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 Various issues with MintBox 2 
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:52 am
Posts: 5
Post Various issues with MintBox 2
Bought a new IntensePC Mintbox2 (i5) from Amazon. Arrived in two days!

It began to have issues soon after I booted it up and began to install new software.... Sound card would quit after I used the 'test' mode in settings. Small black rectangles would start showing up on webages. Memory leaks I assume?

I pulled the drive and installed other drives..tried regular HD and an mSATA SSD....and installed a few other Linux distros for testing..more or less same problems. The other OS'es would not work with the RealTek WiFi...I then installed an Intel WiFi card ($10 or less on ebay) and NOW the other OS'es could find it, but I still have boot problems, sound card problems, and memory leaks.

I finally went back to the reliable-as-a-rock, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (64bit) that I have used on 2 other machines without problems. It loads and runs fine..directly from the Samsung mSATA SSD.(12 second boot time!) .with a 2.5 inch WD drive as backup for data..except still not working well with the RealTek WiFi module. Drivers are the issue I'm sure, but who wants to mess with that? I removed the POC RealTek module...then plugged a generic $10 USB WiFI dongle in an open USB port and the computer is working great! (no Bluetooth on this dongle but I dont need it) Stable as a rock after several days of testing various configurations of software and hardware.

I'm happy with this IntensePC, but I believe that it should be available with a stable, reliable, LTS version of Linux. Ubuntu plays very nicely with it.

:mrgreen:

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---Brian

Republic of Texas


Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:06 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:52 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: Various issues with IPC2
Update:

I discovered, after another audio dropout caused by using the Linux built-in audio test app, that what is actually happening is that the audio spdif jack is switching to digital mode. Who knew?

I switched my video hookup cable from a DVI/HDMI adapter to a straight HDMI cable to my monitor, and plugged in my audio amp to the 1/8 stereo plug provided on the back of the monitor.

Now, after boot, the audio is not working...actually, its in analog mode. As soon as I go into the Linux audio test app, then switch the default output audio to HDMI, it all works quite well.

I plan on buying a small spdif/analog converter so that I can provide a better way to decode the digital audio.

I'm thinking these audio issues are another driver issue with Linux and the intensepc sound 'card'...but for now, its a good workaround.


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---Brian

Republic of Texas
Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:04 pm
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Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:42 am
Posts: 49
Post Re: Various issues with IPC2
Hi txpc1,

I installed Arch linux on my MintBox 2 and have not experienced any of the issues you mention here. WiFi, Bluetooth and sound work out of the box with the default Arch install.

Here's my output from lspci:
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)
Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel
Kernel modules: snd_hda_intel

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller (rev 09) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
Kernel driver in use: i915
Kernel modules: i915

04:00.0 Network controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8723AE PCIe Wireless Network Adapter
Kernel driver in use: rtl8723ae

lsusb:
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 0bda:8723 Realtek Semiconductor Corp.
Kernel driver in use: btusb

My kernel is 3.11.6-1-ARCH

Video drivers are provided by the open-source Intel driver and work fantastically. I can even play Steam games like Portal 2 on low graphics settings using the Intel HD 4000.

The 3.5mm audio port on the IPC can be used for analog or digital (SPDIF) coaxial audio output (and maybe input but I haven't tried that). I use pavucontrol, the pulse audio GUI tool, to select which output (analog/digital/HDMI) I want to use as the main output.

Ubuntu 12.04 is running a pretty old kernel, and it may not support all the hardware in the IPC as the IPC hardware is newer than that Ubuntu release. I would suggest upgrading to a newer distribution to benefit from all the updates that have happened since then. Ubuntu 14.04 is supposed to be an LTS release, and there are other distributions like Arch and Linux Mint which I know work well on the IPC.

I have another forum post detailing how I installed Arch on my IPC if you're interested in trying a distribution with better hardware support.


Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:24 am
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