Introducing the mintBox

In association with CompuLab, Linux Mint is proud to present the mintBox.

The pro model is recognizable by its ribbed case (its faster performance requires more heat dissipation)

We’re passionate about what we do and for our very first Mint device, we wanted something unique, something special and extraordinary. The mintBox is Mint in a box. It’s tiny, it’s silent, it’s extremely versatile and it comes packed with connectivity.

The mintBox is the very first branded Mint device

About CompuLab

CompuLab has been making embedded computer-on-modules for over 15 years. Each unit comes with a 2 years standard warranty and the quality of their components is excellent. They also provide us with free hardware and we have an excellent relationship with them. We were immediately impressed with their fit-PC3 unit. The hardware is unique, and the box and form-factor are amazing.

We work with CompuLab on the fit-PC3 to make sure the software tightly fits the hardware and to provide a high level of integration. Not only does the fit-PC3 run Linux Mint, the fit-PC3 basic and pro models are now also available with Linux Mint branding under the name “mintBox”.

The Fit-PC3 Basic and the mintBox Pro

The mintBox is a CompuLab fit-PC3 unit, with a green retro-lit Linux Mint logo, and 10% of each sale goes towards Linux Mint.

About the mintBox

The mintBox is amongst the toughest computers on the market. It features a die-cast solid-metal case which acts as a giant passive heatsink. Although the metal makes the mintBox heavier than other devices its size, it makes it feel really unique, robust and well engineered. More importantly, it cools down its components without needing any fans. Other than the noise coming from its internal 250GB hard-drive, the mintBox is completely silent.

The mintBox features a die-cast solid-metal case

What is impressive is the size of the unit. It’s smaller than a DVD case…

As you can see on this picture, the mintBox is tiny

And what’s even more impressive, is the connectivity. The mintBox features 8 USB ports, 4 at the front, and 4 at the back (2 of which are USB 3.0). It also comes with Ethernet, Wifi and Bluetooth and feature an HDMI port and a DVI adapter so you can connect it to the wire or join a wireless network, enjoy it on your computer screen or your HDTV, and connect USB keyboards and mice or control it remotely over Bluetooth.

A mintBox plugged to a keyboard, a mouse and a TV

The mintBox features a total of 8 USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity

Here’s an exhaustive list of its extremely rich I/O:

  • Dual-head display HDMI + DisplayPort
  • Digital 7.1 S/PDIF and analog 2.0 audio, both input and output
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n + BT combo with dual antennas
  • 2 USB3 ports + 2 USB2 ports
  • 2 eSATA ports
  • Bay for 2.5” SATA HDD
  • 2 mini-PCIe sockets / 1 mSATA
  • Serial RS232 port

The mintBox can connect to a vast variety of devices and peripherals. A DVI adapter is also included with the unit.

The mintBox is available in two versions.

mintBox Basic ($476 + shipping, duty & VAT):

  • 250GB HDD
  • APU G-T40N (1.0 GHz dual core + Radeon HD 6290 – 9W)
  • 4GB RAM
  • Flat metal case

mintBox Pro ($549 + shipping, duty & VAT):

  • 250GB HDD
  • APU G-T56N (1.65 GHz dual core + Radeon HD 6320 – 18W)
  • 8GB RAM
  • Ribbed metal case

Another highlight of the mintBox is how easy it is to open it. Both the RAM and the HDD are accessible from underneath the box. Use a standard screwdriver to open the bay and you can upgrade your RAM or switch the HDD for a SSD drive without any hassle.

The case itself is held by 4 additional screws. Unless you’re interested in changing the front face of the mintBox (CompuLab provides modular face modules) you probably won’t need to ever open it, but it’s nice to know that it’s quite easy to do so may the need arise.

The case also features a Kesington lock and there are 4 small dents underneath it for the mintBox to be mounted on a VESA mount bracket (which will be sold separately by CompuLab). These two features and the low-power consumption of the unit (respectively idle and full load: 8-17W for the basic model, 9-24W for the pro model) make the mintBox an attractive device for companies, hotels and cybercafes where it can be placed or mounted on walls securely and significantly reduce noise levels and electricity bills.

Cinnamon, 3D effects and video acceleration

CompuLab supplies our project with hardware equipment, and Linux Mint 13 was tested on the mintBox itself prior to being released. CompuLab and Linux Mint also worked together on a custom version of Linux Mint 12 with MATE 1.2 and XBMC for the fit-PC3. Going forward, the mintBox is likely to come pre-installed with Linux Mint 13.

Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon is fully functional, with 3D effects, and without the need for ATI drivers on both the mintBox basic and pro models.

On the mintBox Pro, glxgears runs at 60FPS using the default Gallium renderer and 1000FPS using the ATI drivers. HD video playback is more fluid and sound output via HDMI is enabled once the ATI drivers are installed.

On the mintBox Basic, glxgears runs at 60FPS using the default Gallium renderer and 800FPS using the ATI drivers.


The mintBox is available from CompuLab at the following address:


  1. Wow, this is the most awesome thing I’ve seen this year. One thing, can it play full hd-video?

    Edit by Clem: It plays 720p and even 1080p videos, but depending on the size, bitrate and compression used by the video you might be limited by the specs of the unit. If you can think of a way to measure the fluidity of the playback, I can make some tests for you if you want. The pro model we have here only has 4GB as opposed to 8GB RAM (we decided to double the RAM on the Pro model).

  2. Price :/
    Beside if this box is designed to work flawlessly with linux then there should be GeForce, especially for it’s price.

  3. If it also had an IR receiver I could also see sticking it on top of a tv and using it as a kind of dedicated purpose media (or gaming) box running xmbc, mythtv, mame, ?steam?, etc. It could also make a nice low profile/low power home server. And yes, I am sure it is potentially a rather nice box to run mint desktop on too :).

  4. They’re not the most powerful machines and they’re not the cheapest either. They’re unique by their size and form-factor.

    Niklas: It plays 720p and even 1080p videos, but depending on the size, bitrate and compression used by the video you might be limited by the specs of the unit. If you can think of a way to measure the fluidity of the playback, I can make some tests for you if you want. The pro model we have here only has 4GB as opposed to 8GB RAM (we decided to double the RAM on the Pro model).

    Andrius: $476/$549 + shipping, duty, VAT.

    Abdulmogeeb: Yes, you can install anything you want on it, other distros, Windows, BSD, dual-boots.. just like you do on any PC. You just need a USB stick. Also, the mintBox supports both EFI and BIOS.

    Dude: The partnership with CompuLab is likely to extend to the IntensePC in the future (which features the Intel i7). When it comes to choosing the components, there’s more at stake than software compatibility. For a device this size, power consumption, heat, features and connectivity are key. CompuLab are experts at this, so we follow their choice and make sure the software runs smooth on the hardware platform they designed.

  5. @David: We didn’t mention the infrared receiver (I don’t think CompuLab does either). Although the component is present in the unit, officially there is no IRDA in the mintBox. Here’s what CompuLab says about it: “The iRDA status is a bit complicated. Current mintBox HW features an iRDA port implemented with a SMSC Super IO component. The problem is that SMSC does not provide drivers for this functionality and apparently does not intend to do so in the future. We are preparing a new version of the motherboard with an additional iRDA implementation that should be able to utilize the LIRC software. However that is yet to be validated and currenlty there is no clear ETA on units with new motherboard revision. I suggest not to mention the iRDA to avoid over-promising.”. On our mintBox we used Bluetooth and Wifi remotes to operate XBMC.

  6. Awesome, I see Linux is getting in on the Samsung Chromebox & Mac Mini form factor market.

    Is the CPU user serviceable (socket) or is it soldered and non-removable?

  7. I love Mint and all but I think those are a little too high priced for a device like that. Drop them down to a more reasonable price of about $100 or $150 less seems more practical.

    Edit by Clem: We can partner with PC manufacturers and offer towers or mini-towers with more RAM, faster CPUs, better GPUs and for a cheaper price, but that’s something anyone can do and something you can already find in any shop around the corner. We’re not a PC manufacturer, our core expertise is on the software and we’re not trying to get on the PC market here. The mintBox is special, unique and will attract a particular segment of the computer market, it’s something we really excited about and that’s why we partnered with CompuLab. They designed something truly amazing and we’re delighted to be able to put our name on it.

  8. looks good … but the pricing is a bit of a rip off especially with those specs. perhaps the pricing could have been justifiable if they where catering at least a i3 or i5 intel dual core alnog with nvidia gpu

  9. This is excellent. The box itself could easily be marketed as a portable workstation, media PC, or a plug-and-play home server.

    Just out of curiosity (and I know it’s not a priority for Mint), but could it run a completely Libre system? Are the wifi drivers and booting software etc open source?

    (Also, aside, if you ever do go into making phones and tablets, I’d like to see something based round a full-screen Cinnamon Menu rather than a Unity or GNOME3 – I think you’ve hit upon a great touch UI there!)

  10. Pitty about the slow CPU. I’m really hoping someone will make a more open version of a Mac Mini. I just love my two minis, they run silent and have real CPUs in them, so are full desktops, but sooo expensive. The problem is they run so quiet, it has spoilt me for other machines. Their fans and drive noises just annoy me now 8(
    However, for a PC for the kids, or as a terminal, or a media centre for XBMC, this looks pretty good!

  11. Like always ppl want a Porsche for the price of a bike.

    The unit are excelent. I’m in work enviroment always Windows based, but since 2 year i get the responsability to put Linux in the half of PC and choose Mint. Today I have the half of work

    This is box is the right choise to support this project in some way and give the community something to play. 😀

    Ty and good luck!

  12. Good to see it can be vesa mounted, it would be nice to have one of these tucked up out of the way on the back of a monitor.

    It’s just a shame about the specs vs price.

  13. This is a revolutionary product, and I do not think the price is out of the ball park either. Due to it’s shape, design and features, and the fact that it’s a solid metal case and not plastic, makes this device very attractive. Come on. Be realistic. If you had one of these devices on your desk hooked to a keyboard, mouse and TV or large monitor, you’re going to wow everyone that sees it. Moveover, this turns a new leaf for Linux Mint by introducing hardware devices for the first time. Linux Mint is arguably the best overall Linux distro available and it is exciting to think what type of devices that might feature this OS in the future.

  14. That price for the general public. It is free for every registered Mint forums users with level 5 or above. 😉

  15. Whenever someone develops something new, there are always a bunch of kibitzers standing around and saying it’s not good. Such a shandeh. Ah well, kacha hachayim.

  16. hello.

    your partenr with CompuLab is bad for us (Muslims and Arabs) because it is an isrealian company and we cut the rope off with everything from isreal, for that reason you will not find any sales in Middle East + Islamic countres; WT* DIDN’T YOU SEE ANY OTHER COMPANY THEN THIS~?!

    Edit by Clem: I understand your concern. I think people remember my personal mistake when I reacted to the violence and I pointed the finger at one particular side in this conflict, however we’ve been extremely clear on this since this happened and I’ve always apologized and clarified our position on this. We do not do politics. We’re passionate about IT, and the people at CompuLab are equally passionate about what they do. We have a great relationship with them and where they are based is not relevant to us. I hope people in the middle-east manage to find peace, I personally hate violence and I hope the pacifists on both sides can get themselves heard and change things for the better, but this is certainly not our call and it has nothing to do with this project. In the end of the day, we’re remote witnesses to what happens over there, there’s a huge amount of propaganda on both sides of the fence, and people aren’t reading this blog because we’re experts in politics. Borders, ethnies, religions and political ideas are not significant to us, we usually censor content about these topics in the forums because they divide people who actually share the same passion, and it’s that passion for IT which really interests us, that’s the reason we have a voice in the first place and the reason people do so many great things together and form our community.

  17. I agree with TheARC777.
    This is not a “run of the mill” PC
    it’s a special – & yeah – it’s mid-priced . . .

  18. Interesting, it almost is a throw back to the internet device days. Set top boxes are nice and space saving but are not really anything worth while. Even though I think tablets are currently for the toy lover in all of us and I am not impressed with them yet, I would have thought that would be a direction to take Mint. People are going hand held rather we like it or not, but I wish you nothing but the best with your Mint box!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. U guys rock! Clem`n`team FTW!!! It`d be great to give this idea (OS`n`hardware-in-da-box a-la Apple does) a futher development.

    Nice. Nice for sure! Cheers from Latvia.

  20. You need to have a coaxial cable connector on the back and maybe 3 more ethernet ports then you could also use it for wifi-router network device as well as media device too. Looks cool though!!! Good job!!!

  21. @Shane,

    Not all people are going handheld. The day my company forces me to perform all my tasks with a tablet is the day I start digging ditches.

    This would be a fantastic little server in a home, or even a full blown work station for our office. I think the price is arguably a tad high, but definitely not a deal breaker. We use thin clients in our corporate office, and branch offices here and there, and while they are great at hosting RDP, the users are left a bit short handed when network connectivity goes down for whatever reason. ISP’s can fail, etc.

    The only question I would have for you Clem, is what about future versions of Mint? Or maybe even retro versions? It sounds like Mint and CompuLab have really made sure that hardware/software issues are virtually non existent. Can we be reasonably sure that future versions of Mint, or other distros even, will play nicely for a healthy time to come? I’m not asking for an IBM XT to be able to run Windows 8. I just want to feel good that it will be somewhere between the 3-5 year mark before things starting getting sour because of new software tech.

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Edit by Clem: Mint 13 runs great on it and it’s supported for 5 years all the way to 2017. We also have the opportunity to provide CompuLab with custom ISOs in the eventuality that something doesn’t work out of the box. It’s hard to predict what can happen to clutter, cinnamon, ATI, Gallium and FGLRX in the future but things are good already and likely to get better. Other than 3D acceleration you rely on ATI drivers for HDMI sound output. I don’t see any risk here to be honest. Another thing to consider is that CompuLab supplies us with equipment, our dev. team currently has 3 mintBoxes, we use them to test our ISOs but also to develop Cinnamon and Linux Mint (I personally used the mintBox a lot to code the bluetooth applet in Cinnamon), this isn’t a guarantee that things will work forever, but it’s just to show you that we have the same boxes here and so if something stops working we’ll know about it before you do 🙂

  22. “Bonjour” everybody,

    it seems really interesting. The “no noise” idea could help it to find its place in a music or video studio (mine maybe ?). What about the sound chipset, and the possibility to mount a larger hard drive ?

    Good luck for this new project !

    Edit by Clem: There’s no fans, the only thing you can hear is the arm of the 250GB HDD. You can replace it with a simple screwdriver with any 2.5″ SSD drive (which I think are “completely” silent).

  23. With this move, LinuxMint Team goes from awesome to jaw-dropping. Amazing!! Can’t wait to see one (own one?).

    But one doubt: is it SERVICEABLE??

    Edit by Clem: I’m not sure what you mean by serviceable. Afaik all components are embedded on the motherboard except the RAM and HDD which can be changed really easily (one screw holds a bay underneath the case) and the face module which can be replaced (4 screws but also some internal connections involved there, I think CompuLab assist you on that if you need to change it). The wifi antennas are removable of course. Other than that I’m not entirely sure. The unit comes with a 2 year warranty, you can contact CompuLab for more details on what can be replaced/added/changed within the components.

  24. Clem,

    Thanks for the explanation. It sounds like you’ve thought of everything.

    This is really a neat trick. I’m not sure what your lead time would be on a dozen or so, but I will mention this to the director of IT. I don’t want to perpetuate any false hopes to you, but I can assure you this will at the very least be a matter of intense discussion. I’ve tried to inject Linux throughout our company in the form of Mint for 5 plus years now, and have had limited results. Our main ERP system is a bit proprietary, and unfortunately, it’s proprietary to MS-Server. But we have some modularity on the desktop front where these may work very well. Who am I kidding? I KNOW they will work well, it’s just a matter of convincing a simple minded old dog that a quick launch button in LM works the same as in Windows…..I’m sure you understand.

    Either way, I am excited to see something like this, and I wish you all the best in this effort. Thanks for all your hard work.

  25. Looks like it might make a nice set top box for a TV media center. Every think of doing a Mint version of Ubuntu-studio with Myth-TV (and similar AV apps? Too bad it doesn’t have an optical drive built in, but I guess you could always use and external DVD/BD drive connected via USB.

  26. Awesome & Exciting ,this is what i mean by Minimal yet Powerful Linux . Looking Forward to it .Thanks CompuLab and Linux mint .

  27. @tenshimsm:
    before comparing, research well. The MintBox Pro is:
    $50 cheaper than a macmini
    Has 300% more RAM
    Has a dedicated video card, the macmini has a integrated intel board (a pain in the a.. to play games)
    2 usb 3.0 ports, the macmini DO NOT HAVE!
    The power consumption is more high in macmini.
    MintBox comes with a 2 years standard warranty, macmini only 1 year limited warranty.
    THE MOST IMPORTANT MintBox is FREE software, macmini is PROPIETARY !
    thensimsm, definitely you were wrong.
    GO for MintBox !!!

    … but only since I have recently bought a new PC — now we (a household of 2) have already 5 of them (all can run Mint -;) )! Must find a way to justify buying it anyway. What a F…ing good device it seems! This is just what you need — a silent, small computer with the BOSE (Best Operating System Ever) preinstalled and testet through and through beforehand.
    Congrats to the Mint team to embarking on a new, very promising journey of doing “Mint Devices”

  29. The mintBox is exactly what I was looking for as a Home Theatre PC. The selling feature is silent and small form factor. ($549 + tax) is too expensive. Is the mintBox pro trying to compete with a real computer with its too many I/O ports? Who is going to hook 8 USB devices in this machine?

    For that price, I prefer to build a PC myself. It will be bigger as I will use a regular small case. But I will have better and easy to service hardware + SSD.

    Sorry but I’ll buy the prod version if it’s price is $200 tax included. Trim down I/O to HDMI, Ethernet + 2 USB 3.0 to reduce cost.

  30. @Innocent Bystander,

    Never enough I/O, especially talkin’ USB. I know it seems a little expensive, and I too would have to think twice for myself. But I/O represents such a low cost factor that it would be pointless for Clem to start cutting I/O. Cost is largely in super compact form factor or motherboard itself. Ever looked at ITX boards? They are pricey, no matter what kind of I/O you have on the USB side. Case is probably a bit proprietary, which drives up the cost a bit also.

    Bottom line, it’s plug and play, it’s got Clem’s backing that it will work as expected, and it’s ultra compact–even with a ton of I/O. Obviously that combination isn’t worth the expense for you, and that’s okay. But it actually has a pretty smart design–no since in cutting I/O to save virtually 0.

  31. A bit pricey? Yes, but you have to look at not only what your getting but what you can do with it.
    Ok the price is close to that of a Mac mini but since I refuse to purchase any apple product then this becomes a viable option.
    Use this as a media center for your home or business. Theres plenty of power to stream music, movies and pictures and if the drive isnt big enough then replace it with a larger 2.5 inch drive.
    I believe someone stated it already but this is a specialty item, not your everyday run of the mill PC.

    My question is, since the pro version comes with 8gb ram Im assuming it has two memory slots, does the MB support more than 8gb? Could it be upgraded to 16gb?
    Thank you Clem! As always you guys have done a great job!

    Edit by Clem: It has 2 RAM slots. I’m not 100% sure, but afaik 8GB is the max amount of RAM it can have, so the basic model can be upgraded, but the pro is already maxed.

  32. It’s a really cool idea, and I love the form factor. It’s nice to not have to worry whether or not the hardware will play nice with Linux.

    I have to agree about the price being a bit of a sticking point, though, and I’m a little cautious with Radeon graphics.

    Definitely a step in the right direction, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.

  33. Is installed original ISO image file on mintbox?

    Edit by Clem: I’m confirming this with CompuLab right now. It should be Mint 13 OEM 64-bit, the big question is whether it’s Cinnamon or MATE by default and with or without ATI drivers. Both editions work out of the box on the hardware without drivers, except the sound output via HDMI.

  34. Far from being wrong. I am not defending any proprietary I use Mac OS and Mint and it doesn’t matter if it has 300% more RAM or 3000% more RAM. Apple is doing a bad (I would use another word to describe but I would be baned) job with the new systems. They didn’t put USB 3.0 but put Thunderbolt and now are probably putting USB 3.0 (they are jerks). The comparison is to show that the price is high because it’s being compared with Apple’s price that is usually the most or one of the most expensive brands. I can asume that this is to be release in the same category as Macmini, ChromeBox (extremely original – being sarcastic).
    And APUs have integrated graphics as well. Of course the graphics performance is much better than Intel’s. But the AMD’s APUs are known for their poor CPU performance
    It’s a very good machine for me would be awesome to have one of these at home. But as always the prices are not for all people, meaning other countries like mine (Brazil).

  35. Clem, you mentioned sound via HDMI. Any issues with sound otherwise? I ask because I notice on the fit-PC3 Block Diagram that it uses an ALC888 Audio Codec. My system has the same chip, and I’ve had sound issues (though not just with Mint).

    For anyone wanting a fully operating computer with a very small footprint, quiet operation and with tons of I/O choices, this seems like a great solution. Oh…plus a cool looking case with a Mint logo. 🙂

    Here is a size comparison with my full-size desktop box:

    fitPC-3 MintBox Pro (a little bigger than the MintBox Basic):
    19cm x 16cm x 4cm = 1216 cubic cm = 74.2 cubic inches
    (approx 7.5″ x 6.3″ x 1.6″)

    full-size desktop box:
    18.75″ x 17.25″ x 8 1/16″ = 2608 cubic inches = 42767 cubic cm
    (approx 48cm x 44cm x 20cm)

    So, by volume, the desktop box is 35 times bigger, and
    the MintBox Pro is less than 3% the volume of a full-size desktop box.

    Edit by Clem: In LM12 (if I remember well) the sound works out of the box on both HDMI and Jack. In LM 13, the sound works out of the box on Jack, but not on HDMI. Once the ATI drivers are installed (fglrx) the sound works with both Jack and HDMI.

  36. What’s the WiFi chip used? I’m asking because of the multiple reports of unstable 802.11n connections with Ubuntu. 802.11g connections are usually fine.

    Edit by Clem: Here’s the full spec from inxi. Wifi works out of the box on b/g here, I didn’t test n. Also don’t mind the 4GB RAM, this is a pro model running on Mint 13 Cinnamon with only 4GB RAM (that’s an early model I got from CompuLab, the pro model is identical to this but with 8GB RAM).

    System: Host: mintbox Kernel: 3.2.0-23-generic x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: Gnome Distro: Linux Mint 13 Maya
    Machine: System: AMD product: Brazos version: Rev 1
    Mobo: AMD model: Inagua version: 109-B78210-00A Bios: Phoenix version: BZ_2.1.0.333_5 X64 date: 12/21/2011
    CPU: Dual core AMD G-T56N (-MCP-) cache: 1024 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4a ssse3 svm)
    Clock Speeds: 1: 825.00 MHz 2: 825.00 MHz
    Graphics: Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Wrestler [Radeon HD 6320]
    X.Org: 1.11.3 drivers: ati,fglrx (unloaded: vesa,fbdev,radeon) Resolution: 1920×1080@60.0hz
    GLX Renderer: AMD Radeon HD 6320 Graphics GLX Version: 4.2.11627 – CPC
    Audio: Card-1: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA) driver: snd_hda_intel
    Card-2: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Wrestler HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 6250/6310] driver: snd_hda_intel
    Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: 1.0.24
    Network: Card-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller driver: r8169
    IF: eth0 state: down mac: 00:01:c0:0c:93:0a
    Card-2: Realtek RTL8188CE 802.11b/g/n WiFi Adapter driver: rtl8192ce
    IF: wlan0 state: up mac: 74:2f:68:f2:12:f1
    Drives: HDD Total Size: 250.1GB (2.4% used) 1: /dev/sda SAMSUNG_HM251HI 250.1GB
    Partition: ID: / size: 137G used: 5.6G (5%) fs: ext4 ID: swap-1 size: 2.10GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap
    ID: swap-2 size: 3.87GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap
    Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 46.9C mobo: N/A
    Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
    Info: Processes: 139 Uptime: 2 min Memory: 399.9/3553.5MB Client: Shell inxi: 1.7.33

  37. You’ve noted that the Mint in MintBox is not the default Mint but a custom one tweaked for MintBox. Is it possible that you release the iso of the MintBox so that we can re-install it if we decide to change the hard disk?

    Edit by Clem: Yes, we can make these available. We’re looking into this at the moment to see if we continue with custom ISOs or not.

  38. Sorry for posting again, but I’d like to ask those who have used this: Is the cpu performance significantly weak under Mint or is it fine? (see #53)

    Edit by Clem: It’s hard to say. I’d be happy to run some tests if you want. It’s snappy and fine on the desktop for everyday use but I guess it’s slow if you’re into gaming or CPU-heavy processes compared to a desktop computer. We use virtualization a lot here so the main dev. box is a 16GB/i7 machine, it’s huge though and it makes a lot of noise. You can’t really compare it to the mintBox, they’re radically different :))

  39. Did the article say what the CPU is? Could’nt see it, so am assuming its an AMD x86. If so, its a shame its not a RISC – e.g. MIPS or ARM. Would like to be able to break with the x86 finally after all these years, and with Linux being able to run on so many architectures, why remain with x86?
    The specs are good (aside from x86), but the price is definitely far too high. I can get a brand name laptop for the same or slightly lower price with bigger hard disk, more powerful cpu, etc, and for a PC without a screen, keyboard, etc, the comparison does not look good.
    If money were no object and it had a MIPs cpu I would get it, but I will have to wait for one of the newer RISC based units now hitting the market (not the Rasberry PI, which has far too little RAM to be of any real use).

  40. Me likey. However, as some guys have already pointed out, for the time being it’s a little bit too expensive for me, so I guess I’ll have to wait.

    I look forward to have more Mint-based products such as tablets or ultrabooks, that, should they be made, would be without a shadow of a doubt so much more economical and reasonable than the current Windows Starter-based scams.

  41. Very interesting. The only thing that makes me leery about purchasing is the AMD powered raedon. I’ve been bitten in the past by that company and I vowed to never be again. Too bad really.

  42. Can you run Handbrake on the pro?
    Looking at Compulabs site looks like Mint is available on the intense PC.
    I will deffalantly mention this to the ones I install Mint for on thier Pcs.

  43. Hohoho the second generation will hit the marketplace right before Christmas..Creme de Mint…so when does the IPO come? BUY THAT STOCK!
    throw in a ssd and paint it green…Clem may have a tiger by the tail!





  45. Hahaha…

    This is so cool. Clem you are a genius.

    screw the overrated Ipad. It is a piece of shit.

    Nice creative ideas like this, and on top that! using linux mint. This is truly a computer.

    Leave it to the French!!!

  46. Dear Clem,

    nice try! I thought I am reading the advertising of a new heavy metal guitar pedal for my rig!

    The pro mode….ribbed case…It’s tiny, it’s silent, it’s extremely versatile…2 years standard warranty…it has a green retro-lit Linux Mint logo…die-cast solid-metal case…although the metal makes the mintBox heavier….it cools down…What is impressive is the size of the unit. It’s smaller than a DVD case…Another highlight of the mintBox is how easy it is to open it.Use a standard screwdriver to open the bay!

    My best regards

  47. How well does this work with ATI hardware? My ATI-based laptop run Mint 13, and Cinnamon doesn’t like the proprietary ATI drivers (screen flickers, Cinnamon crashes often, etc. — oddly, Gnome Shell doesn’t). Using the Open Source drivers with Cinnamon roasts my laptop’s innards beyond safe temperature limits, and is incredibly slow. It’s interesting they’d use this combination.

  48. I have to agree with other reviewers that the $549 price is kind of high. The Mac Mini sells for $599 with a 2.3ghz Core i5 processor and is upgradable to 8gb of RAM.

    This AMD Breeze from ZaReason starts at only $449 and it’s available with Linux Mint too.

    I have to say I like the fanless idea of the MintBox Pro though. I’ve been looking for a quiet fanless small form factor system for a while now. I also like the AMD option as an alternative to Evil Intel. I may just buy one of these when my dying 2007 vintage Mac Mini finally croaks. I’d really like to see an SSD option available though. How about Crucial M4 or the Samsung 830? Yeah, this would make the price higher though.

  49. Agree with Mando. I do not know if Compulab is in israel proper or the settlements but either way I will not be donating any money to Linux Mint

  50. It’s good to see that products like these are coming out, but it does seem to be a bit behind the curve in terms of positioning.

    My guess is that eventually, cheap throw-away machines like the Raspberry Pi will capture the space of always-on low-power dedicated media/surveillance/entertainment/surfing machine. A box like that would have a sub-$100 price tag, and if it has mass storage at all, it would be small and solid state. As others have pointed out, in the $500+ space, this device is competing with quite a few other offers, many of them more established and capable.

  51. I’m looking forward to using Wireshark, Aircrack-ng for pen-testing. My question is, will this device support it?

    Thank You

  52. If smaller and less pricey, then it would be great. Be better if it’s better than Raspberry. I really like the idea of making this into a router. Hopefully it’s possible. Future models should have a SD card reader.

  53. Speeding up proposal:
    60 GB SSD (e.g. OCZ Agility) for OS and apps and external disk (e-SATA, USB 3.0 or LAN) for storage. SSD instead of HDD don’t have to be selling price raising with smart purchasing techniques.
    At the moment using also a SSD with Linux Mint 13 (Cinnamon, 64-bit, Dutch) and the LaCie Network Space as music drive, works perfect: booting within 30 secs (faster than my tablet) and shutting down in 2 secs.

  54. Start-up Linux website, and corporation, by “three old goats”, with Linux Mint computers and gadgets… Can we get USA pricing? Can we get a marketing agreement in place for them in the USA, at US prices?
    (no VAT)…

    We are all members of, and provide FREE Linux training and support to hundreds of folks each year, in Central Florida, each year, since 1996! Since 2005, have focused on Linux Mint as the major distro for schools, charity NPOs, businesses, and home users.

    Clem, your Linux Mint team has done the world a magnificent bounty
    and we all thank you, sincerely!

  55. One (probably very minor) thing I’m not clear about is the power supply. By this, I mean does one plug it into the mains either direct or with an external voltage reducer device?

    Sorry if this is a really stupid question but I don’t see any mention of this.

    Trevor Adcock

    Edit by Clem: The unit comes with an AC adapter. It looks similar to a mobile phone charger.

  56. Is´t possible to ordered mintBox by one of the resellers of Compulab.

    Edit by Clem: That would be great and you could get it cheaper by avoiding customs/duties, but afaik there’s only 100 units stocked for now and I don’t know if it’s in CompuLab’s interest to send stock to its resellers for small quantities. You never know though, the best is to ask them and the French reseller. As it is now, the mintBox is shipped from Israel and from the USA, so people in these two countries don’t need to pay any duties and very low shipping costs. The total cost is higher everywhere else due to international shipping and duties.

  57. If I were to plug in a portable Blu-ray player, will this unit play the Blu-ray discs properly?

    Edit by Clem: Sorry, I can’t say for sure.. we tested neither the mintBox nor Mint itself with Blu-ray playback.

  58. Can you please do some tests of how well an 802.11n connection works? It seems I always have issues when connecting to 802.11n networks using various Linux distros with chips from Intel, Realtek and Atheros. Sometimes there are workarounds and sometimes not. Thank you.

    Edit by Clem: I’m not equipped with 802.11n here, but I’ll try to get that tested within the team after the week-end.

  59. With two eSata ports it could become a nice NAS or home server. Low power consumption is a bonus!

    @Trevor It looks like it is using external power supply, like one for a laptop.

  60. It certainly looks cool. The small form factor is nice and it makes a great conversation piece. A person visiting you might as where your PC is because it looks like a wireless router. 😉 However, system specs wise, I’m sorry to say that it is a tad pricey. You can get a laptop with about the same system specs for over $100 cheaper than the Basic version. (I did that recently) Desktops with similar system specs are even cheaper. Though, price wise, the Pro model makes more sense because it’s only $70 more and has twice the RAM and a more advanced GPU. (plus, I like the ribbed case better ;)) Though, having said that bit about the price, if I had the cash just lying around and nothing better to do with it, sure I’d order one in a heartbeat. It’s certainly a nifty looking little gadget. However, I have to be more careful with what little money I have.

  61. Right now I’m running Linux Mint from a 32Gb pen drive.

    It works great! Is fast, silent, small and cheaper than a 250Gb drive.

    Perhaps you’ll consider a (16|32|64|128)GB SSD option for the next version.

  62. Looks fine, but that price makes me not wanna buy it.
    I’d rather buy a macbook pro and dual-boot mint and osx.
    They’ll need more sponsors to knock the price down.

  63. its the best thing that has ever happened…this is like carrying a large powerful computer comfortably!!

  64. I am pleased to see it called the mintBox.

    To get around the Apple worshipers and the Windows drones I think Linux Mint needs to drop the “Linux” from it’s name and just be Mint. To many people are thrown off by their preconceived notions of Linux and marketing to their prejudices and ignorance can only help.

    After all “Unix Apple” and “Linux Android” are not marketing tools.

  65. What is the total spec?
    Does it have the following?
    *Linux BIOS
    [boot the computer less than 3 seconds & no viruses, trojans & malware]
    *OpenGL 4.2 [faster development time porting software to platforms/OS]
    *Multimedia [DVD movies/external dvd USB2/3, Netflix, Hulu, etc]

  66. Hello, that looks very interesting, and a great step to increase the Market Share of your OS! However, I have some questions:

    1. What is the model of the RAM used in both the Pro and Basic, DDR2 or DDR3, and what is its frequency?

    2. Why is an HDD used instead of an SSD? And What is the RPM (Revolution Per Minute) of the HDD’s in the Pro and the Basic mintBox?

    3. Since it is running Mint 13 Maya, which is based on Ubuntu, I know that Linux Mint is not upgradable from the Update Manager (mintUpdate in Linux Mint) like Ubuntu. Does it support booting from USB? If no, so how can I upgrade to the latest Mint version? And how can I reinstall the OS?

    4. Its metallic body makes it durable, which I really appreciate, but I think it will be a bit heavy, so how much does it approximately weigh (In Kilograms or Grams)? And what is the metal/alloy is its body made of?

  67. I have a Compulab Fit PC3 runnning Mint 12 and using SSD. Ireally like it and I use it as my TV & to watch DVDs on my projector. (obviously I have a projector and a DVD drive as well.

  68. Nice initiative, but I’m going to weigh in with the other folks that said the price is pretty high. Consider that I can build a similar box from scratch (no volume discount on parts) from a place like Newegg for well under US$500 and that’s with an AMD A8-class APU, with quad cores and significantly faster integrated graphics, and an 64GB SSD instead of a hard drive. Or…you can get a Mac Mini and pave over the hard drive with Mint.

    As for all the bellyaching about political matters….if I was going to let politics get in the way of my tech purchases, I wouldn’t buy anything….since so much crap ultimately comes from China.

    Love the distro…find a more realistic hardware partner and this might go somewhere. 🙂


  69. Looks like a really solid ht or office pc.

    @Chris, the idea is being quiet and small while having decent performance. If you want a budget PC – go buy a budget pc. This gadget, howerver, aims at a certain audience.

  70. Hi is it possible to do a ‘bare bones’ version minus the hdd and memory? I am sure many others like me would be changing the drive anyway and will have the memory as well, removing both these components would create another attractive product at a lower price point for those who already have the parts to complete the box?

    Edit by Clem: Don’t hesitate to ask CompuLab. If not on defining a barebone model, they might agree on reducing the price on one particular order.

  71. I read that it uses an external power supply. What is the output voltage of the supply, i.e. the input voltage of the unit?

    If it’ll run directly off a 12V auto battery, it’ll be the neatest thing since bottled beer.

    Edit by Clem: According to what’s written on the AC adapter, it transforms your 100-240V AC 1.0A into 12V DC 3.0A. It’s hard to describe what the power connector looks like.. it’s your typical round one, a bit larger than the ones used by mobile phones, basically the same as the ones you see on laptops.

  72. “More importantly, it cools down its components without needing any fans”

    I’m sorry but here I have to disagree: these devices will be very hot because of many fans!

  73. @Tudor: I already did buy a budget PC (laptop.) In fact, I mentioned that. And I also stated that, if I had the money, I’d buy one of these, so that makes your entire statement directed at me pointless.

  74. Very exciting step for Mint, Clem! Congrats!

    It would awesome if the IR issues were sorted out and this shipped with a remote.

  75. I understand the target audience(geeks) and the pros(looks/size) and cons(price/specs).
    But I think LMDE (because of Reinstall every 6 months (not always needed but preception). And the lack of Jockey in Debian(LMDE).
    **Does the hardware work out of box (with LMDE)?
    Could a script be included to install (known limited hardware)NOT JOCKEY!

    P.S. A Plymouth splash would make it appealing to non-geeks also.


    Edit by Clem: The main advantage of LMDE on the mintBox would be increased performance. From what I remember (LMDE also was tested on this) LMDE also manages to run Cinnamon on it without drivers. I can’t remember whether HDMI sound output needed the drivers or not though. LMDE doesn’t have OEM installation disks though at the moment, and for a general-public device it’s a little more niche and harder to administrate than the main editions.

  76. @J.Jay:
    No rolling release O.S. can be pre-installed on any type of PC, because problems can arise with any update and break the hardware compatibility. you can replace/install the O.S with any you want, after purchase. .

  77. Honteux le prix, franchement c’est pas à ce prix la que linux va s’implanter dans les familles….

  78. Interesting.

    The very welcome inclusion of a real RS232 port!

    That instantly makes it usefull for GPS driven NTP servers, among other things industrial and control related, where USB is just too unreliable (the connectors fall out due to vibration etc, and other intermittency woes!)

    How is it implemented in hardware? Much like a true legacy port with direct access from the CPU via on of it’s bus’s, or is it an embedded USBRS232 chip by Prolific, FTDI or ???

    Only ask, as for GPSDNTP use, “Real” interrupts are highly desirable (via the CD line typicaly) for the GPS receivers PPS signal. Then, with one of the BSD OS’s, you can get time accuracy down to a few micro seconds.

    Likewise, is the GigaBitLAN port similarly implemented as a bus device, or is it too an internal USB based device? When you start stacking layers of I/O, the latency starts to hike of course, even if the throughput is still good. (A sort of buffer bloat issue.)

    Nice kit though, however it’s implemented. And in truth, the price is not too bad. You can pay more for less capability elsewhere of course.

    Oh, I don’t see any spec’s re it’s power requirements (volts/amps) only just how much it consumes (Watts.) With a SSD it’d be good for mobile (vehicle mounted) as the size is right and a metal box, just a pitty about the insecure (mechanicaly) USB ports. Oh well, cant have everything… 🙂



    PS: I have a RasPi, it too is very good, but a totally different intended market, I think, so you can’t realy compare like for like.

  79. @mint777

    I’m not sure I understand your post about pre-installation of rolling releases. Right away, I could conclude that rolling releases won’t work on any PC from what you said. I say this because a rolling release has no idea where it stands in relation to pre or post install. In other words, it doesn’t care whether I or Clem install it. I don’t see this machine breaking with LMDE any more or any less with this box than with my home built PC. Do you mind clarifying your thoughts?

    On a similar note, as much as I like the Main Edition (Running LM9 currently), I’m finding that updates are breaking more things lately. For example, I lost sound with an update about 3 weeks ago. Granted, a fix was given within the week I think, and sound is fine now. But somewhere along the line, CUPS was updated, and now I can’t print PDF files. That’s incredibly frustrating, as so many people send them to me for almost anything. There was a “fix” that I found on the web, and it killed all printing. Not good! Fortunately, this was on another install–not my main.

  80. Nice idea and congrats with this first step (into the right direction).
    I will be waiting for a second version of this endeavor because both the mac mini and the chromebox have a much nicer design!

    I would love to purchase this mintbox but it needs to look gorgeous and at the moment it does not. So therefore I will not buy one and wait for the next generation, when they start looking better…..

    And while you’re at it, please make sure it contains an intel cpu, a ssid and a nvidea gpu and even if it then costs 800 USD, I will definitely buy it.

    Good luck Linux Mint with this one…………….

  81. @Robert,

    If looks bother you that much, then hide it. Strap it under your desk, and no one would see anything. But really Robert, form follows function. Frankly, I’d rather see nothing than a MacMini, or otherwise, and you could easily make this device invisible.

    This device may be a little too much for many users. That’s clearly been established on the blog so far. However, I for one, recognize how expensive hardware is for ultra compact computing, and in the big picture, this device is really not bad price wise.

    But Robert, you would insight Clem to make it ridiculous in price with all the little expensive add-ons that result in minimal gains for the target audience?

    What do you plan to do with this device, Robert? Design the world’s tallest skyscraper with super advanced CAD? My bet is you want to check email, and surf the web. Maybe work with various word docs, and spreadsheets, etc? But since I don’t know you, it’s not completely fair to make that assumption.

    People, in case you didn’t realize, “tiny” computing is expensive, there is no way to tame that beast at present. If the device isn’t for you, then fine. But relatively speaking, this device is not expensive. And it’s not cheap either. So we are left with reasonable.

    If you want to include constructive criticism, the floor is open. But if you continue to conclude that the price is too high, I encourage you to do further research on the matter. You will change your tune, and perhaps leave that argument out of your next post.

    Edit by Clem: I think it’s fair to say that this isn’t your typical budget tower PC. It’s neither powerful nor cheap compared to a desktop computer. This isn’t for everybody. But as far as looks go, it looks brilliant. I don’t have a mac mini or a chromebox to compare, but I can tell you that little die-cast solid-metal black box with the retro-lit Mint logo looks really good. We can partner with many manufacturers or we’re likely to partner with ThinkPenguin going forward, but this isn’t just a partnership, this is something we’re branding as the mintBox and something we’re delighted to put our logo on.. because it’s unique, because it’s exciting and because it’s really cool. Sure, it’s expensive, it doesn’t come with an i7, 16GB RAM and the latest GTX 680, but it’s a little metal box we were immediately amazed by, and that’s why we’re so happy about doing this with CompuLab. This isn’t the hardware we recommend every Mint user buys. This is something special, a few of you will fall in love with, we’re excited about doing. We’re a Linux distribution, we’re not building a range of hardware devices and segmenting the market to make sure everyone buys “mint”, we’re doing this today mostly because we’re really excited about it.

  82. Since this has fast ethernet, you could position a cheap and noisy PC with a really big HD two rooms away; so the quietness is not a factor.

    Personally, that’s what I shall do when my £35 Raspberry Pi arrives (which also has ethernet + HDMI) and no hard disk.

    So – despite less memory, Atom CPU, SD card for the OS, the Raspberry is better suited to the job (it’s 1/10th the price)!!!!

  83. Cool, but way too expensive for this kind of specs. I wonder if there is a place where you can buy the device without an OS. Chances are that it has been manufactured in Asia and that it is being sold under a different name. Find the name an you have a very inexpensive and versatile device. Nice for a server, since it doesn’t use a lot of power.

  84. I see that the mintBox has Dual-head display HDMI + DisplayPort. That sounds as if it would drive a 30 inch monitor at 2560×1600. Is that correct? Many of the specs on those connectors are optional. Having the ports does not guarantee that resolution. If the mintBox can easily drive the 30 inch monitor at that resolution, then we are buyers. If it won’t, we are probably still buyers.

    Edit by Clem: According to the specs: “Dual-head DisplayPort (up to 2560×1600) and HDMI (up to 1920×1200) incl. audio”. Best thing is to confirm with CompuLab before ordering. I ran the mintBox in HDMI in 1920×1200 and also with DVI (using the adapter), but I wasn’t equipped to test the DisplayPort.

  85. Oh, my! Ginger peachy!

    Accumulated thoughts and questions as I read through the blog:

    Re VAT (Value-Added Tax): Do US residents pay that? I really don’t think so. Sorry; I should know. Sales tax in the USA?

    Portability! Mint in a big pocket (or briefcase, etc.)

    Regarding price: Volume production brings down price — economies of scale. Although at the moment these are very nice niche (but general-purpose computing) products, they might well be made in lots of, say, 50,000 in the future. One can always hope!

    Video cassette recorders (VCRs) are so highly developed (and complicated!) that if, say, ten such devices, in total, were made, they would probably cost $500,000 apiece. They would be physically bigger, too.

    (Reading further: I see that when Clem posted a comment there were 100 mintBoxes in stock. Of course, production will ramp up, and we can hope for price reductions.
    Price comparisons with devices made in 100,000 lots (or more) don’t seem valid.)

    I recently contributed a modest sum to Mint, and Clem’s reply to a repeat contributor was more than gracious, very thoughtful, and deeply heartwarming. I definitely want to support an organization of people who are at least decent, and headed by people like Clem.

    Noise: I’m partly deaf; can’t hear regular fans any more. (^_^)

    No headphone jack? I’m confident that that was considered. (Are there HDMI audio-to-headphone adapters available, or could a geek make one by wiring connectors only?) (Pads on the motherboard usable for headphone audio?)

    Re automotive power: Nominally-12-volt cars apparently run typically around 14.4 V, iirc. However, the DC power inside a car can have spikes of maybe 55 V or possibly more; you’d need a special surge suppressor scheme (designed by a competent EE) to protect the mintBox. Somebody knows more than I do about this.

    If one were to max. out the HD, would the box get too hot? (An external drive seems like a much better idea).

    A max. ambient temperature spec. would be welcome. Somebody is going to run one of these in a very hot room, somewhere. I hope there’s some sort of over-temperature protection, but I’m a “worry wart”, too.

    In summary, very nice going, indeed! I want one.

    Best regards,

    Edit by Clem: I can’t answer it all (don’t hesitate to ask CompuLab for more technical details), but there are two jacks for sound input and output as well as HDMI at the back of the mintBox. Also if you’re in the USA, the unit is shipped to you from within the USA, so there shouldn’t be any customs or sales tax (not sure what the situation in regards to VAT is in the USA though).

  86. @PB:”I don’t see this machine breaking with LMDE any more or any less with this box than with my home built PC”

    I was referring to system-hardware compatibility (drivers, etc..). NO physical hardware. In regard to Rolling Relase OS OEM preinstalled, you have understood and explained perfectly well.
    P.D: sorry for my bad english.

  87. The sound output via hdmi issue needs to be fixed because there is no other way to output sound except your internal speakers in the computer. I really like the mint box and might consider buying a unit but since it is a product shipping overseas, i a bit worried about the condition of arrival.. there may be some defects

    Edit by Clem: Sound output works via Jack. It also works via HDMI once the ATI drivers are installed.

  88. Hello,

    I just wanted to congratulate you on a job well done. This is an excellent option for many enterprise business situations. I love all the options you have built into this device.

    Thanks for doing a great job.

  89. For heat issues you could always sit this on one of those notebook usb powered fan devices. I have one by antec for my main laptop and it works just fine.

  90. One Mint box to Rule them All,

    Finally, the configuration/install nightmares are gone! Be gone!
    That’s an intelligent idea. That’s, exactly why Apple had such big success. Only one hardware configuration running an OS specially designed and optimized for that hardware.

    Congratulations for this brilliant idea.
    Any hopes you could include a holographic screen?
    Lol,I am serious, because this will lower the cost since we don’t need to buy a monitor.

    As captain Piccard was saying: Make it so, Number One!
    So you guys go boldly where no one went ever before!

    Have fun all of you,

  91. There’s no sign of a CD/DVD drive in the blurbs, so in doing the notebook price comparison exercise, it’s wise to budget another 40 pounds or so for a simple USB-powered one – especially if you don’t already have one.
    And thats another USB socket and its power output spoken for when you come to use it.
    Even if the makers did fit a drive, it would be a marketing headache these days because some people would now want blu-ray (player ?, writer ? it’s all 25 Gb after all), a few other people might still want 2-sided DVD writing, while many others would be satisfied with plain old combi CD and single-sided DVD capability for the time being.

  92. Very interesting. I would be more interested in pulling the trigger on this if there were two ethernet ports. I’d like the flexibility to use this as a net filter/ proxy / squid type box.

    Edit by Clem: CompuLab also sell “face modules”. i.e. you can change the 4 frontal USB ports for 4 ethernet ports for instance.

  93. mint777,

    no apology necessary. please don’t feel like i was calling you out, i just wanted a more clear explanation of your post, and that you did. thanks.

    clem: thanks again for your edit. you and the mint team should indeed be very excited about this device–as if you need further validation. even so, i still contend that this device isn’t really expensive comparitively speaking. it’s reasonable. i’ve been piecing together my own work stations for home use for going on 10 years now, and i always end up building another standard ATX platform, because of the price point. i get so much more for my money. but i’ve always been intrigued by building a tiny little box, and have built many of them in my mind. they always come out rather pricey. sure, i can build one for less than 200.00, but i begin cutting lot’s of I/O (not just USB), and there’s just not enough machine for what i want. you’ve managed to pack an awful lot in this unit, and leaving the subjectivity of looks out of the discussion, it should prove extremely functional for lots of users.

    i look at it this way: a brand new Rolls Royce goes for $300,000.00. suppose i find a brand new one for $200,000.00. that represents a huge value right? i still can’t afford it, but in the realm of RR, it’s a bargain.

    the mint box is not a bargain, but relatively speaking, it represents a decent value. some still can’t afford it, but that doesn’t make it unreasonably priced. i would love one, but my flower shop expenses would increase dramatically i’m afraid.

  94. Finally a computer with Mint pre installed. I’m no marketing major, so take this for what its worth, but they should have the basic model cost $300 and the pro cost $400. Perhaps even less than that or offer deals to those whom purchase multiple boxes.

  95. Great news! I hope we will have soon these pc’s with Mint also in in Germany. And if the the price really is 1€ = 1,25 $ then people have great choice to have fine laptops with

    mintBox Basic: 380 €
    mintBox Pro: 439 €

  96. this is great. Hope this is a success for the Mint team !!!
    Price seems to be a issue for some, but I think the forum
    factory of this unit is worth the extra bucks. I have a Mac
    mini, that I replaced an older self built windows box with.
    I really like the forum factor and silent operation of the mini.
    Sounds like the Mintbox will be on par with the Mac mini
    in that respect.
    I have Mint 13 Cinamon installed on my gaming rig. I still run win7
    on it because I use iracing and for Netflix, but other than that
    Mint 13 replaces win7 for me.I think Mint13 is the best distro
    out there,and I’m really enjoying it.

  97. Though they are both dual core, they seem a little behind the speed curve for what they claim they can do.
    What am I missing here?

  98. As soon as I can afford one I will own one for more than several reasons. Mint is keeping me running right now with “11” on my old H&P with dual 2.2 windosn’t won’t even run on it, can’t even find hardware!
    Than you Mint!

  99. For all of you who keep asking the price of these units, just READ THE ARTICLE! Under the bottom photo, it says, “The mintBox is available in two versions” and it gives you the prices. Just read it.

  100. Absolutely brilliant idea, but it’s WAY TOO EXPENSIVE. And you still have to add an external hard drive, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. And I hate Cinnamon. Why not have a Mate version?

    Edit by Clem: We’re talking to CompuLab about this. At the moment the unit comes with Linux Mint 13 MATE with XMBC and ATI drivers.

  101. I came over to visit linuxmint since Win has their Win8. Haha, you are on my mind, which is a good thing.

    Saw the mintBox. It is a good & creative idea. I loved to have one with all the connectivity & quiet fanless design but a bit too pricey for me. If I have the money, sure, I’ll get one. Just to support you guys & for the cool form factor 🙂

    Keep it up.

  102. Whats more impressive, is that according to Moore’s law, this box could be the size of a coin in 10 years.

    Also, soon the SSD prices should go low enough to allow the HDD to be replaced without a major impact to the price tag. Which would allow for an even smaller box.

  103. @Gary: Ditto! Running Mint 11 on a home-made ‘puter w/dual 1.4GHz CPUs — and couldn’t be happier. When it dies, I might buy a “mintBox”, but not before. Too bad Mint 11 isn’t a long-term release :-[

  104. ROFL, you fail!

    glxgears is NOT a benchmark. Those 60FPS are most likely caused by VSync and represent the refresh rate of your attached monitor/tv.

    Edit by Clem: They do indeed.

  105. Is there a typo? There’s 8 USB ports total.. but on the “Here’s an exhaustive list of its extremely rich I/O:” it lists “2 USB3 ports + 2 USB2 ports”…. shouldn’t it be “2 USB3 ports + 6 USB2 ports”?

    Edit by Clem: That’s what the specs say on the CompuLab website. I have the box here though and I can confirm there are 4 at the front and 4 at the back.

  106. Серьёзно надеетесь на цену в 600$? Умоляю, более адекватную цену.
    600$ грубо говоря у нас 18000 рублей. За эти деньги можно и купить почти топовый ноутбук, и собрать \ купить топовый компьютер. А уж тем более купить лучший нетбук или неттоп (что вы и предлагаете), а потом уже установить на это Mint. А нехватка USB преспокойно лечится их докупкой, т.к. от затрат на вышеперечисленное еще останется. А вот мощность всего этого перекроет ваше устройство.
    P.S. Мой ноутбук (ему уже 3 года) стоил мне 16000 рублей, примерно 485$. И он на голову выше нэттопа. Про обычный mintBOX я вообще умалчиваю.
    \\Really hoping for a price of $ 600? Please, more appropriate price. $ 600 roughly speaking we have 18,000 rubles. For that money can buy, and almost a top notebook, and collect \ buy a top-end computer. And even more so buy the best netbook or nettop (and what you offer), and then install it on the Mint. A lack of USB calmly cured of their buy-as of the cost of the above still remain. But all this power overrides your device.
    P.S. My notebook (he is 3 years) cost me 16,000 rubles, about $ 485. And he is head and shoulders above nettop. About the usual mintBOX I did hold back.

  107. I think it is a great idea. I am wondering if it can be battery operated, which would make it portable with the new role up keyboards. If I had the money I would surely purchase one for one of my friends. I think it’s awesome. I also don’t like tablets and I especially don’t like devices with keys so small my fingers easily push the wrong key. It is already wifi compatible and if it can use a battery that would make it a great choice for coffee shops etc. Mint 13 Cinnamon is fast and beautiful and highly functional. I can’t wait to see what mint 13 kde will be like, and I am will really be excited when mint team creates a very user friendly rolling distro debian kde, and even more excited when they create a form of KDE that is as intuitive to use as their cinnamon. Mark my words we can expect more and more amazing things from linuxmint. That is why I give my small recurring donation, and I hope others will do the same. Regarding politics, I think that ignoring that and creating better communication and great OSes that are free for the poorest in any nation, including all middle eastern countries and beyond, puts LinuxMint on pretty high ground. Communication helps meet needs, meeting needs is love. What better way today to love our world and humanity than to contribute to the hard working folks at Linux Mint? Quarrelling and war aren’t good communication, they are a lack of it. Perhaps when all the people of the world can see and chat with each other more, we will find our common human ground and embrace all the children of the world with the greatest hug we can give them: World Peace.

  108. MintBox is a wonderful thing.But I have questions to ask:1.Can it support to upgrade itself to linux mint 14、15…… and to exchange itself to win7?2.Why is it not sold in China?3.Can it support peripheral DVD player?

    Edit by Clem: Yes, like all Mint systems it can be upgraded, but we do recommend fresh installs though (that’s our policy, we do not promote APT upgrades, read Windows can be installed alone or in a multi-boot. It can support any external device via the ports described in the review.

  109. I’m going to buy one if for no other reason than to see how the HDMI audio is setup (in both Mint and XBMC) once the ATI drivers are installed. I have 8 Mint machines (running either 12 and Maya Mate) in my house and not one will put out HDMI through XBMC, regardless of trying every single approach in every forum I could find. Looking forward to getting the MintBox!

  110. ati radeon card? why not nvidia which could use vdpau for hardware video decoding so that 1080p wouldn’t be an issue???

  111. i think that the box will be more pro if it ‘had a SSD installed instead of a traditional HDD. there are cheap ssd’s in the market and a 64 GB (MLC) is enough for most users. it will raise the price of the unit by 50-100$, but it will work faster and it will survive much longer.

  112. Very nice looking piece of hardware, and I luv the fact that it’s AMD based, but I feel it needs to more around the $300US-$350US range to be a hit, I would also like to see a Mint branded 10in AMD netbook around the $275US-$375US. 😉 I say this cause like a lot people these days, we are on a budget, and just don’t have the money for something like this, and just to let you know, I just built myself a nice little MiniITX HTPC(runs Mint13 mate 64bit) with an AMD Hudson board w/4GB ram, for about 1/2 the price of the basic version of this machine, which is near silent except for the one exhaust fan, HDD, and DVD-RW drive, and before anyone says something about the size of my system, it allows me to add a low profile GPU as an upgrade down the road, if I ever need the computer for more then media content. I’m sorry guys, but again it’s just too expensive, but I do support you guys with what little small donations I can give, and I also rock LinuxMint stickers on the lid of my Netbook so everyone knows what OS I use. 🙂

  113. Dudes! I’ll by it when i’m going change my notebook. It’ll be pretty soon, i think (after reeding ALL THIS Oo). Its price quite reasonable and possibilities are very wide! Good by my old d-link dir-300 wi-fi router! 8) Best thing ever!

  114. Can any one tell me if this can run windows? I could care less about linux.

    I need a small windows pc and this looks like it could fit the bill, well besides it being linux.

    email me back at Major.Roboto(at)

  115. Looks great. I see many folks are looking for reasons not to buy one i.e. made in wrong country, wrong processor, too much too little memory, wrong number of ports and probably wrong color!! I think it’s a good start and if I had the money I would be holding one!

  116. I just upgraded to A75 board and AMD A6-3500 installed mint 13 (cinnamon) with the fglrx driver. There was alot of tearing but eternal lands ran at 125 fps in comparison nvidia gt240 card ran 164fps also xbmc would crash. After installing mate desktop tearing no longer an issue and installed an xvba build of xbmc runs much better with no problem playing 1080P HD movies.

    If you have wait for refresh rate to always on then glxgears fps will just match that of your monitor/tv

  117. I am coming to this conversation a little late but I would still like to comment that I am really excited about this. I my not understand who the intended market is for the mintBox but I have always wanted a way to hook a computer up to my TV but never had the space or an excuse to do it. It looks like this might give me both. I can run an Ethernet cable to the TV and it looks like this should work. At the moment the only thing keeping me from ordering it is that I want to make sure I can get Mint 13 Mate 64bit with the HDMI fully working. I just want to plug this configuration into my TV and know that I don’t have to mess with it for 5 year. I know that this is being looked into so I am patiently waiting to find out if it comes this way or, if not, there are some clear instructions or a special ISO of Mint or a way to get the drivers and make it work. Again, I hope we will have a clear way of getting Mint Maya 13 MATE 64bit with HDMI fully working and all the Codecs, etc. for media. Once I know for sure that I will be able to get this configuration one way or another I will be all over this.

  118. You can easily test fluidity of playback of HD material on YouTube– right-click one of the videos, choose Show Video Info. It’ll show the FPS and # of dropped frames.

    For a clean test, switch the video in HD fullscreen as soon as possible, since the data is for the whole time it has been playing.

  119. Shoe..I only mostly see negative remarks. My moto is if you don’t like don’t buy. (and walk along)… If its for you. Stay a while and enjoy.

    I have been using Mint for a while now, and would still like to learn more and more. You can not even compare it with windows. The best is to change install and use. That’s the only way. If you keep on comparing, you will forever be C O M P L A I N I N G……. Well done Mint Team..

  120. @Zed Nemeth (139)

    According to the owners manual, it’s a mini serial port located on the back just above the first set of usb ports. Will require a separate cable for standard DB9 stuff.

  121. Seems good for Linux Mint and its users. Brilliant step, Mr.Clem. Utility wise it will gain popularity. Good wishes.

  122. mintBox Pro would be a good choice for much less money.
    I think it’s worth not more than 300 USD.

    For 630 USD with shipping and tax? It’s a joke.

    I bought this laptop for just 450 USD with tax, vat, and free shipping.
    Lenovo ThinkPad E325
    13 inch 1366×768 antiglare screen,
    AMD E450 1,65GHz,
    Radeon HD 6320
    8GB RAM,
    320GB 7200rpm HDD

    Linux Mint 13 Maya working out of the box!

  123. Looks great, I like how you’ve taken advantage of size and shape to get some separation between the wifi antennae… reminds me of some wireless routers I’ve seen!

    I may buy one at some point, but I just spent a bunch of cash building a nice new computer already, and I tossed out the packaging for all the parts, so I can’t return them.

    To all the people who’ve posted so far calling it a rip-off, because the price is what it is, I say this: the term ‘rip-off’ is unfair and insulting. The reason some companies can offer similar-seeming systems with vaguely comparable specifications for less money is due in large measure to economies of scale. The MintBox is a specialty computer in that there are relatively few computers on the market that come preinstalled not only with Linux, but with a specific distro, and which are moreover custom built and tuned to work in harmony with that particular collection of components. I think it’s great that they managed to work-around having to have a bunch of noisy fans (the only thing I don’t much like about the computer I just built… it gets noisy when it gets hot… the price of power, I suppose…)

    The people who spent the time engineering a new product, testing it, QA’ing it, doing the marketing, etc. etc. et… cetera… deserve to get PAID, they’re not slaves nor volunteers – remember you’re buying HARDWARE, not the software on it. The hardware itself isn’t free, and as a new to market product for which they probably anticipate relatively small demand (despite the fact that it may well be superior in every respect, I don’t see the MintBox outselling the Mac, etc.) the price is going to be a little higher than it might as time rolls on.

    The price of most things falls once the start selling like hot-cakes. The price for a new Commodore 64 was I think around 600 dollars in the US when they first introduced them, and I think they were going for less than 200 each when the C-128 came out, despite inflation making those dollars worth even less as time went on. It’s the nature of the business, going back to well before the 1980’s…

    It would be worth it at twice the price, you stingy jerks to support a manufacturer producing a computer for which you don’t have to pay the Misro$oft or crApple tax!

    Anyway, if you feel there isn’t enough value to justify the price, don’t buy it! It’s a free country… but hurling insults at what looks to me to be a technological work of art, a silent, sexy, little machine which you can buy and be free of M$ and Intel, (as it seems to be Intel-free… if I read the blog-post right) is in bad taste. I think it’s well worth it, but even if you disagree, as good as calling the people offering it for sale thieves is just sad. (If you say someone is trying to rip someone else off, you’re basically calling him a thief, yes.) You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    (…and no, I am not a shill, nor connected with the manufacturer or the Mint people in any way, today is the first I heard of it, and then only because I am in the middle of installing LinuxMint 13-Maya, and was reading the release notes, etc. while waiting for it to finish.)

    I look at it the same way as I do at my choice to go to the neighborhood grocery store, rather than the big-box megastore just down the street from it, for my fresh fruit and veggie needs, because I know they’re already operating on razor-thin profit margins, and I don’t want to contribute to their going out of business, by buying from someone who undercuts them because they sell zucchini, women’s undergarments, off-road motorcycle/ATV helmets, live feeder fish, rifles, car tires, and hair coloring agents all in the same 10 acre store!

    I don’t begrudge them making a few dollars for their trouble either. If they were selling these things at cost of parts, it would imply that their time is worthless, and they’ve clearly put some time and effort and thought into the design of this thing. Do YOU work for free?!?

    If I had a question for the manufacturer, it would I suppose be how much power it uses, is it able to run without modification on 110V, 60Hz AC, (does it have an external PS brick?) how long does it take to boot? Is it able to be mounted upside-down, or will that screw up the heat dissipation? (Reason I ask is that the Mac Clear (or whatever they called it, the one in the acrylic cube… also a gorgeous machine, though I’d never buy anything from crApple, I don’t like how they pretend to be one thing, when they’re obviously something else… just ask anyone who works for them!) had no fan, but I think it had to be oriented just so for the air to cool it correctly).

    Also, where do they ship from?

    Lastly, how does the processing power compare to x86 family based computers, for the regular and pro MintBoxes? I had a Toshiba Netbook and put Linux on it; it worked but it was often sluggish, I think that was just because the processor and memory were barely enough to run Linux and X, etc.

    I’ll check back and try to figure out how I can justify buying another computer at this point because I’d love to be able to support anyone making an alternative computer that doesn’t come with garbage from M$ or crApple… the new IT duopoly…

  124. @ Misaraty: 1. I don’t think it’s different from computers with Linux Mint here.
    3. You can use a USB DVD drive, for example a Samsung one – they work very well with Linux.
    I don’t know about 2., maybe clem can answer that.

    @akashtaker001: The computer has no built-in Blu-ray drive. You can use a USB drive but I don’t know how well Linux can play Blu-ray discs.

    I’m missing a VGA or DVI port for compatibility the old monitors here (that only support analog signal), apart from that it looks like a great computer.

  125. Huge Mint fan here – I’m totally intrigued by this device. Perhaps a bit pricey but this is a V1.0 product and has a lot of potential. Would love a “bare-bones” version. And I especially like that 10% of the price goes back to the Mint community. Well done.

  126. @ DaveB (comment 105): Both gigabit ethernet and RS232 (a mini port above the USB ports) are not USB devices. The ethernet is a Realtek RTL8111D PCIe chip, the RS232 is a normal /dev/ttyS0 COM port.

  127. So the big question is, is this device of the MintBox Pro, available in the UK – England – working on an Alternating Current of 240 Volts AC, and if so what will the price be in British Sterling Pounds? Ta very much! Hugo

    Edit by Clem: Yes. It works with 100-240V AC. For the price and to calculate shipping, try to checkout on the compulab website.

  128. is it plug and play for a webcam to use it with skype?

    Edit by Clem: There is no webcam in the mintBox. If you plug one in it, it depends on the webcam itself whether things will work out of the box or not, like with any other PC.

  129. Congratulations Clem for innovative ideas and excellent partnerships to take Mint forward on the path of brand building and doing every bit to prove it to be the best Linux Distro ever. Thanks and wish you every success in all your endeavors. In future if my budget permits, I’d definitely try mintbox. I’m extremely satisfied with LMDE so far.

  130. Looks great, nice specs. With a fold-out keyboard and your own or a client’s projector, this would be a great addition to a briefcase for impromptu presentations. Love the fact that you can open it, if necessary.

  131. I have similar capabilities to mintBox in Acer netbooks — quiet operation and quite decent performance in a small form factor (including a nice resolution monitor and a nice sized keyboard in the 11.6″ netbooks).

    All I have to add is a mouse. (I find touchpads interfere with productivity — speed of text and image editing.) No need to add
    monitor and disk drive(s) and keyboard.

    And the price range of netbooks is $250 to $350 depending mostly on disk drive size and CPU. There are both Intel and AMD CPU options.

    Furthermore, the 11.6″ and 10.1″ netbooks are super portable — only about 3 pounds (including a battery).

    I use my netbook(s) in front of the TV or at the kitchen table. And
    I have my non-portable desktop for ‘heavy-duty’ development work
    — with larger monitor and larger keyboard.

    The 11.6″ netbooks have been overwhelmed by all the fuss about iPads.
    I have tried iPads but the experience is so constrictive compared to
    Debian-based Linux distros. Everything on current pad OSes seems to be aimed toward guiding the user to paying another $35 (or more) per month for another ‘service’. The pad-experience is just too restrictive and expensive.

    So I am an 11.6″ netbook fan, and I pity the iPad users who have not
    had the pleasure of running Ubuntu 9.10 or Linux Mint 11 on a netbook.
    That said …

    I cannot see buying a mintBox at $550 (still needing monitor and disk-drive and keyboard) when I can get an 11.6″ netbook
    for about $300 equipped with everything I need, except a mouse.

    For those who want to try Linux Mint on a netbook, I have documented my experience (workarounds) on installing Linux Mint 11 on an Acer
    11.6″ netbook at

    I will be trying Linux Mint 13 and LMDE on some 11.6″ netbooks in the near future. Thanks, Clem, for all your good work. And thanks for working closely with the MATE project. I LOVE the Nautilus Scripts capability and it looks like MATE is my best bet for being able to continue using that capability in the future.

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