Commercial Opportunity: Ubuntu Fanless ARM PC for under $100

After so many years, Ubuntu has not really broken into the PC market (with few exceptions).

One opportunity might be in the low-end cheap fanless PCs. A TV Box with 2 GB RAM can be had for about 30 to $40, including delivery, and would make a wonderful FANLESS PC. The cheapest Intel mini PCs start at about $120.

I am a long-time Lubuntu user and absolutely love it. It runs well on 2 GB RAM and will manage even on 1 GB RAM. It uses only 138 MB of RAM at idle. Lubuntu is Ubuntu + LXDE.

Lubuntu has a version for the Raspberry Pi. However, even the Raspberry Pi comes out twice as expensive as a Tv Box once you add all the extras and postage. And, it is not for a general audience.

It could even be a new Ubuntu flavor.

Existing expertise:

  1. Lubuntu already has a certain expertise with arm processors from developing its Raspberry Pi version.

  2. Armbian is a system that could be installed on a TV box. However, as a private issue I would not trust it for doing my banking and other stuff. Only an official distro would do. Armbian is also incredibly difficult to install and is full of bugs.

  3. is also doing something of what I am talking about. Again, it is not an official distro.

By uniting their efforts to developing an official distro: they would not only save time but could make a lot of money. Anyone else could also do it.

I personally have a rooted TX3 mini TV box that has an amlogic S905X processor. I very much hope that a Ubuntu version could be developed for it. Other common processor for TV boxes are the s905w and s912. There are also some RK processors.

This is related to:
People a the forum suggested I post it here.

Thank you all.

Hi, I’m the Lubuntu developer at the moment.

Are you kidding? Raspberry Pis are super mainstream at this point. :slight_smile:

Up to today, that’s been done by the fine folks over at the Ubuntu Pi Flavour [sic] Maker Team. So while we do provide testing feedback, we’re really not the ones developing it.

I’m not entirely sure what your request is here, either way. Here’s a couple of concerns I have:

  • An absolute prerequisite is that there is mainline support in the Linux kernel and Debian has a port for it.
  • The devices should be around for a little bit to make sure they won’t disappear tomorrow.
  • Who’s going to do the work here?

Just my two cents.


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This is a serious matter. There are some people out there connected to the Chinese tv box makers, who are doing good work on porting , Lubuntu, Ubuntu Mate to their boxes.

The devs are here, they maybe able to do something about this, as they can code. Hope this will take some speed.


That’s cool. How much ram and storage do these boxes have? Typically most media boxes sold that I’ve seen, are rather limited at 16Gib and 1 or 2 Gib of ram. I’d be tempted if one could get 128/4/8 GiB on these things to install Linux and Kodi on one.

If you’d go to the known online shops, you’d find quite a lot of them. They won’t go away, the ARM processors would be more. Amlogic S912, for example is 8 core.

There won’t be much of a problem installing on TV boxes with Intel processors, but those are quite expensive. A 3GB/64GB S912 octa core processor and with Mali T820MP3 gpu with Android 7.12 and with a voice control remote control, dual wifi and so on at ~78$ is a real deal. If Lubuntu can be installed in 30GB partition to dual boot. It’d be a super deal.

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I found another “box” with Dual OS here. And, guy explaining how that Dual OS is installed here. Android 7.1.2 and Ubuntu Mate 16.04.

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