Sunday, 22 April 2018

A summary of HDR usages and dependencies on Intel Graphics

When purchasing a mini PC for use as a HTPC it is useful to know whether HDR (High Dynamic Range) is supported by the embedded Intel graphics. A recent document released by Intel provides a useful summary table for platforms running Windows 10:


The full document is published here and also includes some additional references useful when purchasing, configuring or building an HDR-capable PC with Intel graphics.

Please donate if you find my work helpful using the following link http://goo.gl/nXWSGf.



Friday, 6 April 2018

Fourth look at Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) Beta 2


Canonical have now made available the Beta 2 (Final Beta) of the upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) release.

I've respun the ISO using my 'isorespin.sh' script and created ISOs suitable for Intel Atom and Intel Apollo Lake devices:

  • Atom (-i ubuntu-18.04-beta2-desktop-amd64.iso --atom)
  • Apollo (-i ubuntu-18.04-beta2-desktop-amd64.iso --apollo)

The release announcement provides a link to the release notes together with highlighting that "The beta images are known to be reasonably free of showstopper CDbuild or installer bugs, while representing a very recent snapshot of 18.04 that should be representative of the features intended to ship with the final release expected on April 26th, 2018". Note that two of the documented bugs with the ISO include slow booting and issues with reboot.

Please donate if you find the ISOs or script useful using the following link http://goo.gl/nXWSGf.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

An initial look at Plasma Mobile


Plasma Mobile is the mobile version of the desktop Plasma user interface and is focused on mobile devices like phones. Users of Kubuntu and KDE neon will already be familiar with Plasma as they are well established as distros for PCs and laptops. However the simplicity of Plasma Mobile may make it ideal for Mini PCs especially as an alternative to Android as it not only bears a passing resemblance but has the significant advantage that standard desktop applications can be installed:


It is currently in very early development however an amd64-compatible ISO for Intel-based devices based on KDE Neon has already been released. Although it is 'Ubuntu-based' it runs a stripped down 'rootfs' that meant the ISO couldn't be respun for Intel Atom devices. I've modified the scripts behind the '--atom' option to now support the ISO and it can now be respun using my 'isorespin.sh' script using the command:

isorespin.sh -i neon-pm-devedition-gitunstable-20180305-1543-amd64.iso --atom

Update: Since I tested respinning the ISO one of the repositories included in the ISO ('pm.list') points to an unresponsive URL ('http://neon.plasma-mobile.org') which causes 'apt update' to hang. A workaround is available by cloning and modifying a local version of the respin script using the following command:

sudo sed '
2954s@$@ \&\& sudo mv iso-chroot/etc/apt/sources.list.d/pm.list iso-chroot/etc/apt/sources.list.d/pm.list.linuxium@;
2970s@^@# @;
2973s@\([[:space:]]\+\)@\1apt-get install -y /usr/src/\\\${PACKAGE} > .package.log 2>\&1 # @;
3010s@$@ \&\& sudo mv iso-chroot/etc/apt/sources.list.d/pm.list.linuxium iso-chroot/etc/apt/sources.list.d/pm.list@
' /usr/local/bin/isorespin.sh > isorespin.sh && chmod 755 isorespin.sh

and then respin with the command:

./isorespin.sh -i neon-pm-devedition-gitunstable-20180305-1543-amd64.iso --atom

Further Update: As the ISO now respins without issue because the previous problem URL has been resolved I've respun the ISO using my 'isorespin.sh' script and created an ISO suitable for Intel Atom devices:

  • Atom (-i neon-pm-devedition-gitunstable-20180305-1543-amd64.iso --atom)

It is worth having a look at and keeping an eye on as it could become something special.

Please donate if you find my work and ISO helpful using the following link http://goo.gl/nXWSGf.



Latest improvements to 'isorespin.sh'


Ever wondered whether you are running the latest version of 'isorespin.sh'? I've now added a '--check' option that does exactly that. Starting with version 8.1.4 when you check and you are on the latest version you will get a message similar to:

linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ isorespin.sh --check
/usr/local/bin/isorespin.sh: Version: 8.1.4 is the latest version.
linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ 

otherwise you will get a message similar to:

linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ ./isorespin.sh --check
./isorespin.sh: Version: 8.1.3 should be upgraded as 8.1.4 is the latest version.
linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ 

indicating that you should download the latest version from 'isorespin.sh'.

I've also added some additional checks to prevent common issues that have previously been reported.

Firstly you cannot respin an ISO on an OS that doesn't support 'systemd' if you want to use either the '--apollo' or the '-b Linuxium' options. Also you cannot respin an ISO if it doesn't support 'systemd' when using the '--atom', '--apollo' or '-b Linuxium' options:

linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ isorespin.sh -i ubuntu-14.04.5-desktop-amd64.iso --atom
Extracting ISO ...
Parallel unsquashfs: Using 4 processors
166333 inodes (175651 blocks) to write

[===========================================================/] 175651/175651 100%

created 105294 files
created 16104 directories
created 60921 symlinks
created 82 devices
created 0 fifos
/usr/local/bin/isorespin.sh: The '--atom' option is only compatible with an ISO that uses 'systemd'.
linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ 

Secondly you cannot respin an ISO that is EOL (End Of Life):

linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ isorespin.sh -i ubuntu-17.04-desktop-amd64.iso --atom
Extracting ISO ...
/usr/local/bin/isorespin.sh: ISO is EOL.
linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ 

Finally you cannot run the script on a 32-bit OS:

linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ isorespin.sh -i ubuntu-17.10.1-desktop-amd64.iso --apollo
/usr/local/bin/isorespin.sh: This script can only be run on a 64-bit (amd64 or x86_64) OS.
linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$

Please donate if you find the script useful using the following link http://goo.gl/nXWSGf.