carbonOS 2021.1 Installation Instructions

carbonOS 2021.1 is pre-releasse software. Bad things will happen if you use it in a production environment. These instructions are a quick guide to getting carbonOS installed and ready for testing.

System Requirements

Installing onto hardware

  1. Download the ISO Image
  2. Write the ISO to a USB flash drive, using dd, balenaEtcher, or similar software
  3. Boot your machine into the EFI firmware. Disable secure boot, and ensure that your USB drive has priority in the boot order
  4. Boot your machine from the USB drive.
  5. Select “Try or Install carbonOS” from the menu. You can select the ramdisk alternative if necessary (i.e. you want to remove the USB drive during installation), but I don’t recommend using the ramdisk unless you have at least 8GB of RAM.
  6. Once the system boots, select your language and follow the on-screen instructions

Installing onto GNOME Boxes

  1. Ensure that GNOME Boxes can support EFI systems. This depends on how you installed Boxes and on your distribution. The easiest method to ensure everything is correct is to install Boxes from Flathub
  2. Download the ISO Image
  3. Create a new virtual machine, and select the ISO image you downloaded
  4. Boxes will tell you that it couldn’t recognize the OS. In the list of OS options, select “GNOME OS”. This step is absolutely essential! carbonOS will not boot without it
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish creating the VM
  6. Start the VM
  7. Select “Try or Install carbonOS” from the menu
  8. Once the system boots, select your language and follow the on-screen instructions

Installing onto VirtualBox

For the best experience, I’d recommend installing carbonOS through GNOME Boxes

Running carbonOS on VirtualBox is definitely possible, but I haven’t tested the system with it yet and I don’t know the exact installation steps. Also, I know VirtualBox doesn’t support some “hardware features” carbonOS expects, so some manual tweaking of configuration files will be necessary. If you want to give it a shot, please join #carbonOS on Matrix and I’ll help walk you through installing & reconfiguring the OS. Then I’ll write some instructions here :D