Intel updates NUC for better Linux support

February 13, 2014 // 2:23 p.m.

Tags: #debian #intel #intel-nuc #linux #nuc #steam-box #steam-machine #steam-os #ubuntu #valve

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.
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