Install Ubuntu Linux on the $100 Zealz GK802 quad-core mini PC

The Zealz GK802 is a little device about the size of a chunky USB flash drive. But unlike a flash drive, the GK802 is a fully functional little computer with a quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. It ships with Google Android software, but it can also run Ubuntu and other Linux-based operating systems.

Now there’s an easy way to install Linux on the GK802.

Zealz GK802

Retailer Geekbuying sells the GK802 for $100, and the store has received a beta build of Ubuntu 11.10 for the device. This week Geekbuying made the software available for download.

If you’re wondering what to do with that software though, ARMTVTech’s deadhp1 has a few good ideas.

He’s put together a disk image which you can write to a 4GB or larger microSD card using a Windows or Linux computer. Once you’ve prepared the card, you can insert it in the GK802 and reboot the device to load Ubbuntu.

The software supports hardware accelerated video decoding, but that doesn’t mean everything is smooth sailing. Deadhp’s had problems getting WiFi to work, for instance.

There’s also an early build of Ubuntu 12.04 for the GK802, but as of January 10th, 2013, that’s even less functional than Ubuntu 11.10.

One of the key things that sets the GK802 apart from other ARM-based mini computers is the fact that it’s powered by Freescale’s quad-core i.MX6 processor. Since Freescale offers documentation and support for Linux, it’s easier for developers to port Linux-based operating systems to this chipset than to some others.

thanks deadhp!

  • http://www.facebook.com/miron.michalko Miron Michalko

    I would like to buy usb stick with imx6 SoC, but $100 is too much…I bought dual core MK808 for less than a half price…

    • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

      Well, double the cores, double the price :)))

      • http://twitter.com/derekpurdy Derek Purdy

        almost half the clock speed though ;)

      • Viitar

        The imx6 is based on a more efficient ARM architecture, if I’m not mistaken.
        Clock speed’s aren’t everything anymore.

      • http://www.facebook.com/miron.michalko Miron Michalko

        Both are ARM Cortex-A9 architecture.

      • http://www.facebook.com/default.wml Sergey Lokshin

        Well, then you should take in mind the complete absence of docs on RK3066 and the OMG 5700-PAGE-LONG detailed docs at Freescale website on i.MX 6. That should affect the further development of Linux for this chip.

    • Manos Eskintzis

      I have it for 2 months now i have also one with rk3066 ,GK802 is better run ubuntu 12.04 not as my xeon but i can say pretty smooth two things can be better 2Gb Ram and other GPU,i run a webserver and webradio with extra heatsink run more than a week with no problem and i am very satisfied only one can beat gk802 ,odroid-x2.

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    Sounds really good, especially, the hw accelerated video playback, that will be very important for a HD-capable TV smartener.

    Wondering why the wifi hw is problematic. Should come with perfect freescale drivers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.huddleston Greg Huddleston

    is X11 accelerated yet? (no one else seems to be able to do this?)

    • http://www.facebook.com/default.wml Sergey Lokshin

      It is, AFAIK. Also, Ubuntu image for ODROID-U2 (with Samsung Exynos chip) has HW acceleration enabled too, for example.

  • Rex

    Still waiting for someone to slap the Quadcore i.mx6 on a mini-itx board.

    • Philip Jessup

      Yes, something like cubieboard but with more RAM and this processor.

    • Generalkidd

      There’s not really any point in ARM-based mini-itx or larger boards. When you get to that size motherboard, it’s clear you’re building something with a purpose that requires more computing power in which case any modern x86 CPU will do just fine. The performance of quad-core ARM CPU’s is somewhere between a Pentium III and a Pentium 4 cpu in which case, an Intel Atom can easily match.

      I’d really like to see these mini computing sticks with x86 CPU’s from Intel, AMD, or Via. Thanks to the newest line of Intel Atom SoC’s, there’s no point to ARM chips anymore as x86 can now match and beat ARM in performance and power consumption.

      • nvd

        Do you have any data for comparison or is it just a preference?

        “Beat in power consumption”; which means that ARM has no reason to stay in business and cell phone companies are going the wrong way.

  • ARXD

    YES!!!! I will happily pay $100 for that stick IF it can run Ubuntu smoothly!

  • http://www.facebook.com/juan.c.burgos.92 Juan Carlos Scaramellini Burgo

    Hi all

    I tried to run ubuntu on my gk802. but I can´t boot my gk802 from external sd card I followed all the instructions but can’t boot linux.
    Can you help me?
    Thank you

    Juan

  • Mubeen Shahid

    In relation to your comment about i.MX in the last paragraph, the wikipedia page of Freescale Semiconductor (manufacturer of i.MX processors) mentions that i.MX series is based on ARM architecture. Also i.MX6 is ARM Cortex-A9 based chip. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.MX