Home > Linux, Rockchip RK31xx, Testing, Ubuntu > Ubuntu 12.04 Now Boots on Rockchip RK3188 mini PCs (T428, MK908, Rikomagic MK802 IV…)

Ubuntu 12.04 Now Boots on Rockchip RK3188 mini PCs (T428, MK908, Rikomagic MK802 IV…)

After the release of the RK3188 Linux kernel source code last week, Ian Morrison (Linuxium) has managed to boot Ubuntu 12.04 with XFCE desktop on Tronsmart T428. However, as Tronsmart refused to release their source code, further Linux development is likely to happen on Rikomagic MK802 IV, because Rikomagic released the code for their device, so development work will be easier.


AFAIK, this is the first time Linux boots natively on RK3188 devices, so it’s still early stage (no Wi-Fi, Bt or graphics acceleration), but if you still want to give it a try here are the instructions (for T428):]

  1. Create a SDCARD with an Ubuntu 12.04 root file system on it and ensure it is labeled as “linuxroot” (Visit Slatedroid for details)
  2. Flash your RK3188 minipc with rooted stock 4.1.1 ROM. (May not be needed if you ROM is already rooted)
  3. Boot Android, and install Android Terminal
  4. Flash t428-3.0.36-linuxium-test+-kernel.img as recovery.img with RKAndroidTool. (I can’t find the binary, and my Internet connection does not allow me to access all files right now, but you may want to follow the build instructions to get the image.) [Update: See comment for kernel binary and modules]
  5. Reboot your mini pc, start the Terminal in Android, type “su” to become root, and finally type “reboot recovery” to reboot into Linux.

It’s safe to try as those instructions should not affect your Android installation.

Ian also ran some benchmarks from Phoronix Suite to compare Linux performance in a chroot in Android via Linux Complete Installer (T428-ubuntu-complete) and native Linux (t428-linuxium). The third column is for an RK3066 mini PC (iStick A200) running Linux natively.


None of those tests do not require a graphical interface, and results are pretty close. Native Linux has a slight advantage with many of them, but for some reasons Linux running in Android appears to have a clear edge for PyBench.

PicUntu developers are already aware of this progress, so you can expect RK3188 PicUntu soon. Further details are available on Mini PC G+ Community including logs, kernel config, and some documentation.

  1. onebir
    June 15th, 2013 at 10:50 | #1

    Any idea if MK809 III/UG007B/QC802 are the same as MK802 IV? These seem to be the cheapest ones ATM…

  2. June 15th, 2013 at 10:51 | #2

    They must be a bit different, at least with regards to the Wi-Fi module.

  3. linuxium
    June 15th, 2013 at 11:53 | #3

    I’ve added the recoverey kernel image and the lib modules with instructions on how to download and install at https://plus.google.com/u/0/109451178006683865932/posts/jdUWmMKudJa so with these and the instructions above you should be set to take Ubuntu out for a spin – please note it is my first development cut and not everything will be working.

  4. onebir
    June 15th, 2013 at 15:16 | #4

    I think the wifi chipsets are:
    MK809 III – RTL8188eus*
    UG007B – CDT-K25931**
    QC802 – CDT-K25931***
    MK802 IV – Realtek 8189 & Bluetooth: RDA5876a***

    I wonder why the MK802 IV’s aren’t getting reduced like the others? They still go for $84+ (inc shipping, exc vouchers)…

    ** http://www.aliexpress.com/item//868155150.html

  5. onebir
    June 15th, 2013 at 15:17 | #5


  6. June 15th, 2013 at 17:03 | #6

    We can also add:
    MK908 – AMPAK 6210 (Broadcom?)
    T428 – AMPAK 6330 (Broadcom 4330)

    I think the best for Linux are Realtek one’s since the driver is supposed to work. For others, you may need to use an external Wi-Fi or Ethernet USB dongle for get Internet access.

  7. eebrah
  8. onebir
    June 15th, 2013 at 19:52 | #8

    For which we haven’t even yet got price or firm availability dates, let alone info on wifi chipset 😉

  9. Bobby
    June 15th, 2013 at 20:58 | #9

    I would simply like to express my gratitude to you for putting in all of the time and energy to make this possible.

    I’ve purchased two T428’s to use as public computers and I just can’t swing it with the Android OS.

    I really look forward to WiFi working (I really hope we get there).

    I’m interested in donating a couple cups of coffee if you would be so kind as to provide a donate link.

    Thanks a lot,

  10. ade
    June 17th, 2013 at 00:49 | #10

    > “However, as Tronsmart refused to release their source code”

    Isn’t it mandatory for them to release their source-code considering the GPL license ? (http://gpl-violations.org/ )

  11. June 17th, 2013 at 09:30 | #11

    Yes, it’s mandatory. But since it’s apparently pretty difficult to enforce the license, they usually get away with it. Most companies just do like Tronsmart, or least delay the GPL release as much as possible.

  12. onebir
    June 17th, 2013 at 15:35 | #12

    Slightly off-topic; is there any (meaningful) way to compare processing power of ARM & x86 processors (esp RK3188)?

  13. June 17th, 2013 at 16:08 | #13

    You can always try http://openbenchmarking.org, but the search engine does not seem very good (I can’t find RK3066 nor RK3188 results), and the site not so user-friendly.

    Otherwise run Phoronix Test Suite on your Linux-based x86 computer, and RK3188 devices and you can compare it.

  14. onebir
    June 17th, 2013 at 17:05 | #14

    I found a few comparisons here too:
    If there’s approximate consistency across the Antutu and Geekbench benchmarks, I think this implies an RK3188 is about 50-60% as powerful as a Core i3. & 50% more powerful than a D525.

    Not bad for a soon to be $50 tv stick :p

  15. mi643
    June 19th, 2013 at 06:20 | #15

    I’m so curious about the video performance from the t428 under Ubuntu, sinds its giving so much trouble under Android…

  16. June 19th, 2013 at 09:25 | #16

    No video playback in Ubuntu (or software only, meaning 720p max).
    What video playback issues are there with T428? I did not see major issues, except if you play video from network (passable Wi-Fi performance).

  17. mi643
    June 20th, 2013 at 00:40 | #17


    A lot of people are complaining about stuttering/frame skipping in HD video and streaming from Netflix. The funny thing is, the stuttering stops when you move the mouse.. But i can’t check it for myself, my device is on the way ;). You can find more info at freaktab.

  18. June 20th, 2013 at 09:37 | #18

    Thanks.. Netflix… I don’t (and can’t) use this app…

  19. Klein
    June 20th, 2013 at 23:19 | #19

    please, are you sure that the stuttering is with t428?
    i read similar issue with mk802iv, with mouse moving all play perfect, it’s a firmware issue. if confirm that it’s also in tronsmart, please give me the url, i want know if it’s with stock rom/version or custom. If afect many sticks, maybe it’s a bug in rockchip base kernel.
    I hope that it’s not rockchip rk3188 base kernel, because i dont see many updates of them, so we must wait longer.

  20. mi643
    June 21st, 2013 at 02:52 | #20

    Some people are saying it’s a rockchip failure, i don’t know. I have only did some research on the T428, because i ordered one.
    You can read the story’s on the freaktab forum, just Google it, you will find it ;).

    The latest news is that optimizing for the chip is on the way….lets hope so..


    1 perfectly optimized high Retina retina screen resolution (2048 * 1536), smooth operation with up to 60 full frames / second, improved significantly;

    2, optimized GPU performance graphics processor, a large number of frames to run 3D games increased 30%, reaching the advanced standard;

    3, the depth optimization Android4.2.2 system version, fixes Google legacy BUG, ​​to provide a more stable system;

    4, through android4.2.2 Google CTS certification, the first passed the test;

    5, with the screen smooth support Miracast wireless transmission function, latency 50% shorter than similar products;

    6, 20% of web browsing speed, multi-web browsing and smooth;

    7, the browser add Web GL, support online 3D games;

    8, optimizing HDMI 1080P HD video playback quality;

    9, optimized power management system, to further optimize the energy consumption and increase battery life duration;

    10, support for Bluetooth 4.0

  21. blah
    July 2nd, 2013 at 08:45 | #21

    I have the mk908 and it’s a bit of a piece of shit. On latest finless rom 1.5 and it still drops frames enough to make it too annoying to watch anything. Hulu lags like crazy also, must be getting no more than a couple frames per second. Basically, there’s no point using it because i will get a perfectly smooth video just plugging my hd into my tv. Epic fail unless you really love playing angry birds on a big screen.

  22. Raymond Day
    July 2nd, 2013 at 20:35 | #22

    You say MK908 it’s the 4 core 2GB one. But can’t find any good post telling how to get picuntu or Ubuntu to run on it.

    It would be nice to have Ubuntu server running on this one with 4 cores and 2GB of RAM.

    -Raymond Day

  23. Raymond Day
    July 2nd, 2013 at 20:37 | #23


    I guess you are using the Wi-Fi on it. Get a USB to Ethernet adapter. Works very good then.

    -Raymond Day

  24. bilalagha
    July 7th, 2013 at 09:27 | #24

    Hi ,
    Apologizing about the questionI am a newbe
    can any one tell me how to execute step 4.

    Bilal Agha

  25. July 7th, 2013 at 09:34 | #25
  26. jh
    July 18th, 2013 at 13:42 | #26

    i have connected my usb ethernet and it does not work.
    any tips?

  27. jh
    July 18th, 2013 at 15:17 | #27

    `nvm/.. it didnt have native drivers..mb

  28. jh
    July 25th, 2013 at 17:18 | #28

    after a week of continuously installing, buying stuff, bringing it back, im out of idears.
    My mk802 and zeals are both compatible with em1010 devices, but this one isnt. I tried several usb ethernet cards but they all didnt work, and when i tried to make the proper drivers, it complained about not beying able to find it in modules/3.0.36+ .. i downloaded several module packages but that didnt help.
    without usb internet i cant use this device at all and im about to sell it..
    what usb device has native support?
    or how can i get this make to work
    anyone any ideas??

  29. July 25th, 2013 at 17:32 | #29

    So you’ve built the module, right? What happens when you type “insmod [module_name].ko”?

  30. Raymond Day
    July 26th, 2013 at 04:36 | #30

    Any one got mySQL running on your Tronsmart T428 with picuntu?

    I get a error saying:

    “Setting up mysql-server-5.5 (5.5.32-0ubuntu0.12.04.1) …
    start: Job failed to start
    invoke-rc.d: initscript mysql, action “start” failed.
    dpkg: error processing mysql-server-5.5 (–configure):
    subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1
    dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of mysql-server:
    mysql-server depends on mysql-server-5.5; however:
    Package mysql-server-5.5 is not configured yet.
    dpkg: error processing mysql-server (–configure):
    dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
    No apport report written because the error message indicates its a followup error from a previous failure.
    Errors were encountered while processing:
    E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
    [email protected]ONE:~#”

    I started over fresh install again thinking I messed it up. But it still can’t run mysql. Any one else got it to run and what did you do if so?

    -Raymond Day

  31. jh
    July 26th, 2013 at 05:30 | #31

    No, it doesnt build the module.
    I added 3.0.36-linuxium-test+ to /lib/modules, but it seems to be missing ‘build’, or linking to it wrongly.
    (cpio -ivdum < 3.0.36-linuxium-test+-modules
    cp -a 3.0.36-linuxium-test+ /media/linuxroot/lib/modules)
    I just did a clean install and the results are the same.
    I tried a bigger 3.0.36 module package from a picuntu image as well, but that resulted in the same.

  32. jh
    July 26th, 2013 at 06:29 | #32

    @Raymond Day
    sorry to hijack your question, but i havent been able yet to install picuntu on my t428.
    I forgot where i got the image i tried but that is picuntu-linuxroot-0.9-RC2.2.tgz (175mb)
    I also found a PicuntuInstaller.apk which i havent tried yet because i assume that will be a native install.
    Could you link me to the image you use?
    And what kernel do you use?
    The only kernel i get working is t428-3.0.36-linuxium-test+-kernel.img @ 11.072mb
    Both the picuntu recovery image from recovery.img.7z @ 10.862.592mb packed and kernel-0.3.img @ 8.048 mb did not boot for me.

  33. Raymond Day
    July 26th, 2013 at 10:26 | #33

    The link is here:


    He tells it super good how to install picuntu on the Tronsmart T428 it works. But I can’t get Apache or MySQL to run on it.

    -Raymond Day

  34. jh
    July 26th, 2013 at 13:47 | #34

    @Raymond Day
    I installed the image but it doesnt boot. What kernel are you using?

    Also, perhaps installing xamp might be a solution to your mysql problem.

  35. jh
    July 26th, 2013 at 14:21 | #35

    yeah.. im getting nowhere.
    This linuxium image works and all i need to get further is the name of a native usb ethernet adapter.
    Please tell me how i can find out what adapters have native support, or give the name of a native supported usb ethernet adapter (i only need one;)

  36. Raymond Day
    July 26th, 2013 at 16:54 | #36

    The first time it boots you have to wait 3 to 4 min. For it to come up. After that it will take about 30 sec. to come up.

    The Ethernet adapter I am using is a Belkin model usb300m it cost about $25 but seems like the drivers are all way built in to Linux for it.

    I still can’t get MySQL to run.

    Got mine booting off a USB hard drive. It’s neat that it can on a SD card or USB drive. Same install way.

    -Raymond Day

  37. Raymond Day
    July 26th, 2013 at 17:01 | #37

    Here is a Amazon link to the Linksys by Cisco Model No: USB300M:


    $25 there.

    -Raymond Day

  38. Raymond Day
    July 26th, 2013 at 17:14 | #38

    I went here to install xamp like you said:


    But after I do a start for it, it gets lots of errors:

    [email protected]:~/Downloads# /opt/lampp/lampp start
    Starting XAMPP for Linux 1.8.1…
    /opt/lampp/share/lampp/phpstatus: line 4: /opt/lampp/bin/php: cannot execute binary file
    XAMPP: Starting Apache with SSL …
    /opt/lampp/bin/httpd: 1: /opt/lampp/bin/httpd: Syntax error: “(” unexpected
    XAMPP: Error 2! Couldn’t start Apache!
    XAMPP: Starting diagnose…
    XAMPP: Sorry, I’ve no idea what’s going wrong.
    XAMPP: Please contact our forum http://www.apachefriends.org/f/
    XAMPP: Starting MySQL…
    /opt/lampp/bin/my_print_defaults: 1: /opt/lampp/bin/my_print_defaults: Syntax error: “(” unexpected
    XAMPP: Couldn’t start MySQL!
    XAMPP: Starting ProFTPD…
    XAMPP: /opt/lampp/lampp: line 333: /opt/lampp/sbin/proftpd: cannot execute binary file
    XAMPP: Error 126! Couln’t start ProFTPD!
    XAMPP for Linux started.
    [email protected]:~/Downloads#

    -Raymond Day

  39. Raymond Day
    July 26th, 2013 at 17:24 | #39

    I thought this would be good to install easy the things I wanted:

    [email protected]:~/Downloads# tasksel
    tasksel: aptitude failed (100)
    [email protected]:~/Downloads#

    But can see it said it failed.

    I don’t know I my just start over fresh again.

    Then run tasksel the 1st thing after I become root and get a IP.

    -Raymond Day

  40. jh
    July 26th, 2013 at 19:56 | #40

    i found that the links where linking to /root/rk3188/t428/3.0.36-linuxium-test+ instead of /lib/modules/3.0.36-test+, so i copied the directory to /root/rk3188/t428/3.0.36-linuxium-test+ and now it its causing this error with the make command: No rule to make target `modules’. Stop
    I checked for solutions and tried a few, but no luck.
    I also tried other module packages and they gave the same error.
    the makefile sais:
    obj -m := mcs7830.o
    KDIR := /lib/modules/$(shell uname -r)/build
    PWD := $(shell pwd)
    default:$(MAKE) -C $(KDIR) SUBDIRS=$(PWD) modules;
    any ideas?

  41. jh
    July 26th, 2013 at 20:02 | #41

    @Raymond Day
    thanks for the usb device advice,.. ive seen your ‘guide’ in the other thread as well, so i should be able to fix that too. Ive ordered the device so i should then finally be ablt to make some progress (allthough i guess i will still need to be able to use make)

    a shame xampp didnt work out. That usually works out of the box quite well

  42. jh
    July 26th, 2013 at 20:31 | #42

    @Raymond Day
    just did another clean picuntu attempt, but no luck, only 4 pinguins for 10+ minutes.
    the keyboard leds do work though, so something is initialized.

  43. Raymond Day
    August 2nd, 2013 at 20:28 | #43

    I got mine running now. It was hard to get MySQL to work and apache looks like with apache just had to do “apt-get install libapache2-svn” and then could start it.

    It’s booting off a USB hard drive from the small 1ST partition of the drive.

    I don’t put in my Website of it because I am running it at home here. It’s working good.

    Here is some commands I can show:

    [email protected]:~# cat /proc/cpuinfo
    Processor : ARMv7 Processor rev 0 (v7l)
    processor : 0
    BogoMIPS : 623.79

    processor : 1
    BogoMIPS : 623.79

    processor : 2
    BogoMIPS : 623.79

    processor : 3
    BogoMIPS : 623.79

    Features : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp neon vfpv3
    CPU implementer : 0x41
    CPU architecture: 7
    CPU variant : 0x3
    CPU part : 0xc09
    CPU revision : 0

    Hardware : RK30board
    Revision : 0000
    Serial : 0000000000000000
    [email protected]:~# df
    Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sdb1 15312340 1834124 12700388 13% /
    udev 10240 4 10236 1% /dev
    tmpfs 393788 548 393240 1% /run
    none 5120 0 5120 0% /run/lock
    none 984468 0 984468 0% /run/shm
    /dev/sdb2 2838287624 1298632548 1395478336 49% /media/USBdisk2-3TB
    /dev/sda1 2884252896 1615308504 1122432776 60% /media/USBdisk1-3TB
    [email protected]:~#

    Used tasksel to remove the desktop because I just want it to be a server. Now when it boots up just a blank screen so I unplug the keyboard and HDMI from it.

    But all works thought the USB to Ethernet I have on it.

    [email protected]:~# ifconfig
    eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr c8:d7:19:a6:5d:b8
    inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
    inet6 addr: fe80::cad7:19ff:fea6:5db8/64 Scope:Link
    RX packets:365431 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:135519 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
    RX bytes:43742410 (43.7 MB) TX bytes:30499872 (30.4 MB)

    lo Link encap:Local Loopback
    inet addr: Mask:
    inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
    UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:16436 Metric:1
    RX packets:289 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:289 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
    RX bytes:23522 (23.5 KB) TX bytes:23522 (23.5 KB)

    [email protected]:~#

    I guess with time they will make it as easy to install as picuntu is with a script. I did flash the t428-3.0.36-linuxium-test+-kernel.img to the boot part of the Tronsmart T428 but it don’t boot right in to Ubuntu then. I just had to flash back the other boot code and now it will boot in Android. I have the Android root code in it so just have to click on reboot and then click reboot to recovery and yes and Ubuntu boots up.

  44. Aman
    September 19th, 2013 at 23:24 | #44

    my requirement is to get this or any similar device to make it work with TouchScreen LCD, like digital Signage, any help on this matter??

  45. linuxium
    September 28th, 2013 at 01:00 | #45

    Just in case anyone is now reading this article, please see my latest post on the availability of Ubuntu, Lubuntu or Xubuntu on the latest MK802IV or T428 at https://plus.google.com/109451178006683865932/posts/765xvHJGWm6

  46. onebir
    September 28th, 2013 at 20:59 | #46

    Ian, do you know if it would it work on on an MK809 III? It seems unlikely these are all Aliex product description ****ups, these are down to as little as $54 now:

    BTW, is there any prospect of later Ubuntu (or whatever) versions on these RK3188 devices? Some packages don’t tend to get backported to 12.04 🙁

  47. Tyler
    October 11th, 2013 at 09:23 | #47

    Will you please add support for the CX-919!!? It has teh same gpu and cpu! Id love to get steam running on this lil guy!

  48. Wilson
    December 12th, 2013 at 22:02 | #48
  49. sweet home
    March 8th, 2014 at 16:44 | #49

    Look at this device! HDMI, VGA, 2xUSB, LAN, (no wifi), esata. Perfect mini pc for servers or other applications. Telnet port open, No root access available yet to install other software :-(((


  50. March 8th, 2014 at 17:22 | #50

    @sweet home
    Looks nice, but if you can’t install other packages, it can only be used for its main purpose: video record from IP cams.
    Which hardware is it? I doubt it’s RK3188. they mention Linux and dual core DSP. It must be a specific chipset to be able to encode 8 channel 1080p simultaneously.

  1. June 15th, 2013 at 13:33 | #1
  2. June 15th, 2013 at 21:02 | #2
  3. June 16th, 2013 at 00:05 | #3
  4. June 16th, 2013 at 07:22 | #4
  5. June 17th, 2013 at 12:16 | #5
  6. June 17th, 2013 at 13:35 | #6
  7. June 17th, 2013 at 13:51 | #7
  8. June 17th, 2013 at 16:42 | #8
  9. June 30th, 2013 at 11:37 | #9
  10. July 6th, 2013 at 22:45 | #10
  11. July 26th, 2013 at 11:10 | #11
  12. July 26th, 2013 at 22:37 | #12
  13. July 27th, 2013 at 04:31 | #13