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Author Topic: Installing MC for Linux onto a Brix GB-BXBT-2807 (a consolidated guide)  (Read 35103 times)

astromo

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This is a guide that sets out how I got MC for Linux onto a Gigabyte Brix GB-BXBT-2807. As mentioned here:
Which Fanless Media PC for JRiver?
using this unit as a simple audio player should work fine. As long as it's not used for hard core graphics and kept in an airy location to keep it as cool as possible:
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-home-theater-computers/1576330-gigabyte-brix-fanless-atom-gb-bxbt-2807-a.html#post25353378

It's been a bit of a journey as I'm by no way a Linux guru but I do like a challenge and I don't like to be beaten by a mindless machine. While the cost in hardware and software was not great, the cost in personal time was substantial. When the invoice is presented to myself at the end of the month, I'm sure I'll be in for a shock.

Homework
The first step is to do a bit of homework and suss out who's done what before. My view was to follow in the footsteps of others as much as possible. That's why this protocol is a consolidation of guides from elsewhere. In short, what I found out was that this Bay Trail suite of hardware is geared toward a Windows install world. Turning up with a Linux plan doesn't fit the mold. Fortunately, there are some cluey people out there who've cracked that nut, so mucho kudos points to them - my thanks.

References
1. Intel Minipi Lake Platform (Intel Atom Processor E38xx/Intel Celeron N2xx/Bay Trail-M) Ubuntu 13.10 64-bit Setup Application Note
2. Gigabyte GB-BXBT-2807 Mini-PC - Impressions from Synthaxx at MMO
3. Booting Ubuntu on the Asus Transformer Book T100 at Lilliputing
4. Clonezilla Bootloader Discovery by paperwastage at anandtech
5. Gigabyte GB-BXBT-2807 Installation with Linux Mint by Acquisition Syndrome

Hardware - The Butcher's Bill
This is what I put together:
  • Gigabyte Brix GB-BXBT-2807
  • Kingston KVR16LS11/4 1.35V 4GB 1600Hz DDR3 SODIMM
  • Crucial Real SSD C400 128GB SATA3 M4 Series
  • Audioquest Dragonfly USB DAC
I had the SSD in the cupboard from a previous upgrade where it went by the wayside. I also had the Dragonfly to use on my PC at work. Unfortunately, there's some hardware issue with the Win7 Enterprise build and platform that causes pops and clicks. So, like the M4, it's been re-purposed.

As a result, the $ bottom line has been quite restrained.

When you've put the kit together, power it up and if it doesn't do so automatically repeatedly hit the DEL key to bring up the UEFI (pseudo BIOS) environment. If you miss your chance, just CTRL+ALT+DEL to reboot and go nuts with the DEL key.

To date the original BIOS (ver F2, release date 2014/07/03) is still current:
Brix GB-BXBT-2807 Bios
So, I didn't have to worry about an update. If an updated BIOS is required, you'd need to boot to a Windows / DOS environment and run the BIOS executable.

Navigate to Security > Secure Boot and set to Disabled

Everything else was left at its out of the box, default state. While you're here, check that:
  • Boot > Fast Boot is set to Disabled
  • Chipset > OS Selection is set to Windows 8.X

You can read in Ref. 3 & 4 about disabling Secure Boot. This is one of the Windows-centric aspects that the Ubuntu install has to overcome. Fast Boot is another Windows'ism that has the downside of mucking up the Linux boot process.

Operating System Selection
Being a Linux noob, I had no real idea which OS was the best choice. To minimise hassles, I decided to swim with the tide and defaulted to Ubuntu and took into account that a comprehensive guide for setting up MC for Linux via Ubuntu had been put together by Awesome Donkey here:
Setup JRiver Media Center 20 In Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Part of the sense of going for Ubuntu is that it's spun off from Debian that MC was coded for and offers a polished desktop environment that has an established history and following.

Operating System Installation
I set up the install from a Windows PC.

1. Download the .iso from Ubuntu for x64 (make sure you opt for 64bit, 32bit doesn't play nicely with the Brix. I picked the 64-bit PC (AMD64) desktop image):
http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop
You can cut through the fluff by finding a relevant link here -
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/TrustyTahr/ReleaseNotes

2. Grab Rufus to create a USB installation drive (see Ref. 1, 3 & 4). If you use something else - all the best. Note that Rufus permits you to specify GPT for UEFI that's critical to making the whole show work.

3. Grab the bootia32.efi zip file from paperwastage (Ref. 2 & 3) that you can also find here:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=46845643&postcount=3

Unzip and copy bootia32.efi to the USB drive at [Drive Letter]:/EFI/BOOT/

(Note: this little step, as in the fact that I didn't know it was required, had me going round in circles for hours. If you look at the Intel guide, they give the impression that there is no other modification required when booting from a USB drive.)

4. Slot the install USB drive into the Brix (also it's a good idea to plug in an ethernet cable to a functioning LAN connection that has access to the interweb - if you try that fancy WiFi stuff you're on your own ..  8) ... the LAN connection will come in handy during the install), reboot and go crazy with the DEL key again to bring up the UEFI/BIOS menu.

Then, navigate to Save & Exit > Boot Override and pick your USB drive (it should show some brand name or similar to give you a cue as to what to select).

5. Oops ... my memory is a bit hazy here ... but Ubuntu should just do its install thing. It should also do some updating given that you've already connected to the net via the ethernet LAN connection. I forget whether I was asked to reboot or it was done automatically. Regardless, a reboot will be called for.

6. During the reboot, go birko with the DEL key again. Head to Boot > Boot Option Priorities and in "Boot Option #1" set bootup to the Ubuntu OS.

My unit just says "ubuntu (P0): [manufacturer's drive info]"

Then head to Save & Exit > Save Changes and Reset

7. Watch Ubuntu boot up and (if memory serves), the OS will call upon you to set up user / password details.

8. Once you get onto Ubuntu, you may find that you don't have sudo rights. If that's the case, this should help:
http://askubuntu.com/questions/7477/how-can-i-add-a-new-user-as-sudoer-using-the-command-line
https://help.ubuntu.com/14.04/ubuntu-help/user-admin-explain.html

9. Post OS Install
The interweb has a swag of post-Ubuntu/Linux install advice. I found this stuff useful:
http://howtoubuntu.org/things-to-do-after-installing-ubuntu-14-04-trusty-tahr
https://fixubuntu.com/
What you use is a case of picking & choosing to suit your wants/needs. You should also balance matters with the MC install guidance referred to below.

MC for Linux Installation
As mentioned above, I opted for Ubuntu and so at this point I put myself into the hooves of the donkey of awesomeness:
Setup JRiver Media Center 20 In Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

My notes are pretty thin at this point so that's probably a sign that Awesome Donkey got it pretty well right and that MC for Linux pretty well just works. I did have some fun picking out the Dragonfly when working through:
       Tools > Options > Audio > Audio Device
A long list came up and took me a bit of trial and error to pick the selection that worked (simple stereo) -
  • iec958:CARD=DragonFly,DEV=0 [ALSA]

Rego
The other piece of fun that I had was registration. I sorted out my hassles and reported that here:
http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=89893.0


That should do to get started. If anyone's planning on going down the same path, chip in with your tales of success.
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astromo

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Re: Installing MC for Linux onto a Brix GB-BXBT-2807 (a consolidated guide)
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2014, 06:24:56 am »

Reserved.
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Arindelle

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Re: Installing MC for Linux onto a Brix GB-BXBT-2807 (a consolidated guide)
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2014, 07:06:44 am »

Nice work Astromo!! :)
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JimH

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Re: Installing MC for Linux onto a Brix GB-BXBT-2807 (a consolidated guide)
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2014, 08:13:31 am »

Excellent!  Thanks very much for taking the trouble to document your work.
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astromo

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Re: Installing MC for Linux onto a Brix GB-BXBT-2807 (a consolidated guide)
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2014, 03:49:07 pm »

Excellent!  Thanks very much for taking the trouble to document your work.

You're welcome.

I bounced ideas off a guy at work who's an Android/Linux fan. Thanks to him, I got sufficient tips when I was struggling for "what next?" and most importantly encouragement to persist. He put the hard word on me to write it up (all part of living the Linux dream).
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colinmackellar

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I followed this recipe and it's still working in April 2018. 

There's a newer BIOS at https://www.gigabyte.com/Mini-PcBarebone/GB-BXBT-2807-rev-10

Don't forget the f12 key to invoke the "choose boot medium" menu.  Thanks, Colin.
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astromo

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Colin ... glad that it helped.

If only 1 person benefits then that's made it worthwhile.

How have you found audio quality. I didn't have the best experience with USB - a few crackles if I remember. Sorry, should have noted that here.

I've turned my interest to the RPi for audio work. Neat piece of kit, cheap and with plenty of HiFi audio transport options.
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