It’s the right choice if you really want to stretch your laptop’s life further

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I’ve been longing to switch from Ubuntu to Trisquel Mini for a while now and finally did it!

I wouldn’t have imagined it would be so easy. The first thing to do was to download Trisquel GNU/Linux from the official Trisquel website, then I created a bootable USB stick as per Ubuntu’s official documentation. I just had to launch the Startup Disk Creator from my Ubuntu command line:

$ usb-creator-gtk

The source disk image (.iso) file was automatically detected as if by magic along with the USB drive, so I just clicked on the Make Startup Disk button as shown in the image below.

Figure 1

Figure 1. Click on the Make Startup Disk button

That was it.

Well, the next steps were a piece of cake too: insert my brand new USB flash drive into a USB port available, restart my laptop, and press F12 to select the boot device.

Why Trisquel Mini instead of Trisquel?

I suppose it’s almost like a lifestyle choice. I’ve always been a fan of minimalism. I am of the opinion that simplicity brings you joy and peace of mind when it comes to replacing macOS, Windows or Ubuntu with Trisquel Mini.

Also, it is said that Trisquel Mini is especially suitable to run on older computers and laptops, but it’s the right choice if you really want to stretch your laptop’s life further, which means to produce less electronic waste and mitigate climate change.

If you haven’t heard of it before, click here to learn more about the Trisquel Mini GNU/Linux operating system.

It uses low-resource desktop environment LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) and lightweight GTK+ and X Window System alternatives to GNOME and KDE/Qt applications.

Those of you switching from non-free operating systems to Trisquel will find the following tutorial useful, it guides you through creating a portable USB device on Windows and Mac.


Trisquel is listed as a completely free software distribution by the Free Software Foundation and it doesn’t include any proprietary firmware.

Probably a good idea before installing a GNU/Linux OS such as Trisquel is to check whether or not your wireless card drivers are proprietary drivers (non-free). If this is the case, your recently installed Trisquel won’t be able to find any wireless networks around you because of that.

This happened to me on one occasion.

It is highly recommended to first download the proprietary firmware packages to ensure your Internet connection won’t be lost after the new install is completed, especially if you can access the network from that one computer only.

Be that as it may, this is how I listed all PCI devices to find out my WLAN wireless network controller information on my Ubuntu:

$ lspci | grep Wireless
02:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 Plus Bluetooth (rev 99)

As you can see on the command prompt above, Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 Plus Bluetooth provided by Intel Corporation turned out to be my wireless driver. After a quick web search I found the Binary firmware for Intel Wireless cards page, downloaded the firmware-iwlwifi package for Debian 10 Buster, and finally copied the Debian package to my USB device.

Once I got Trisquel successfully installed on my laptop all I had to do was to install the firmware Debian (.deb) package.

$ sudo dpkg -i firmware-iwlwifi_20190114-2_all.deb


It’s been a few days that I’ve been playing around with Trisquel Mini. The software feels stable. I have a feeling that my computer is working significantly faster than ever before with less power consumption. Of course this is a mere personal observation – I haven’t made any experiments or run any tests – but I’d say the battery of my laptop lasts way longer than with Ubuntu.

A number of reasons may be argued to explain why Trisquel Mini is better than Ubuntu, Windows or macOS.

It’s good for your pocket not only because it reduces the energy required to run a computer, but also because you don’t have to spend large amounts of money on software licenses. Probably it helps you opt-out from surveillance capitalism as described by Shoshana Zuboff.

Last but not least it is worth mentioning that Trisquel gives you the opportunity to encrypt your disk from minute one during installation. With disk encryption you have to enter a security key each time the computer starts up, however your files are protected in case you lose your computer.

It is a win-win!

Start to stretch your laptop’s battery life today and be happier and healthier producing less electronic waste for next generations to come. At the end of the day, you’re going to save precious time and money since Trisquel Mini GNU/Linux is significantly faster than Ubuntu, macOS and Windows in my opinion for most common computing tasks.

So why wouldn’t you just take care of your loved ones rather than throwing away precious time? Please go and play a team sport with your kids when you finish reading this article. Have a healthy lovely veggie meal with your loved ones.


Have a great day, and take care during COVID-19.

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