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ssybesma
Beginner
1,427 Views

optimization guide for STCK1A8LFC (w/ Ubuntu 14.04)

I'm looking for a guide to get started with these that involves stripping them down a bit so that I can increase the onboard swap file size to at least 2GB, maybe 3GB. Right now, the swap file is under 1GB. I just got two of them yesterday. They feel very much like a 'concrete straitjacket' because Intel loads them up pretty good and you start seeing it bog down fairly soon once you start doing anything with it.

 

If there is no specific guide for the STCK1A8LFC then I'll try to create one myself so that these things can be made more usable. I already see the wisdom of getting myself a wireless keyboard and mouse kit right now. Once you get a Bluetooth keyboard & mouse working then you can ditch that.

 

I purchased these things knowing they were very low on resources and I didn't intend to push them thing hard at all. I just want it to run one or two apps maximum.

 

$30 each with free shipping, I figured how could I lose.

 

Once I get it optimized, I'll be buying a truckload for a hobby/project I'm working on.

 

Guy in Salem, NH on Ebay has almost 2,000 of them for sale.

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30 Replies
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
408 Views

Sorry, no such guide exists (at least not from Intel). It may be that something exists in the Linux/Ubuntu forums, however; check there.

...S

ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

OK, will do. BTW, the UEFI shell I was in earlier is a 32-bit shell but the Intel Intel Integrator Toolkit (which in one place clearly shows it's compatible with STCK1A8LFC) is actually not and I'm not sure why they list it as being compatible.

 

The EFI file inside the ZIP file can't be run under the UEFI shell although I can access the USB stick to the folder where the file is and see it. Error was words to the effect of the shell being 32-bit and the EFI file being 64-bit.

 

This makes me wonder if there is either a 64-bit shell or else a 32-bit version of ITK. The ITK version is 6, so there certainly must be older versions of it.

 

I'm trying to hit this thing every which way I can think of. I did put a support ticket into Intel for an older (32-bit) version of ITK. Certainly they must have one.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
408 Views

First of all, while it is true that the built-in, 32-bit UEFI Shell is not able to run the file, you can always boot a 64-bit UEFI Shell off secondary storage and then run it there. Building an image for a bootable UEFI Shell is fairly straight forward.

 

Secondly, ITK 6.0 was a from-scratch, UEFI-based replacement for the previous DOS/Windows and Legacy BIOS implementation, which was designed long, long ago to support Intel's (now defunct) Desktop Board products and thus was suffering from age-related compatibility and security issues (hint: nothing ships with known security issues).

 

Third, it is unclear (to me anyway) what you wanted to accomplish with the UEFI Shell anyway. I thought you wanted to build a different Ubuntu image with larger swap file. What changes to the BIOS configuration are you thinking will help you accomplish that?

 

Finally, for what you (vaguely) say you are trying to accomplish, I (naively) wonder whether one of the embedded Linux distros might make a lot more sense?

 

...S

ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

Hello Scott, Thanks for the info. OK, I'll find out how to build the 64-bit bootable UEFI Shell. I would just love to see this boot off something else other than the onboard SDcard. Also, I was just curious to see what is in that ITK. I never used it before. I'm assuming it will run under a Linux-based 64-bit shell. What I want to know is if there is anything in the ITK that will open up/unlock more options in the BIOS to use this. I am interested in having a lot more control over this thing, so that if I wanted to I could completely wipe the entire onboard SDcard and install whatever I want onto it. I'll keep you posted as soon as I create a bootable USB with a 64-bit UEFI shell. Steve On 2019-03-18 09:49, Intel Forums wrote: > First of all, while it is true that the built-in, 32-bit UEFI Shell is not able to run the file, you can always boot a 64-bit UEFI Shell off secondary storage and then run it there. Building an image for a bootable UEFI Shell is fairly straight forward. Secondly, ITK 6.0 was a from-scratch, UEFI-based replacement for the previous DOS/Windows and Legacy BIOS implementation, which was designed long, long ago to support Intel's (now defunct) Desktop Board products and thus was suffering from age-related compatibility and security issues (hint: nothing ships with known security issues). Third, it is unclear (to me anyway) what you wanted to accomplish with the UEFI Shell anyway. I thought you wanted to build a different Ubuntu image with larger swap file. What changes to the BIOS configuration are you thinking will help you accomplish that? Finally, for what you (vaguely) say you are trying to accomplish, I (naively) wonder whether one of the embedded Linux distros might make a lot more sense? ...S > > [1] > > n.scott.pearson [1] (Customer) > > First of all, while it is true that the built-in, 32-bit UEFI Shell is not able to run the file, you can always boot a 64-bit UEFI Shell off secondary storage and then run it there. Building an image for a bootable UEFI Shell is fairly straight forward. > > Secondly, ITK 6.0 was a from-scratch, UEFI-based replacement for the previous DOS/Windows and Legacy BIOS implementation, which was designed long, long ago to support Intel's (now defunct) Desktop Board products and thus was suffering from age-related compatibility and security issues (hint: nothing ships with known security issues). > > Third, it is unclear (to me anyway) what you wanted to accomplish with the UEFI Shell anyway. I thought you wanted to build a different Ubuntu image with larger swap file. What changes to the BIOS configuration are you thinking will help you accomplish that? > > Finally, for what you (vaguely) say you are trying to accomplish, I (naively) wonder whether one of the embedded Linux distros might make a lot more sense? > > ...S > > View/Answer [2] > > or REPLY TO THIS EMAIL > > REPLYING TO > > [3] > > ssybesma [3] (Customer) asked a question. > > Sunday, March 17, 2019 10:04 AM [4] > > optimization guide for STCK1A8LFC (w/ Ubuntu 14.04) > > I'm looking for a guide to get started with these that involves stripping them down a bit so that I can increase the onboard swap file size to at least 2GB, maybe 3GB. Right now, the swap file is under 1GB. I just got two of them yesterday. They feel very much like a 'concrete straitjacket' because Intel loads them up pretty good and you start seeing it bog down fairly soon once you start doing anything with it. > > If there is no specific guide for the STCK1A8LFC then I'll try to create one myself so that these things can be made more usable. I already see the wisdom of getting myself a wireless keyboard and mouse kit right now. Once you get a Bluetooth keyboard & mouse working then you can ditch that. > > I purchased these things knowing they were very low on resources and I didn't intend to push them thing hard at all. I just want it to run one or two apps maximum. > > $30 each with free shipping, I figured how could I lose. > > Once I get it optimized, I'll be buying a truckload for a hobby/project I'm working on. > > Guy in Salem, NH on Ebay has almost 2,000 of them for sale. > > [1] > > n.scott.pearson [1] (Customer) > > First of all, while it is true that the built-in, 32-bit UEFI Shell is not able to run the file, you can always boot a 64-bit UEFI Shell off secondary storage and then run it there. Building an image for a bootable UEFI Shell is fairly straight forward. > > Secondly, ITK 6.0 was a from-scratch, UEFI-based replacement for the previous DOS/Windows and Legacy BIOS implementation, which was designed long, long ago to support Intel's (now defunct) Desktop Board products and thus was suffering from age-related compatibility and security issues (hint: nothing ships with known security issues). > > Third, it is unclear (to me anyway) what you wanted to accomplish with the UEFI Shell anyway. I thought you wanted to build a different Ubuntu image with larger swap file. What changes to the BIOS configuration are you thinking will help you accomplish that? > > Finally, for what you (vaguely) say you are trying to accomplish, I (naively) wonder whether one of the embedded Linux distros might make a lot more sense? > > ...S > > Monday, March 18, 2019 9:49 AM [2] > > You're receiving emails when someone "Comments on my posts." > > To change or turn off Forums email, log in [5] as 300000451245@intel.com.isvc. > > Are notifications about this post getting annoying? Reply to this email with the word " mute ". > > For Privacy and Legal notices, please visit these links: http://www.intel.com/privacy, https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/legal/terms-of-use.html. Links:
ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

I found my answer very quickly: https://github.com/chipsec/chipsec/wiki/Creating-a-Bootable-USB-drive-with-UEFI-Shell Steve On 2019-03-18 09:49, Intel Forums wrote: > First of all, while it is true that the built-in, 32-bit UEFI Shell is not able to run the file, you can always boot a 64-bit UEFI Shell off secondary storage and then run it there. Building an image for a bootable UEFI Shell is fairly straight forward. Secondly, ITK 6.0 was a from-scratch, UEFI-based replacement for the previous DOS/Windows and Legacy BIOS implementation, which was designed long, long ago to support Intel's (now defunct) Desktop Board products and thus was suffering from age-related compatibility and security issues (hint: nothing ships with known security issues). Third, it is unclear (to me anyway) what you wanted to accomplish with the UEFI Shell anyway. I thought you wanted to build a different Ubuntu image with larger swap file. What changes to the BIOS configuration are you thinking will help you accomplish that? Finally, for what you (vaguely) say you are trying to accomplish, I (naively) wonder whether one of the embedded Linux distros might make a lot more sense? ...S > > [1] > > n.scott.pearson [1] (Customer) > > First of all, while it is true that the built-in, 32-bit UEFI Shell is not able to run the file, you can always boot a 64-bit UEFI Shell off secondary storage and then run it there. Building an image for a bootable UEFI Shell is fairly straight forward. > > Secondly, ITK 6.0 was a from-scratch, UEFI-based replacement for the previous DOS/Windows and Legacy BIOS implementation, which was designed long, long ago to support Intel's (now defunct) Desktop Board products and thus was suffering from age-related compatibility and security issues (hint: nothing ships with known security issues). > > Third, it is unclear (to me anyway) what you wanted to accomplish with the UEFI Shell anyway. I thought you wanted to build a different Ubuntu image with larger swap file. What changes to the BIOS configuration are you thinking will help you accomplish that? > > Finally, for what you (vaguely) say you are trying to accomplish, I (naively) wonder whether one of the embedded Linux distros might make a lot more sense? > > ...S > > View/Answer [2] > > or REPLY TO THIS EMAIL > > REPLYING TO > > [3] > > ssybesma [3] (Customer) asked a question. > > Sunday, March 17, 2019 10:04 AM [4] > > optimization guide for STCK1A8LFC (w/ Ubuntu 14.04) > > I'm looking for a guide to get started with these that involves stripping them down a bit so that I can increase the onboard swap file size to at least 2GB, maybe 3GB. Right now, the swap file is under 1GB. I just got two of them yesterday. They feel very much like a 'concrete straitjacket' because Intel loads them up pretty good and you start seeing it bog down fairly soon once you start doing anything with it. > > If there is no specific guide for the STCK1A8LFC then I'll try to create one myself so that these things can be made more usable. I already see the wisdom of getting myself a wireless keyboard and mouse kit right now. Once you get a Bluetooth keyboard & mouse working then you can ditch that. > > I purchased these things knowing they were very low on resources and I didn't intend to push them thing hard at all. I just want it to run one or two apps maximum. > > $30 each with free shipping, I figured how could I lose. > > Once I get it optimized, I'll be buying a truckload for a hobby/project I'm working on. > > Guy in Salem, NH on Ebay has almost 2,000 of them for sale. > > [1] > > n.scott.pearson [1] (Customer) > > First of all, while it is true that the built-in, 32-bit UEFI Shell is not able to run the file, you can always boot a 64-bit UEFI Shell off secondary storage and then run it there. Building an image for a bootable UEFI Shell is fairly straight forward. > > Secondly, ITK 6.0 was a from-scratch, UEFI-based replacement for the previous DOS/Windows and Legacy BIOS implementation, which was designed long, long ago to support Intel's (now defunct) Desktop Board products and thus was suffering from age-related compatibility and security issues (hint: nothing ships with known security issues). > > Third, it is unclear (to me anyway) what you wanted to accomplish with the UEFI Shell anyway. I thought you wanted to build a different Ubuntu image with larger swap file. What changes to the BIOS configuration are you thinking will help you accomplish that? > > Finally, for what you (vaguely) say you are trying to accomplish, I (naively) wonder whether one of the embedded Linux distros might make a lot more sense? > > ...S > > Monday, March 18, 2019 9:49 AM [2] > > You're receiving emails when someone "Comments on my posts." > > To change or turn off Forums email, log in [5] as 300000451245@intel.com.isvc. > > Are notifications about this post getting annoying? Reply to this email with the word " mute ". > > For Privacy and Legal notices, please visit these links: http://www.intel.com/privacy, https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/legal/terms-of-use.html. Links:
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
408 Views

No, the ITK executable is a UEFI Shell executable; it does not run under the Linux Shell.

No, I don't believe that there are any additional (hidden) Setup parameters that ITK can make available.

 

I have had absolutely zero success getting this particular Stick (the STCK1A8LFC) to boot from a USB flash device. I was successful with the later SC and CC models but not with the FC. That said, I haven't yet tried doing the same thing on the 32GB versions of this stick (STCH1A32WFC); I have only tried on the 8GB FC.

 

BTW, I have two of these 8GB FC Sticks. In both cases, after getting wireless going, Ubuntu automatically started an update. After the update completed and I rebooted, it is not seeing the Wireless device at all. Too bad I didn't notice this before I let the second one do the update. I am, so far, at a loss regarding how to get the device working again.

 

...S

ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

What made me think it was merely a 32-bit vs. 64-bit thing was when I tried to run it, it gave this specific error:

 

Image type X64 is not supported by this IA32 shell.

 

I'll create the bootable 64-bit UEFI image and see what happens. Very curious.

ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

I am coming to the conclusion with these 1A8LFC sticks that because they have so little resources memory and storage-wise that if I can get it to boot off USB, I want to completely zero out the SD card and install a stripped down version of Linux on it.

What I have seen happen is that there are a TON of updates (3 years worth) plus a large OEM LTS Installer which bog it down to nothing and it keeps giving disk space errors and something about com.ubuntu.apport.apport-gtk-root crashing.

May not be worth salvaging if I cannot boot from a USB to reinstall the OS.

 

That will be the thrust of my communication with Intel going forward. I want to put something on here which is more bare bones so I can actually use it.

 

Creating bootable USB stick now.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
408 Views

Yea, after my experience, I definitely want to look for a lighter version of Linux to play with. Ubuntu is designed for noobs that need a simpler, command line-free Linux and this certainly gets in the way (especially its device setup).

 

Why are you worried about zeroing out the eMMC? Just delete all partitions before proceeding with your Linux installation. Deleting all partitions is supposed to be a signal to completely replace the partition table, etc.

 

I will be continuing my investigation into why I cannot boot from a flash stick...

...S

ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

It's just habit. Once I can boot from a USB then I'll try some other things.

 

BTW, this is a better representation of a generic bootable USB:

 

https://www.studiosoundsradio.com/create-bootable-uefi-usb-drive-bios-updates/

 

Once I can do that, I'll see if I can create a USB stick with pendrivelinux that boots to it next.

ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

HEY! IT WORKED! I was able to boot from the USB stick into a 64-bit UEFI shell using that last method to create the FAT32 formatted stick with the 4 files in /efi/boot

 

Now I can try some other things. I'll keep you posted. This is getting much more interesting.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
408 Views

Well, I was trying to boot MSDOS, so perhaps this is telling us that there is no support for Legacy boot (though I was told (perhaps incorrectly) that the CSM was there).

...S

ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

I was able to run the ITK6.efi file (Intel Integrator Toolkit version 6) that wouldn't run yesterday on the native 32-bit shell). It gives a bunch of options.

 

I'm thinking I turned the corner on this thing. So the next goal is to figure out now I can boot from this to install an OS.

 

Steve

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
408 Views

If you have media for O/S that is set up for UEFI boot, it should just work.

...S

ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

In section 3.4 on this document it speaks of using the "INTEL® FLASH MEMORY UPDATE UTILITY, WHICH REQUIRES BOOTING FROM DOS.": https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/boardsandkits/computestick/STCK1A32WFC-STC... So I may go the route of trying a BIOS update using that method to see if a "DOS" boot USB will really work. I have a bunch of images from BOOTDISK.COM which are ready made. Steve On 2019-03-18 14:34, Intel Forums wrote: Links:
ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

This is a huge coincidence. Intel tells you to go to one of two sites to create a USB boot disk, one of which is bootdisk.com in order to create a bootable USB stick to put the iFlash utililty and the *.BIO file on. https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/mini-pcs/compute-sticks/iFlash-BIOS-Update... This obviously means you can indeed boot in DOS. Now if you can boot the ICS to DOS from the USB, it seems just a short extension to get it to boot directly off the stick. You would likely have to create several small partitions and format them as FAT16 (2GB limit I believe) or FAT32 at the very most. No other file system would work. Then you should be able to copy the three boot files over to the stick (command.com, plus io.sys and msdos.sys, or ibmbio.com and ibmdos.com Steve On 2019-03-18 18:05, steve@vwebr.net wrote: Links:
ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

After struggling with disk space issues on the eMMC (tons of Ubuntu updates just won't fit even after deleting apps), I created a boot stick using Rufus which has gParted on it and completely wiped the partitions. Since I was able to do that, that also means I can create another using a Linux installer. As far as DOS I have not given up on that yet and have a 2nd 1A8LFC try it on and will be getting more anyway, BUT it's very easy to put a VM on there with DOS on it if it just can't be directly installed onto it. Nice part about what I did is that I have the full 7.2GB of space on that, and when I install Linux I can easily pick a larger swap file size (from the factory it's less than 1GB). Steve On 2019-03-18 14:34, Intel Forums wrote: Links:
ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

Hello Scott, There seems to be a bit of a clue to getting DOS or anything else besides Linux or newer versions of Windows to work on the Intel Compute Sticks. I'm thinking the reason anything can boot on these things is not because of anything special about the OS per se which makes the BIOS happy, but because of the presence or lack of presence of the EFI files which sit in the efi/boot folder in the root of the drive. If the OS includes those files on it during the install, it may work. It may also be an EFI partition allows it to work, but not sure. I was able to use Rufus to create a GParted USB drive and when I did that, it included those files...which without them would never have allowed GParted to boot. I also remember the old Hiren's boot CD which stopped working after Dell started putting UEFI BIOS on machines 6-7 years ago because I used to use it at work a lot, but on the newer model laptops it would not work. Will investigate this more but making some slow progress into that. Steve On 2019-03-18 14:34, Intel Forums wrote: Links:
ssybesma
Beginner
408 Views

Hello Scott, Latest news on the DOS front. Apparently there's no way to boot Legacy on these and I've given up trying to find a way. For most of mine I will be installing a smaller and newer version of Ubuntu. The two alternatives I know of: 1. Use a tiny Linux distro combined with QEMU (a tiny VM host) and then putting a DOS VM onto that. 2. Pay someone a bounty to produce a hacked BIOS. Hence my posting today to this forum: https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread-bounty-offered-Intel-Compute-Stick-BIOS-mod-needed?pid=151924... It's easily worth $200 to me to get that done because I will have 12 of these sticks. I will donate the modified BIOS so you can get DOS onto yours. Either Legacy/CSM merely needs to be unlocked, or a ROM module may have to be added which provides Legacy/CSM. As long as there's enough space on the CMOS (there's a small battery in these things -- I saw a picture of one taken apart), a ROM module could be added if needed. Steve Sybsema On 2019-03-18 14:34, Intel Forums wrote: Links:
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
257 Views

Having the UEFI boot files on a disk doesn't help if the goal is to boot DOS. You need a BIOS with Legacy boot (CSM) support. If it has only UEFI boot support then you are not going to boot DOS.

 

Intel has been shipping BIOS with UEFI (or just EFI, as Intel called it before open sourcing it in 2004 (as Tiano) and turning it over to (what became) the UEFI forum in 2005) for 20+ years. It is only lately that they have dropped Legacy boot (CSM) support, however.

 

...S

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