ZEALZ GK802 / HI802 mini PC Can Now Run Ubuntu 11.10

After Freescale made available i.MX6 development resources, we all knew this was a matter of time before Ubuntu runs on Hi802 / Zealz GK802 mini PC based on Freescale i.MX6. The guys at GeekBuying have done it, and a beta version of Ubuntu 11.10 can run on the Zealz GK802. This is not the first time Ubuntu or another Linux distributions can run on one of these mini PCs, but it’s the very first time we should get full hardware graphics and hardware video decoding in Linux.

You may have noticed the screen is cut on the sides, that’s because they haven’t done overscan adjustment before shooting the video. They are using Ubuntu 11.10 (Linaro) because that’s the version released by Freescale that supports GPU and video acceleration, and if they used Ubuntu 12.04, it would not work until Freescale releases the proper drivers. However, scrolling does not seem particularly fast on the demo. so I guess acceleration does not work on the stick right now. Hopefully, they will make another video showing 2D/3D performance and 1080p video playback in Linux.

I was supposed to receive a sample, but the seller who wanted to send me one decided to (temporary) discontinue the product (Hi802), so I won’t be able to try it for now. The image (8GB) has not been released yet, but it should be available within the next few days.

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16 Replies to “ZEALZ GK802 / HI802 mini PC Can Now Run Ubuntu 11.10”

  1. This could be the basis of a great XBMC box if and when full 2D hardware accelleration is supported well. No need for android here ;)….

  2. full hw accell…that us great, do freescale offer those drivers for download or are they just giving an ubuntu image with the drivers already installed?

  3. It looks like ubuntu is running awfully slow in this video. It takes forever to launch firefox and again it takes too much time to completely load a web page. I can’t imagine how many minutes it would take to render a heavy page like theverge.

    I’m not sure they have gpu hw acceleration working in this beta release of ubuntu.

  4. @Murat
    that would be because ubuntu is fairly resource heavy i.e. needs more than 1gb of ram ideally. if they used lubuntu all would be fine

  5. @Murat:
    Could also be due to slow microSD Card (there are drastic differences) and internet connection speed.

  6. I’ll be providing a 4GB dd image taken from a 4GB micro-sd made with the fixed script for the 11.10 beta.

    I’ve also put the kernel/modules into the 12.04 ALIP linaro release and have that booting(wifi works at least)
    So I’ll have a .dd image of that available also.

    It’s just taking a bit of time to compress/upload them to my google drive mirror.

  7. Hi,
    I am on the lookout to buy a mini pc stick/board to setup a linux distro (may also android a bit) for basic use such as web surfing, playing movies etc. and might use it as a headless server too.

    And after following the development/releases in the ARM based SBC world I got cutoff from the recent developments. So, what will you suggest for my requirements?

    The perfect under $100 SBC? Should it be GK802, Cubieboard, Parallella, Ouya?
    (I know Ouya isn’t actually what I am looking for but considering its hardware specs I suppose we can install a ~nux distro on it?

    Big fan of Charbax! 😀

  8. @cnxsoft
    But i.mx6 Quad SoC has many..many negative reviews for its performance in 3-D tests, FPS tests compared to a RK3066 dual-core with Mali 400-MP(quad) (I checked out some reviews on youtube)

    I feel as if i.mx6 is being abandoned by developers :O even it has some really open set of docs/source? Hell, the XBMC guys choose AML’s SoC over Freescale’s i.mx 🙁

    Also, looking at the ODROID-U2(powered by Exynos4412 Prime; a quad full quad SoC with quad GPU) the price is steep at $119 (about same as Ouya after shipping charges) but it has 2GB of RAM enough for a linux box.

    My another short question here is how will you rate the Exynos4412 Prime’s GPU vs Mali 400-MP vs the Vivante GC2000 GPU in terms of pure performance(power consumption being not a barrier)?

  9. @sky770
    Damn I can’t find complete Antutu benchmark for both platforms. I could just find

    Antutu 3 (GPU)
    Freescale i.MX6 (GK802) – 2026
    Source: http://www.geekbuying.com/item/Unii-GK802-Fresscale-i-MX6-Quad-Dure-Cortex-A9-DDR3-1GB-RAM-8GB-ROM-TV-Box-Dongle—-Black-312807.html

    Rockchip RK3066
    2D – 1210
    3D – 3928
    Source: http://dragondevs.com/index.php?/topic/993-battle-of-the-rockchips/

    Some people reported the GPU performance is about the same: http://www.armtvtech.com/armtvtechforum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=932

    It’s true that Freescale .iMX6 is twice as expensive as Rockchip RK3066 with about the same performance in Android. The latter is running ICS, the former JB, and this may also affect benchmark results. It also depends on the screen resolution used.
    Source: http://www.armtvtech.com/armtvtechforum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=932

    XBMC guys went with AMLogic some time ago, as i.MX6 was not available. You also don’t really need quad core to play videos, if you can use HW video decoding.

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