Distributions

aka. Distro

ARM32 Distros

There are still a few distros out there which support ARM32

Downloads for older and probably dated builds can be found here: https://berryboot.alexgoldcheidt.com/images/

Recommend Distros

To make use of hardware acceleration we need to use grate-driver Following distros support grate-driver out of box:

  • Ubuntu Server

  • Archlinux

  • PostmarketOS

Choosing a Distro

Linux comes in all different flavors just like ice cream, you can choose whatever fits you. For ease anything Debian based is recommended, advanced users can look for Arch or Fedora. Difference is how commands work but deep down everything is nearly same.

Install and boot

There are two ways of booting Linux, APX payload or EFI boot, this time let's focus on EFI.

  1. Prepare SD card with any Distro of your choice You can use Balena etcher, Rufus, Raspberry imager etc. Doesn't matter which one

  2. Prepare a FAT32 formatted USB drive with EFI and kernel files, they are linked below, extract to root directory

  3. Put the SD card in your Surface

  4. Turn off tablet, complete shutdown and not sleep mode

  5. Plug in the USB drive you prepared

  6. Turn on by holding volume down key, release it when the logo appears

  7. Let it boot. If it does it will go past the kernel log and load a distro of your choice. It should be safe to unplug the USB once Distro has loaded up. (The distro could have mounted the USB, so be careful with that)

Credit to Leander who compiled EFI bootable kernel for this