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Tyler Smith
Tyler Smith

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Getting Pop_OS! Installed on an HP ProBook x360 11

The HP ProBook x360 11 is a temperamental machine with a non-standard implementation of the EFI boot, which makes it pretty difficult to get any Linux distro installed on it. I've previously managed to install Ubuntu on it and wrote about it, but now that I've been using Pop_OS! nothing else will do.

NOTE: I just managed to get this loaded about an hour ago, and I'm documenting this from my memory and my bash history. I don't have the exact messages and errors that I ran into documented here, so this won't be as in-depth as I'd like. Hopefully you still find it helpful.

Installing Ubuntu First

If you read my article about installing Ubuntu on the HP ProBook x360 11, you'll recall that we went through a normal installation (which failed) and then used Boot Repair to fix the installation.

This didn't work for me with Pop_OS!: Boot Repair didn't fix the boot, though maybe you'll get different results if you try (I was trying with Pop 20.10, maybe it would work with 20.04). Since I couldn't install Pop directly, I installed Ubuntu then transform it into Pop. It's not perfect, but it's what I was able to make work after days of trying to make this work.

Here's what I did:

To start, create a bootable USB install disk of Ubuntu 20.04 (20.04 is the only version I attempted this with). Hit the escape key to load the boot settings then Boot from the USB.

Run the installer. It will fail.

Reboot with the Ubuntu disk live demo, then install and run Boot Repair with the following terminal commands, hitting enter after each command.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair
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Restart your computer. You should now have Ubuntu working.

Installing Pop_OS! on top of Ubuntu

Next up you want to install Ubuntu(shout out to Drew Howden's YouTube video for showing me this was possible) Run the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:system76/pop
sudo apt-get install pop-desktop
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I got an error during the install command when ran it, something about trying to overwrite '/var/cache/apt/archives/pop-gnome-initial-setup_3.36.1~1612193315~20.04~4367c76_amd64.deb'. Here are the commands I ran that eventually resolved this:

sudo apt clean
sudo apt autoremove
sudo apt upgrade
# If you got an error with a different filename, make sure the filename on this command matches your error.
sudo dpkg -i --force-overwrite /var/cache/apt/archives/pop-gnome-initial-setup_3.36.1~1612193315~20.04~4367c76_amd64.deb
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After that, run the installer again:

sudo apt-get install pop-desktop
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Reboot your computer.

Final tweaks

When you reboot, it should almost be Pop_OS!, but you'll need to change the theme. Install Gnome Tweaks to fix that.

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks
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Open by typing gnome-tweaks into your terminal and go to Appearance, then change the application theme to Pop or Pop Dark. You're done.

Wrapping Up

There's probably a better way to do this. Maybe it would have worked if I did the Boot Repair on Pop_OS! 20.04 instead of 20.10. This finally got it working for me though. Hopefully it helped you too.

If you know a better way to do this, PLEASE leave a comment below. I can tell you that a lot of people have checked my post about getting Ubuntu on the Probook, and I imagine a few people will be viewing this post as well.

Top comments (1)

tylerlwsmith profile image
Tyler Smith

It should mention that the computer starts unbelievably slow with this set up. So slow that I think I bricked it again. If this happens to you, give it a minute: it may just need to wake up.