The Intel NUC: A couple of workarounds for common Linux install issues

Here are a couple of the more common issues I've seen running Linux on the Bay Trail NUC:

The "no desktop" desktop: After installing Linux Mint you may see the Mint logo (i.e. the default background wallpaper) but no task bar or icons. This is caused by a "phantom" display.  Here's how to get around it:

  • Right-click on the desktop and select Change Desktop Background, then clicking All Settings.
  • Scroll down to the Hardware section and open the Display settings.  You'll see a phantom 1024X768 display set as default
  • Disable the phantom display and your HDMI connection will become the primary and everything should start working.

No audio through HDMI (many flavors of Ubuntu): This isn't specific to the NUC as it seems to be happening on lots of builds, but it's easy to get around:

  • Make sure your system is up to date using the Update Manager
  • Add the following groups to your account: audio, pulse, pulse-access, video, voice
  • In a terminal window run the following:
    1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-audio-dev/alsa-daily
    2. apt update
    3. apt install oem-audio-hda-daily-dkms
  • Reboot the system.

Other than those minor issues Linux has been running well for me on the DN2820 kit.  If I come across any more tidbits like this I'll post them.