Compulab switched from Ubuntu to Linux Mint. As Linux Mint is (more or less) a version of Ubuntu with additional and updated packages, I recommend switching to the new official supported version. Although updated packages for lucid will be released, this thread will not be updated anymore/as frequently.
Compulab decided to move from Ubuntu to Linux Mint as default Linux distribution for fit-PC2/i. Linux Mint provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease of installation. It is recognized for being user-friendly, particularly for users with no previous experience in Linux.
Really good article which I hope answers all your questions about Linux Mint is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Mint
As for Ubuntu we will publish installation instructions, and release updates for Compulab`s packages.
-- see viewtopic.php?f=68&t=2025
------------------------------------------------------This is a more or less complete rewrite of the previous post. It was first titled "Ubuntu 10.04 with psb driver WORKS now!" because the most serious was (and still is) the bad shape of the psb driver. However, this thread now covers the complete hardware featured in the fitpc2 and the fitpc2i.Advanced features
- 3d acceleration works (but the gma500 is not quite powerful..)
- 1080p playback using vaapi works fine with cpu usage staying below 30% at all time
- flash (flash hd!) support is somewhat working (using an external mplayer-vaapi to display embedded flash videos)
- realtime kernels work -- see patch at 
- hardware watchdog
- AP mode (fitPC2i) -- see What does not work?
- Xv was broken; thanks to yvesdm3000 this is fixed; a patch has been commited -- see : TESTING
- confirmed AP mode using rt3090: PENDING
- sleep/hibernate might cause issues, but fixes are in ppa/fix for testing purpose: TESTINGWhat is the problem with GMA500/SCH/US15W/Poulsbo?
To get to a real low power consumption Intel used a graphics core built by Imagination Technologies. ImgTech's PowerVR series is quite common in the embedded world. The driver for this chip was designed by Tungsten.
In the embedded market product life cycles are quite long and once a product has a matured driver, there is no hurry to update them. While poulsbo was initially an embedded product, it was used on quite some "consumer" products like many netbooks or the fitPC2. Linux distributions focusing on this market have a much shorter life cycle and they have a rapid change in technology.
This rapid changes (kernel, xorg) do brake drivers on a regular base, but most open source drivers are fixed in no time. Even closed source drivers for consumer hardware like those for nVidias gaming graphic cards keep up quite nice. As an embedded product, the drivers for poulsbo are not updated that often. This leaves three options:
- Use a distribution (and version) the current driver has been qualified for.
- Wait for new release of the driver. There is no timeline and your specific distribution/version might never see an official driver.
- Try to keep the released driver in sync with all kernel and xorg changes.
Some users from ubuntu, fedora and mandriva decided to go for option 3 and we all benefit from their work. The psb driver is closed source -- and even for a closed source driver, it is in a really bad shape -- so this is not an easy task and some things cannot be fixed by those people.
Intel releases new drivers for psb (psb, gma500, iegd, emgd, ivi, ...) now and then, but they can't keep up with recent rapid changes in -- e.g. -- ubuntu. I hope that Intel will deliver a new driver working on ubuntu 10.4 because it is a long term support release. They don't have to support every single release (twice in a year!), but having an upgrade path from one LTS to another would be quite nice.
Update: Things have changed, at last. Intel released a new EMGD dirver  which runy with the current LTS release, see official support by Compulab for the lucid based Mint Linux. In addition, the psb community -- kudos to yvesdm3000! -- has managed to get XV support in psb working again . For the future we are lucky, too, because the Linux Foundation has bumped full 3D and VA support of PowerVR Hardware such as the GMA500 to a pirority target . Last but not least, Alan Cox, long time linux co-maintainer and now an employee of Intel has started work on a free psb driver .
For those who want to run lucid with psb, here is the old how-to:Installing Ubuntu 10.4 LTS
Installing the base operating system works like on all other computers. The only problem will be, that some drivers might not be loaded. Especially the graphic hardware will only operate in vesa mode, which is quite slow. Here are all necessary steps to install those drivers and some tips how to use advanced features like video acceleration are mentioned, too:
1. Install Ubuntu 10.04
2. Install latest updates
3. Add ppa:gma500 repository
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gma500/ppa && sudo apt-get update
4. Install patched poulsbo drivers
sudo apt-get install poulsbo-driver-2d poulsbo-driver-3d poulsbo-config
5. Use Compulabs xorg.conf
wget -c http://fit-pc2.com/download/ubuntu/files/xorg.conf
sudo mv xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf
---7. Optional: Enable WLAN
# WLAN Ralink RT3090 miniPCIe (fitPC2)
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:markus-tisoft/rt3090 && sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rt3090-dkms
# WLAN Ralink RT3070 USB (fitPC2i)
#is this needed? :: echo 'blacklist rt2800usb' | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:logari81/ppa && sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rt3070
8. Optional: Install mplayer-vaapi for video acceleration
# WLAN Realtek RTL8187 miniPCIe (early versions of fitPC2)
#should work out of the box
# Installing from package
#mplayer package will be available via gma500 ppa shortly: sudo apt-get install mplayer
#for now use packages provided by compulab:
wget -c http://fit-pc2.com/download/ubuntu/dists/karmic/binary/mplayer-vaapi_1.0-20100414_i386.deb
wget -c http://fit-pc2.com/download/ubuntu/dists/karmic/binary/libva1_0.31.0-1+sds12_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
sudo apt-get install -f
9. Optional: Setup IR receiver (fitPC2 only)
# Installing from source (might not work for some IP adresses)
wget http://kanotix.com/files/fix/mplayer-vaapi-latest.txt && sudo bash ./mplayer-vaapi-latest.txt
Where can I find source code for...
# see http://www.fit-pc2.com/wiki/index.php?title=IR_support_in_Ubuntu
[WLAN] Ralink RT3090 miniPCIe: http://www.ralinktech.com/support.php?s=2
[WLAN] Ralink RT3070 USB: http://www.ralinktech.com/support.php?s=2
[WLAN] Ralink RT2870 USB: http://www.ralinktech.com/support.php?s=2
[WLAN] Realtek RTL8187: http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/dow ... loads=true
[ETHERNET] Realtek RTL8111D GbE: http://www.realtek.com.tw/products/prod ... l=5&Conn=4
[ETHERNET] Realtek RTL8111C GbE: http://www.realtek.com.tw/products/prod ... l=5&Conn=4
[GFX] Intel GMA500 / US15W / SCH / Poulsbo: http://code.google.com/p/gma500/source/browse/
[GFX] mplayer-vaapi: http://www.splitted-desktop.com/~gbeauc ... yer-vaapi/
[GFX] libav: http://www.splitted-desktop.com/~gbeauchesne/libva/Known workarounds, quirks and fixes
In case you need to switch back to vesa mode, uninstall or reinstall
the psb driver, press ESC
on startup to get to the grub2 menu. Select the newest kernel in safe/rescue mode. Drop to the rootshell and perform the following actions (if you want to reinstall the driver, look at step (4) of the installation howto):
sudo apt-get purge poulsbo-driver-2d poulsbo-driver-3d poulsbo-config xserver-xorg-video-psb xserver-xorg-video-psb-dbg psb-kernel-source psb-firmware xpsb-glx xpsb-glx-dbg
sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get autoremove
Some displays do not work when connected to the fitPC2. If they don't work at all, e.g. if you are not able to see the BIOS splash page
, you should have a look at . However, if you can use ubuntu just fine in vesa graphics mode, the problem might be cause by the psb driver. The psb driver by default tries to use the internal LVDS connector most common in notebooks or embedded displays. As most psb community developers are using netbook hardware, they were not aware of HDMI/DVI (SDVO) issues. Most displays work after adding Option "NoDcc" "On"
to the Section "Device"
of xorg.conf file. However, this has recently been fixed in the driver itself . If problems continue to exist you can still run vesa-mode (see above) or try the NoDCC-Option
nevertheless. This will use CompuLab's xorg.conf mentioned in step (5) and will apply this Option:
sudo curl -s http://fit-pc2.com/download/ubuntu/files/xorg.conf | sudo sed -e '/Section "Device"/ a \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ Option "NoDCC" "On"' | sudo tee /etc/X11/xorg.conf
might have some graphical glitches when psb driver is in place. Recent builds from Mozilla
don't show this behavior. Either use those builds or try:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa && sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install thunderbird
media player might show graphical issues. They are not present in nVidias VDPAU repository. I am not sure how this might have an side effect on mplayer-vaapi, so be careful:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nvidia-vdpau/cutting-edge-multimedia && sudo apt-get update
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libva-x11-0.31.1.1.so.1.0.3 /usr/lib/libva-x11-0.31.0.6.so.1
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libva-glx-0.31.1.1.so.1.0.3 /usr/lib/libva-glx-0.31.0.6.so.1
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libva-0.31.1.1.so.1.0.3 /usr/lib/libva-0.31.0.6.so.1
# Set in VLC's preferences video output to x11.
when using vaapi with some codecs may occur. To fix the, use the right video format, e.g.:
mplayer -vo vaapi -va vaapi -vfm xvid mediafile.avi
performance is always a problem, even on full scale multicore systems. If you use firefox as browser you can try to use mplayer for rendering flash using this tip, however I don't recommend this:
# install mplayer-vaapi as described in step (8)
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:klich-lukasz/kleewho && sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-mplayer gecko-mediaplayer
sudo apt-get purge gxine
# install http://flvideoreplacer-extension.blogspot.com/ and set it to gecko-mplayer/gnome-mplayer
# start gnome-mplayer and use this settings http://lukaszklich.pl/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/vaapi_output.png and http://lukaszklich.pl/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/vaapi_va.png
If you want to replace the default program for media files
with mplayer-vaapi, you should have a look at those files and folders:
You basically create an desktop starter for mplayer-vaapi and modify the mime entries. All this is just if someone wants to write a script; desktop users will more likely just want to follow these instructions:
a tip how you can just double-click your video instead of writing every time the line in the command line.
1. right click on your video
2. open with another application (I'm translating, sorry if translation is not very accurate)
3. click the plus next to "use user-defined command"
4. type in (without quotations): "mplayer -vo vaapi -va vaapi %F"
5. click on open and close the starting video again.
6. to make that the standard player right click on file -> properties
7. click on the tab "open with"
8. check the checkbox next to mplayer (not MPlayer Media Player)
If you want to have the graphical bootscreen
back, you can try the instructions posted in this thread  on ubuntuforms.org or you just might want to wait until mainline psb integrates some patches found in ppa/fix.
To enable the hardware watchdog
you need to sudo apt-get install watchdog
, edit the config -- see example at  -- and load the sbc_fitpc2_wdt
module (after finalizing your configuration, you might want to add it to /etc/modules
). Updating the watchdog timer by hand works via the wd_keepalive
program or by just writing things (except V) to /dev/watchdog
. Some settings to care about are:
For more information you should have a look at the links below. Thanks are flying out to the nice people at mandriva, fedora, ubuntu and ubuntuforums.org for their hard work. Good job!
 https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupport ... rdsPoulsbo
 http://www.splitted-desktop.com/~gbeauc ... yer-vaapi/
 http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p= ... count=1727
 http://fit-pc2.com/download/ubuntu/dist ... 4_i386.deb
 http://code.google.com/p/gma500/issues/ ... d=34&can=1
 http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~gma500/gma ... evision/59
 http://xlcwu.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/b ... ucid-lynx/
 http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p= ... count=2106
 http://rt2x00.serialmonkey.com/pipermai ... 01665.html
 http://rt2x00.serialmonkey.com/pipermai ... 02055.html