Installing Ubuntu on Acer Spin UEFI devices

Installing Ubuntu on the Acer Spin 1 has been proving to be quite the hassle to me. Fortunately; following these steps allows other to easily install Ubuntu on the Acer Spin 1 and possible many other Acer UEFI devices. Installing the bootloader will likely fail steps are provided to recover from this and perform bootloader repair.

Steps install no bootloader

  • Boot from live USB (desktop iso only not server!)
  • Press try ubuntu
  • Open terminal
  • Execute: sudo -s
  • Execute: ubiquity -b
  • Continue installation using your own requirements and desires
  • Execute: sudo mount /dev/mmcblk0p2 /mnt were mmcblk0p2 is the root partition
  • NOTE: root partition for lvm / cryptluks will be in /dev/mapper/ directory instead!
  • Execute: sudo mkdir /mnt/boot/efi
  • Execute: sudo mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt/boot/efi mmcblk0p1 is the efi partition
  • Execute: for i in /dev /dev/pts /proc /sys; do sudo mount -B $i /mnt$i; done
  • Execute: modprobe efivars
  • Execute: efibootmgr --verbose
  • Execute: apt-get install --reinstall grub-efi-amd64
  • Execute: grub-install —no-nvram —root-directory=/mnt
  • Execute: chroot /mnt
  • Execute: update-grub
  • Installing grub-efi-amd64 might hang or fail do not worry if that’s the case continue with bootloader repair

Steps bootloader repair

  • Install rEFInd onto a usb and boot it
  • Select the install from the menu
  • Be patiented booting takes some time
  • Login using username
  • Open terminal
  • Execute: sudo -s
  • Execute: apt update && apt upgrade
  • Execute: update-grub
  • Execute: apt install grub-efi-amd64
  • Running grub-efi-amd64 will hang on post-installation
  • Kill apt by executing ps aux | grep apt and using the PID to call kill PID
  • Execute: dpkg --purge --force-all grub-efi-amd64
  • Execute: update-grub
  • Note this will prevent any grub updates from being installed by aptitude

Remove default desktop

Depending on the type of installation you want you might find that getty suffices as ‘desktop’ environment, if you are such a minimalist as me the following commands will remove most of the clutter. Keep in mind that such a minimalistic environment requires to manually enable and disable network interfaces.

  • sudo apt remove *desktop*
  • sudo apt remove *cups*
  • sudo apt remove *avahi*
  • sudo apt remove unity*
  • sudo apt remove snap*
  • sudo apt remove lightdm

References

From these sources the necessary information was gathered to make this installation possible, might want to check them out as well.

Comments

All comments by the author will be marked with the emblem: author
  1. Nuruddeen -

    Thanks for posting this, but I haven’t been able to get it to work. I get to the final step to udpate-grub and it hangs while generating the grub configuration file; the last line is Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-4.18.0-15-generic. Can you provide any further help?

    • Dantali0n author
      -

      I have found it can sometimes still hang aswell but most of the times I have found that it still works if the command is cancelled with ctrl+c. If it does not work with after a reboot an usb with rEFInd can be used to boot into the install. With the install booted not from the usb installer I have found that installing grub-efi-64 works flawlessly as well as running update-grub.

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