[Guide] Linux Mint Stable ISO on Framework

Hi everyone, first post here! Batch 6er, I just wanted to make sure everything was working before posting.

As the title says, I have Linux Mint 20.2 XFCE (I should add this is the stable version, not the edge iso that everyone else has used), based on Ubuntu 20.04, running without problems on the Framework as a boot install on a 250GB expansion card. If you don’t want to use the edge ISO for one reason or another (Like me, given the Mint team’s history of…broken…betas), then this guide is for you. It wasn’t particularly difficult but it was definitely more involved than say Fedora (thanks Elevated Systems for making his video and finding out that the latest Fedora is plug and play!) or PopOS.

System:

  • i5-1135G7
  • 16GB RAM
  • 2TB gen3 SSD (win10 pro)
  • AX210
  • 250GB expansion card (Linux Mint 20.2)

First Steps:

  • Disable Secure Boot if you want to use Hibernate (set up by the automated salt-stack script later). Don’t be like me, with no use for Hibernate but kinda still want secure boot, fly too close to the sun not realizing you need it off and run the script for Hibernate, thus breaking your sleep verbs until you disable Secure Boot and Windows starts to complain.
  • Install like normal onto your chosen drive with your desired partitioning scheme. IMPORTANT: The 20.2 installer has a bug, it installs the bootloader to the first drive it comes across (the internal ssd in my case) regardless of options chosen in install. For people like me who want a drop-in OS card, you’ll have to delete the ‘ubuntu’ folder in the SSD boot partition, unmount the ssd boot partition, mount your desired boot partition to /boot, and run grub install to put a bootloader on the expansion card. Doesn’t fix BitLocker complaining every time you either have or don’t have the card inserted on reboot (depending on the state when you last entered the gigantic key) though, oh well.
  • Upon entering the OS after install, wifi and the fingerprint sensor will not be working. Obtain an internet connection, whether it be through a tethered phone hotspot or a USB-C ethernet hub (like I used, this one is plug and play with the old kernel). go to Update Manager>View>Linux Kernels and select 5.13.0-22 (the newest). People have talked about bluetooth bugs in the 5.14 versions that were only ironed out in 5.15, but I haven’t experienced any so far on 5.13. Install this kernel, and reboot after install, selecting this kernel in the Advanced Options menu.
  • Wifi and bluetooth should now be working (and no warm-boot Bluetooth bug, yay!!), or at least they are on my machine! Follow this AMAZING guide and script to get the rest working, and run fprintd-enroll to add your fingerprints. IMPORTANT: If you use more than one OS, only one at a time is able to use fingerprint authentication at least from my research. Adding Mint fingerprints worked amazingly, but broke my Windows fingerprints, and then fixing my Windows fingerprints broke my Mint ones so I just decided to disable Mint’s.
  • Tweak your power management to your liking. I installed auto-cpufreq from the Snap Store which cripples me to around 1.4GHz turbo, I’m loving the battery boost since this Linux install is just my lightweight distractionless university note-taker.

EDIT: I’d also recommend tweaking your scaling settings. 0.8 fractional with the default font DPI looks great on the Framework display to me, but my bottom-center Plank dock set to intellihide won’t reveal if I have any xrandr scaling (no idea how that happens and it’s my main thing to troubleshoot rn) so I just use 1x, crank up the font DPI and icon sizes, and live with the tiny window buttons on my theme (scaling the images has had no effect).

Thanks all, and let me know if you have any problems! I’ll probably try and get Garuda running on another expansion card when I finally pull the trigger on another order from FW.

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Thank you for this! LM 20.3 will be out in days, we’ll both have to update our guides to see if the update breaks things. Usually it goes smoothly.

@Fraoch no problem! It likely will break or at least introduce bugs in wifi+Bluetooth by shipping with a kernel <13 or in the 14s, but it can be easily fixed if updates to 15 are available.

I’ve read it ships with an updated 5.4 kernel so if you’ve updated to 5.13 or 5.14 it should stick with that. I wonder how the updated software will work with advanced kernels - it may not have been tested against them.

I don’t see 5.15 kernels with 20.2 but the 5.14-oem kernels work well for me. We’ll see if 20.3 ships with optional 5.15-oem kernels. These may come from Ubuntu though, so there may be no change until LM 21.

Update: I encountered problems with expansion card disconnect leaving my system in a very broken state each time (as that was where my OS was booting from), so I migrated to a dual boot partition on my internal SSD. This did not introduce any issues and fixed that problem.

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