3rd-Party Ubuntu ROM for Khadas VIM


I did it, finally, i knew there had to be a way, didn’t have any problem after running this command in Ubuntu, finally i am on marshmallow, now with root, thanks for helping.

This is a good way, add it to the documents if it isn’t already there.


Dooes debian jessie image work, this time installed on sd card?


What do you mean this?

Our official release will tend to Ubuntu Mate.


Debian jessie image, next to the ubuntu xenial on yandex download, does it work on vim, booted from sd card?


Yes, it would be work at VIM, maybe some developers will develop 3rd-party ROM for VIM, and our official ROM will only be Ubuntu mate in this stage.


Yes, i understand that, i would just use it for testing before official Ubuntu mate image becomes available.

Didn’t have luck with balbes lxde Ubuntu, maybe this works better?


Yes, Ubuntu Mate with a more friendly desktop.

Cannot boot after upgrading Ubuntu ROM

Hello Gouwa
So if I understood right, in fact you’re about to release two different Ubuntu images : a desktop one (Mate) and a server one (saw that on another thread) ?
Will there be an SD image so that we can try it without having to erace eMMC first, in case we first want to make sure the things we need work as planned ?
Any idea of when they are going to be released ?


In the meantime, if you are curious about Linux on the Vim, you can try balbes150’s SD boot/run images without modifying or erasing the eMMC. It works fine, but no WiFi or BT. Ethernet and sound over HDMI do work. Pop in card or USB flash drive and the Vim boots to Linux, remove the card/flash drive and the Vim boots to Android( or installed OS).


When running from Mac OS it appears you need xz.


I didn’t think it was possible as I had read somewhere that the eMMC was the primary boot device and that the SD port came second. Thanks for the tip, I’m going try later today then and will report. Cheers !


balbes150’s bits make a small mod to u-boot, allowing boot from SD. All automated. Will not change anything else.

If anyone needs assistance, I will post a guide.


It would be a great idea if you could post a step-by-step guide for it.
Up to now I’m rather disapointed with the Vim, no OS is stable enough to use the board for a practical use, it takes a lot of tries to have it boot upto the login, crashes are very frequent and a lot of things are missing.
The VIM may be way more capable than the RPi 3, but it lags well behind in what concerns stability and ease of use. OSs for the RPi 3 just work out of the box, no need to cross the fingers each time you start up the beast, crashes are rare and usually the result of some particular action, it has polished looks, it all works as expected.
Lets hope the VIM will reach the same (or a similar) state of maturity.


Oh yes RDFTKV, that would be really nice and make my day
In my experience, the stock Android distribution on the eMMC is rock solid. But I’ve got the feeling that many among us are primarily insterested in running a linux distro on it, and so far that’s no easy process, and sometimes painful if you screw up your eMMC install. It’s true that it’s easier to distro hop with the rpi (I’ve settled with Alarm and very lately I’ve had no luck trying Opensuse tumbleweed), but hey, the VIM just landed so it’ forgivable in my view. It look like the developpers are active on multiple fronts at the moment, and things will undoubtedly improve. Yet it’s true that seeing Ubuntu advertised on the front page of the project, I imagined something a little more user friendly right from the start.


I will post tonight. Balbes150’s may not be a daily driver solution on the Vim, but fun to try it because it requires no real commitment. Or as you might say, less painful. :slight_smile:
He continues to improve his images. Users of his Armbian on another S905x box, report very good results when using as a Plex and Embry server, so the Vim would have similar potential. To my knowledge, balbes150 does not have the Vim yet, so he has no specific Vim image. I hope to offer him some feedback, so maybe he can help tune for the Vim.

The RPi is very mature, so yes, I would expect it has an advantage in some ways. However, the S905x offers some advantages of its own. Khadas seems to be working very hard to refine the Vim and diversify and expand available OS options.

For instance, just saw the post about the forthcoming multi-boot.

My interest in the Vim is mostly focused on learning how to interact with the GPIO. An uphill climb for me. :slight_smile:
I have messed with Linux for years, but I am still a novice at best.

Should be a lot of fun and a good challenge.


[quote=“RDFTKV, post:55, topic:81, full:true”]
I will post tonight. Balbes150’s may not be a daily driver solution on the Vim, but fun to try it because it requires no real commitment. Or as you might say, less painful. :slight_smile: [/quote]
Don’t hurry, now that we’ve finally got the ‘official’ Ubuntu relaease that has landed to play with.
But still your procedure might be of great interest for trying other distros (myself I prefer Arch or rpm based distros over Debian based)

Quite true, confirmed with the effort to release the Ubuntu VIM version before the new year break, very nice gesture.

I’m in that process as well, it’s precisely why I first got the Rpi and I do I enjoy it. But what brought me to the VIM is that to my amazement I ended up thinking that with just some more horsepower, those SoC boards could actually be very decent desktop for my use.

Cheers !


Seems a bit superfluous now, but here it is…

I used an image from here. Images available with and without DE.

Latest, I have not tried these.

HDD RAW image burner.


His other Linux variants(Arch Here). I have not tried any of these on the Vim. Note: Login Info for other variants. Other variants may require additional steps.

For Windows+Android:
Card Prep:
1.) Format an SD card to FAT32. 4GB minimum( I generally use 16 and 32 cards), Class 10 or better recommended. The faster the better.
2.) Download and extract the file, the extracted file will be an image. I use 7Zip for extraction.
3.) Burn the image to the SD card. I use HDD RAW(portable ver.). Programs like Rufus or Win32DiskImager, etc should also work. Caution with HDD RAW, make certain you select the SD card as the target, HDD RAW will write over anything, it does not care about your feelings on the matter. It does have a couple of confirm notices, but be careful anyway.

To Run with prepared card: A few things take place, it does not just boot to Linux first go round.
1.) With the Vim running Android, insert the prepared card in to the Vim’s SD slot or use a USB card reader.
Note: I like to use a card reader with activity LED, so I can see something is happening. The first boot can take a few minutes and the flashing LED is reassuring. :slight_smile:
2.) At Android/Settings/About Device/System/updates.
From the Update and Backup App, under the UpdateLocale section, click Select, select aml_autoscript.zip, click update.
Note: Leave “Wipe Data” and “Wipe Media” unchecked/unticked. To be clear, do not use those options
-The Vim will reboot, it will do so a couple of times.
-Eventually you will see the initial login.
Initial login credentials, User: root Password: 1234
You will be asked to select a new password, do so. You will be asked to create a new User and P/W, do so.
-The box will reboot, this boot will be a bit slow, but ultimately should bring you to the desktop.

Once at the desktop, install gparted(sudo apt-get install gparted). Use it to resize the Ext partition on dev/sda to fill the card’s available space. Ext will be on /dev/sda.
Note: Correction. Please see balbes150’s post for DTB explination.

I don’t think I left anything out. The steps sound far more complicated than they are. Do it once, and you probably won’t need this guide the second time.
Still, I am not without error(understatement), so if you have any trouble or I have messed up, let me know.

Armbian + KODI (Ubuntu\Debian) for SD & USB & eMMC
LibreELEC for Khadas VIM (SD & USB & eMMC)
Erasing the eMMC Storage
OpenElec & LiberElec WishList
Rotation display Ubuntu-Mate
Happy christmas to all ! and .... is there some frenchy guys?

Thank you very much for that, much appreciated.
Yesterday I got the VIM running Gouwa’s Ubuntu server with mate on top and also KDE (just because it’s a DE I know well, for comparison sake), an install I still have to setup right but already very promising.
But I’m pretty sure right after that I will try the Arch image you refered to.
It’s true that the whole procedure, especially with you nice write-up, isn’t that complicated.
Cheers !


You are welcome.
It should be noted that other of his versions, like Arch, may not have had the uboot and dtb selection included and required additional steps. The added steps were simple, but not automated and included, as it is in the image I used or later versions.

Running the card made from the image I used, will make the change to uboot. After that, I think any of his other variants would boot from card.
See here for specific login info for the other variants…


Clarification. The function to load the dtb data from the internal memory there is in all recent images. The principle of operation of this function. At the start image, the system checks for file “dtb.img” in the root of the first partition of the carrier. If there is no such file, the system tries to load the dtb data from the internal memory. By default, after recording of the image of such a file in the root of the no. So the system is trying to use the dtb data that exists in the current firmware. If you try to run the system (without the file “dtb.img” in the root of the first partition), the system doesn’t start, you need to manually copy the correct dtb file from the directory /dtb to the root and rename it to “dtb.img”. Kernel in images are frequently updated and changed, accordingly change the options\variables dtb files (included in the kit image in the directory dtb). Therefore, the data that is in the internal memory often does not correspond to the parameters of the kernel, so the system cannot be started without manually copying the correct file.

Armbian + KODI (Ubuntu\Debian) for SD & USB & eMMC