Installation of DeepIn Linux 20.2.2 on a Dell PC with a UEFI BIOS, Secure Boot and Machine Owner Key (MOK)
DeepIn Linux is an interesting Linux distro developed in China. The DeepIn Desktop Environment is Windows like and is currently optimised for Desktop use. Some of the DeepIn inbuilt apss such as the screen recorder are well thought out (although could do with one or two small improvements). DeepIn is currently lacking in features for touchscreen; for example it does not auto-rotate 2 in 1 convertible laptop/tablet devices and lacks a usable touchscreen keyboard making it significantly behind the Zorin Desktop Environment and the GNOME Desktop Environment for these devices.
There are a few additional annoyances for an international user because DeepIn is optimised for the Chinese market such as the browser using a Chinese search engine, the DeepIn Store Servers being based in China making it slow to install software and the user reviews are not automatically translated into your language of choice. Also the DeepIn forums are based in China and slow to access making it hard to leave feedback.
Table of contents
- Installation of DeepIn Linux 20.2.2 on a Dell PC with a UEFI BIOS, Secure Boot and Machine Owner Key (MOK)
- Downloading a DeepIn 20.2.2 ISO
- Creating a Bootable USB on Windows 10
- Unified Extensive Firmware Interface (UEFI) Setting
- Install DeepIn 20.2.2
- Connecting to Wi-Fi
- DeepIn Software Update
- Start Menu/Screen
- File Explorer
- DeepIn Browser and Changing the Search Engine
- Disable Sound Effects
- DeepIn Screen Recorder
- DeepIn Draw
- DeepIn Calendar
- DeepIn Camera
- DeepIn System Monitor and Device Manager
- DeepIn Store
- Touchscreen Settings
- Boot Maker
DeepIn 20.2.2 has been updated to support a UEFI BIOS with 2020 GRUB2 Security Exploit patched Secure Boot. Earlier versions of DeepIn did not support Secure Boot. The video is for DeepIn 20.2.1 and discusses Disabling Secure Boot to allow installation. You should instead ensure that Secure Boot is Enabled.
Downloading a DeepIn 20.2.2 ISO
The DeepIn ISO can be downloaded from their website.
I recommend selecting ISO Repository. However the ISO Repository in my case does not have the 20.2 ISO yet. If you can't get the 20.2.2 ISO use the download links at the bottom of the DeepIn 20.2.2 Release Notes:
Then searching for your country and a local server, in this case, I will select Bytemark hosting:
Then the 20.2.1 folder on their server:
This gives a direct download link to the ISO and a file containing the ISO checksums:
Creating a Bootable USB on Windows 10
To check the ISO checksums and create a Bootable USB on Windows we will use Rufus.
Accept the User Account Control Prompt:
Select your DeepIn 20.2.1 ISO:
Select ISO Checksums:
The SHA256 should be displayed. This should match the checksum provided (otherwise the ISO is corrupt):
Insert your >8 GB USB flash drive and select it under Device. Change the Partition Scheme to GPT and the File System to FAT32:
Select Write in ISO Mode:
Select OK at the warnings to Erase all data and partitions on the USB Flash Drive:
When Finished, Rufus will say Ready. You can close Rufus:
Unified Extensive Firmware Interface (UEFI) Setting
DeepIn 20.2 has been updated to support a UEFI BIOS with 2020 GRUB2 Security Exploit patched Secure Boot.
Dell Unified Extensive Firmware Interface (UEFI) Settings
Update your UEFI BIOS
All Computers Manufactured in 2012 or later have a Unified Extensive Firmware Interface (UEFI). Older Legacy system are likely below minimum system requirements for DeepIn 20.2.2. Make sure your UEFI BIOS is updated to the latest version before attempting to install DeepIn 20.2.2 as a number of UEFI BIOS Updates resolve some common Boot Issues. For new Dell systems you can update the BIOS from a USB Flash Drive within the UEFI BIOS Boot Menu. For older models you will have to either update the UEFI BIOS within Windows or use a FreeDOS Bootable USB:
UEFI and Secure Boot
You should install Ubuntu DeepIn 20.2 with a UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot Enabled. The SATA Operation must be AHCI.
Attach your Bootable USB and make sure your Dell PC is powered down. Then power it up and press [F2] to get into the UEFI setup.
Look for Advanced Boot Options and make sure Enable Legacy Option ROMs is Disabled.
Look for Secure Boot and Ensure that it is Enabled:
Next go to Boot Sequence. It should be set to UEFI. Your Ubuntu USB (in my case the SanDisk USB) should display. If you have old versions of Linux they will also display. Uncheck your Bootable USB and highlight any old Linux installations and select Delete Boot Option.
You should now have a single entry, your Ubuntu USB Flash Drive. Select Apply:
Expand System Configuration and go to SATA Operation. The storage controller must be set to AHCI:
The DeepIn 20.2.2 installer doesn't support RAID (Intel Rapid Response Technology) or Intel Optane Memory.
Secure Erase Internal Drives
We can use Dell Data Wipe for a more through wipe of all internal drives than the Format within the Ubuntu install. To do this select the Maintenance Tag and then go to Data Wipe, select Wipe on Next Boot.
Note the Dell Data Wipe does not touch USB Flash Drives or USB External Drives.
Note that only models manufactured in 2016 or later have Dell Data Wipe.
Select No (to proceed):
Then select Exit:
Lenovo Unified Extensive Firmware Interface (UEFI) Settings
You should install Ubuntu 20.04 with a UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot Disabled. The SATA Operation must be AHCI.
Update your UEFI BIOS
Ensure your UEFI BIOS Update is up to date before attempting to install Ubuntu 20.04 as there are a number of boot issues when attempting to install Ubuntu 20.04 on older UEFI BIOS Versions. You should use FreeDOS to do this.
UEFI and Secure Boot
To access the Lenovo UEFI BIOS, power up your Lenovo and press [F1]:
You will be on the Main Tab with System Summary highlighted by default, press [↵] to view the System Summary:
This will give details about the Drives. In my case I have a Samsung M.2 SSD. Press [Esc] to exit the field:
Press [→] to get to the Device Tab, then press [↓] until ATA Drive Setup is selected. Press [↵] to view the options:
Ensure that the SATA Controller is Enabled and Configure SATA as is set to AHCI. Press [Esc] to exit the field:
Press [→] until you highlight the Security Tab and [↓] until you get to Secure Boot and press [↵] to view the settings:
Secure Boot should be Enabled. Press [Esc] to exit the setting:
Press [→] to get to the Startup Tab. The Boot Mode should be UEFI Only and CSM should be Disabled:
Secure Erase Internal Drives
Press [←] until you get to Security tab. Press [↓] and select Hard Disk Password. Although Lenovo call these settings "Hard Disk" they also relate to Solid State Drive.
Press [↓] until you get to (Hard Disk) Drive Password and press [↵]:
In this screen look for Security Erase (HDD) Data. If you do not have this option, your system may be too old to support Data Wipe from the UEFI BIOS and you will have to use a third party utility lke Parted Magic instead.
Press [↓] until you get to Security Erase (HDD) Data.
Unfortunately the Lenovo Data Wipes requires one to setup a temporary Hard Drive Password.
Setting a Drive Password will lock the drive at the drive firmware level and there is some risk doing so. If you set a password and the password is forgotten you will never be able to use the drive again.
Press [↑] until you get to SM.2 Drive Password and press [↵].
You have the option to set a User only password or a User + Master Password.
The first is designed for a User Only in which case the user would have full admin access to perform a data wipe.
The latter is designed for a company with a large IT department. The IT department would have the Master password to unlock the device and to perform a data wipe.
Select [User] and press [↵].
Input a basic password in this case I will use the letter a:
Confirm the password:
Press [F10] to save and Exit. Highlight [Yes] and press [↵]:
Your computer will restart:
You will be prompted for your password as your computer begins to reboot. If you have a master password set you can press [F1] to switch to the master user.
In this case, the user password a will be input.
As soon as the user password is input press [F1] to get to the UEFI BIOS Setup. You will be on the Main tab. Press [→] until you get to Security and press [↵]:
Press [↓] until you highlight (Hard) Disk Password and press [↵]:
Then press [↓] until you get to Security Erase (HDD) SSD Data and press [↵]:
Select Erase NVMe Slot 1 Data and press [↵]:
Highlight [Yes] at the confirmation dialog and press [↵]:
Input your User Password and press [↵].
If a user and a master password are set it may only ask for the master password, so you will need to know the master password.
The Secure Erase will be performed and the Drive password will be removed.
Select [Continue] and press [↵]:
It should then have an error stating no Operating System found, this is because your internal drives are blank. You'll need to install DeepIn 20 now:
Install DeepIn 20.2.2
Booting From Bootable USB Flash Drive
Insert your USB Flash Drive into your Dell and press [F12] while powering up to get to the Boot Menu:
The Boot Mode should be set to UEFI and Secure Boot should be Disabled.
Select your USB Flash Drive and press [↵]:
Note this OS does not pass Secure Boot, you will get "Operating System Loader has No Signature. Incompatible with SecureBoot" if you try to use Secure Boot:
Insert your USB Flash Drive into your Lenovo and press [F12] while powering up to get to the Boot Menu:
Highlight your USB Flash Drive and select [↵]:
Install DeepIn 20.2 with Kernel 5.10 Desktop will be automatically selected and the install will proceed after a 5 s countdown. It is recommended to use this default option although you can also optionally select Advanced Options to switch to the 5.11 Kernel.
You will see some white writing on a black screen and then the DeepIn logo:
DeepIn requires a 250 GB SSD or superior. Highlight your SSD. Full Disk should be selected by default. Details about the partitions to be created will be displayed, select Next:
The install will now proceed:
When finished, remove the DeepIn 20 Bootable USB and select Reboot Now:
User Account Setup
Your computer will Reboot:
DeepIn 20 GNU/Linux will be automatically highlighted and boot after 5 s:
In the next screen you will need to select your Language and accept the License Agreement again:
Then you will need to select your Keyboard layout:
Select your Location on the Map (it will then default to the timezone of the Capital city) and select Next:
Input your username, it has to be all lower case characters. A computer name will be generated from your username but you can change it if you wish. Then input a password and confirm your password. Then select Next.
The setup will spend some time tuning your system (installing the correct device drivers etc):
First Time Login In:
You will then be taken to the login screen:
You will be presented with an optional introduction video, you can view it if you want. When ready select Next:
You have the option of either Fashion Mode which has a Central Dock (like Mac OS) or Efficient Mode which has a traditional Taskbar (like Windows):
The Effect Mode (similar to Windows 7 Aero) or Fashion Mode (similar to the Windows 10 Taskbar). The Effect Mode is recommended if you are installing on a powerful physical computer but the Fashion Mode is recommended if you are installing on lower spec hardware or a Virtual Machine.
You will then be presented with an option of icon themes. Select your Icon theme and select Done. DeepIn 20.2.1 is now installed:
Connecting to Wi-Fi
The setup does not include a screen to connect to the internet and download updates. To the bottom right select the Wi-Fi icon:
Input your Wireless Network Password and select Connect:
You are now connected to the Internet:
DeepIn Software Update
Open the Settings Icon from the Dock and select Updates.
Select Install Updates and Reboot when prompted:
The DeepIn Desktop environment should be very comfortable/familiar for Windows users.
DeepIn 20.2.1 can have either a Windows 7 style Start Menu (default):
Or be expanded into a full Windows 8.1 Style Start Menu:
DeepIn 20.2.1 has a very easy to use File Explorer with the usual Desktop, Videos, Music, Pictures, Documents and Downloads folders again being familiar to Windows Explorer within Windows 8.1:
DeepIn Browser and Changing the Search Engine
A Chromium based browser is installed by default which works in a similar manner to Chromium Edge or Chrome. It is setup to use Chinese search engines. To change this we can go to settings:
Select Manage Search Engines:
To Add Google type in:
Select … beside your new search engine and select Make Default:
You can also change the page to display when Starting Up. Unfortunately there are no settings to configure the New Tab page (which has a search box defaulting once again to a Chinese search engine):
Disable Sound Effects
DeepIn 20.2.1 has a lot of sound effect chimes. Some of these can get a bit annoying after some use. They can be disabled by going to Settings and then Sound:
The Sound Effects and turning them off one by one or turning them all off:
DeepIn Screen Recorder
DeepIn has a nifty Screen Recorder Application built in. To launch it select Screen Capture:
You will get a dialog to select a screen area, if you press [Esc] immediately it will take a screen capture of the full screen (saved to clipboard):
To view the screen capture options, relaunch it and make a screen selection size by resizing the window:
You can select the file format and save location. Then press the screen capture button to take a screen capture:
The screen capture is saved in Pictures as expected:
The screen capture can also be configured (once a selection is made) to take a screen recording. Once again there are file format save options. However annoyingly there is no option for a save location meaning all screen recordings get dumped on the Desktop (cluttering the Desktop). Select the Screen Recording button to start a screen recording:
A timer begins in the notification area. Unfortunately it was not very response on my test systems and I had to click on it about 10 times consecutively in order to get it to stop recording:
As mentioned the recording is dumped on Desktop with no save location settings.
The screen recording software could do with some shortcut keys to:
- Select Entire Screen (e.g. [Ctrl] + [ a ] when the selection tool displays)
- Start Screen Recording (with last configured screen selection, file format and save location settings applied)
- Stop Screen Recording
DeepIn has a simple but powerful drawing program:
Opening the screenshot taking earlier, we can annotate it using the DeepIn draw program:
DeepIn has a neat Calendar inbuilt:
DeepIn also has a webcam application preinstalled:
DeepIn System Monitor and Device Manager
A System Monitor and Device Manager are also available. This is similar to Windows 10 Task manager and msinfo32 respectively (not the traditional Windows 10 Device Manager):
DeepIn has an inbuilt application store which can be used to install additional software. The main userbase for DeepIn is in China so most of the popular software is based on the Chinese market. Many of the software reviews are also only in Chinese language.
The software store also seems to be a bit lacking compared to other distributions such as Ubuntu and Mint. A search for the popular Chromium browser for example gives no results. When I used it to install Chrome:
The version of Chrome installed was out of date and I was instructed to download Chrome usign a Debian package:
When I tried to install this, I got an error:
I had to uninstall the old Chrome from the Store:
Then install the Debian package:
Trying to install the Debian package directly on a Clean Install said it was missing dependencies (the Store install and uninstall of the old version is required to install these dependencies).
The Touchscreen on my XPS 13 9365 2-in-1 touchscreen did not work properly, it can be used to move the cursor but pressing down to click on most of the DeepIn 20.2.1 User Interface does nothing. I suspect there is an issue with this particular Wacom HID 4831 Pen Stylus and Finger Touch touchscreen and Qt on the newer kernel with the handling of screen presses not being handled as clicks as it should. (Perhaps it is expecting only pen input by default).
Interesting the touchscreen can be used to click links, images and enter search fields in the Chromium based web browser. I did not experience this issue on a Latitude 13 7350 which has a different touchscreen.
That aside there are limited settings for the touchscreen and no options for rotation or auto-rotation and therefore no 2-in-1 functionality.
The inbuilt touchscreen keyboard is really poor to the extent that it is unusable. This tiny square being moved around is the touchscreen keyboard…
Comparing DeepIn with Ubuntu on the XPS 13 9365. It becomes obvious that DeepIn is sorely lacking in Touchscreen user interface for the 2 in 1 convertible laptop:
DeepIn could be a much better OS if it modelled an onscreen keyboard on the GNOME one (particularly the one in Fedora which has additional emoji support) and if it allowed auto-rotation for convertible devices. The monitor sensor is already baked into the Linux Kernel, it just has to use the output of the monitor sensor to change the screen touch input matrix as well as changing the screen rotation in response to a change in screen orientation.
DeepIn has an inbuilt utility to make a DeepIn Bootable USB.
I tested this with a Windows 10 21H2 ISO and it failed, presumably because the install.wim file exceeds 4.0 GB (the upper limit for FAT32) and the USB being created is FAT32 formatted. Likely it is fine for any ISO file that doesn't have a file that doesn't exceed 4.0 GB.