Minix HD PC lives on Ubuntu 14.04 Desktop

Submitted by tarvid on Tue, 05/13/2014 - 21:37

I bought this box last fall with the intention of building a low power server. It came with an external DC power supply which could be replaced with a 12 v battery. It came with Windows 7 drivers but my intent was to load Ubuntu Server. The only Linux distribution I could find which offered any hope of running was Fedora 19.

There is room in the case for 4GB RAM and a 2.5" disk drive but no optical drive. I made a USB memory stick with Ubuntu 14.04 and was pleasantly surprised when it booted to a "Try" / "Install" option. I was not entirely happy with the Fedora installation so I opted to install.

The installation went smoothly. I installed updates, rebooted and life seemed good.

I fixed a cup of coffee and found the screensaver had been invoked. Worse, the box eventually went into "suspend" mode and upon resuming, the mouse was frozen. It was easy enough to disable "suspend".

I used to refer to Unity as the Fisher-Price desktop.  It still irritates but has matured and is almost useful. Some of the features can be tamed as shown in this article - Xubuntu is the more direct alternative for a simpler desktop. May be essential for older machines.

My bottom line recommendation is "Don't buy!". J&W offered support for $170/hour. Intel has abandoned this chipset. Fortunately, the Linux Kernel people pressed on.