Installing Mobian (x86-based devices)

This guide covers installing Mobian on PCs and Microsoft Surface Pro/Go lines of tablets. See the devices page for the full list of supported devices.

Obtain the Image

Pre-built Images

We recommend downloading pre-built images for installation. The image files for your device will be packed in a file named mobian-<device>-phosh-YYYYMMDD.img.gz and can be found here:

Building from Debos Recipes

You can build the image yourself using the debos recipes. If you build the image yourself, the produced image file will be not be zipped (i.e. named mobian-<device>-phosh-YYYYMMDD.*.img) and there is no need to unzip the archive.

Preparing the device

Before installing Mobian to your device, you should enter the BIOS/UEFI settings and ensure the following conditions are met:

  • Secure Boot is disabled
  • USB boot is enabled

On the Surface Pro 3, this can be accomplished by pressing and maintaining the Volume Up button on boot. The following configuration options should be changed:

  • Secure Boot Control: Disabled
  • Configure Alternate System Boot Order: USB → SSD

Flashing the Image to a USB Drive

Once you have downloaded the image, you can copy it to a USB drive using one of the tools mentioned on this page.

This will create a bootable live system you can use on any UEFI-enabled machine. Depending on the UEFI settings you might need to manually select the USB drive on boot.

The Surface Pro 3 will automatically boot from USB if you set it up according the the instructions above.

Install Mobian to the Internal Storage

Currently, there is no installer available for x86 devices, and their internal storage isn't easily exposed through USB. You can either use the live USB as-is, or manually install Mobian to your internal storage from the running live system: in order to do so, simply download the image (or copy it to the USB drive) and identify your internal storage device (on the Surface Pro 3 it should start with /dev/disk/by-id/ata-). Then repeat the flashing procedure, only this time targeting the internal storage device.