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Running Linux On The Intel Compute Stick

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    TerryAnderson
    Junior Member

  • TerryAnderson
    replied
    I am very interested in your tests of running linux on the windows version of the Intel Compute Stick published by Phoronix. I tried replying to the thread attached to the article but even though I joined Phoronix it still does not seem to allow me to post, so I am writing to you directly.

    I have an windows compute stick and tried installing linux on it. Rather than Ubuntu I wanted to install CentOS, but I have been unable to get the BIOS to let me boot from a DVD drive. I have never installed Ubuntu so perhaps it offers other methods, but installing CentOS/RHEL requires booting linux from some bootable device. I attached both a dvd drive using USB and a USB stick but the BIOS still offers me only the internal drive. If I get to the BIOS menu and try to select boot drive order it still offers me only the one selection. Even installing an SD card as drive D: still does not show booting from that as an option.

    How did you get around this?

    update: it appears that my problem was not installing the OS in the USB stick using ISO format. I had to change the OS in the BIOS to Ubuntu (this apparently changes to a 64-bit boot loader) and then the USB stick was recognized and I was able to boot CentOS but it did not recognize either a USB keyboard or a wireless keyboard that uses a USB dongle. So I tried Ubuntu 14.10 and this appears to be working.
    TerryAnderson
    Junior Member
    Last edited by TerryAnderson; 21 July 2015, 05:07 PM.

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  • mathew7
    Junior Member

  • mathew7
    replied
    Originally posted by AndyChow View Post
    Michael, please write the article on how you installed Linux on the stick. I can't figure it out, I have a similar device (same specs, different brand). UEFI external dvd-drive is seen, but can't boot.
    Well, I have a Beelink Pocket P2 and I also had trouble. From what I've seen on the net, Windows 8.1 w/Bing devices (as in some tablets) use only 32-bit UEFI for booting. Windowses don't come with that. I've installed 64-bit debian 8.0 on my device this weekend, but I've had to go through some hoops.
    32-bit debian install .isos (and I suppose ubuntu) have 32-bit EFI loader (check for EFI/BOOT/BOOTIA32.EFI on the disc). That should be bootable, but it's a 32-bit OS.
    64-bit linuxes and Windows have EFI/BOOT/BOOTx64.EFI, which my stick refuses to load. Also the old 1st sector booting is not supported.

    My solution was to create a new ISO based on the 64-bit .iso with BOOT and EFI folders from the 32-bit ISO (well, except for boot/grub.cfg, which you need the 64-bit version). 32-bit EFI can boot 64-bit kernels (I suppose that could be true with windows, but I have not tried yet...would love 64-bit win on it). I've still had trouble with the image, until I found the mkisofs parameters in the .disk folder and used it's content to create the .iso . Of course, I removed jigdo and hybrid MBR parameters.
    I've managed to install 64-bit debian that way, but I've had trouble booting the installed setup. It seemed to hang after initrd loading. I managed to see a pattern: when booting by choice (hint: override boot device), it would boot OK, but booting by default left me hanging (windows through GRUB has no problems). There was an option of "Quiet" booting (don't remember exactly) which I disabled and now it seems to boot ok.

    PS: from what I've seen on the net, MacOS seems to also use 32-bit UEFI exclusively. So maybe the MacOS ubuntu ISOs may already have everything (just a thought, did not check).

    Update: I checked some (x/l)ubuntu .iso file listings and none seem to have bootia32.efi.
    mathew7
    Junior Member
    Last edited by mathew7; 03 June 2015, 03:26 PM. Reason: Added ubuntu missing 32-bit efi

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  • AndyChow
    Senior Member

  • AndyChow
    replied
    Michael, please write the article on how you installed Linux on the stick. I can't figure it out, I have a similar device (same specs, different brand). UEFI external dvd-drive is seen, but can't boot.

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  • mr_tawan
    Phoronix Member

  • mr_tawan
    replied
    I'm quite interested on running Kodi in this thing.

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  • ZauberParacelsus
    Junior Member

  • ZauberParacelsus
    replied
    @Nille: Yeah, I'm aware it wouldn't be usable. "minimum requirements" generally implies the minimum required to simply run, but not to run well.

    @Ferry: That depends on what antivirus you're using. Norton has historically been pretty bad. Another factor is if you're using a SATA hard drive, but the BIOS is set to IDE instead of AHCI mode. If it's set to IDE mode, then you get huge performance problems any time more than one app is trying to do disk reads and writes at the same time. Any virus scanner (which does numerous disk reads in rapid succession) would have a huge performance hit in such a configuration unless coded to pace itself.
    ZauberParacelsus
    Junior Member
    Last edited by ZauberParacelsus; 28 May 2015, 07:48 PM. Reason: typo fix

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  • ferry
    Senior Member

  • ferry
    replied
    Originally posted by ZauberParacelsus View Post
    Actually, I'd have to say that they haven't quite "crippled" the Linux version. But rather, it's because Windows has higher system requirements than Linux.
    ...
    I agree. Windows will cripple itself once the virus scanner is installed.

    I expect both version will give a more or less similar performance.

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  • Nille
    Senior Member

  • Nille
    replied
    Originally posted by ZauberParacelsus View Post
    Ubuntu, for example, requires a minimum of 512mb of RAM
    With 512MB Ram the System Boots but its Unusable. Even a Lubuntu or Xubuntu is not very handy with 512MB RAM. The Windows 8.1 Uses after the boot around 400MB Memory and with 1GB as minimum you has enough for Applications.

    EDIT: A Windows on a MMC oder SSD Drive can reduced to around 3-4GB Memory.

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  • ZauberParacelsus
    Junior Member

  • ZauberParacelsus
    replied
    Actually, I'd have to say that they haven't quite "crippled" the Linux version. But rather, it's because Windows has higher system requirements than Linux.

    Ubuntu, for example, requires a minimum of 512mb of RAM and 5gb of disk space.
    32bit Windows 8.1, however, requires a minimum of 1gb of RAM and 16gb of disk space. The 64bit version requires a minimum of 2gb of RAM and 20gb of disk space.

    Both would run with 1gb of RAM, but you would be more limited with Windows 8.1. Windows can't even be installed with the Linux version of the compute stick however, because the amount of disk space it has is half of what Windows requires. And while there's more leftover space on the Windows version of the compute stick (16gb vs 3gb for Linux), Windows applications typically use more disk space than Linux applications. This is because windows apps usually include their own copies of the libraries they use while Linux apps typically use the system versions of those libraries.

    References:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...emRequirements
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...m-requirements
    ZauberParacelsus
    Junior Member
    Last edited by ZauberParacelsus; 28 May 2015, 02:19 PM. Reason: Added references

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  • Xaero_Vincent
    Senior Member

  • Xaero_Vincent
    replied
    Yeah it's pretty clear the Linux version is crippled. It's cheaper but the hardware is worse, meaning Microsoft has essentially handed Intel free Windows 8.1 licenses for it's stick.

    Just sell both at $150 with identical hardware. I can sort of understand Intel's logic...if the Linux version is priced the same as Windows, very few would buy the Linux one versus the Windows unit. The thing is, most people aren't stupid and can clearly tell that 8GB storage and 1GB is worse than 32GB and 2GB RAM. 32 GB storage is basically the minimum for a full Windows 8 stack with a little breathing room (most cheap Windows 8 tablets will have at least 32 GB storage) but it can handle 1GB of RAM with the 32 bit version.
    Xaero_Vincent
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Xaero_Vincent; 28 May 2015, 11:24 AM.

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  • nashamri
    Junior Member

  • nashamri
    replied
    I'm wondering if there's a screen and keyboard combo that has nothing but battery, and you stick this thing in it and you will have a good cheap portable device. Something like the motorola atrix, any suggestions?
    nashamri
    Junior Member
    Last edited by nashamri; 28 May 2015, 11:13 AM.

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