Installing Ubuntu 16.04 / Mint 18 on Acer Aspire ES1

jan 31, 2017 | Linux, Systeembeheer

The Acer Aspire ES1-331-C6Q2 mini laptop is one of the models that is being used as a (chat)support laptop onboard Costa vessels for the GPSim GP-XL-B System. The GP-XL-B system is a Formula one simulator, used for entertainment purposes aboard the Costa Cruise ships. I was hired by Vesc as a Linux expert and one of my tasks was to install Ubuntu 16.04 on four of these laptops. After that they would be shipped to different locations all over the world.

While I was working on this and researching a bit online, I noticed there were not many complete installation tutorials or guides for these types of computers. So I decided to document the steps I took and publish it here. It works for the Acer Aspire ES1-131-C50P and Acer Aspire ES1-331-C6Q2 mini laptops, but probably works for other (normal) laptop models too.

(Note: this is an expert-level tutorial, assuming you have previous experience. If you have any questions please ask them in the comments, I will be happy to answer them!)

Steps for installing Ubuntu 16.04 / Mint 18 on the Acer Aspire ES1:

  1. Press F2 to enter BIOS


  1. Enable F12 boot menu
  2. Set Touchpad to ‘Basic‘ (might not be necessary)
  3. Disable D2D Recovery
  4. Exit BIOS, saving changes
  5. Boot Linux installer from USB-Drive
  6. Enable updates while installing (first connect to a network!)
  7. Don’t enable third party drivers
  8. Install Linux
  9. Reboot

The laptop will now say ‘No bootable device found’. No worries, we will fix this in the next step:

  1. Enter BIOS
  2. Goto Tab ‘Security’
  3. Goto ‘Set Supervisor Password’ and choose a password (this enables extra settings)
  4. Go to ‘Select an UEFI file as trusted for executing‘ -> ‘EMMC‘ -> ‘EFI‘ -> ‘ubuntu’
    and select a trusted file, ‘grubx64.efi‘.
  5. Exit saving changes
  6. Reboot

That’s it! Questions? Ask below!

Note: Why in English?

Yes we are a Dutch company, so why did we publish this in English? Simply because all content and tutorials on this subject are in English and we feel that if we want to make a contribution and maybe help someone out we should not post this kind of content in Dutch. Would you like a translation? Please let us know and maybe we can help you out!

PS: Waarom in het Engels?

Dit is een Nederlands blog, van een Nederlands bedrijf, dus waarom plaatsen we dan een Engels bericht? Alle content die je over dit onderwerp online kunt vinden is in het Engels geschreven. Het doel achter dit bericht is om mensen te helpen met een installatie en we denken dat we de community meer van dienst zijn door dit soort berichten in het Engels te plaatsen. Heb je nog een vraag? Laat het weten!


9 Reacties

  1. Bruno P.

    Great thanks for this article ! You ‘ve made my day ! After wasted my time on Acer & other linux forums, I was able to install a *nux distro on a friend’s Aspire ES1-732.
    Greetz from France


    • René Diekstra

      Hi Bruno,

      Good to hear the article helped you!

      Greetings from the Netherlands,


  2. Johan

    Thanks for the clear article! Unfortunately installing on ES1-732-C8P3 did not succeed: during “* Installing the ‘grub2’ package…” the installer (and mouse too!) freezes and the orange LED of the laptop blinks. What could be the problem?

    • René Diekstra

      Hi Johan,

      As far as I know a blinking orange LED on an Acer laptop usually concerns the battery or powersupply of the laptop. In some cases the LED is used as an error-indicator. Maybe you can find something on the internet about the latter, you have to count the number of times the LED blinks and see which error-code this corresponds too.

      Please let me know if you have fixed this!


  3. Diego Sandoval

    Just wanted to point out that there’s an issue with certain Acer laptops (like the ES1-311 and similar products) that freezes the whole system.

    The workaround is adding intel_idle.max_cstate=1 as a kernel parameter.

    You can do this by editing (with root privileges) the file /etc/default/grub and adding intel_idle.max_cstate=1 to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT variable.

    and then running update-grub will stop the freezing.

    for more info you can google “cstate bug bay trail”

    • Rene Diekstra

      Hi Diego,

      Thanks for the info! I haven’t encountered this issue myself, but this will probably help others.


  4. Nick

    Hi there, on the es1-311 Acer aspire there is no option to choose Uefi, it’s a very basic bios. Any ideas on how to install without this option featured? This model/bios is what gives Acer it’s notoriety for installing Linux.

    • admin

      Hi Nick,

      I don’t have any experience with these kind of bioses, sorry. If you find a solution could you maybe let me know so I can put it on our website?

      Kind regards,


  5. weeszschneh

    Hi everybody, thank you for your hints. It enabled me to install Xubuntu23.10 amd64 on such a laptop (Aspire ES1-331). The only change I needed to do was to choose the shimx64.efi file as trusted for executing. Best regards.


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