Monday, 23 May 2016

Ubuntu flavoured 16.04 ISOs for Atom based Intel Compute Sticks

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

When Intel released its Ubuntu Compute Stick it was heavily criticized as being under-spec'd. Also criticized was the choice of Ubuntu with Unity as it was deemed to be too demanding. With this in mind I've combined the latest patches and source together with Canonical's kernel source to create a range of ISOs that can work on Intel's Atom Compute Sticks from the very basic model to the latest. All include audio over HDMI, wifi and bluetooth together with patches that try to reduce the random freezes that have been known to occur.

First up is Lubuntu. I've configured it to use ZRAM both as an ISO and once installed. As a light-weight Ubuntu it is highly suitable for the minimalist STCK1A8LFC device.

Next is Ubuntu. Previously it was necessary to use the 64-bit bootloader to use my 16.04 ISO. Now I've configured it to both run and install using either the 32-bit or 64-bit bootloaders. The key benefit is the ability to easily dual-boot without needing to modify the BIOS.

Finally I've also incorporated all these features and produced Xubuntu, Ubuntu-Mate and Kubuntu ISOs. This provides a choice now of Ubuntu flavours for the Intel Compute Stick.

One potential draw-back is that each ISO includes a patched kernel to provide the missing functionality meaning it will not get any automatic kernel updates from Canonical. So I've also developed a manual patching process that allows you to download a script which will then update the kernel.


To try an ISO download it from one of the links below (i.e. the caption below each image) and write it to a USB using either 'Rufus' in Windows or 'dd' in Linux.
Update: If you are using Rufus version 2.3 or above then select 'Write in DD Image mode' when prompted otherwise for version 2.2 and below you should first let Rufus complete and then additionally download 'bootia32.efi' from and copy the file to the newly created USB's 'EFI\BOOT' directory.  

Then boot from the USB by pressing the 'F10' option immediately after powering-on your device. For installation to your device simply run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions.

Remember also to be patient as depending on the speed of your USB it can be anything from 15 to 45 seconds before anything appears on the screen.

Ubuntu Mate

Kernel Upgrade Script

If you want to upgrade the kernel to the latest Ubuntu 16.04 (but patched) version first download the upgrade script (click the caption under the image below) , make sure it is executable (use 'chmod 755 <script>') and then run as 'root' ('./<script>'). Once the script has finished executing you'll need to reboot to use the latest kernel.

As before this is only for Atom based Intel Compute sticks which includes the STCK1A8LFC, STCK1A32WFC, STK1AW32SC and STK1A32SC models.

Acknowledgements: Pierre-Louis Bossart (HDMI audio), Bastien Nocera (wifi) & Larry Finger (bt).


  1. Hi Ian,
    thank you for providing us with this source of mini pc heaven. I would like to run a JavaFX app under Xubuntu on a MiniX-Z64A. Since this guide of yours officially supports the Intel Compute Stick, and yet both the MiniX-Z64A and the Intel Stick share the same Atom Z3735F processor, does it mean that I can use your build to try it on the MiniX? If not, could you tell me the best way to install Xubuntu on the MiniX? As far as I know, previously you provided the MiniX with the 14.04.3 Ubuntu with Unity DE.


    1. I'm currently focusing on the Intel Compute Stick.

  2. Hi there! I have a question. Why I can't install your builds with Lukscrypt?

    1. I've not tried but does an install work with the standard Canonical ISO as there shouldn't be any difference with mine?

    2. Standard does however on other computer. Your earlier versions did also on stick. It can be problem with stick it self, I don't know realy.

    3. Or maybe a problem with 16.04 perhaps? If I get a free moment at some point I'll give it a try.

    4. Your earlier build of 16.04 from 26.04 do work.

    5. Does the latest build from 10th June (in latest post dated 13th June) work?

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. It doesn't work. Some problems with partitioning. You have to check it yourself.

  3. Hi there, Is it possible to use your builds to an ASUS QM1 stick? Mine is bricked, does not load the original WIN10, and when I am using the reset option it stucks at 49%. Any way it was too slow with win10 and i think with ubuntu it will be better.

    By the way ASUS sent me an email that this product is NOT COVERED BY WARRANTY!!! SO STAY AWAY FROM ASUS.

  4. so... i will try to install this on my lil asus e200ha a small laptop that has screen size and thickness as macbook air 11 and footprint of a macbook 12 :) but it comes with that pesky z8300 atom cpu, everywhere i looked people couldn't fix the sound issue, not sound trough hdmi but have sound at all, and as i remember, it was you linuxium who proposed using a usb sound card, so my question :) have you fix this issue do we have normal sound with this kernal changes, and will a normal sudo apt-get upgrade or update command work on this ISOs?
    cheers mate, and thank you again for all of your work

  5. @Linuxium

    First, thank you for your work.

    It would be nice if you could post the patch/es you are applying to Kernel or/and other packages.

  6. hey i got minix z64 and Z3735F and not working :(

    1. Because it is for Intel Compute Sticks.

  7. Hi, I've installed xubuntu on a ComputeStick, already run the kernel script, and it's getting randomly freeze, the only error I found on syslog it's:

    Jun 7 12:34:36 modyotv-STCK1A32WFC kernel: [ 417.524499] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 35123808, nr 16, cmd response 0x900, card status 0xc00
    Jun 7 12:34:36 modyotv-STCK1A32WFC kernel: [ 417.744631] mmc0: tried to reset card

    Some more details:

    :~$ cat /proc/partitions
    major minor #blocks name

    1 0 65536 ram0
    1 1 65536 ram1
    1 2 65536 ram2
    1 3 65536 ram3
    1 4 65536 ram4
    1 5 65536 ram5
    1 6 65536 ram6
    1 7 65536 ram7
    1 8 65536 ram8
    1 9 65536 ram9
    1 10 65536 ram10
    1 11 65536 ram11
    1 12 65536 ram12
    1 13 65536 ram13
    1 14 65536 ram14
    1 15 65536 ram15
    179 0 29884416 mmcblk0
    179 1 524288 mmcblk0p1
    179 2 27352064 mmcblk0p2
    179 3 2006016 mmcblk0p3
    179 24 4096 mmcblk0rpmb
    179 16 4096 mmcblk0boot1
    179 8 4096 mmcblk0boot0

    :~$ df -h
    S.ficheros Tamaño Usados Disp Uso% Montado en
    udev 939M 0 939M 0% /dev
    tmpfs 192M 6,2M 186M 4% /run
    /dev/mmcblk0p2 26G 4,5G 20G 19% /
    tmpfs 957M 31M 927M 4% /dev/shm
    tmpfs 5,0M 4,0K 5,0M 1% /run/lock
    tmpfs 957M 0 957M 0% /sys/fs/cgroup
    /dev/mmcblk0p1 511M 3,6M 508M 1% /boot/efi
    tmpfs 192M 44K 192M 1% /run/user/1000

    Any Ideas?

    Kind Regards

    1. The cause of the freezes are not fully understood. My kernel is patched but it still seems to freeze for some. Using the kernel parameter to limit the system to only C-State 1 can only be considered as a workaround for those willing to run the device continuously.

    2. I had freezes when I had a bus powered 3 port USB adapter connected. If you are using a usb port adapter, either change your performance setting to 'low-profile' in the BIOS, or use a self powered USB adapter.

  8. Hi there,

    Trying to boot on a Beelink BT3 (Z8300) microbox, I finally managed to boot the livecd from lubuntu 16.04 (linuxium version burnt with rufus 2.9 then copying the bootia32.efi to the install pendrive), done the install to the main MMC (shrinking the Windows part), and installed grub to the mmc. At reboot I got to the grub menu, but selecting ubuntu instantly gets me to a black screen. I suspect wrong boot options in the grub entry but was not able to sort it out. Any clue (maybe something linked to a missing 32 bits file) ? Thx for any help,

    1. As stated the ISOs are for Intel Compute Sticks only.

  9. I've the same problem here ("selecting ubuntu instantly gets me to a black screen."), booting from the xubuntu iso on a Pipo WS9 (Z8300 Cherry Trail processor), The only difference is that i had not copy the bootia32.efi file, because i burn the iso using dd in other linux machine, and the bootia32.efi is already on the EFI/boot folder.
    Any solution?
    Thankyou very much

    1. As stated the ISOs are for Intel Compute Sticks only.

  10. Update: This page refers to earlier work and my latest ISOs can be downloaded from

  11. Tried Lubuntu and Xubuntu on both STCK1A8LFC, STCK1A32WFC. Both also tried with upgraded kernel 4.4.0-24.43 (kernel script). Works perfect exepect wifi. It keep asking for passwd?

    1. intel@intel321:~$ inxi -F
      System: Host: intel321 Kernel: 4.4.0-24-linuxium x86_64 (64 bit) Console: tty 1 Distro: Ubuntu 16.04 xenial
      Machine: System: Intel product: STCK1A32WFC v: H85498-101
      Mobo: Intel model: STCK1A32WFC v: H92471-101
      Bios: Intel v: FCBYT10H.86A.0031.2015.1027.1417 date: 10/27/2015
      CPU: Quad core Intel Atom Z3735F (-MCP-) cache: 1024 KB
      clock speeds: max: 1832 MHz 1: 568 MHz 2: 645 MHz 3: 499 MHz 4: 499 MHz
      Graphics: Card: Intel Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Graphics & Display
      Display Server: 1.18.3 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
      tty size: 197x52 Advanced Data: N/A out of X
      Audio: Card IntelHDMI driver: IntelHDMI Sound: ALSA v: k4.4.0-24-linuxium
      Network: Card: Failed to Detect Network Card!
      Drives: HDD Total Size: NA (-) ID-1: /dev/mmcblk0 model: N/A size: 30.6GB
      ID-2: /dev/mmcblk1 model: N/A size: 31.2GB
      Partition: ID-1: / size: 26G used: 3.8G (16%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/mmcblk0p2
      ID-2: swap-1 size: 2.05GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/mmcblk0p3
      RAID: No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
      Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 59.0C mobo: N/A
      Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
      Info: Processes: 218 Uptime: 2 min Memory: 315.5/1912.4MB Init: systemd runlevel: 5
      Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.2.35

  12. Hello,

    if I install standard ubuntu server, can I then use your script to get the patched kernel so sound, bluetooth and wifi will work?


    1. The script is designed to upgrade the kernel only. Also I'm not sure that a standard server ISO will install so previously I've recommended installing my desktop ISO and then removing the desktop and adding the server packages (see That way you can get a server with sound, wifi and bt.

  13. I must give my congratulations for your efforts, nice work Ian!

    I have a question, about updating the patched kernel in the ubuntu 16.04 image you gave us to try. Due the fact that the kernel is not ubuntu dependent, we must wait to you to publish the updated kernel is it? I'm a bit confused about it...


    1. The simplest explanation is that for everything to work (e.g. sound as an example) you require specific hardware drivers that are not in the standard kernel. So each time you were to upgrade to the latest Canonical Ubuntu kernel you would loose some hardware functionality (e.g. audio) which can then be restored by upgrading to my kernel of the same version.

  14. I am trying to install on a STCK1A8LFC but it tells me I need at least 8.5 gb and I only have 7.7gb available, what can I do?

    1. Which ISO did you download and from where so I can take a look at it?

      Also moving forward, everything on this page has been superseded by so it is best to try one of those ISOs as well.

  15. ubuntu-16.04.1-desktop-linuxium.iso It's one of yours. I think it may have been the latest one

    1. I've not been able to replicate the error nor see where it could have occurred. Can you provide more details about where it happened and on what screen etc?

  16. Hello Linuxium, thanks for the great work !

    I have a STCK1A8LFC and I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS from your latest blog.

    (I am leaving a comment here because that page doesn't allow comments.)
    I just couldn't get the wifi working so I thought I would ask. AFAIU I need to install firmware-iwlwifi . Where can I find this ? Is there a repo somewhere ?
    many thanks in advance !

    1. The STCK1A8LFC uses a Realtek wifi chip and the driver is included in the ISOs you referenced. As it works on my device and on others who have tried I am not sure what the problem is with your device. Could you try my latest ISO from and if it doesn't work send me a link to your 'dmesg' (see for a how-to)?

    2. Hmm interesting, I tried with your latest nightly build, and still no luck.

      Another thing, when I plug an external USB wifi stick, it shows up as

      wlx000f60046cb7 IEEE 802.11bgn ESSID:off/any

      I would like this to show as "wlan0". I guess some udev configuration missing ?

    3. Here is the dmesg. Any heads-up will be appreciated.
      Thanks !

    4. pffft actually it seems my card is being renamed from wlan0. it's right in my dmesg

      [ 7.966890] rt2800usb 1-1.1.3:1.0 wlx000f60046cb7: renamed from wlan0

      how can I prevent this ?

    5. Ok I could prevent my interface being renamed by following

      which suggests :

      ln -s /dev/null /etc/udev/rules.d/80-net-setup-link.rules

      now my usb wifi dongle is recognised as wlan1.
      I would appreciate if you have any ideas for onboard wifi chip. The fact that the external wifi dongle gets wlan1 tells me maybe it's being recognised somewhere.

    6. I recommend you try either my latest 17.04 build or 16.04.2 (after it is uploaded).

  17. Hi Ian, great work!
    I installed it on STCK1A8LFC that I am using lubuntu 16.04 as HTPC with Kodi.
    It works wells so far (way better than the original Ubuntu 14.04), less resources consuming and easy to install.
    It froze few times but does its job for such a small machine.
    I have an issue with pulseaudio (PulseAudio 8.0), I get this error when trying to adjust volume
    amixer: Mixer attach pulse error: Connection refused.

    Any idea or suggestion on how to fix?

    1. I always use 'pavucontrol' as in 'sudo apt install pavucontrol' to control the volume on Lubuntu. If you used an ISO downloaded from here then I recommend you open a terminal session and enter the following command (on a single line):
      sudo sed -i 's/\(GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=\)""/\1"intel_idle.max_cstate=1"/' /etc/default/grub
      Then implement the change by entering:
      sudo update-grub
      and finally reboot the system by entering:
      sudo reboot
      My latest ISO (see latest post) included a better fix for the sporadic freezing if you are interested.

    2. Uhm... still not working. Let me be more specific: sound works fine, I cannot control the volume using the keyboard because amixer can't connect to pulseaudio.
      (Error message: PULSE_SERVER in the Environment/X11 Root Window Properties or default-server in client.conf is misconfigured)
      I just need a command line mixer command.
      Is the latest ISO that you mention the 17.04 one?

    3. Yes or try my 16.04.2 (when it is uploaded).

  18. Hi Ian,

    Funny, I can get your distro to work great but have issues figuring out how to use Gootle + :-)

    The install works wonderfully, no freezes, running 24/7 - its a dream both on wifi and ethernet.

    I do have speed issues on ethernet however. I can't get ethernet speeds beyond 42 Mbs a second. Any ideas on how to unlock Gigabit speed? Is it software related to the Kernal?

    Thanks again.

  19. Hello.

    Finally found what I need for my ideapad 100s. Thanks for your work.

    Yet, I cant find the download link and I cant see anyone else with the same issue. I've seen the "caption under each picture" text, but it is not working for me. The caption under the picture does not do anything for me. Please assist I want to fix my laptop as now I am running 16.04 Linux and I have no sound and no battery %. ^^