I hope this will start a discussion on the use of NUC6i5/NUC6i3 with Linux distributions (i.e. Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, and others)
For some time I was reluctant to buy a NUC since all feedback I found was about bugs and unsupported devices. For many years I used Intel semiconductors in my projects and PC platforms. So I really was sad about the lack of interest of Intel staff to support the Linux community, after all we also buy lots of motherboards and CPUs and devices from Intel.
Then I found a project called Opensource 01.org | Intel Open Source Technology Center that turn on a light for the my quest, so I decided this new year to invest in a new NUC kit the NUC6i5SYH which I installed 2x4GBytes of RAM, a 250GByte SSD/M2 and a 500GB HDD/SATA to test and be able to retire my Gigabyte desktop tower, if all goes well. The power efficiency was the first point that caught my attention, which is my area of interest since college. I have tested many low power units, of many brands, for business development, and this NUC really did look promising.
So this is my test log with the mighty, greener, smaller footprint desktop killer that Intel is developing and the work around solution I have to share with our great GPL/GNU community of enthusiasts and professional IT experts that do not take for granted closed black box systems. Go were no one has gone before.
The first week with my NUC6i5 was very strait forward. I downloaded the best version (by my research) http://releases.ubuntu.com/14.04/ubuntu-14.04.5-desktop-amd64.iso.torrent that could bundle support for most of the hardware devices included and used the mkusb to create a USB live ubuntu installation device. You can use a USB stick or a SD card. I used a microSD with a USB adapter. Since the ISO image is less than 2Gbytes usually today any SD or USB drive is fine.
I decided to make the first install on the HDD, since I am not comfortable, yet, with SSD's limitations, (ie. SSD vs. HDD ), since I could need to reinstall the system many time on this first test, and last, but not least, 10 second or 1 second boot time is not a problem for my applications and use of the NUC.
My partition strategy is using the advantages of EFI:
NAME MAJ:MIN RM SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda 8:0 0 465,8G 0 disk
├─sda1 8:1 0 243M 0 part FAT32 /boot/efi* bootloader/grub
├─sda2 8:2 0 47,7G 0 part Ext4 /
├─sda3 8:3 0 114,5G 0 part Ext4 /home
└─sda4 8:4 0 3,8G 0 part [SWAP]
Notice there is free space left for other uses, and /dev/sdb not in use.
OK, so after the install and boot, most devices worked: boot screen, system screen (then logging screen), network (ie. wifi) just connected and ask for the password, Bluetooth was on (had to disable it manually), and I noticed a heat issue, compared to the Live USB test with just the SSD installed, prior to installing the HDD. I rebooted and tweaked the cooling configuration of the UEFI GUI and ajusted the threshold temperatures and the fan started to be more present (ie. I could now hear it working more often) and the temperature was under control again (notice: I keep air conditioning off at my SOHO for lower carbon footprint). I then installed lm-sensors, gkrellm, acpi packages and did some google search to fine tune the configuration files. The probing of the sensors (ie. using sensors-detect command) shows Found unknown chip with ID 0x8607
I would suggest this git project Support for IT8607E for the tip on using the:
sudo modprobe --verbose it87 force_id=0x8603
this did really work around the lack of a module for the used chip in the NUC (hope Intel helps us here to fine tune measurements ).
This is the output I get with sensors command:
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1: +27.8°C (crit = +105.0°C)
temp2: +29.8°C (crit = +105.0°C)
Adapter: ISA adapter
Physical id 0: +45.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 0: +44.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1: +43.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Adapter: ISA adapter
Vcore: +0.62 V (min = +0.55 V, max = +1.52 V)
SDRAM: +1.21 V (min = +1.14 V, max = +1.26 V)
3VSB: +3.29 V (min = +3.14 V, max = +3.46 V)
Vbat: +2.93 V
+3.3V: +3.31 V
System Fan: 5000 RPM (min = 1997 RPM)
Memory Temp: +45.0°C (low = +0.0°C, high = +95.0°C) sensor = thermal diode
Motherboard Ambient Temp: +43.0°C (low = +15.0°C, high = +90.0°C) sensor = thermal diode
PCH Temp: +47.0°C (low = +35.0°C, high = +100.0°C) sensor = disabled
As you can see, still needs some fixes of the sensors configuration file, but we are on the right track.
That is all for now. Hope to get some feedback. Long Live Linux!