Here’s my noob experience/issues installing StartOS on an X86 machine. I tried to look at all the guides and videos I could find (not realizing how simple the process really was), though still these few things were small bumps in my path.
I had a weird balenaEtcher issue, where it gave a warning saying the disk image “missing partition table” and likely wouldn’t create a bootable disk. I ended up downloading the .IMG file again, which had the same SHA256 hash value, but worked fine (didn’t display the warning). Oddly, when I loaded the problematic .IMG file the next day in Balena, it didn’t show a warning. So maybe it was just some random glitch.
I inserted the drive into the PC as a microSD and as a USB drive, but either way, my PC still booted right to its stock OS (Ubuntu). But by holding the F12 key while starting up, the menu popped up that allowed booting from the StartOS disk. Maybe F12 is common knowledge to many, but was’t to me, maybe being a Mac person.
Tip: Once StartOS install is successful, do not login to StartOS on the PC you just installed to (as tempting as it is). Instead, use another computer on the local network (using the URL start.local) for your first login. This way you can copy the new local URL and download/install the HTTPS certificate then and there - just saves a little time. In my case, I’d removed the monitor and keyboard, etc. before realizing I hadn’t grabbed the new URL.
Again, overall very smooth experience, but figured mention of these hiccups might be helpful to someone.