Cubieboard 4 Ubuntu Review – Setup, Usability, and Performance

Cubieboard4 is a development board powered by Allwinner A80 octa-core processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC. I’ve already shown how to get started with the board using the pre-installed Android 4.4 image, and run some benchmarks in Android, so now it’s time to check out the Ubuntu Linaro 14.04 image provided by CubieTech. I’ll show how to install and setup Ubuntu 14.04 on the board using a micro SD card, run desktop applications like Chromium, Libre Office, and son on on the board, and complete the review with some Linux benchmarks. Setting up Ubuntu on Cubieboard4 Firmware images for Cubiebord4 can be downloaded @ Currently Android 4.4, Debian server, Ubuntu Linaro server, and Ubuntu Linaro desktop with LXDE desktop environment. That’s the latter I’ll use for the experiment, and two images are available: linaro-desktop-cb4-card-hdmi-v0.4.img.7z – Bootable image from micro SD card linaro-desktop-cb4-emmc-hdmi-v0.4.img.7z – Installation image to eMMC to […]

Linux Benchmarks – Rockchip RK3288 vs Exynos 5422 vs AllWinner A80 vs Intel Atom Z3735F

With all these Intel Atom Z3735F been released right now at a price similar to ARM based mini PCs, many people, including myself, are wondering about the performance of the low cost Intel processor against their ARM competitors. Ian Morrison just published some results from Phoronix Test Suite comparing the performance of  Firefly-RK3288 (Rockchip RK3288), ODROID-XU3 Lite (Samsung Exynos 5422 BIN2), and A80 OptimusBoard (Allwinner A80) in Linux (Ununtu 12.04.5), against the performance of MeegoPad T01 (Intel Atom Z3735F) running Linux from a Live CD on a USB drive. Some of the benchmarks failed because Phoronix Test Suite got apparently confused with the file systems located on a USB drive, but at least we’ve got a comparison point, and the results are a bit confusing, as they’re no clear winner. In some tests like FFmpeg, the Intel SoC really crushed the ARM competition being at least twice as fast as […]

CubieTruck Metal Case Kit Getting Started Guide and Review

I’ve received CubieTruck Metal Case kit just over a month ago, but just like for Ubuntu on ODROID-XU3 Lite, the board could not get HDMI EDID info from my Panasonic TV, which led to a crash at boot time. CubieTech has now fixed the issue, so I’ve finally been able to complete the review with Cubieez (Cubie Easy) distribution, pre-installed on the board, and based on Debian 7.6. You can get the full hardware specs on my previous post, but the kits is comprised of four parts: CubieTruck development based on Allwinner A20 dual core processor, a rugged metallic enclosure, a 128GB SSD, and a 5,300 mAh battery acting as a UPS. I’ll start by showing how to setup the board, test SATA and Gigabit Ethernet performance,  check if the battery acts as expected, try to use the board as a desktop replacement with LibreOffice, Chromium, and so on, and […]

ODROID-XU3 Lite Board Ubuntu Review – Setup, Usability, and Performance

After testing ODROID-XU3 Lite with Android 4.4, and finding a workaround to some HDMI issues, I could finally try out Ubuntu, or rather Lubuntu with LXDE instead of Unity, in Hardkernel low cost octa-core development board. I’ll start this review by explaining how to install and setup Lubuntu on the board, followed by running various program to test the system usability as a desktop computer with LibreOffice, Chromium, XBMC, and 3D graphics, and finally run some performance tests with Phoronix Test Suit, build the Linux kernel natively, and transcode a video with avconf. Setting Up Ubuntu on ODROID-XU3 Lite All firmware images for ODROID development boards, can be found on website, and if you want Ubuntu 14.04 image, go to ubuntu_14.04lts folder, to select the latest firmware file for your board. The latest image for ODROID-XU3 (Lite) is currently ubuntu-14.04.1lts-lubuntu-odroid-xu3-20141105.img.xz, it’s the same for micro SD card or eMMC […]

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):] Create a SDCARD with an Ubuntu 12.04 root file system on it and ensure it is labeled as “linuxroot” (Visit Slatedroid for details) Flash your RK3188 minipc with rooted stock 4.1.1 ROM. (May not be needed if you ROM is already rooted) Boot Android, and install Android Terminal Flash t428-3.0.36-linuxium-test+-kernel.img […]

Mini PCs (MK802+, UG802, GK802 & iStick A200) Linux Performance Comparison

Ian MORRISON (linuxium) has tested Linux with several mini PCs powered by different processors. The main point of his tests was to evaluate the performance difference between running Ubuntu 12.04 natively, or in a chroot in Android using tools such as Complete Linux Installer. I previously tried Linux on Android in ODROID-X, and found the applications start time when running from an low-end SD card pretty dismal, and the graphics performance poor.  Ian had a different approach, and decided to use a subset of Phoronix Suite benchmarks to compare different hardware / software combination and posted the results in “mini PCs” G+ community. There’s a lot of data, and analyzing the results is not really straightforward without spending some time looking at the data. In this post, I’ll explain how the tests have been conducted, explain the results and try to draw a conclusion. Mini PCs and other Hardware Under […]

Phoronix Designed a Solar Powered ARM Cluster with 48 Pandaboards

Michael Larabel of Phoronix did a “little” week-end project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), building an ARM cluster with 48 Pandaboards mostly with standard Pandaboards (OMAP 4430), although some Pandaboard ES (OMAP 4460) were also thrown in the mix. The 96-core cluster consumes just over 200 Watts under load and can be powered by a solar panel. The boards are stacked up vertically in an industrial trashcan, and are powered via USB instead of AC adapters. Michael’s PandaBoard ES testing indicates about a 3 Watt idle per board, 5 Watt under load, or 6 Watts under extreme load. The cluster idle power consumption is just under 170 Watts while idle, and goes slightly over 200 Watts under load. Each Pandaboard runs Ubuntu 12.04 ARM OMAP4 installed on SD cards. MIT did some testing and provided Phoronix with benchmark results such as tests following Green500 benchmarking procedure, but they are […]