Distro input wanted!


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Oct 5, 2023
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Hello everyone, I have been dabbling with Linux since high school off and on. More recently, I have became interested in exploring Linux once again. I have a Surface Pro X SQ2, with 16 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD which is used for school, and work. I want to get a distro of linux to dual boot with, but I have been so out of the loop I don't really know which I should get. I am not a noob, but I am definitely rusty, like an old VW Bus. I want something that will work well out of the gate, something I don't have to add every device driver to by hand. So yeah.. that is my piece, I await input and ideas thanks!

Surface Pro X SQ2
This laptop?

1. Made by Microsoft ?
2. ARM CPU ?
3. Expect troubles.

You'll have to use a Linux distro developed for ARM. There are quite a few, but not every distro provides them. All you can do is try some out and see if anything works fairly well out of the box. You may hit on a winner, so don't give up without trying. But don't be surprised if you run into difficulties. Microsoft is not well known for playing nicely with Linux.

Being rusty with Linux, be absolutely sure to backup anything important on your Windows before attempting Linux. Many people break Windows and need to reinstall it.... be prepared.
As you're looking to dual boot with a different CPU architecture (from what I see in the thread), I'll recommend you find the most major distro with support for that CPU and use that. This will afford you the greatest support resources.

Think of it as attaching yourself to the trunk of a tree instead of hanging onto a thin branch.
1. Made by Microsoft ?
2. ARM CPU ?
3. Expect troubles.

@localhost_void , Having thought a bit more on your question, My personal thoughts are, your best approach would be to install a suitable Linux distribution, In either a Virtual Machine or by using WSL [I assume your machine currently runs Windows 10 or 11]
Some popular distributions which have ARM versions [some of which may be optimised for the Raspberry Pi machines]

Debian Arm
Parrot security build [for pen testing/Hacking, not for general use]
Ubuntu mate
open SUSE leap
Manjaro Arm
Arch Arm
Maybe consider buying an older/pre used laptop specifically to put Linux on, it doesn't need to be powerful, for 'normal' computer tasks.

I still run a 2GB ram machine with a dual core 1.2GHz processor quite happily, for basic computing duties. :)
Quick question I hope someone answers it quickly anyway.
I know touchscreen won't work at first, instructions stated I would need a USB keyboard and mouse, now will a set of wireless connected through USB work or does it need to be a corded USB keyboard and mouse?
I know touchscreen won't work at first
This is not necessarily the case, If you run a live test of your chosen distribution it may give you a clue.
I would be inclined to borrow a wired full keyboard, and use the navigation keys rather than mess with both
What you will need is a Wired connection to the router or at the least a tethered data dongle/smartphone.
Wireless keyboard/mouse combos will work OK, as a substitute for USB devices....
Awesome, I absolutely love this site you've all been super helpful already. I now remember this aspect of the Linux community, was something I really loved and appreciated.
Good Evening everyone, hope you are all nice and warm, or cool, this chilly night.
I have been slowly setting things up to Dual boot my surface Pro X with Linux. I created a 60 Gb partition for the installation, I didn't format it or do anything to it per instructions I've been following here. I downloaded an amd64 iso image of Kali. I know it's probably not a great choice but I have installed it before and liked it. I immediately ran into issues when trying to create my USB Boot disk. The surface only comes with 2 USB C ports and the charger port. To use pico at school I had to buy a USB c to a adapter. I bought a little 3 inch one which has great transfer speeds ect. So, with my 64gb USB-A drive on it I tried Rufus first and about 88% through I got an I/O error. So I tried a few more times just because and same thing each time. S then I tried this little SD card reader dingle I have and got Rufus to work perfectly. But the surface refused to acknowledge the thing until windows started booting up. I tried etcher next and got the USB A flash drive to accept the complete iso. But again my Surface either isn't seeing the drive on the adapter as a USB disk or it's just not seeing it at all. After all this I took a few days and was able to buy a shiny new USB C Flash drive! Rufus even worked perfectly the very first time I tried it. But again still the surface refuses to boot from the USB drive at all, and I am kinda stuck.
If you can, open the main BIOS boot options and make sure USB is the first option then hard-drive then additional drives [DVD/additional Hard-drives etc] many Windows machines are set for HDD/SSD first boot to speed up loading Windows,
Also check windows quick-start [fast boot] is disabled
what the devil is bitlocker recovery and is that what keeps stopping my usb install? When I disable secure boot I get bitlocker asking for my recovery and key, which I do have.
So I have managed to get a couple distro to at least begin installation .Open Suse leap stalls on second startup step Starting Ramdisks and I have to restart. Parrot OS wants a UEFI version. Ubuntu will not even begin to boot. Going to downloading some different distros tonight.

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