Ubuntu on Wintel W8 / Ainol Mini PC
Jul 30th, 2015
- Recommended BIOS Settings for Ubuntu 14.04 on Wintel W8 Boards
- The Wintel W8 mini PC (also sold as the Ainol Mini PC) comes pre-loaded with Android 4.4 (64-bit) and Windows 8.1 (32-bit). At boot, an icon-based dual-boot loader will ask which OS you want to boot into.
- I wanted to have a single-boot (not dual-boot) installation of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, the latest LTS release at the time of this writing. This paste documents the steps I needed to take to successfully accomplish this.
-  http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/04/27/wintel-w8-review/
-  http://www.amazon.com/Mini-PC-7000mAh-Computer-Bluetooth/dp/B00ZUJ6ALO
- Step 1: Boot up.
- If you want to install a 32-bit flavour of Linux, you will need to boot the mini PC, and at the dual-boot screen you should select Windows.
- If you want to install a 64-bit flavour of Linux, you will need to boot the mini PC, and at the dual-boot screen you should select Android.
- Once the selected OS has been booted, just yank the power cable out of the device (don't shut it down gracefully.)
- This step is necessary because when Android is selected, the 64-bit UEFI firmware is uploaded/flashed/whatever, and ditto for 32-bit firmware when Windows is selected.
- Step 2: Enter BIOS.
- Power on your mini PC with a USB keyboard attached, and immediately, repeatedly press the ESC key (don't hold it down, tap the key frequently). This should throw you into the modern blue and white/black BIOS screen (see the images in  for examples).
- Step 3: Reset Defaults.
- Head over to "Save & Exit" tab, and select the option to restore to factory settings/defaults. Once this is done, don't save nor exit, just continue immediately on to step 3.
- Step 4: "Boot" tab.
- Head to the "Boot" tab and set "Quiet Boot" to Disabled.
- Step 5: "Security" tab.
- Look for the "Secure Boot" setting and set it to Disabled.
- Step 6: "Chipset" tab.
- Look for the "RPMB Provision" setting and set it to Disabled.
- This will stop the Ubuntu installer from trying to probe the /dev/mmcblk0rpmb block device and erroring out.
- Step 7: "Advanced" tab.
- This is the most important setting, and will fix the eMMC speed from being ~128KB/sec to ~42MB/sec reads. Change the "SCC eMMC 4.5 HS200 Support" setting to Disabled.
- The rest of the settings should read:
- LPSS & SCC Devices Mode: ACPI mode
- SCC eMMC Support: Enable eMMC 4.5 Support
- eMMC Secure Erase: Disabled
- eMMC Write Protect: Enabled
- SCC eMMC 4.5 DDR50 Support: Enabled
- SCC eMMC 4.5 HS200 Support: Disabled (this is the one setting we changed in this step)
- SCC SDIO Support: Enabled
- SCC SD Card Support: Enabled
- SDR25 Support for SDCard: Enabled
- DDR50 Support for SDCard: Disabled (note: this is greyed out on my screen)
- MIPI HSI Support: Enabled
- Step 8: Save and Reset.
- Head to the "Save & Exit" tab and select "Save and Reset".
- You should press ESC again just like you did in step 2 to re-enter BIOS, and select an installation media from the "Save & Exit" tab to boot from. This should be either a USB FLASH drive with installation files on it or USB CD-ROM drive with the installation CD inserted).
- TIP: Use the Desktop ISO so you can "Try Ubuntu without installing" and just confirm that eMMC speeds are in the tens of MB/sec, and that any other devices you require are functional.
- - The WiFi (RTL8723BS) isn't working out-of-the-box. Once you have Ubuntu successfully installed you will need to source these and install them just like any other kernel modules.
- - Audio over HDMI on Linux is broken, however it looks like others have got it working with a lot of work: http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/05/08/minix-neo-z64w-intel-atom-z3735f-mini-pc-gets-hdmi-audio-in-ubuntu/
- - Remember, this kit uses UEFI, so read up on installing Ubuntu on UEFI machines if it's not an area you're familiar with (TLDR is: use GPT partition table, and have the first partition be 100MB-200MB in size with the type set to EFI, then your usual Linux partitions thereafter.)
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