The MeegoPad T01 is a tiny PC-on-a-stick with an Intel Atom Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, and Windows 8.1 software. It sells for around $100 and up.

Update: Note that at least some versions of this stick ship with an unlicensed version of Windows 8.1, which means you’ll need to either supply your own operating system or pay for a Windows license. 

Just plug the stick into the HDMI port of a display, connect a power source, and you’ve got a desktop computer (with the processing power of a cheap Windows tablet).

But what if you’d rather run Ubuntu? Yep. You can do that.

ubuntu meegopad

Ian Morrison recently picked up a MeegoPad T01 (also known as an APM-D01) and got to work trying to bring GNU/Linux to the little computer.

So far he’s managed to get Ubuntu 14.10 up and running, complete with support for Intel HD graphics and support for HD YouTube video playback.

Morrison hasn’t described the steps he took to load Ubuntu on the device, but I suspect that it’s a lot like the process for running Ubuntu on the Asus Transformer Book T100 and other Bay Trail-powered Windows devices: you typically need to use a 64-bit build of Ubuntu with a 32-bit bootloader.

While that’s not the most elegant way to install an operating system, it may be better for some users than trying to shoehorn Ubuntu onto ARM-based mini-PCs that often lack support for hardware-accelerated graphics.

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26 replies on “$100 Bay Trail PC-on-a-stick can run Ubuntu (and Windows)”

  1. Why get this over a cheap tablet? I suspect you’d even save money on the deal if you just got a windows tablet with HDMI

    1. It’s chinese, naming has nothing to do with the product itself 99% of the time.

  2. Any ideas how the performance in KODI/XBMC would be with this compared to a RasPi? Looking at just the hardware specs this should blow the Pi out of the water, but KODI has had some pretty awesome optimizations to run well on the Pi… So what do you guys think? Will KODI be much faster on a Windows stick like this?

    1. Why would you waste money on this to use XBMC/Kodi when Kodi runs very well on a dual-core MK808 that costs about $40. I’m pretty sure this is meant more for general computing use like surfing the web and typing up word docs. If you’re going to buy a device that’s going to be sitting by the TV and never gets used for the majority of the day, this is an overkill and a waste of money.

      1. I’m just looking for something cheap that significantly faster than a RasPi. And if it can handle torrenting and streaming from web pages that don’t have an addon/plugin for Kodi that’d be great as well.

        Is an MK808 much faster in Kodi than a RasPi?

  3. All these devices with Windows 8.1 w/ Bing are based on the Atom Z3735F (those with 2GB of ram). I suspect all of them should be able to support this. What I’d really like to see is a dump of the flash on the T01 given it seems to be the only Z3735F device with Android on it as well. I’d love to try out Android or Ubuntu on my WinBook TW801.

  4. +1 although ARM devices are cheaper and more powerful. There is no Linux support, just look at the recent rk3288. Rockchip promised Linux drivers for x and video, nothing came. No trust for Chinese ARM devices.

    1. entirely agree. arm sorta dropped the ball by failing to do a better job with linux

    2. No point in using an ARM device even if it’s super powerful if you can’t even keep its software updated.

  5. Does anybody know where else I can buy this from that is not Ali Express

  6. I ordered one back in November, from Merry He on aliexpress.com, and that was a disaster. The seller waited until the last day possible to claim that it was shipped, and included a tracking number for a shipment to another country. To aliexpress’ credit, it was easy to file a dispute and get a refund.
    Luckily, it looks like there’s a lot more sellers now.

    1. Yeah, never trust them. Those are fake tracking numbers, they always do that.

    2. I don’t even buy from 3rd party sellers on Amazon. Saves a lot of headaches in the long run. No eBay either.

    3. I think every re-seller was late on shipping, because the main manufacturer could not deliver it in time. Got my unit from him in mid January. No problems with the second tracking number he used in the private message below the order. There is another number aliexpress assigns automatically, but for some reason he did not use it.

  7. Sounds like it’s easier to deal with than any ARM based device. If only ARM vendors were more into open source software or at least provide software updates for more than 1-2 years. I still get Linux driver updates for my 7+ year old Intel GPU (not lame PowerVR graphics) and wired/wireless NICs.

  8. Speaking of Ubuntu, in a few days (at CES) we should see some Meizu phone with Ubuntu Touch.

  9. this is excellent and makes me want to buy a meego stick now! only reason id buy buy.

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