1 2 3 Previous Next 37 Replies Latest reply on Jan 17, 2017 7:26 PM by McCool

    Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x


      Update: Dec-05-2016

      As mentioned by McCool, Canonical now releases official image for Joule. Please follow their guide to setup Ubuntu Core on Intel Joule.


      As it turns out it's possible to install Ubuntu Desktop on Intel Joule 570x



      Here are the steps I used to install Ubuntu onto the module. For some reasons GRUB2 doesn't work so I have to use EFISTUB.


      Create a Ubunutu Bootable USB Drive

      Boot -> F2 -> Boot Manager -> Internal Shell


      fs1: //depends on how EFI maps the thing.

      cd casper

      vmlinuz.efi initrd=/casper/initrd.lz file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper quiet splash ---


      After booting into live cd mode, run install Ubuntu (before install you may need to use gparted to modify /dev/mmcblk0 layout)


      Since GRUB2 doesn't work, we need to setup EFISTUB.

      Mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 (ESP) and /dev/mmcblk0p2 (Ubuntu)

      mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /boot

      mount /dev/mmcblk0p2 /mnt

      copy /mnt/boot/vmlinuz-* to /boot/EFI/ubuntu/

      rename vmlinuz-* to vmlinuz-*.efi

      copy /mnt/boot/initrd.img-*-generic to /boot/EFI/ubuntu/


      Reboot -> F2 -> Boot Maintenance Manager -> Boot Options and add new boot option with the vmlinuz-*.efi and add following additional data

      root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 initrd=\\EFI\\ubuntu\\initrd.img-{version}-generic ro rootfstype=ext4

        • 1. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x

          This is great news indeed!  Thanks!


          Got Ubuntu to boot but not install.  Can you add some color to "(before install you may need to use gparted to modify /dev/mmcblk0 layout)" for this newbie?



          • 2. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x

            Sure, what's the error you got?


            For me the installer cannot recognize the default eMMC partitions so I have to use gparted to remove the old partitions and create a new dummy partition so the installer can install to internal eMMC.

            • 3. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x



              OK I used the "Install Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS" icon installed on the desktop.  Had to make space in its confusing partition window.  Actually had to delete the partition it assigned to Ubuntu after freeing up space from the "Unknown [sic] Linux distribution" and then fire up the Install Ubuntu script again.


              I am stuck on your comments about EFISTUB and down.  What do i want to do, open a terminal window? And enter your commands while in what directory?  I've checked and my Ubuntu is in dev/mmcblk0p4 so I know to make that change from the script you've shown.


              I'm perilously close to having Ubuntu desktop available (its installed per the script) and appreciate the help.

              • 4. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x

                Can you post a screenshot of gparted showing all partitions so I can tell how to adjust the commands?

                • 5. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x

                  Thanks KhaosT, this is a great contribution!


                  I'm happy to report I got this working, although there are a few issues I had to work around.


                  First, I wanted to install Ubuntu 16.04 but every time I tried to make a USB stick (or an SD card) with the image, under both Windows and when using another Ubuntu machine, the stick would end up with a strange partitioning scheme and an incorrect block size descriptor.  When I tried to use such a stick on the Joule only the EFI boot directory would show up, but not casper, etc.   I think this is an Ubuntu issue, but for some reason it does not trigger issues on other systems.


                  Fortunately, there is a workaround using sgdisk.   You have to create the USB stick for your Live CD using the approach documented at the bottom of the following thread.  Use the instructions under "A command-line method to make a live USB for UEFI systems": partitioning - "physical block size is 2048 bytes, but Linux says it is 512" when formatting a usb stick after using it …


                  Second, to comment on the gparted usage: after you get the LiveCD version of Ubuntu running, install gparted using apt-get and run it.   Then just select (using the menu in the upper left) the mmcblk0 device, which is the eMMC.  You have to unmount the two partitions that are mounted, delete all three, then create an ext4 partition.   After that you can follow the rest of the instructions to complete the install.


                  Third, after you follow the original instructions, you should go under the Boot Maintenance directory and change the boot order so that Ubuntu boots by default.   I'm building robots with my Joule and definitely need to be able to boot into Ubuntu without human intervention.   BTW, I've gotten both ROS and a RealSense camera running... some updates I should post elsewhere on this site... 


                  Finally, since grub does not work, upgrading the kernel via apt-get won't work, or at least the grub update won't work.   If you want to upgrade the kernel you will have to go back in and manually edit your EFI setup.   However, kernel modules seem to work (the kernel module that the RealSense installer loads to patch uvcvideo works).


                  I also found that after my install there was both a 4.4.0-31 and a 4.4.0-36 kernel installed.   I deleted (apt-get remove'd) the version 31 kernel which gave me back about 250MB of storage.


                  (disclosure: I am an Intel employee).

                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x

                    Thank you to both McCool and KhaosT for posting this.  


                    I ran into the same problem as McCool and with his change I was able to get Ubuntu 16 up and runnng.  I tested a few things, I am especially intetested in accelerated video playback.  I was able to get that running with a VAAPI version of mplayer.  Playback was a bit jerky but not bad.  I suspect that there may be some tweaks coming to the intel graphic libraries for this product in the near future, but still I am glad to see Ubuntu work out of the box as much as it did.


                    McCool, regrading your comment about "manually updating your EFI setup after updating the kernel through apt-get" you may want to look at this post:


                    grub2 - How to boot load the kernel using EFI stub (efistub) loader? - Ask Ubuntu


                    I did not try it, but it may solve this problem...



                    Thanks again,



                    • 7. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x

                      Thanks for the pointer to the EFI/grub2 stuff, I will take a look.   If I can grub2 installed so kernel updates work properly that will be nice.


                      Regarding video, two issues:


                      One, in the short term, you probably want to make sure you enable the "performance" governor if you are using SW to do video playback.   That's pretty easy, and in my experience, if you also add active cooling (see some of my other posts under robotics on this forum), you can pin the clocks on the Joule at their highest rate continuously (of course at the cost of somewhat higher power consumption).


                      Two, in the long term, the Joule has *hardware* for video decoding which if used (not sure yet how to enable it... probably have to wait for official Ubuntu support for the Joule with appropriate graphics drivers, etc.) should make video playback work well even when NOT running the Joule in "performance" mode (and without unnecessarily loading the CPUs). 



                      • 8. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x

                        @RDelaet (Rick): I re-read your original post, seems you are interested in accelerated video...


                        What I was trying to say in my post (but not very clearly) is that I don't *think* accelerated video works out of the box for Ubuntu.   I would be surprised if it did, so I'm assuming (until I verify otherwise) that only SW graphics and video are working.  You probably have to install the Intel graphics drivers (at least) first, and I haven't tried that with the Joule (the Intel graphics driver installer may or may not recognize it).   I suspect you will have to wait for official support for Ubuntu and live with SW video and graphics for a while.


                        To be honest I don't know if the graphics/video is enabled out of the box with this install, and haven't poked around enough yet to figure it out.   I'm not really sure because I think Intel recently moved their drivers into the default image, but I don't know if these (relatively old) versions recognize the Joule or not yet.


                        Anyhow, after helpfully pointing out my relative ignorance, hopefully someone reading this can (tell us how to...) verify the state of the graphics drivers



                        • 9. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x



                          From what I can see, Ubuntu 16 ships with the latest intel drivers from 01.org, which are several months old already.  I heard through the grapevine that Ubuntu core will not be officially supported on the joule until about the end of October, and I am sure by then newer intel drivers will be released.  I am eager to test these new drivers when available.


                          Regarding hardware video decode acceleration, intel supports VA-API, and I have built a custom version of mplayer that supports VAAPI. We currently use this on the intel stick and the quad core CPU on the stick is about 90% idle, versus one of the cpus 100% loaded with the standard software version of mplayer.    We want to use the joule as a replacement for the stick for a couple of reasons, one of which is the much higher temperature range that the joule supports over the intel stick (70C vs 35C).


                          I was able to run both the software version of mplayer and mplayer-vaapi on the joule, but both are jerky.   On the joule, mplayer-vaapi only uses about 8% cpu load playing a 1920x1080 video so I know hardware video decode is working.  I see the same jerkiness on both standard mplayer and mplayer-vaapi.  I think the jerkiness is most likely a problem with flipping video buffers as the frames are rendered, it is clearly not a CPU load problem.


                          So I have decided to wait patiently for the official Ubuntu core support and then revisit this issue again.


                          If anybody from Intel wants to chime in, their thoughts on pending updates to the intel drivers specific to the joule, especially related to video decoding, are most welcome.



                          • 10. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x

                            OK, that's about what I expected.  It's nice that there is at least some driver support available but like you say, it is a little stale, and that's probably at least partly to blame for the issues you are seeing.  We'll all still have to wait a bit for official support (and driver updates).


                            • 11. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x

                              Yes, I am hoping (and I am sure I am not alone) that we see Ubuntu officially supported in October. Fingers crossed...

                              • 12. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x

                                BTW, I am seeing indications that the graphics in this install of Ubuntu are not optimized.   For instance, when running rviz (a graphical visualization package under ROS) the frame rate was 1/5 of what it was on the CherryTrail RDK, a previous generation Intel Atom platform with Gen 8 graphics cores (as opposed to Gen 9 on the Joule).   I *suspect* that while there is an Intel graphics driver included in this install, it (being old) is not recognizing the new hardware and falling back to a software mode, and/or using the hardware inefficiently.


                                It is still usable, just don't expect great graphics performance until official Ubuntu support is released.   I also recommend using Xubuntu rather than regular Ubuntu, it works just fine and doesn't burn as many unnecessary cycles on graphics.

                                • 13. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x

                                  Hi everyone,

                                  This is my video how to install ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x step by step.

                                  1. Upgrade the BIOS

                                  2. Prepare USB boot for ubuntu 16.04
                                  3. Boot from USB -> Try to use Ubuntu -> use GParted to delete all the eMMC then create new partition .

                                  4. Install ubuntu to eMMC.

                                  Steps to install ubuntu desktop on Intel Joule - YouTube

                                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: Installing Ubuntu on Intel Joule 570x

                                    If you attempt to follow the "Developer Setup" instructions found at Intel Joule | Ubuntu developer portal , be warned that the Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS ISO is pointing to the wrong file.  You want to use http://people.canonical.com/~platform/snappy/tuchuck/tuchuck-xenial-desktop-iso-20161006-0.iso  not http://people.canonical.com/~platform/snappy/tuchuck/tuchuck-20161014085519.img.xz

                                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
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