In this blog post, I’ll describe how to install EndeavourOS on a PineBook Pro.
As detailed here, https://arm.endeavouros.com/endeavouros-arm-install/, there are 3 ways to install EndeavourOS on an Arm device like the PineBook Pro. In this blog post, I’ll experiment with the first one.
This method consists of a two-step installation process:
- use the standard EndeavourOS ISO, booting that from a PC, to install the installation image on an external device (in this example, I will use a USB stick);
- then boot the PineBook Pro with the created USB stick and use Calamares to finalize the installation on the very same device you booted from.
Note that I will install EndeavourOS for Arm on an external device, NOT on the eMMC of the PineBook Pro. In this article, I’ll leave a few hints on how to do that on the internal eMMC.
On a standard PC, boot the EndeavourOS ISO (in this example, I’m using the Cassini 2023-03 R2):
After adjusting the keyboard layout and connecting to the Internet, choose “EndeavourOS ARM Image Installer”.
As noted, you need first to insert a USB stick. If you plan to install it on the PineBook Pro’s internal eMMC, you must extract it and place it in a USB adapter. Then, choose “Strat ARM Installer”. That is a textual installation procedure so the installer will open a terminal in full-screen mode.
After pressing OK, you must select the ARM computer (in this case, “PineBook Pro”):
Concerning the file system, in all my experiments, BTRFS has never worked: when rebooting the USB stick (see later), the screen stays blank forever after selecting the boot media. So, the only working solution is EXT4:
Then, you have to write the device where you want to install the installer; the dialog shows all the devices, and you must write the main path of the device, NOT of a possibly existing single partition (in this case, it’s “/dev/sdb”):
Small note: unfortunately, the colors of this textual installer are not ideal 😉
Then, the procedure will prepare the device and download an archive from the Internet for the image to put on the USB stick (it’s a big image, so be patient):
Ultimately, it tells you about the temporary username and password for the installer copied on the USB. It also suggests unmounting the USB with a file manager. In the live environment, you use Thunar to unmount the USB stick. You can recognize the mounted USB stick to unmount because it should show two mounted partitions (the first one is about 128 Mb):
Umounting one of them will also unmount the other one.
It’s time to boot the PineBook Pro with the UBS stick we created with the abovementioned process. If, in the previous procedure, you created the installer on the eMMC (connected with a USB adapter), you should put the eMMC inside the PineBook Pro.
When the PineBook Pro starts, you should find a way to boot from the USB stick. If you’ve always used the Manjaro installation that comes with the PineBook Pro, you have U-Boot as the bootloader (see my previous blog post for a screenshot of U-Boot booting from the USB stick). If you’re lucky, it should give precedence to the USB stick (I’ve read that this is not always the case, depending on the version of the installed U-Boot). In this example, I have Tow-Boot as the bootloader, so when you see the message telling you to press ESCAPE (or Ctrl-C) to enter the boot menu, please do so:
And then, select the USB as the boot media (of course, if you installed the image on an SD, choose accordingly):
After some textual logs, you should get to the graphical environment for the actual installation. The Window Manager is OpenBox, so, differently from the standard EndeavourOS installer for PC, you don’t have a fully-fledged Desktop Environment (Xfce):
Now, you can choose whether to install an “Official” (e.g., KDE or GNOME) or a “Community” edition (e.g., Sway).
Remember: the installation will be performed on the same media you have just booted. In this example, it’s a USB stick. Again, if you want to install EndeavourOS on the internal eMMC, you first need to extract the eMMC, put it on a USB adapter, do the first procedure described above, put the eMMC back into the PineBook Pro, and start the installation from the eMMC.
As you can see from the screenshots above, there’s no section for partitioning the disk. The partitions have already been created during the first procedure. This installation procedure only finalizes the installation.
I’ve tried both KDE and GNOME.
Enjoy your EndeavourOS installation 🙂
If you like it on a USB stick (remember, it should be a fast USB), you might want to install it on the eMMC (see the notes in this blog post about that). I have already done that, and it works much better than the original Manjaro!