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Ian MORRISON (Linuxium)
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This company (manufacturer not the reviewer!) hits a new low ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUZtkkyDfys ... hard on the heels of https://plus.google.com/+IanMORRISON/posts/DH5PMtGx8HS
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Ian MORRISON (Linuxium)'s profile photoPeter Horvat's profile photo
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I reached out to MeegoPad multiple times - communication (if any) was frustrating (mildly said). I will avoid their half done products in future. Thank you and all other reviewers for providing valuable information.
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The Intel® Compute Stick lineup expands to include a version powered by the 6th Gen Intel Core M processor ... http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2015/09/01/introducing-6th-generation-intel-core-intels-best-processor-ever and http://download.intel.com/newsroom/kits/core/6thgen/pdfs/6th_Gen_Intel_Core-Intel_Xeon_Factsheet.pdf for CPU details.

The new Core M Compute Stick will go on sale in Q1 2016, Intel says ... according to http://www.slashgear.com/intels-new-compute-stick-packs-6th-gen-core-m-into-dongle-01400263/ which somewhat contradicts Intel's roadmap (http://cdn.liliputing.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/compute-stick-roadmap.jpg).

And it seems likely to be fan-based (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=118&v=caCnxClKWhk&t=1m58s)
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Lloyd Seaton's profile photomallikarjun bhargav's profile photoTom Chambers's profile photo
 
Reading about Intel's brain-numbing range of 6th generation processors reminded me of the feeling many years ago when I went to buy an ice cream in the USA.  Those dozens of ice cream varieties were also claimed to be the "best ever", whatever that means.
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So how does Intel's Braswell NUC5CPYH NUC perform when running Linux? I've run my usual Phoronix Test Suite on Ubuntu 14.03 LTS and included the results along with the Intel Compute Stick and my last results for ARM based Mini PCs running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS for comparison. The results show continued improvement without anything outstanding.
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Ian MORRISON (Linuxium)'s profile photoMorgan Johnson (kaidenshi)'s profile photoRadovan Turan's profile photo
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Sure! My new drive will be in some time this week and I'll give it a go. Long term plans for the box are running Slackware 14.2 when it drops. It should have a compatible kernel and Intel driver based on what I've seen in -current. If not I'll stick with Ubuntu if it has better support. 
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Interesting comparison showing the SOM/carrier board combo adopted by the first two Intel Atom (Cherry Trail) x5-Z8300 released mini PCs.

(credit: http://freaktab.com/forum/tv-player-support/intel-based-tv-players/515420-tronsmart-tv-box-ara-x5-in-august-with-cherry-trail-z8300-windows-10 http://x86pad.com/t04.html)
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Chip Andre's profile photoJean-Luc Aufranc's profile photoRaymond Day's profile photo
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Like that is has 2 USB 3.0 but just a 10/100 Ethernet. Not gigabit Ethernet.
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Useful tool for Windows users (relevant also for Linux users)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ever needed to create a short document but don't have 'Word' installed? Perhaps wanted to make a quick backup of your Windows partition but haven't got any suitable software handy? Or maybe just fix that annoying bootloader issue that's cropped up after you tried to install another OS? 

Well the solution is surprisingly simple.  Create a small partition on your internal storage and copy an Ubuntu LiveCD to it. It will automatically create a bootloader option so booting is easy.  Then you can use 'dd' to make a copy of your Windows, Recovery and even Bootloader partitions for safekeeping. You'll have the full LibreOffice suite already available for instant access. By installing 'efibootmgr' you can quickly correct discrepancies between bootloader entries and NVRAM. You've even got the 'shell' so scripting is at your finger-tips! 

No more frustration of wanting to boot Linux from a LiveCD but can't find the USB you created with it on. Or loosing valuable storage space for a dual-boot option you'll never use regularly.

Okay, so there's a learning curve in order to set this up, but it is not a difficult as first seems. Here are all the required steps and you can use 'google' on each command for more information and helpful examples. Start by booting into Windows and shrink your C: drive by 1536MB using 'disk management' to create the small partition.  Next download an Ubuntu LiveCD (for example 'https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B99O3A0dDe67MWptY01KazZOMWM') and create a bootable USB from it using 'Rufus'.  Now boot from the USB and create a 'fat32' file system on the new small partition using 'gparted' (let's assume it is '/dev/mmcblk0p5'). Then from a 'terminal' session, sudo to root ('sudo su -'), mount the new small partiton ('mount /dev/mmcblk5 /mnt') and copy across the LiveCD ('cp -a /cdrom/.disk /mnt && cp -a /cdrom/* /mnt'). All that's left to do is tidy up and reboot ('sync && sync && umount /mnt && reboot').  You should now see a new UEFI bootloader option in your boot menu which is the new small partition storing the LiveCD. You can also remove the USB as you are finished with it. Remember if you are booting using a 32-bit bootloader (e.g. the one used for Windows) you won't get sound as you'll need to boot using a 64-bit bootloader (e.g. the one used for Ubuntu on the ICS). Also as this is a LiveCD there is no persistence; everything will be just like new each time you boot from it. Finally you can even use it to install Linux if needed. Enjoy!
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Philip Wright's profile photoJose luis's profile photo
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Unofficial "official" quasi Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS released
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I am pleased to announce the release of the unofficial "official" quasi Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS (Long-Term Support) for Desktop on Intel Z3735F products.

Canonical have expanded their hardware enablement offering since 12.04, but with 14.04.3, this quasi point release holds back the updated kernel and X stack (unfortunately the dynamic kernel modules that support the Intel Z3735F processor are required to be built exclusive to the 3.16 kernel).

As usual, this point release includes many updates, and updated installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to be downloaded after installation. These include security updates and corrections for other high-impact bugs (including Firefox version 39.0.3), with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

To get the unofficial "official" quasi Ubuntu 14.04.3
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In order to download the unofficial "official" quasi Ubuntu 14.04.3, visit:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B99O3A0dDe67MWptY01KazZOMWM

A differential manifest comparison can be viewed at:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B99O3A0dDe67NWE2WWpOS0ZXa2s

As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.

It is recommended that all users read the 14.04.3 release notes, which document caveats and workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth notes on the release itself.  They are available at:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/TrustyTahr/ReleaseNotes

On behalf of myself,

... Ian Morrison (Linuxium)
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Ian MORRISON (Linuxium)'s profile photoPeter Horvat's profile photoSeukWon Kang's profile photoEwerton Fernandes's profile photo
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I think casper.log is showing real cause: I/O error, can't open /dev/device: no such file, etc.
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Installing Ubuntu on the Braswell N3050 SOC based Intel NUC

First install Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS:

Download
ubuntu-14.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso
from
http://releases.ubuntu.com/trusty/
and install from USB using 'dd' (or 'Rufus' on Windows).

Wifi will be missing. So upgrade the Linux kernel to 4.1 or greater. I suggest using the kernel issued with Ubuntu 15.10 Beta 1:

Download
linux-headers-4.1.0-3_4.1.0-3.3_all.deb
linux-headers-4.1.0-3-generic_4.1.0-3.3_amd64.deb
linux-image-4.1.0-3-generic_4.1.0-3.3_amd64.deb
linux-image-extra-4.1.0-3-generic_4.1.0-3.3_amd64.deb
from
http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/main/l/linux/
and
linux-signed-image-4.1.0-3-generic_4.1.0-3.3_amd64.deb
from
http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/main/l/linux-signed/
using 'wget' and install by
dpkg -i *.deb

Now reboot and then update and upgrade all packages to the latest release:
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
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Chad Longstaff's profile photoMatthew Eyraud's profile photoSimos Xenitellis's profile photoDimitris Dafalias's profile photo
2 comments
 
@ Chad Longstaff - Ever heard of being grateful that people like Ian take the time to investigate, test, and share custom LiveCD images, install scripts and - at the very least - detailed instructions (with fricken screen shots! )so that people like you (and me) can do things that they could not do without his help?

Sheesh! If your eyes are so bad that you can't read that screen when you click on it, then YOU need to fix YOUR problem with glasses or by learning how use in on YOUR browser or monitor. Jackass...

Ian - a thousand thanks. Your unofficial official LiveCD images are the only install media that I was able to boot on my old MacPro and get Ubuntu up and running.

You're awesome.

Cheers
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Installing Kodi on Intel's Braswell NUC5CPYH NUC is as straight forward as following http://kodi.wiki/view/HOW-TO:Install_Kodi_for_Linux.

I used http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/01/31/kodi-14-video-playback-on-intel-atom-z3735f-computers-running-windows-8-1/ as a reference of what to try. I also installed Kodi on the Intel Compute Stick running on Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS and from a purely subjective comparison of performance between the two systems and the Window's results I concludes that all perform similarly.

I've included a list of the actual videos tested on both devices together with some Kodi system information from the NUC.
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Jean-Luc Aufranc's profile photoIan MORRISON (Linuxium)'s profile photo
2 comments
 
+Jean-Luc Aufranc No 4K TV for me :(
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Intel's Braswell NUC5CPYH NUC looks good on paper so what's it like in real life? Whilst I've successfully installed Linux with all the usual suspects working (graphics, sound, wifi and bluetooth) I thought I'd start with some performance comparisons in (cough) Windows. As I'd only got a spare 4G stick of memory and a 120GB SSD that was between machines, and more importantly because "I could", I've built the NUC with Windows 10 and run the same suite of tests that have recently been performed on the Tronsmart Ara X5. I then upgraded my Intel Compute Stick to Windows 10 and ran the same set of tests. The results are very good.

For those interested in more details, the actual test results can be found at http://www.3dmark.com/pcm8/8367172, http://www.3dmark.com/pcm8/8355516, http://www.passmark.com/baselines/V8/display.php?id=46492062799, http://www.passmark.com/baselines/V8/display.php?id=46492541697, http://www.3dmark.com/pcm8/8366699 and http://www.3dmark.com/pcm8/8355871 with comparison data taken from http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/08/23/intel-atom-z3735f-vs-atom-x5-z8300-benchmarks-comparison/ and http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/08/24/review-of-tronsmart-ara-x5-windows-10-mini-pc-with-intel-atom-x5-processor/
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Jean-Luc Aufranc's profile photoMorgaine Fowle (de la faye)'s profile photo
 
That's the link to Passmark 8 results for Ara X5 -> http://passmark.com/baselines/V8/display.php?id=46322016907
Diskmark is a low 200 points.
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Will the next round of Cherry Trail mini PCs be just too expensive as Linux boxes?

Initially I compared the Tronsmart Ara X5 with the ECS Liva X2 using the Intel Compute Stick as a baseline. The performance and functionality improvements showed that for only $20 extra the Braswell SOC coupled with the extra USB 3.0 and Gigabit LAN was much better than the Cherry Trail device.

Which led me to then compare against the Intel NUC (see the table I've created showing key highlights). Whilst the NUC is barebones, I already have spare RAM and SSD and I want Linux and not Windows, so the price now becomes relevant. And the NUC is extendable. So for a Linux box, I think we are now at the convergence point between cheap mini PCs and barebone PCs. Where the tendency for mini PCs is to increase in price for improved functionality, barebone PCs are getting cheaper and better.

My conclusion is that for Linux boxes the next round of Cherry Trail mini PCs will be too expensive and that barebone PCs are now viable.

Reference Links:
Intel Compute Stick benchmarks http://www.anandtech.com/show/9167/intel-compute-stick-review
Tronsmart Ara X5 benchmarks http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/08/24/review-of-tronsmart-ara-x5-windows-10-mini-pc-with-intel-atom-x5-processor/
http://hometheatrelife.com/tronsmart-ara-x5-review-windows-10-cherry-trail/
ECS Liva X2 benchmarks http://www.anandtech.com/show/9554/ecs-liva-x2-review-a-compact-fanless-braswell-pc
NUC NUC5CPYH benchmarks http://nucblog.net/2015/07/braswell-nuc-nuc5cpyh-review-windows-performance/
Linux benchmarks (Z3735F vs N3050) http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=intel-celeron-n3050

Pricing Links:
Intel Compute Stick http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA24G36F9195&cm_re=intel_compute_stick-_-83-800-004-_-Product
Tronsmart Ara X5 http://www.geekbuying.com/item/Tronsmart-Ara-X5-Windows-10-TV-Box-Cherry-Trail-Z8300-Quad-Core-1-8G-Gen-8-Graphics-2G-32G-2-4Ghz-5Ghz-351938.html
ECS Liva X2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856501013
NUC NUC5CPYH http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856102140&cm_re=NUC5CPYH-_-56-102-140-_-Product
Kingston 2GB RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820239853&cm_re=SODIMM_2GB-_-20-239-853-_-Product
Mushkin 60GB SSD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226677
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Jean-Luc Aufranc's profile photoHome Theatre Life's profile photoRaymond Day's profile photoJoy Testwick's profile photo
3 comments
 
Nice job showing all that. 1 more thing I think would be good adding to your list is the watt's of power they take.

Guess the ICS is the lowest on power use. If only it had USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet. More RAM would be nice too.

Looked up USB RAM but there all flash drives. I guess they don't make them. I wanted to set one up as swap space.
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Creating an Ubuntu Server on a Z3735F Device
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Unfortunately creating an Ubuntu server on a Z3735F device is not as simple as just downloading and installing the server ISO from 'releases.ubuntu.com'. Firstly the server kernel does not have in-built eMMC support so the install script will not see your internal storage. Secondly the server kernel is a different version so it will not support the dynamic kernel modules for wifi and bluetooth.

However it is quite simple to convert a desktop installation to a server one. First download and install the Ubuntu desktop ISO for a Z3735F device (hint: use the ISO from 'https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B99O3A0dDe67MWptY01KazZOMWM' remembering to patch if using a 32-bit bootloader with 'linuxium-32bit-patch.sh' from 'https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B99O3A0dDe67R1BVS2ZPdWdKMk0 '). Once installed, do not log in but press 'Ctrl+Alt+F1' to open a virtual console. Now log in and enter the following commands to create your server. Afterwards you can then access your server remotely using 'ssh unsername@ip.address'.

# Open terminal window with ctrl-alt-F1
sudo su -
apt-get update

# Change grub to text mode
sed -i 's/^GRUB_TIMEOUT=./GRUB_TIMEOUT=0/' /etc/default/grub
sed -i 's/^GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=./GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="text"/' /etc/default/grub
sed -i 's/^#GRUB_TERMINAL/GRUB_TERMINAL/' /etc/default/grub
update-grub2

# Remove desktop packages
apt-get -y install tasksel
tasksel remove ubuntu-desktop
aptitude -y purge '~c'

# Set up networking - and modify as required if using static IP addresses
cat <<EOF >> /etc/network/interfaces

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp
EOF
ifup eth0

# Set up remote access
apt-get -y install ssh openssh-server

# Install server packages
tasksel install server

# Perform updates
apt-get update
apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 16126D3A3E5C1192
apt-get update

# Reboot to finish
reboot
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Damon Randel's profile photoEdgaras Pocius's profile photoFederico Lucifredi's profile photoDoug Byrd's profile photo
60 comments
 
Ok :) Well i also had problems booting the Ubuntu 14.04.3 iso. Some problems with "loading initial ramdisk". I guess it has something to do with the current kernel and wish to upgrade without losing audio and wifi (which work quite good ) thanks
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Ian MORRISON (Linuxium)'s +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Mini PCs (MK802+, UG802, GK802 &amp; iStick A200) Linux Performance Comp...
www.cnx-software.com

Ian MORRISON (linuxium) has tested Linux with several mini PCs powered by different processors. The main point of his tests was to evaluate