy windows completely. However I'm not sure that the wifi is working properly. Basically, when running Trisqel the wifi button shows:
'Enable Networks', but there's no 'Enable Wifi' button showing, nor any wifi networks listed.

I need wifi, as that's what this computer was essentially for.

Maybe Stripey can help clarify, as you have an AA1?

Hey, thanks again everyone.

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

Yes, wifi is a common piece of probem hardware. The recommended solution is to buy a wireless dongle from Think Penguin or Technoethical:

http://libre.thinkpenguin.com
https://tehnoetic.com/

Think Penguin also has wireless cards you can install inside of a computer, but this is more complicated because you have to get the card with the right connector and form-factor. The USB dongle is much easier and doesn't have much in the way of downsides.

gd_scania
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Joined: 09/13/2017

The commonly problematic hardware pieces are wifi (as you've told to us) and BIOS, but if you can't open the case to unplug the nonfree wifi chip then your last resort will be Purism 'Librem' laptops or ThinkPenguin ones, the fully new hardware systems. You are just nowhere not to be risky to brick your motherboard by flashing Coreboot or Libreboot, or you must accept that own fate that the BIOS is a problematic nonfree hardware piece.

strypey
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John wrote:
"Have used open office for years, so Trisquel suits me fine + the interface is simple, clean & pleasant. IMO simplicity is an art."

Ae, the free code office suite formerly known as OpenOffice has improved rapidly since most of the developers walked away from Oracle and formed the DocumentFoundation and LibreOffice. Have you tried the web-based version of LibreOffice?
https://www.collaboraoffice.com/code/

"I'd like to full install Trisqel & get rid of Gates crapy windows completely. However I'm not sure that the wifi is working properly."

Is that in the live session or after install? Very occasionally WiFi problems solve themselves after installing to your internal drive and downloading and installing all the updates. WiFi works fine on my AA1 without any proprietary drivers, but as I said, it is a much older model than yours. It can take a while before newer hardware can be made to work with existing free code drivers, or new free code drivers written to support it.

If you can't get the WiFi working after installing and updating, I highly recommend this Wifi dongle from ThinkPenguin:
https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/penguin-wireless-g-usb-adapter

I bought one for a desktop computer that had no WiFi, and needed to be able to connect to a WiFi router at the other end of the house, sometimes through two closed, wooden doors. It worked fine, and the customer support from ThinkPenguin is second-to-none.

"I need wifi, as that's what this computer was essentially for."

Isn't that basically true of every computer smaller than a desktop these days ;)

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

It's firmware, not drivers. Unfortunately, most wireless cards these days don't work without proprietary firmware, and there isn't much reverse-engineering going on. There haven't been any advancements that I'm aware of between Trisquel 7's release and now. The advice about updating the kernel is usually for GPUs.

strypey
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"It's firmware, not drivers."

OK, I'm a little unclear on this. My understanding is that firmware is software permanently burned onto chip on the hardware (eg BIOS), while drivers are software parts of the OS that allow the kernel to communicate with (and thus "drive") the hardware. I further understood that while all firmware is proprietary unless replaced by "flashing" (except perhaps in hardware made by the Open Hardware movement), some hardware works with libre drivers anyway. Where that's not the case, users must either allow proprietary drivers in their copy of the Linux kernel as binary blobs, or accept that they can't use that hardware with GNU-Linux.

Where am I going wrong here?

Magic Banana

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Firmware is software that is not executed on the CPU but on peripheral processors. That software is not always "burned onto chip on the hardware": the kernel can send it to the peripheral. It is a binary but the corresponding source code may be available under the terms of a free license. Unfortunately, it is an exception (e.g., ath9k_htc) rather than the rule.

strypey
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Ah, I see. Thanks for the clarification MagicBanana. So what is a "driver", and how does it differ from this definition of firmware? Or am I trying to import irrelevant an abstraction from my Windows years into a GNU-Linux system where it has no meaning?

Magic Banana

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The driver runs in the kernel, on the CPU. Not on the peripheral processor.

gd_scania
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Peripheral drivers are run between the processor and the peripheral devices inside the kernel.
Programs are run just under the processor (if requires peripherals will liaise with the kernel hence periphereal drivers) and using dependent libraries and needed bins.

Magic Banana

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I do not understand what you mean: software runs on a processor, not "between processors" or "under a processor".

john.rook
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Thanks again all. Learning a lot as I go :-)

If the WiFi doesn't work after full install I'll buy a dongle from Think Penguin or Technoetic as recommended.

I realise its a part of life for most but I'd never use WiFi at home because of the deleterious EMF effects. I'd suggest anyone using it at home at least switches it off at night. Even the most dense will notice the difference to their sleep patterns after a week or two. Remember, everyone has their own EMF field, the integrity of which is essential to health. Especially important for younger children. I work in alt health, so this is not an uninformed opinion. I won't engage in a discussion, but people need to think about the intro of 5G (old military tech first tested in WW2) & look at all the non-industry aligned research. Especially important for those living in towns/cities who'll be surrounded by it 24/7.

onpon4
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I haven't seen scientific research which finds that humans produce electromagnetic radiation. I was under the impression that the only interaction the human body had with electromagnetic radiation was the eyes' detection of visible light, and the use of ultroviolet light to synthesize Vitamin D. Is there any chance you could send me a link to this research? It must be quite interesting.

I would also be very interested in seeing the scientific research you mention which shows that non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation affects human health; I was under the impression that non-ionizing radiation, such as radio waves and microwaves, was only capable of heating molecules up (which wouldn't be a concern given the tiny amount of such non-ionizing radiation produced by wireless technology). I'm curious to see what harmful effects the researchers found. Of course, if non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation is harmful to human health, then we have a huge problem, because everyone is bombarded with radio waves from radio and television broadcasting 24/7.

strypey
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onpon wrote:
"I would also be very interested in seeing the scientific research you mention which shows that non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation affects human health"

Very little research has been done in this area, because those who can most afford to fund it, benefit from it not being done, and thus being able to imply (if not outright claim) that absence of evidence equals evidence of absence. That said, in 2015, a letter of concern known as the "International EMF Scientist Appeal" was signed by 190 scientists who had all "published peer-reviewed papers on the biological or health effects of non-ionizing radiation, part of the EMF spectrum that includes Extremely Low Frequency fields (ELF) used for electricity, or Radio Frequency radiation (RFR) used for wireless communications."
https://emfscientist.org/index.php/emf-scientist-appeal

Have you looked into these scientists and their research? If you'd like to continue this off-topic but intriguing discussion, how about we move it to the Troll Lounge?

EDIT: missing quote mark

onpon4
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190 is a very small number (there's a larger petition indicating "dissent from Darwinism", and then an even larger petition against that petition composed only of scientists named "Steve"[1]), and the opinions of scientists are irrelevant anyway. What matters is what their research shows.

I note that the petition you linked to has "scientists" of all kinds including, for example: "Vânia Araújo Condessa, MSc., Electrical Engineer, Belo Horizonte, Brazil", "Prof. Klaus-Peter Ossenkopp, Ph.D., Department of Psychology (Neuroscience), University of Western Ontario, Canada", and "Prof. Girish Kumar, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India", among many others. I don't see why I should trust what an electrical engineer or psychologist says about the science of electromagnetic radiation.

It's also regrettable that the petition claims: "Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines." and yet fails to reference a single one of these "numerous recent scientific publications". Perhaps you are familiar with them?

I would split it off into the Troll Lounge, but the topic of this discussion should be a scientific paper or a collection thereof and a discussion around what that research means. This is impossible at this moment because I'm still not aware of any such research. I certainly encourage you to start the new thread with a link to that paper, though, or otherwise I would be happy to start the thread once I know what study or studies we're talking about.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_steve

lykelinux
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I'm not sure if this will help at all, but on a laptop that I used to have, if I had TURNED OFF WiFi while logged into MSWindows, upon rebooting into Linux, I was completely unable to TURN ON WiFi at all in Linux until booting back into MSWindows and turning it on there (and rebooting once again into Linux). Hope it might help.?.?.?

Magic Banana

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That is because Windows' kernel sends the (proprietary) firmware to the Wifi card and it survives the reboot (the power supply does not stop)... but that is still proprietary software you run: bad for your freedoms!

lykelinux
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> ... but that is still proprietary software you run: bad for your freedoms!

That was years ago now, so no worry :) ONLY LINUX on all my computers now!

Magic Banana

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I very much doubt you only run a kernel because your computer would be useless. See https://www.gnu.org/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html

gd_scania
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At least you need basic bins (not just the kernel) like OpenRC, nano, a text package manager, a text shell, a networking text frontend and whose daemons, that's the minimum then you can install every packages for your own practice.

loldier
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loldier
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.

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CalmStorm

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Libreboot devices are the safest/most secure that I can think of.

Until the eoma68 standard comes out with a laptop. Hopefully not just that a20 processor. :)

noemu
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Recommend thinkpenguin or technoethical for the wifi dongle :) they give back to the trisquel community in technical support and funding.

do you need or want any more help with your new operating system?

getting into the BIOS the first time around can be a real pain, glad you pulled through! it would be so much easier if we had better documentation on this.

did you use https://h-node.org at all? it can be outdated and sometimes incomplete. if your laptop model is not listed on there, please list it! it helps for the next person trying to make the switch!!

jangres
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> it would be so much easier if we had better documentation on this.

Documentation for entering BIOS/UEFI and change the system configuration can be found
here.