Saturday, 28 January 2017

Updated: Bleeding edge Ubuntu 4.10.0-5.7 kernel with 17.04 pseudo Alpha 2 ISO

Updated
Added Lubuntu 17.04 Alpha 2 ISO. 
/Updated

Please note my blog is intended to be the 'dynamic' update content partner to my 'static' core content pages on my website. This particular post relates to my http://www.linuxium.com.au/how-tos/runningubuntuontheintelcomputestick page where I've created some Ubuntu ISOs whose purpose is to better support Intel Atom based devices. 

Whilst Ubuntu flavours released their second alpha of the Zesty Zapus (to become 17.04) today, Ubuntu continues with daily releases until the final beta in March (see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZestyZapus/ReleaseSchedule).

So I've created a pseudo Ubuntu Alpha 2 based on the official daily release for the 27th January which is the same date as the released Ubuntu flavour Alpha 2 releases and I've created a Lubuntu Alpha 2 based on the official release.

I've replaced the included kernels with my latest bleeding edge patched Ubuntu 4.10.0-5.7 kernel from Canonical which is based on the mainline 4.10.0-rc5 kernel. I've added Pierre-Louis Bossart's latest patches for the HDMI LPE audio driver and RT5640 audio support, together with Hans de Goede's patches for PMC platform clocks, PMIC I2C bus semaphore implementation and Power Management IC AXP288 support for Bay Trail and Cherry Trail devices.

Also included is additional wifi support including Bastien Nocera's RTL8723BS driver, support for the Atheros AR6004 HW3.0 driver used on the Dell Venue Pro 11 Baytrail, and Broadcom 4330, 43430 and 43340/43341 support. Bluetooth support includes Larry Finger's code for RTL8723BS with a patch from Laszlo-Fiat.

Finally I've included patches to fix various issues like the CUBE iwork8 Air tablet getting stuck on booting and the persistent freezing issue with a patch from Mika Kuoppala. If freezing still persists Len Brown suggests adding "intel_idle.max_cstate=2" as a kernel boot parameter which enables Core-C6 but disables module/package-C6 as he has found this is still required for the ASUS Transformer Book T100 Chi.

My latest kernel and ISOs address a lot of outstanding issues when trying to run Ubuntu on Intel Atom based devices. For the first time ever I've now seen working bluetooth on Bay Trail Realtek chip based devices like the Meegopad T02 and Star Cloud PCG02U. Also bluetooth on Broadcom chip based devices like the Tronsmart Ara X5 works as does HDMI audio on the Mini Neo Z83-A.

Some peculiarities from being an Alpha release exist such as the installation not recognizing previously installed OS so until this is fixed in the official ISO it is best to use 'Something else' and manually partition as per your needs for example when dual booting with Windows. But I have fixed the installation error that prevented an LVM installation (with/without encryption) using the official ISO.  Prior to embarking on an encrypted LVM installation you should first open a terminal session and turn off swapping using the command 'sudo swapoff -a'.

Overall these are the closest to a fully working Ubuntu ISOs for a wide range of Intel Atom devices from stick to mini PCs and tablets than anything previously released. Note I recommend installing the ISO rather than using the kernel update script as it includes the necessary 'userland' files for audio, wifi and bluetooth. By simply performing a kernel upgrade you may not get the same level of functionality that a fresh install from my ISO will provide.

The links below (in red) have been updated for downloading the latest i.e. version 3.

To try an ISO download it from the link below (in red) and write it to a USB using either 'Rufus' in Windows or 'dd' in Linux.


Ubuntu 17.04 pseudo Alpha 2 (Version 4)
Ubuntu comes with everything. All the essential applications, like an office suite, browsers, email and media apps come pre-installed and thousands more games and applications are available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.



Lubuntu 17.04 Alpha 2
Lubuntu is a fast, energy saving and lightweight variant of Ubuntu using LXDE. It is popular with PC and laptop users running on low-spec hardware.



To turn on wifi for mini PCs with Broadcom wifi chips it is often necessary to reload the driver. In a terminal window enter 'sudo modprobe -r brcmfmac' followed by 'sudo modprobe brcmfmac'.

Because my ISOs include a patched kernel to address the missing functionality of the official ISOs it means no automatic Ubuntu kernel updates are provided. Consequently I've also developed a manual patching process where a script can be downloaded and then executed to update the kernel to match the official releases. As such my kernel update scripts are not intended to update the kernel installed on other Linux installations. Primarily because you would be missing the 'userland' files required for audio, wifi and bluetooth and the resultant environment may be unstable or worse. 

For the sake of completeness I'm including the kernel upgrade script which matches the kernel version included in my ISOs. The normal requirement would be to upgrade the existing installed kernel (created from my ISO or as a result of a previous upgrade) to the later version provided by the script. To use you would download the shell script and after making it executable (enter 'chmod 755 <script>') you then install it as 'root' (by entering 'sudo <script>'). Once the script has finished executing the device would need to be rebooted to use the updated (patched) kernel.

4.10.0-5.7 (Version 4) (current latest kernel)

Don't forget when making a comment to include the name/model of your device and if reporting a technical issue please include a copy of the output from 'dmesg' by sharing the log using 'pastebinit' or similar.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

First 2017 17.04 Alpha ISOs for Ubuntu and Lubuntu

Whilst the first of January maybe a public holiday for some it didn't stop Canonical releasing new Ubuntu and Lubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) Daily Build ISOs. So I've re-spun them to includes the 4.9 kernel with all the latest drivers and fixes for Bay Trail and Cherry Trail devices.

This is my first Lubuntu Alpha build ISO for anyone wanting to test the latest development work with the lightweight variant of Ubuntu.

Also as some Cherry Trail devices use the RTL8723BS wifi chip I've fine tuned these latest ISOs to improve its support.

To try an ISO download it from one of the links below (in red) and write it to a USB using either 'Rufus' in Windows or 'dd' in Linux.

Ubuntu (superseded)
Ubuntu comes with everything. All the essential applications, like an office suite, browsers, email and media apps come pre-installed and thousands more games and applications are available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.


Lubuntu (superseded)
Lubuntu is a fast, energy saving and lightweight variant of Ubuntu using LXDE. It is popular with PC and laptop users running on low-spec hardware.



Sunday, 1 January 2017

Faster ISO Boots in 2017

UpdateThis page refers to earlier work and my latest ISOs and kernel upgrade scripts can be downloaded from my latest post.

One problem I've had with my ISOs is that they were always slow to start. Whilst only being an inconvenience rather than a functional issue I was able to spent time today in finding an improvement.

As a result I've respun my Ubuntu 17.04 Alpha 281216 (Daily Build) ISO so that 2017 gets off with a much quicker start.

To try the 'faster' ISO download it from the link below (in red) and write it to a USB using either 'Rufus' in Windows or 'dd' in Linux.

Ubuntu 17.04 Alpha 281216 (Daily Build) ISO (superseded)
Ubuntu comes with everything. All the essential applications, like an office suite, browsers, email and media apps come pre-installed and thousands more games and applications are available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.


I'll incorporate the improvement in my other ISOs as and when they are respun with functional updates.