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Intel updates NUC for better Linux support

Intel updates NUC for better Linux support

A BIOS update for Intel's compact NUC systems has been released in response to complaints that Debian-based Linux distributions would fail to boot.

Intel has released an updated BIOS for its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) boards and systems, addressing a long-standing issue that can make it near-impossible to install Linux on the compact computing devices.

While there's plenty to recommend Intel's teeny-tiny NUC desktops, early adopters have been experiencing one or two problems. The biggest show-stopped: a flaw in the BIOS which could prevent Debian-derived Linux distributions from booting correctly, by looking for the wrong bootloader. With Debian one of the longest serving Linux distributions around, and being the parent distribution of everything from Ubuntu Linux to Valve's Steam OS, that wasn't great news - even if the work-around, moving the bootloader, was a relatively speedy fix.

Now, work-arounds are no longer required with Intel releasing an updated BIOS more cognisant of Debian's requirements. Updating the Intel NUC bare-bones kits D54250WYK and D34010WYK along with the board-only NUC D54250WYB and D34010WYB, the release also fixes some other issues with the previous BIOS: the fan speed control module now works, system freezes when inserting selected USB flash drives are resolved, and a new option has been added for enabling or disabling Intel Dynamic Power Technology, the C7 sleep state available in the company's latest processors.

With a recent update to the still very early stage Steam OS adding support for Intel's integrated graphics processors, from the original release's Nvidia exclusivity, the NUC is now an option for users looking to replicate the Steam Box experience on the cheap.

The BIOS update can be downloaded from Intel's official website now.

5 Comments

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Maki role 13th February 2014, 14:39 Quote
Well this would have been pretty awesome a few months ago. Originally tried Linux on it back then but found that the sound over HDMI (important as that's the only output...) was borked. Ended up sticking a copy of windows 8 on it to get things over and done with, CBA to replace everything now that it's all installed.
schmidtbag 13th February 2014, 15:52 Quote
You'd think Intel would've fixed something like this before releasing the product, considering its better suited for linux anyway.

I would be a lot more inclined to like these NUC boards if their price point and board layouts were better. In most cases, I'd rather go with a cortex-A15 board - they're typically cheaper, are more power efficient, slimmer, can run with passive cooling, better GPUs, and while they have less features overall, are easier to work with. I'm sure an A15 CPU is a little worse than what Intel NUC boards offer, but buying one of these platforms for processing power is a stupid approach anyway.
GuilleAcoustic 13th February 2014, 21:13 Quote
Problem with ARM is GPU support under Linux. Safest way is to go with a Freescale SoC as they fully release their documentation (helping to have good drivers).
schmidtbag 13th February 2014, 21:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
Problem with ARM is GPU support under Linux. Safest way is to go with a Freescale SoC as they fully release their documentation (helping to have good drivers).

I'd say the REAL problem is the fact that most of the GPUs are only GLES compatible. Freescale and Nvidia are the only companies I'm aware of that support good 'ol openGL, and the Vivante GL support is pretty crappy. I think the real worst issue with ARM is you can't use package maintained kernels, which is a headache in terms of drivers.
Jimbob 13th February 2014, 21:56 Quote
I'm sure literally several people will be pleased by this.
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