UDOO X86 is a Single Board Computer based on the N-Series Intel® Pentium® / Celeron® and x5-Series Atom family of System-on-Chips (SoCs) formerly coded as Braswell, a series of Quad Core SoCs with 64-bit instruction set and very low TDP.
Thanks to the x86_64 instruction set, the UDOO X86 supports all the x86 Linux distribution for 32-bit(aka i386, IA-32, x86-32, x86_32) and 64-bit(aka x64, x86-64, x86_64).
We suggest to always use a 64-bit OS version.
Heads up! Please notice that total amount of 8GB of RAM of the UDOO X86 ULTRA version would be usable with 64-bit OS. Total amount of memory available with a 32-bit OS depends on the OS itself (usually less than 4GB unless the OS isn't using PAE).
In the Getting Started section you can find a guide of how to install a Linux distro, the example is based on the Ubuntu OS.
In order to download the latest updated versions of the Intel® Graphics HD drivers you can download and run the Intel® Graphics update tool for Linux.
Heads up! The processors of the UDOO X86 and the Wi-Fi/BT module are released only few time ago so we suggest to use a recent distribution to find all the latest drivers already installed and have all the devices operating properly.
Famous Linux distributions
Here you can find an unordered list of 10 of the most popular Linux distributions:
Ubuntu: is probably the most well-known Linux distribution. Ubuntu is based on Debian, but it has its own software repositories. Much of the software in these repositories is synced from Debian’s repositories. Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish is the latest Ubuntu released version. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver is the latest Long Term Support version with a support end of life on April 2023.
Linux Mint is a Linux distribution built on top of Ubuntu. It uses Ubuntu’s software repositories, so the same packages are available on both. Originally, Mint was an alternative distribution loved mainly because it included media codecs and proprietary software that Ubuntu didn’t include by default.
Debian is an operating system composed only of free, open-source software. The Debian project has been operating since 1993 — over 20 years ago! This widely respected project is still releasing new versions of Debian, but it’s known for moving much more slowly than distributions like Ubuntu or Linux Mint. This can make it more stable and conservative, which is ideal for some systems.
Arch Linux is more old school than many of the other Linux distributions here. It’s designed to be flexible, lightweight, minimal, and to “Keep it Simple.” Keeping it simple doesn’t mean Arch provides tons of graphical utilities and automatic configuration scripts to help you set up your system. Instead, it means Arch dispenses with that stuff and gets out of your way.
Fedora is a project with a strong focus on free software — you won’t find an easy way to install proprietary graphics drivers here, although third-party repositories are available. Fedora is bleeding edge and contains the latest versions of software.
CentOS / Red Hat Enterprise Linux Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a commercial Linux distribution intended for servers and workstations. It’s based on the open-source Fedora project, but is designed to be a stable platform with long-term support. CentOS and Red Hat recently announced they’re collaborating, so CentOS is now part of Red Hat itself.
openSUSE / SUSE Linux Enterprise openSUSE is a community-created Linux distribution sponsored by Novell. Novell purchased SuSE Linux in 2003, and they still create an enterprise Linux project known as SUSE Linux Enterprise. Where Red Hat has the Fedora project that feeds into Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Novell has the openSUSE project that feeds into SUSE Linux Enterprise.
Slackware Linux is another institution. Founded in 1993, Slackware is the oldest Linux distribution that’s still maintained and putting out new releases today.
Puppy Linux is another fairly well-known Linux distribution. Previous versions have been built on Ubuntu, but the latest is built on Slackware. Puppy is designed to be a small, lightweight operating system that can run well on very old computers.
Others useful distributions:
LibreELEC – Just enough OS for KODI Kodi is a free and open-source media player software application developed by the XBMC Foundation. LibreELEC (short for Libre Embedded Linux Entertainment Center) is a distro based on Kodi, is a non-profit fork of OpenELEC as an open source just enough OS (JeOS) Linux software appliance distro for Kodi.
Go to the LibreELEC with CEC and IR support page to download a dedicated version of LibreELEC 9.0 with Linux kernel 4.19RC8 and support for UDOO X86 CEC and IR support.
Lakka is a lightweight Linux distribution that transforms a computer into a full blown game console for retrogaming.
To help choosing your favorite distro you can also check this linux.org article.
A very updated resource to watch "which is the most used Linux Distro" and to choose one is Distro Watch