Have an Android tablet or TV box with a Rockchip RK3188 processor, and wish it ran a desktop operating system rather than a mobile OS? A new build of PicUntu is available, bringing the full Ubuntu Linux experience to devices with RK3188 processors.

picuntu rk3188

The Rockchip RK3188 processor is a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 chip with Mali 400 graphics. It’s one of the fastest Cortex-A9 processors around — although there’s no support for hardware-accelerated graphics when you’re running PicUntu.

You can still watch videos or play games using PicUntu, but you’ll have to rely on CPU power to do that.

The good news is that almost everything else works, including WiFi, audio, and network drivers. PicUntu 4.4.3 also includes support for Bluetooth hardware — but you’ll need a USB Bluetooth adapter. Internal Bluetooth devices don’t currently work.

Instructions for running PicUntu are available at the Rikomagic UK forum. Officially supported devices include the MK802 IV TV stick, and there are builds available for use with 720p and 1080p displays.

Developers are still working on adding support for additional devices, the Mali 400 graphics, and built-in Bluetooth hardware, among other things.

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8 replies on “PicUntu 4.4.3 brings Ubuntu Linux to devices with RK3188 quad-core chips”

  1. Another reminder I should buy a Wandboard, rather than waiting for sufficient linux support on these things. If these Rockchip devices had GigE and SATA, then I could at least see buying one for use as a server, but they don’t.

    1. There are server range ARM solutions but what we usually see is for the general consumer market, and mobile devices generally don’t need those functions…

  2. As I say every time I see these types of announcements (err here mostly).

    Re: ” although there’s no support for hardware-accelerated graphics ”

    Dealbreaker! for me on all of these Linux-OS ARM bases units until they get past this roadblock.

    Without GPU window management (‘X’ and the Linux DT) is completely useless indeed.

    When they goes from coming-soon -> available, I will buy a whole boxcar of these for my business. Just sayin and I hope its sooner rather than later.

    1. Yes, a lot of enthusiasts like to say you can easily run Linux distros on ARM but there’s a big difference from being able to boot and run a OS from it actually working in every way that it needs to…

      Unfortunately, ARM flexibility also means it has a lot of hardware fragmentations and most GPUs used in these mobile devices are from proprietary providers that usually don’t provide open driver support.

      So developers have to work from scratch to create alternative drivers or work with whatever limits are imposed with the closed drivers.

      While the rapid end of life nature of mobile devices makes long term support iffy at best.

      All this despite a lot of effort to make ARM Linux friendly, but even with Android rarely getting proper support for most devices it doesn’t look good for GNU/Linux distros in general… though, there are some exceptions but still nothing that can be expected for long term…

      Thus, one of the reasons I believe the upcoming Bay Trail devices will have a much better chance because they don’t have to deal with a lot of hardware fragmentation and should be getting mainstream support for open source drivers.

      Intel has already added Bay Trail to their Linux driver support for the GMA and Linux Kernel 3.11 has already introduced official support for Bay Trail audio… Though, some more work still needs to be done for things like making the boot loader work properly with UEFI and other minor annoyances but those should be relatively short term issues that will get fixed and we should then be able to treat Bay Trail devices much like say Netbooks for loading just about any distro you may want and in most cases it should just work…

      1. As much as I agree on the fragmentation issue, I really don’t buy Intel having a comeback into the android world. Way too little, way too late. And Intel has a huge, massive, deadly drawback: completely sclerotic form factor.
        You can only get Intel processor on huge, standardly shaped motherboards. Could you imagine Intel producing usb-key sized machines? No way. Could you imagine Intel processors inside the Google glasses? No way. Intel business architecture is simply a no- go in the wearable computing business.

        1. Sorry but none of that is true anymore, Intel ATOM SoCs are already competing in devices that previously only ARM or MIPS could be found in…

          There isn’t yet a USB dongle but there are already Smart Phones and other small devices with Intel ATOM inside that couldn’t have them unless they were already small enough to be used in them!

          Intel is even after the small embedded and wearable devices market with the even smaller than ATOM solution they call Quark, which is 1/5th of the size of the ATOM and consumers 1/10th the power…

          And yes, Intel is working on their own version of Google Glass! They already invested in wearable device maker Recon, they make things like Ski Goggles with heads up display information on speed, jump analytics, altitude, distance, location, temperature and much more.

          Intel also recently acquired Mashery, API management experts which could be key for them to provide strategic management and transformational service.

          And all this is before they even get the even smaller 14nm FAB out next year, which the ATOM will be immediately updated to by the end of 2014, along with another architectural update from Silvermont to Airmont, which means they’re accelerating advancing the ATOM at faster than Moore’s Law!

          So, I wouldn’t underestimate Intel based on their previous limitations as they’re blowing those limits away very quickly!

          1. What, for telling the truth… Sorry but I tell it how it is no matter who it favors!

            You can pretend otherwise but whatever you’re thinking has nothing to do with reality!

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