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Yes, you can run Ubuntu on NEO Z83-4

Discussion in 'NEO Z83-4 Alternate OS discussion' started by jlinux, May 30, 2017.

  1. jlinux

    jlinux New Member

    It was not clear to me from reading this forum how easy or hard it might be to install Ubuntu on the NEO Z83-4. I decided to get one anyway and try it. I followed the instructions at
    to "respin" the stock Ubuntu 17.04 iso image (I guess needed for the 32-bit UEFI bootloader?) before writing it to a bootable USB stick. Then I was able to insert the new USB stick, turn on the Z83-4 and immediately hit DEL to enter the BIOS setup screen, change to boot first from USB, restart and install Ubuntu normally (wiping out Windows 10). I also changed the BIOS setup parameter to start at poweron instead of waiting for the pushbutton. The result is that Ubuntu 17.04 does work. Cool. Right now it's compiling a program using all four cores and only drawing 6.5 watts at the AC wallplug, so it it is also literally cool, or at most slightly warm (case temp is 33 C, ambient is 23 C). When I connect an external 4TB USB-powered drive and have all cores working at 100% (analysing video streams, and sometimes recording) the average draw is 7.5 W, occasional peaks to 10 W.

    I don't think wifi or sound works unless you do some additional steps, but I'm not using wifi or sound anyway.
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  2. Nicolas IST

    Nicolas IST New Member

    Hi, do you think it is possible to boot from another distro, then update the kernel to the linuxium one?
    Or won't it boot without the linuxium kernel?
    Could you tell me more about this UEFI bootloader topic?
  3. Linuxium

    Linuxium Linux Evangelist Dev Group

    Wifi and sound now work ... see this post.
  4. jlinux

    jlinux New Member

    Thank you very much Linuxium for getting wifi & sound to work in Ubuntu! This makes the Z83-4 a very useful and complete Linux mini-PC.
  5. Uno Ydostres

    Uno Ydostres New Member

    I was able yesterday to install (not only to live run) Linux Zorin OS Lite 12.2, 64bits in my Minix Z83-4, without uninstalling Windows. To achieve this I used an USB flash disc of 32 Gb as an external HD. I first have specified the appropriate boot option on the BIOS and at installing time I have specified to put the Grub bootloader on the flash disc, instead to put it in the internal HD, and make two partitions in the external drive: one of 28Gb EXT4 for the system and one Swap of 4Gb.

    At boot time now there is a menu to choose Zorin or Windows, so that you can still run Windows without trouble or the new Linux installed.

    I have checked as well that it is possible, if you don't want more this external installation, to take it out the flash disc and boot again Windows that 'forget' being managed by the Grub bootloader, when changed the appropriate way the boot options of the BIOS.
    sutch and SteveMurphy like this.
  6. sutch

    sutch New Member

    Did your WiFi, HDMI audio and Bluetooth work? Also, why the Lite version of Zorin?
    I would like to run Mint if it is just a matter of doing the install like you did for Zorin.

    Thanks for any input.
  7. Uno Ydostres

    Uno Ydostres New Member

    Hi, sutch. First of all I installed te 'Lite' version of Zorin because its low requirements of the hardware.

    In my case, with Zorin, I did not noticed any problem with HDMI, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. I think Mint will be perfectly OK. My advice is to run It in Live mode before to follow up with installation, and test carefully everything. If all devices and connexions work in Live mode, you would not have risks that something goes wrong afterwards when installed.

    If you succeed, please post It, so that all know this way is safe to enhance the performance of our Minix.

    sutch likes this.
  8. Linuxium

    Linuxium Linux Evangelist Dev Group

    If you need all of wifi, HDMI audio and bluetooth to work you'll have to wait for the v4.15 mainline kernel to be released although you can test (after compiling) the release candidates starting with rc1 already. You can use my 'isorespin.sh' script to respin a MINT ISO and add a later kernel and userspace files to get things to work as not everything works OOTB with an official ISO. Keep an eye on http://www.minixforum.com/threads/ubuntu-linux-on-minix-neo-z83-4.14545 where I'm posting the latest progress and updates.
    sutch likes this.
  9. Dau

    Dau New Member

    Hallo my english is to bad what is the Bios stetting to Boot from USB I have all testet but is startet Windows 10.
  10. Linuxium

    Linuxium Linux Evangelist Dev Group

    Use F11 to get the boot menu (hit it frequently after booting just in case) and then select your USB.