HOWTO: Install HAOS on an Intel NUC with no mouse

It’s 2023, and I just realised I don’t have a USB mouse in the house, I use track pads now. I don’t know how common a problem this is but it makes setting up HAOS on a NUC a little tricky, specifically the bit where you need to install the disk image on the hard drive using BalenaEtch, I couldn’t get the keyboard to navigate to the bit that expanded the hidden drives to reveal the one I wanted to install to.

So here’s a quick guide to doing everything with a keyboard instead.

First, reset the BIOS to it’s default settings. I had to do this before I could navigate the BIOS properly with just a keyboard.

  1. Boot the NUC
  2. Press F2 to enter the bios
  3. Press F9 to restore defaults
  4. Press F10 to save & reboot.

After that you can press F2 again to enter the BIOS and use Alt-[key] to choose the tab you want and a mixture of TAB and arrow keys to navigate the various options. My NUC was already setup to use UEFI by default so I didn’t need to do anything in the end.

The official instructions recommend booting off an Ubuntu image, but try a more lightweight one that doesn’t have Gnome installed, maybe Kali instead. Ubuntu took forever to boot on my NUC, but it is an older model.

Open a terminal and use wget to download the correct image:


While that’s going on, open another terminal and find the device name for the hard drive. df doesn’t work because the device isn’t mounted, so use

sudo fdisk -l

Look for a drive that matches the capacity of the drive you’re trying to install to. If it’s a SATA drive, it’ll probably be /dev/sda, but double check.

Finally, you need to copy the disk image to your boot medium, assuming it was /dev/sda, like this:

xz -dc haos_generic-x86-64-9.4.img.xz | dd of=/dev/sda

That should be it, shut down the NUC, remove the boot USB and switch it back on.

1 Like