Ubuntu 12.04 boots natively on RK3188 mini PC


It’s been a while coming – well, getting hold of the source code – but for the first time, someone has managed to get Ubuntu 12.04 with Xfce desktop (which would more than likely make it Xubuntu 12.04) to boot on an RK3188-powered Tronsmart T428 mini PC.

[Linuxium] has managed to come up with a method that not only boots the OS on the mini PC, you do it from a MicroSD card, which when removed, doesn’t affect your internal Android OS. So you can run Android installed or Ubuntu via MicroSD card. Nice.

According to cnx-software.com, the boot up doesn’t include extra features such as the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth – for this to happen, someone will have to bake in the drivers into the Linux kernel. However, with Tronsmart not releasing its Linux kernel source code, consensus is, we’re more likely to see a full Linux build happen on Rikomagic’s MK802 IV, the owner of which did happen to release its source code last week to open-source.

It’s a great step forward, for while Android is a great OS for TV use, it doesn’t have the full-blown features of a normal desktop OS, which is where Linux proper with a desktop environment like Xfce4, would come in nicely. You couldn’t expect to get Core i5-level performance out of an RK3188 CPU, but you should still get very workable speed levels, provided the code can make use of all four cores.

It’ll be interesting to see how much of [Linuxium]‘s work can be ported back to RK3066-based devices like the MK808-series…

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