Over the past few years a number of companies have released small desktop computers with Intel Atom processors. Some ship with Windows software. Some have Linux. And others have no operating system at all.

Want to install your own operating system? If you’re using Windows that shouldn’t be too hard. But Linux may be another story, since many GNU/Linux-based operating systems lack some of the wireless or HDMI/audio features you may need.

But developer Linuxium (Ian Morrison) has been releasing patched builds of Ubuntu Linux for tiny, Atom-powered computers like the Intel Compute Stick for a while. Now he has gathered a bunch of his builds in one place, making it easy to install Ubuntu on most desktop computers with Intel Bay Trail or Cherry Trail processors.


Linuxium’s builds of the operating system include patches that allow WiFi, Bluetooth, and HDMI audio to work on first and second-gen Intel Compute Sticks, but they should also work with a number of other mini PCs. They also support 32-bit and 64-bit bootloaders.

If your system has different wireless hardware, you may have to look elsewhere, though.

You should also keep in mind that since Linuxium’s software includes a patched Linux kernel, Ubuntu won’t download and install kernel updates automatically. But he does offer a script that allows you to do it manually. All other software packages can be updated using Ubuntu’s built-in software updating tools.

In addition to Ubuntu, there are downloads available for Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, and Ubuntu MATE (which all share a common core, but which have different desktop environments).

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11 replies on “Ubuntu on Intel Atom mini PCs (Linuxium’s builds for Bay Trail and Cherry Trail computers)”

  1. does this version resolve the kernel bug that results in screen freezing on bay trail devices?

  2. Hooray for a CHOICE of desktop environments. I don’t like Ubuntu’s Unity interface! That’s why I switched to Linux Mint.

  3. Is there a decent Linux distro for the small 7″ bay trail tablets? Getting tired of Windows 10 on my Stream 7, and Android-x86 is too buggy on it.

    1. I’d like an answer for this too. While Win10 does alright on that little HP, I’d like the option of using a touch based linux without losing the features of the tablet that make it usable, like bluetooth.

      1. Manjaro i3 worked, Ubuntu use to work(this patches can be done by hand, now it is easier) there are some videos in youtube and G+ about this and some articles in reddit.

  4. I don’t know how the Linux kernel development works, I’m wondering why the patches aren’t just applied upstream to avoid the need for specialized builds.

    1. It’s tough and political as heck to get your code into the kernel. It could take years even with tons of people advocating for you. It’s a problem with all monolithic kernels. I suspect micro kernels will start making a comeback if Google’s Magenta gains ground.

    2. Blobs (not FOSS drivers) are not easily approved or not at all.

  5. Terrific news! Thanks! Been waiting for this for too long! Will try them as soos as possible.

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