How To: Using Alternative Linux Distributions (Edge Computer)

As of today (19-May-2022) our 752-9400/752-9401 and our 752-9800 edge computers come pre-installed with Debian 10.12.0.

If you want to install a different Linux distribution on your edge computer, we recommend the LTS (Long Term Support) versions of that distribution. For updated LTS information on Debian see: LTS - Debian Wiki, for LTS information on Ubuntu see: Releases - Ubuntu Wiki.

Internally we have tested the latest version of Debian 11, as well as Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS and have found they are both stable with adequate driver support.

Depending on the distribution you choose, you may have to look for separate driver packages to install to support hardware like HDMI interfaces, etc.

How to install the new OS:

  1. Mount the new Linux distribution .iso image to a USB drive. We use Balena Etcher as it is generally quick and easy to mount an .iso image. NOTE: the next step requires a USB keyboard and an HDMI based monitor connection. The Display Port WILL NOT WORK, IT MUST BE HDMI.

  2. The hardware uses a AMI UEFI BIOS. Insert the USB with the mounted image into a USB port and reboot the device. To enter the BIOS setup, press the “del” key repeatedly during start up. If you missed your timing simply restart the system by turning it OFF and ON, and enter the BIOS again.

  3. When you enter BIOS setup, the first menu that appears on the screen is the main menu. You will want to navigate to “boot” on with the keyboard arrows. Under “Boot Option Priority” you can set the USB to take priority over the hard drive on startup.

Internet Connectivity:

No matter which installation you choose, you should eventually come to a screen regarding “Configuring the package manager”. If you select “no” to a “network mirror”, you will run into future issues upgrading the package manager. If you want to install applications from the internet in the future on this device, select “yes”.

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I guess everything on the edge computer is wiped if I do a clean install of Debian 11?
In other words docker, the edge web dashboard as well ?

Need to do a clean install of a edge computer and want to just run a stripped down computer with docker only (don’t use the edge web dashboard/interface)

Yes, it will remove everything. Here are the instructions for installing Docker on Debian: Install Docker Engine on Debian | Docker Documentation

During the Debian install, it will give you an option for the light version with terminal only OR the UI version.

The web UI that comes standard with our Edge Computer is called Cockpit, which you won’t need but just an FYI.

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Thanks! Clean install is done and debian 11 and docker is up running. Like a breeze :+1:

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