Friday, 6 April 2018

Fourth look at Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) Beta 2


Canonical have now made available the Beta 2 (Final Beta) of the upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) release.

I've respun the ISO using my 'isorespin.sh' script and created ISOs suitable for Intel Atom and Intel Apollo Lake devices:

  • Atom (-i ubuntu-18.04-beta2-desktop-amd64.iso --atom)
  • Apollo (-i ubuntu-18.04-beta2-desktop-amd64.iso --apollo)

The release announcement provides a link to the release notes together with highlighting that "The beta images are known to be reasonably free of showstopper CDbuild or installer bugs, while representing a very recent snapshot of 18.04 that should be representative of the features intended to ship with the final release expected on April 26th, 2018". Note that two of the documented bugs with the ISO include slow booting and issues with reboot.

Please donate if you find the ISOs or script useful using the following link http://goo.gl/nXWSGf.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

An initial look at Plasma Mobile


Plasma Mobile is the mobile version of the desktop Plasma user interface and is focused on mobile devices like phones. Users of Kubuntu and KDE neon will already be familiar with Plasma as they are well established as distros for PCs and laptops. However the simplicity of Plasma Mobile may make it ideal for Mini PCs especially as an alternative to Android as it not only bears a passing resemblance but has the significant advantage that standard desktop applications can be installed:


It is currently in very early development however an amd64-compatible ISO for Intel-based devices based on KDE Neon has already been released. Although it is 'Ubuntu-based' it runs a stripped down 'rootfs' that meant the ISO couldn't be respun for Intel Atom devices. I've modified the scripts behind the '--atom' option to now support the ISO and it can now be respun using my 'isorespin.sh' script using the command:

isorespin.sh -i neon-pm-devedition-gitunstable-20180305-1543-amd64.iso --atom

Update: Since I tested respinning the ISO one of the repositories included in the ISO ('pm.list') points to an unresponsive URL ('http://neon.plasma-mobile.org') which causes 'apt update' to hang. A workaround is available by cloning and modifying a local version of the respin script using the following command:

sudo sed '
2954s@$@ \&\& sudo mv iso-chroot/etc/apt/sources.list.d/pm.list iso-chroot/etc/apt/sources.list.d/pm.list.linuxium@;
2970s@^@# @;
2973s@\([[:space:]]\+\)@\1apt-get install -y /usr/src/\\\${PACKAGE} > .package.log 2>\&1 # @;
3010s@$@ \&\& sudo mv iso-chroot/etc/apt/sources.list.d/pm.list.linuxium iso-chroot/etc/apt/sources.list.d/pm.list@
' /usr/local/bin/isorespin.sh > isorespin.sh && chmod 755 isorespin.sh

and then respin with the command:

./isorespin.sh -i neon-pm-devedition-gitunstable-20180305-1543-amd64.iso --atom

Further Update: As the ISO now respins without issue because the previous problem URL has been resolved I've respun the ISO using my 'isorespin.sh' script and created an ISO suitable for Intel Atom devices:

  • Atom (-i neon-pm-devedition-gitunstable-20180305-1543-amd64.iso --atom)

It is worth having a look at and keeping an eye on as it could become something special.

Please donate if you find my work and ISO helpful using the following link http://goo.gl/nXWSGf.



Latest improvements to 'isorespin.sh'


Ever wondered whether you are running the latest version of 'isorespin.sh'? I've now added a '--check' option that does exactly that. Starting with version 8.1.4 when you check and you are on the latest version you will get a message similar to:

linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ isorespin.sh --check
/usr/local/bin/isorespin.sh: Version: 8.1.4 is the latest version.
linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ 

otherwise you will get a message similar to:

linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ ./isorespin.sh --check
./isorespin.sh: Version: 8.1.3 should be upgraded as 8.1.4 is the latest version.
linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ 

indicating that you should download the latest version from 'isorespin.sh'.

I've also added some additional checks to prevent common issues that have previously been reported.

Firstly you cannot respin an ISO on an OS that doesn't support 'systemd' if you want to use either the '--apollo' or the '-b Linuxium' options. Also you cannot respin an ISO if it doesn't support 'systemd' when using the '--atom', '--apollo' or '-b Linuxium' options:

linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ isorespin.sh -i ubuntu-14.04.5-desktop-amd64.iso --atom
Extracting ISO ...
Parallel unsquashfs: Using 4 processors
166333 inodes (175651 blocks) to write

[===========================================================/] 175651/175651 100%

created 105294 files
created 16104 directories
created 60921 symlinks
created 82 devices
created 0 fifos
/usr/local/bin/isorespin.sh: The '--atom' option is only compatible with an ISO that uses 'systemd'.
linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ 

Secondly you cannot respin an ISO that is EOL (End Of Life):

linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ isorespin.sh -i ubuntu-17.04-desktop-amd64.iso --atom
Extracting ISO ...
/usr/local/bin/isorespin.sh: ISO is EOL.
linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ 

Finally you cannot run the script on a 32-bit OS:

linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$ isorespin.sh -i ubuntu-17.10.1-desktop-amd64.iso --apollo
/usr/local/bin/isorespin.sh: This script can only be run on a 64-bit (amd64 or x86_64) OS.
linuxium@LINUXIUMONE:~$

Please donate if you find the script useful using the following link http://goo.gl/nXWSGf.


Sunday, 18 March 2018

Fixing broken HDMI audio (again)


Back in October I noticed that I had no HDMI audio when running kernels starting from v4.12.0 on an Intel Compute Stick model STK1AW32SC (Cherry Trail) and wrote about how to fix this.

Unfortunately that fix no longer works on Ubuntu's latest ISO: Ubuntu 16.04.4. So I've spent time looking into it and created a script to fix HDMI audio though 'sponsored community work'.

The fix is sponsored by storeanalytics.de and can be downloaded from here.

To use the script to fix a running system first download it and make sure it is executable ('chmod 700 fix-STK1A32SC-and-STK1AW32SC-hdmilpeaudio.sh') then run the script it as root ('sudo ./fix-STK1A32SC-and-STK1AW32SC-hdmilpeaudio.sh'). Finally stop PulseAudio (pulseaudio -k) and restart it (pulseaudio --start) to complete the fix.

Now playing an audio file on the default device with 'aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Left.wav' works together with sound in Chrome and other applications.

The advantage of the fix being a script is that you can use it when respinning an ISO with 'isorespin.sh' (using the '-f' option) and automatically fix HDMI audio in the respun ISO for use on this device.

Please donate if you find my work helpful using the following link http://goo.gl/nXWSGf.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Third look at Ubuntu 18.04 or Bionic: Beta 1 Pre-Release


As part of preparing for a new release the Ubuntu Release Team issue pre-releases in line with a Release Schedule. For Ubuntu 18.04 codenamed Bionic Beaver the Release Schedule looks like this.

Not all Ubuntu flavours participate in the Alpha and Beta pre-releases however last week those that did issued their Beta 1 pre-releases.

Ubuntu Mate is a participant so I've respun their ISO using my 'isorespin.sh' script and created ISOs suitable for Intel Atom and Intel Apollo Lake devices:

  • Atom (-i ubuntu-mate-18.04-beta1-desktop-amd64.iso --atom)
  • Apollo (-i ubuntu-mate-18.04-beta1-desktop-amd64.iso --apollo)

Don't forget to try out the 'Mutiny' panel layout if you want a similar look and feel to Unity by selecting it using 'MATE Tweak':


Please donate if you find the ISOs or script useful using the following link http://goo.gl/nXWSGf.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Ubuntu 16.04.4 for Intel Atom and Apollo Lake devices


Canonical have released the fourth point release of Ubuntu 16.04 Long-Term Support (LTS) as Ubuntu 16.06.4. This release is built with the hardware enablement stack using the Ubuntu 4.13.0-36.40~16.04.1 kernel and is slated as being suitable for use on newer hardware with additional information in the release announcement and in the release notes.

However as it may not boot on some of the newer Intel based devices I've respun the ISO using my 'isorespin.sh' script and created ISOs suitable for Intel Atom and Intel Apollo Lake:

  • Atom (-i ubuntu-16.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso --atom)
  • Apollo (-i ubuntu-16.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso --apollo)

Please donate if you find the ISOs or script useful using the following link http://goo.gl/nXWSGf.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Second look at Ubuntu 18.04 or Bionic


The latest daily builds of Ubuntu 18.04 or Bionic Beaver now includes the newly Ubuntuised v4.15 kernel (Ubuntu 4.15.0-10.11) which includes config support to keep sound and BT working on Intel Atom devices now that serial device support is enabled through ACPI.

I've respun the 20180223 build using my 'isorespin.sh' script and created ISOs suitable for Intel Atom and Intel Apollo Lake:

  • Atom (-i bionic-desktop-amd64.iso --atom)
  • Apollo (-i bionic-desktop-amd64.iso --apollo)

What is arguably equally interesting is that Canonical asked the Ubuntu community to make it a new GTK theme based on Adwaita (the default GNOME theme) and inspired by Ambiance (the default Ubuntu theme). OMG! Ubuntu first posted about this and has now posted instructions on how to try the new theme.

I thought it would be fun to try this so I've respun the Bionic daily according to the above instructions and I've also included the wallpaper mentioned in the post. Because you need to select the ‘Communitheme’ session from the session selector on the login screen:


I included creating a user 'linuxium' with the password 'p' when respinning the ISO:

isorespin.sh -i bionic-desktop-amd64.iso --apollo \
-r ppa:communitheme/ppa -p ubuntu-communitheme-session \
-f Abstract-Geometric_1_1920x1080_wallpaper_-_1920x1080_Wallpapers.jpg \
-c "sed -i '/\[org.gnome.desktop.background\]/{n;s?/usr/share/backgrounds/warty-final-ubuntu.png?/usr/local/bin/Abstract-Geometric_1_1920x1080_wallpaper_-_1920x1080_Wallpapers.jpg?}' /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/10_ubuntu-settings.gschema.override" \
-c "sed -i 's/#  AutomaticLoginEnable = true/   AutomaticLoginEnable = false/' /etc/gdm3/custom.conf" \
-c "useradd -c linuxium -d /home/linuxium -m -g users -s /bin/bash linuxium" \
-c "echo linuxium:p | chpasswd"

Note that I've purposely not made the user an 'administrator' as the ISO is only intended to demonstrate the new theme.

If you are interested in trying out the new theme download the ISO from:


and remember the password is 'p' (without the quotes). The ISO should work on any Intel based device and is sufficient to demo the new theme but is not suitable for proper usage due to wifi, bluetooth and possible installation limitations.

Please donate if you find the ISOs or script useful using the following link http://goo.gl/nXWSGf.