[clug] recommendations for ARM desktop, server?

Adam Baxter voltagex at voltagex.org
Sat Dec 7 14:30:57 MST 2013

On 5 December 2013 12:42, Bob Edwards <bob at cs.anu.edu.au> wrote:

> Anyone on list using an ARM-based Desktop? What are the recommendations
> for local suppliers etc.? I am thinking of something somewhat larger
> than your average RaspPi, or other "thin clients".

Hi Bob,
I haven't found one that I'd use as a desktop or laptop replacement
(Chromebook maybe?), but as you might remember I've tried a fair few ;)
Despite being really slow, I haven't found a device with quite the range of
support that the Raspberry Pi has - there are so many people working on it
that anything else feels unsupported by comparison.

The one I'd be most comfortable using day-to-day would be the Cubieboard or
one of its variants - while I was writing this I found a comparison table
The Cubieboard has HDMI, SATA and 1GB of RAM (although one of the newer
revisions might have 2GB). It's relatively well supported by the
linux-sunxi community and I haven't had problems with hardware support.

I've also had great success with the Marvell/Globalscale DreamPlug for a
few years (no display on my variant though) so I'd thing the D2Plug would
be worth a shot. Note that this series seems to have very little vendor or
community support and the linux-arm guys look like they're going to break
support for the Guru/Dream/D2Plug in kernel 3.13...

I'd be interested to know if anyone on this list has tried anything from
BoundaryDevices -
very good and the vendor keeps the kernel patched and updated from

I've also got a "Udoo Dual" (Freescale iMX dual core) on my desk as a
reminder not to buy any more devices from Kickstarter - the vendor seems to
be relatively inexperienced and hasn't been able to update past a 3.0.x
reference kernel.

There are a few other boards that seem to be targeted towards Android more
than Linux so it's worth making sure that there's proper mainline Linux
support before clicking Buy (I didn't!).

I have high hopes for the Improv board which is one of a few EOMA68
"compatible" boards which in theory would let you upgrade the thing at a
later date - http://makeplaylive.com/#/open-hardware/improv/discover

> Also, interested in hearing of any experiences on running LXC (Linux
> Containers) on ARM for virtual servers. What hardware have people tried
> this on? I am thinking I would like something with at least 2GB of RAM
> and some proper SATA ports for SSD or other block devices.
> I haven't had a chance to test it yet, but this looks interestinng -


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