The Acer ES1-132, Linux, UEFI, and Secure Boot Part 4

Continued from The Acer ES11-132, Linux, UEFI, and Secure Boot on  Part 3

5. GPT Partition Recovery

The GPT Partition Recovery setting is arguably the most obtuse item on the Setup Utility and poorly described on the utility. By default, you won't have an entry for a GPT Partition record and the setting is None. However, you won't be able to boot to GRUB2 without setting a GPT Partition.

When you set the GPT Partition Recovery option, a record is added. The screen shot has an entry for my Fedora 25 installation.
 
Without a GPT partition record, Debian's installation process won't be able to install a boot loader or configure GRUB. On reboot, you end up with a No bootable device message.

Users will get a No Bootable Device error if the GPT Partition setting isn't configured.

If you don't have a GPT partition, Debian will fail to update Grub and you can only proceed with installation without a boot loader. On reboot, you get a No Bootable Device and no Linux entry in the boot tab.

Fedora 25 installation overview


Since Fedora 25 supports UEFI and Secure Boot, the only additional step is to set a GPT Partition using the option in the Main tab in the Setup Utility. The rest of the steps should be familiar to most users.

Note: Since this process was written, Acer has updated the BIOS twice the last few months, which means you may not successfully install Fedora 25 (or any distribution for that matter). Since the BIOS update can only be performed via Windows, and I've been running Fedora 25 since purchase, I can't test the BIOS for improvements or additional issues. As mentioned in the previous parts of the series, I recommend an ASUS or Dell for a straightforward Linux setup.

The following installation overview is for a clean install of Fedora 25 and complete removal of the preinstalled Windows 10. The steps use LiveDVD media for Fedora 25 and an ASUS optical drive with the Aspire ES1-132-C685:

2. Once the BIOS update is complete, reboot the device and press F2 once the Acer logo is displayed. Verify that the latest BIOS version is displayed on the Information tab in the Setup Utility.

3. Power down the system and upgrade the RAM to 8 GB (optional, but makes the installation process much faster).

4. On the Setup Utility, configure the following (in no particular order):

- Main tab > F12 Boot Menu > Enabled (optional)
- Main tab > GPT Partition Recovery
- Security tab >  Set Supervisor Password (optional, only if you encounter issues with Secure Boot enabled on the Boot tab)
- Boot tab > Boot priority order > USB CDROM  

Note: As an alternative to the Boot priority order setting, you can enable the F12 Boot Menu.


5. Install Fedora 25 using the full hard drive option.

Once installation is complete, a small message is displayed on Post indicating there's no boot manager, but Fedora 25 loads as usual. This is due to Acer's Setup Utility searching for the Windows Boot Manager, which at this point is no longer available.

The message indicates "System BootOrder not found. Initializing defaults. Creating boot entry..."

The Linux entry is now listed on the Boot tab > Boot priority order setting and Boot Option Menu.


Notes for Ubuntu 14.04, Fedora 25, and Debian 8 Jessie

The following behavior was observed during installation for Ubuntu 14.04 and Debian 8 Jessie:

1. Although the Acer ES1-132's Wi-Fi card works with the iwlwifi kernel module (Intel Wireless kernel driver), Debian 8 Jessie and Ubuntu 14.04 won't be able to set up Wi-Fi networking during installation. Fedora 25, however, has Wi-Fi access during and after installation without further configuration. You can, however, use a wired connection for Ubuntu or Debian since the Acer ES1-132 has an Ethernet port in the rear. Wireless drivers can be installed via the command line, Synaptic, or Ubuntu's System Settings post-installation.

Wi-Fi doesn't work during Ubuntu installation.
 
2. Debian 8 Jessie actually flashes a warning indicating that grub-update failed if you didn't set the GPT Partition setting in Setup Utility. However, Ubuntu won't flash an error and actually complete installation without issues. Note though that you will still get a No Bootable Device message on reboot.


3. Fedora 25 Gnome 3 is surprisingly usable even if you opted to run the system with just 2 GB of RAM. As long as you don't run too many applications at a time, it runs just fine. In contrast, Ubuntu 14.04 with the Unity desktop environment struggles badly due to the Unity Launcher and Dash. Maxing out the RAM at 8 GB, however, resolves any desktop performance issues.

4. As noted in Part 1 of this series, installation is unusually slow with Debian and Ubuntu, regardless if Secure Boot is enabled or disabled. Installation takes a couple of hours even if you don't use an Ethernet connection to download updates during the process. Installation should be much faster with 8 GB of RAM, though there probably isn't much of an advantage between using a LiveUSB over a LiveDVD.

Comments

  1. Hi, I have this laptop but it's the variant with 32GB eMMC internal storage. I can Live boot Ubuntu, Arch and many others, but none can access the mmc, I am getting "failed to initialize mmc0, error -84" at boot. Was wondering whether you'd perhaps have some ideas how to fix that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. https://community.acer.com/t5/E-F-and-M-Series-Laptops/ES1-132-cannot-install-other-OS-than-Windows-10-BIOS-options/td-p/476726

    https://community.acer.com/t5/E-F-and-M-Series-Laptops/Acer-Aspire-ES1-132-do-not-buy-if-you-wan-to-run-linux-ubuntu/td-p/495905

    ReplyDelete
  3. New BIOS 1.09

    1.Support new MXIC25L64 bios flash part.
    2.Support WMI serial number and UUID.

    ReplyDelete

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