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Desktop Environment On Ubuntu

Install A Desktop Of Your Choosing
This tutorial explains how to install a desktop environment on your Ubuntu operating system bundled with a few essentials for the Pine64.

What You Need

  • Pine A64/A64+ Board
  • A Minimum 8GB MicroSD Card
  • Ubuntu Base Longsleep (3.10.65 BSP)

Step 1 Preparation

    This tutorial assumes that you have already installed Ubuntu using the methods described in the Getting Started - Linux guide.

    At this point login to your Ubuntu OS by either remotely logging in via ssh or directly with a monitor/keyboard hooked up to your Pine64 (username: ubuntu & password: ubuntu).

    Once logged in execute the following:

    sudo -i
    apt-get update
    apt-get upgrade
    apt-get install dialog tasksel
    tasksel

    Once done you should be greeted with the following screen.

Step 2 Installation

    You will notice a variety of options listed for desktop environments. Unfortunately Edubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu Gnome & Ubuntu desktops will not work due to lack of 3d acceleration at the moment. The ones that do work and you may want to use are as follows:

    Mate Desktop
  • Ubuntu MATE minimal installation
  • Ubuntu MATE desktop

  • XFCE Desktop
  • Xubuntu minimal installation
  • Xubuntu desktop

  • Use the "spacebar" to select the option you want to use then press "tab" and hit "enter" to start the installation.

    Below is an example showing Ubuntu MATE minimal installation as the selected option and the progress screen.





    This process will take roughly 1 - 2 hours depending on your connection speed and quality of SD card.

Step 3 Drivers

    Once the desktop has been installed the next step is to enable some necessary features like 2d acceleration, video hardware decoding and resolution switching for the Pine64.

    apt-get install libump libvdpau-sunxi1 libcedrus1 sunxi-disp-tool xserver-xorg-video-fbturbo
    echo 'Section "Device"' > /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    echo 'Identifier "Allwinner A10/A13 FBDEV"' >> /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    echo 'Driver "fbturbo"' >> /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    echo 'Option "fbdev" "/dev/fb0"' >> /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    echo 'Option "SwapbuffersWait" "true"' >> /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    echo 'EndSection' >> /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    reboot

Step 4 Addons

    These following options are optional but offer some usefull features for your desktop.

  • Midori Browser (Firefox is quite buggy)
  • Clam Antivirus (Useful Utility)
  • Gparted (Partition Manager)
  • Synaptic (Package Manager)

  • apt-get install midori
    apt-get install clamtk
    apt-get install gparted
    apt-get install synaptic

    If you wish to use a lower display resolution (720p) on boot execute the following command.

    echo 'optargs=disp.screen0_output_mode=720p60' >> /boot/uEnv.txt
    reboot

    Now your desktop environment is all set to go.

Comments

    You must be a registered member in order to post a comment.
    It would be beneficial now we have a drm kernel to have to appropriate echo strings for mali drivers in step 3, instead of using fbturbo? do we put sunxi?
    Every time I do this it hangs at about 25% during the desktop install (preparing perl-modules-5.22). I have followed the getting started guide, I have a 2gb pine64 and a 32gb card. Not sure what to do as I am totally new to Linux and Ubuntu.
    Every time I do this it hangs at about 25% during the desktop install (preparing perl-modules-5.22). I have followed the getting started guide, I have a 2gb pine64 and a 32gb card. Not sure what to do as I am totally new to Linux and Ubuntu.
    after i follow all of these steps i am caught in a sign in loop. I type in my password and and returned to the sign in screen. I can make sure i am not typing in the password wrong because if i do i get an error. i can also sing in the terminal by hit cltr + alt + F1. so i know i am using the right login credentials.