Running Ultramarine on Computers It Probably Shouldn't Run On

One of my favourite things is using old or unusual computers for modern tasks, and my favourite way to do this is with Ultramarine.

I have always loved using computers for things they shouldn't be used for. This started years ago when I got my first "just for me" computer. The Raspberry Pi 3. The first thing I did when I got it was try to run Windows 10, as this was 8 years ago, I just downloaded the ISO and double clicked it. If you know anything about computers, it's obvious this is not how things work.

But ever since that day, little Jade was never the same.

That day didn't go to waste, from there I learned about GTK themes, and slowly learned about Linux at large. This lead to a series of events leading to why you probably know about me today.

The saga of Ultramarine running on strange hardware started much more recently though, with a certain Samsung Chromebook Pro, codenamed Caroline.

The "Fembook" and Owen's "Mascbook"

I got this computer from the local teen tech center, we were retiring it because it was missing most of it's screws and we couldn't coreboot it. It came into my hands for a challenge with Owen where we needed to daily drive ChromeOS for a week. After that week it pretty much instantly got a copy of Linux, I used Eupnea until we finally figured out how to get the write-protect off and it got a normal copy of UM.

She's since become my travel laptop, here's me browsing HackerNews on a plane ride.

Caroline, on a plane

Also, Blues Brothers, awesome movie, I think I gotta make Lea watch it.

Caroline is a really versatile laptop, I took her on every one of my bike rides last summer, it was really lovely to use her in cafes and on benches on the banks of the Mississippi.

It has a really nice pen, I used it for diagrams in my econ class until I got Krane.

I also drew my "pebblesona" in Krita on it, if you know, you know.


Here's the tweet.

Also playing Mindustry at lunch, I love Mindustry.

Going a bit older, my ThinkPad t61. It was my first Free Geek purchase of Summer 2023, I paid $12, shout out to the retro laptop sale.

My ThinkPad and iPod Touch

This laptop follows the trend of an XP ThinkPad becoming a transgirl's Linux laptop, it even had the COA, take that key if you want I don't want it.

The COA on my ThinkPad

I truly did become this meme, maybe we are destined to be stereotypes, or maybe the stereotypes just match us as people.

The first thing I did was pop an SSD in, then I installed GNOME Edition, it worked instantly (as Ultramarine should on standard PCs.) GNOME ran shockingly well, on 4GB of RAM and this ancient GPU.

Showing my pride, also Blahaj

Here's the back, got all the gay stickers on it.

This picture of it did numbers on Fedi, glad y'all like my gay ass laptop.

Let's cover another ThinkPad while I'm on the subject, this x120e I got as a gift from the modern department at Free Geek.

I had a really horrible time getting UM on here, first I kept having issues with EFI, these older EFI implementations on these BIOS/EFI combo machines are a mixed bag of either barely working or not working at all. I finally got openSUSE on here, which was a success until I started getting thermal emergencies. I then replaced the thermal paste, which did not help at all.

I eventually got Ultramarine running by flashing a raw image to the SSD directly, it worked pretty alright but still had tons of issues.

The x120e running Pantheon Edition

I ended up giving it to June as a parting gift, she really loves ThinkPads and was very excited by this one when I got it. I hope you're having fun playing with it back home, I miss you.

Taking a pit-stop, here's my Surface Laptop Go just chilling in the fridge, it runs Ultramarine 39 GNOME in this pic, and now runs KDE Edition (beautifully.)

I was trying to build ARM Images, and this thing has horrendous thermal management.

I got it for $120 off someone on Free Geek swap meet, and had a very strange meeting in a parking lot across the street from the Mall of America, I then went to a Christmas party and played with it instead of paying attention to my friends.

This laptop now runs KDE Edition, it was the laptop that made me fall in love with KDE again, it's a beautiful and small machine.

Here's one of the first screenshots I took using KDE Edition
Here's it running GNOME in Owen's basement, the dock connector even works!

Speaking of Owen's basement, here's another old business laptop with a nipple, my EliteBook 8440p. I bought it off Owen for $15, it was his Step-Mom-to-Be's old work laptop, and had a password on the BIOS. I had Ultramarine on it before even removing it.

The next day, I removed the lock thanks to some Portuguese guy on YouTube, and the laptop was all mine!

Yet another scuffed UEFI implementation on this one, slightly less scuffed than the t61 (UEFI would actually boot UM, but I used BIOS anyway.)

I think this guy also supported QuickWeb, the funny little Linux distro HP included alongside Windows in the Vista days. I haven't been able to test this though. You can see the button for it in the touch-bar type thing at the top of the keyboard.

I ran KDE Edition on it for a little while, but it was a bit too heavy to warrant carrying around.

I don't use it much anymore, and plan on gifting it to a friend pretty soon.

Honourable Mentions! My scuffed and bottle-necked desktop. Running Ultramarine (and I wrote this on it too!)

FX-6300, RX570, 16GB RAM

Here's krane, everyone has a krane nowadays.

Krane ready to be demoed at SCALE21x

Here's my Fujitsu LifeBook, it flips around adorably.

I don't have an SSD in it anymore, but I would love to play with it again.

Also ignore all of the SD cards and Pi Cases, I had a fun day at Micro Center.

Speaking of Pi, I run UM on my Pi400, but don't have a pic of it

My Pi400 running Raspbian
The box, this was my first time ever purchasing a Raspberry Pi for myself
The Pi400 CyberDeck Hat, it's handy and makes me think of Lea

Even more recently, I ran UEFI on my Pi4B to test UM40 images (we're almost done I swear.)

It was really scuffed, and ran really really slow, but I was able to test UM40 ARM Live successfully (also our new Pi4 native images with desktops.)

I got a Pi 5 too, I waited so long and my Micro Center finally had a couple in stock.

I haven't played with it too much yet, but we're hopefully gonna support it soon.

Where too next? You probably ask, or maybe you're asking why I have so many computers, or perhaps asking what's wrong with me. To answer the first two, I just wanna run Linux on as many things as possible, and to answer the third, I'm just a silly little kitty :3.

Anyway that's it! Bit of a ramble, but we're trying to do more of that here.

Let me know on one of the Fyra chats or my socials if you wanna hear any more about any of these computers, or just wanna say something about them.

Thanks for reading, so long, and thanks for all the fish.