Intel Releasing Ubuntu Linux Compute Stick; Specs Not Encouraging


If you are a digital signage propellerhead and have been looking at the Intel Compute Stick and thinking about running one with Linux on it, it looks like that won’t work so hot.

ZDnet reports that a $110 Ubuntu Linux version of the PC on a stick will go on sale next week, at least in the US, but the specs are far less than those of the Windows Compute Stick.

Reports ZDnet:

The Windows version of the stick was released earlier this year, and the Ubuntu version will go on sale next week – but has half the memory and one quarter the storage of the Windows stick.

The specs put the 1GB Ubuntu stick above the minimum requirements for the operating system, yet there is disagreement over whether a 1GB machine can run the desktop edition of Ubuntu smoothly. Even the official guidance for desktop edition recommends 2GB of memory “to properly run a day to day Ubuntu”.

The 5GB desktop edition of Ubuntu would also take up more than half of the machine’s 8GB storage – although this can be expanded using a microSD card.


  • Processor: Quad core Intel Atom Z3735F processor
  • Video: Intel HD Graphics
  • Memory: 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage: 8GB eMMC expandable via microSD
  • Display: Connects via HDMI 1.4 port
  • Audio: Integrated HD audio via HDMI
  • Connectivity: One full-sized USB 2.0 port and one micro USB port
  • Wireless: Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Size: 103mm x 37mm x 12mm
  • Power: 5V, 2A wall mounted AC-DC power adapter

Mark Murphy, director of devices sales and global alliances, said lower specs of the Ubuntu version of the Intel Compute Stick can be explained by Ubuntu’s lower system requirements.

The post suggests a couple of workarounds – slam extra storage in the MicroSD slot, or buy up to the $149 Windows version, blow off the Windows and load Ubuntu.


Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes


12+ year-old blog and podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by industry consultant, analyst & bullshit filter Dave Haynes.
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1 thought on “Intel Releasing Ubuntu Linux Compute Stick; Specs Not Encouraging

  1. Option 2, but that trick wasn’t possible with the early versions we sourced from China last Fall. Might be doable on this version, though…. we will find out!

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