MintBox Mini 2

The MintBox Mini just got better again!

Based on the Compulab Fitlet2, the new Mini is just as small as the original MintBox Mini and the MintBox Mini Pro but with much better specifications, better performance and a few more features.

The top heatsink is slightly taller than before for the all-metal black housing to provide better passive cooling for the upgraded specs. The small size of the unit is still very impressive. Here it is next to a cup of coffee:

You just can’t get used to how small it is.

Just as before, the unit is completely silent and it has no fans or moveable parts. It’s also dust and humidity resistant and designed to operate at the full industrial temperature range of -40°C to 85°C. The warranty from Compulab is the same as before: an unconditional 5 years.

The dual-band antennas and the kensington lock moved to the right side. The front of the unit provides two USB 3.0 ports, audio and micro jacks and a microSD slot.

The front also has two LEDs, which can be Green, Orange, Green and Orange or which can be turned OFF. This is done via GPIO. If you know how to program or you’re OK with bash scripting, you’ll be able to take full advantage of this and use these LEDs as indicators (for incoming emails, internal core temperature, updates available… etc).

At the back we find the following ports: two USB 2.0, two Gigabit Ethernet, RS232 serial port, HDMI 1.4 (4K@30Hz) and mini-DP 1.2 (4K@60Hz).

The previous MintBox Mini had 5 USB ports but only one USB 3.0 port at the front and one at the back. While the USB 2.0 ports at the back can be used for static devices such as a printer, a mouse or a keyboard, it’s really convenient to have the faster USB 3.0 ports at the front for external storage devices.

The two Ethernet ports are side by side now. That’s a plus if you’re connected to two LAN networks or if you use the unit as a router or a network appliance. No more CAT5 cables connecting on the side.

Display connectivity was given a boost. The maximum resolution via HDMI is higher than before, and the replacement of the second HDMI port with a Mini DisplayPort makes the unit more versatile and allows it to connect to more than 2 monitors.

Inside the unit, an Intel 8260 chipset provides WiFi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2.

The RAM is upgradeable to 16GB. Similar to previous MintBox and Compulab devices, it’s really easy to open the unit.

 

The CPU is a quad-core Apollo-Lake Intel Celeron J3455 with embedded Intel HD Graphics 500.

This is a great architecture and it gives the MintBox Mini 2 a significant boost in performance over the MintBox Mini Pro and the original MintBox Mini. Here’s a comparison of the Geekbench 4 scores for the three units running an Alpha version of Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon 64-bit:

 

 

The BIOS will feature a Linux Mint splash screen to integrate nicely with the rest of the boot sequence.

Two configurations will be available: The “MintBox Mini 2” and the “MintBox Mini 2 Pro”.

The “MintBox Mini 2” will replace the “MintBox Mini” at roughly the same price:

MintBox Mini MintBox Mini 2
SSD 64GB 64GB
RAM 4GB 4GB
CPU A4-Micro 6400T Intel Celeron J3455
Graphics Radeon R3 (dual HDMI) Intel HD Graphics 500 (HDMI+miniDP)
Ethernet Gigabit Dual Gigabit
Wireless 802.11n Dual-band 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2
Price $295 $299

 

The “MintBox Mini 2 Pro” will replace the “MintBox Mini Pro” at a cheaper price:

MintBox Mini Pro MintBox Mini 2 Pro
SSD 120GB 120GB
RAM 8GB 8GB
CPU A10-Micro 6700T Intel Celeron J3455
Graphics Radeon R6 (dual HDMI) Intel HD Graphics 500 (HDMI+miniDP)
Ethernet Gigabit Dual Gigabit
Wifi Dual-band 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0 Dual-band 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2
Price $395 $349

 

The MintBox Mini 2 and the MintBox Mini 2 Pro will ship with Linux Mint 19.

They’re expected to be available Worldwide along with the release of Linux Mint 19, around June 2018.

197 comments

  1. Can’t really figure out how the mint team manages these hardware thing along side naintaing their os project. Wishes from a fan from India.

  2. I just hope the availability will be better this time. I’m planning to replace my desktop PC with Mintbox and I’d be disappointed if the product was out of stock after a few weeks / months. Please keep us updated 🙂

    1. Hi Michal,

      Stocks will be limited. That said, Compulab is expecting to produce and sell twice as many units for the Mini 2 than they did for the Mini Pro.

    1. Many people have a MiniDP to VGA adapter for use with Mac computers – I suppose these work for the MintBox as well, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get an adapter.

  3. Hm that Celeron is nowhere near as fast as this geekbench might make it look like. And in Cinebench the old Amd A10 is as fast as the new Celeron, and after meltdown bugfixes applied AMD might even be way faster.
    Better wait for some Ryzen based embedded Cpu they will be out soon.
    BTW Linux Mint has stability problems with atom CPUs.

    1. Sounds like a whole bunch of FUD from an AMD fanboi.
      Do you have any sources to cite these “stability problems on Atom CPUs”. How about some bug reports?

    2. The problem with your Atom is likely caused by a different motherboard – this unit has been tested with Mint by its manufacturer, no other computer manufacturer does that.

    3. @Guillermo i wrote the A10 in mintpox pro ist as fast as the celeron and has a lower tdp, and compared to geekbench, cinebench does bench the cpu and not bullshit.

      @Albert J. P.10 no every Atom since cherry trail is affected and I administer around 20 diferent Atom based thin clients running Mintand KDE-Neon. There are even Kernel fixes adressing the issue. The workaround is disabeling power management and most likely this will be the case here, too.

    4. Hi,

      You’re right about the benchmark. The Geekbench results show a speed increase for the CPU. To test the GPU itself, we need to use another benchmark. Cinebench doesn’t run in Linux, so we used glmark2. Here are the scores we’re getting: MintBox Mini Pro (AMD A10) = 606, MintBox Mini 2 Pro (Intel HD Graphics 500) = 576. As you can see the Intel GPU gets a lower score than the AMD one, but it’s not that significant. To put things in perspective and compare these scores to a gamer desktop, here is the score we get on the Airtop (NVIDIA GTX 1060) = 10698.

      Now in terms of stability, it’s important to know what we’re talking about. There have been niche issues with newer Intel chipsets (not just Atom) using the outdated Intel driver (xserver-xorg-video-intel). In Mint 19, the default driver for this chipset is the modesetting one.

      Whether you look at the much higher CPU score or the slightly lower GPU score, overall, it’s pretty clear the MintBox Mini 2 Pro feels faster than its predecessor, and that’s with both of them running Cinnamon, a GPU-rendered desktop environment. Another thing you notice almost immediately is how cool the new unit stays.

    5. @nx6
      https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=109051
      your bugreport, you could have easily found it yourself so why bother talk to me only to accuse me falsely of spreading FUD
      https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Celeron-J3455-vs-AMD-A10-Micro-6700T-APU/2875vs2520

      And here a Benchmark of both CPUs and they are practically the same with a much better Tdp for AMD.

      And you get passive cooled AMD-based PCs similar to the Mintbox for a 100 bucks from Aliexpress, just search AMD mini pc

    6. We’re not qualified to say whether Geekbench is a better or a worse benchmark than any other, and certainly not to compare it to something which doesn’t run in Linux. Now, we can say something for sure, the Mini 2 Pro handles Mint 19 Cinnamon better than the Mini Pro and it does feel faster and snappier. The Geekbench results go that way, so do our observations.

      Here’s a quick test. We told three of our units to compile CJS master (the Cinnamon Javascript interpreter):

      – Airtop (Intel Core i7-5775C): 2 min 12s
      – Mini 2 Pro (Intel Celeron J3455): 4 min 52s
      – Mini Pro: 6 min 54s

      Of course the Mini is aimed at desktop usage, not software compilation, video editing or 3D gaming. As such the differences between the A10 and the Celeron, whether it’s in CPU or GPU performance, aren’t significant when compared to dedicated gaming or dev full-size machines. It’s not what matters the most here. Still, with all that said, the Celeron does have a clear edge over the A10 in terms of CPU and overall perf.

      If you look at the gaps from Geekbench, glmark and that compilation time, you see that the CPU score went up by 70%, the GPU score is down by 5% and the compilation time was reduced by 30%. These are all numbers and only numbers, the new unit does handle better though. At the same price (actually the new unit is cheaper in Pro specs), and given the choice between the two, even without the connectivity improvements, there is no hesitation as to which unit is better. The new Celeron based MintBox Mini 2 Pro is a clear improvement over the previous AMD A10-based MintBox Pro.

    7. I use both Intel and AMD so can go either way but for versatility, AMD APU IGP can do Cemu emulation which Intel IGP cannot. An AMD Ryzen R3 2200G/R5 2400G APU option would be nice. Either way it’s a great looking box running my go-to Linux distro. Congrats!

  4. Full industrial temperature range of -40°C to 85°C.
    I do remember complaints about the previous MintBox slowing down considerably, as the temperature rose above 62°C, that was the dealbreaker for me. Wonder how thjis one will fare at higher temperatures.

    1. Hi Peter,

      We can run some tests for you if you want. We’ve got all three units here. Let us know how/what you’d like us to check.

      Note that Compulab devices have a security mechanism so they’ll switch themselves off if they get to hot. That means you can experiment with configuring thermald differently, or even removing it to prevent any throttling mechanisms.

    2. @PeterJvM
      MintBox Mini 2 thermal design is significantly better than the 1st Mini. It’s visually obvious by the external ribs, but there are also many changes on the inside, incl. dedicated cooling plate for the SATA SSD.
      It is nearly impossible to get it to throttle at ambient room temperature.

    3. Hi Peter,

      Here’s a quick test. With Mint 19 Cinnamon 64-bit, both the Pro and the Pro 2 run at roughly 37C at idle. We launch a youtube video in Firefox, a 1080p movie in MPV, a heavy PDF magazine in xreader, LO writer and the sysmonitor.

      The Pro struggles a bit at the beginning (not very noticeable but you do see a few slow downs with the cursor while applications are being launched) and then it’s smooth again. That use case settles at around 50% CPU usage on the 4 cores on avg and the temperature reaches 54C. It feels warm to the touch but not too hot..

      The Pro2 doesn’t show any signs of slow down when setting up the same apps/videos. The 4 cores reach an avg of about 40% usage and the temperature raises to about 40C. We can make it raise to 50C by moving the youtube/mpv videos around the screen and changing their sizes. The heatsink feels a little warm but not as much as with the Pro version.

      I’m not sure this demonstrates anything. There’s a visible difference in performance when launching the apps though and in how warm they feel when touching the heatsinks. It’s not night and day, but it’s visible.

    4. The main problem I had was, when I was living in Turkey, some friends bought the Pro version and used them in the summer at room temperatures around 45°C theyexpected to be able to do this because of these specs.
      Pretty soon the mintboxes began to get really hot and slowed down or switched off.
      My next use would be building a pro2 in a campervan and travel to Turkey in summer, would it be possible at all to run the box if the temperature in the van would be near 50°C, if so this would be an ideal box for these kind of purposes.

  5. Sabem em dizer se também irão disponibilizar para o Brasil… Pois seria muito interessante se pudessem enviar para nosso país.

    1. Google Translate yields (with a bit of fiddling): “They know to say if they will also make it available [in] Brazil … well, it would be very [appreciated] if they could send it to our country.”

      I’ve not seen any reference to shipping to South American countries except via the US … but perhaps someone will surprise us.

    1. Compulab will sell them on their website and probably also on Amazon (US, DE, UK). We’ll link to them and announce them again when they’re available (around June 2018).

  6. I’m a newbie here at Mint and just as green as its UI at Linux OS’s. I switched to Linux Mint Cinnamon just 3 months back after having used Windows my whole life. Since I’m not very skilled with computers or software and I thought Linux was hard to learn and to use, I thought I was doomed to keep on supporting Microsoft and all the EVIL that stands behind it. And when windows 10 (the Antichrist) was the only compatible windows with my new machine, I panicked (had missed to look this up beforehand). Then I found Mint and realized that it’s freaking awesome! And so is this tiny computer! Thank you for saving me from the evil Microsoft Empire. I mean, even a simpleton like myself can use it! Also you actually learn, like computer stuff, from using it! 3 months in and I already beginning to feel like a pro Hacker! Just wanted to share that.

    1. Thanks and welcome to Linux.

      We all love Linux around here and we really enjoy using it. That’s not to say Windows is bad or Microsoft evil though. What we have in common is what we enjoy, we don’t need to point the finger anywhere.

      Since you’re new, let us point to this also, in case it helps: https://linuxmint.com/documentation.php. Enjoy your first steps with Linux 🙂

    1. It would be cool, in theory, to go with Ryzen. But the least powerful Ryzen chip, the laptop-oriented 2200U, is a huge bump up in performance compared to the previous Mintbox processor (A4-Micro 6400T) and even a huge bump up over the new one (Celeron J3455).

      https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/AMD-A4-Micro-6400T-APU-vs-Intel-Celeron-J3455-vs-AMD-Ryzen-3-2200U/2413vs2875vs3152

      As such, I assume it would bring the overall price up a lot to get a Ryzen CPU or APU in the Mintbox.

      I think there may be an appropriate, recent chip from AMD, but sadly I can’t see how to fit Ryzen in at this price point unless the other components of the computer are all dirt cheap.

    2. Not saying it’s impossible, but as you can see at my link, the current Ryzen chips are designed to use a lot more power than A4 6400T or J3455 (a spec of relevance in and of itself for some people with these mini PCs), and because of the higher power usage, they are harder to cool effectively. Cramming it into a fanless enclosure may not bring out the best in a current-gen Ryzen chip, and it would probably slow its performance down to keep from over-heating.

      So it could probably be done, but current Ryzen chips don’t seem like an ideal choice for this particular product. Soon, maybe, as they release new chips. That’s my opinion, anyway.

    3. Okay, so I want to post an update/correction, if anyone is still reading this. I’m much less certain than before whether current-gen Ryzen is or isn’t suitable for MintBox. I also now realize that I don’t know what I’m talking about, given there are some key data points I don’t have (cost, and thermal performance for all these chips). Would love to have that info, since I’m a bit of a CPU specs nerd. Full comment below:

      I remembered Ryzen laptop chips have “configurable Thermal Design Power” (cTDP), meaning you can set the performance to a certain thermal/power-draw target at the factory. That range is from 12 watts to 25 watts. (Not a fixed 15 watts like cpubenchmark.net says; 15 watts is just the default TDP.) [footnote 1]

      At the lower cTDP (12W), that’s only two watts TDP more than the new Intel Celeron chip (10W). Not sure if those extra two watts worth of heat cause problems or not in this case, but that sounds like a question for Compulab to answer, not me.

      Re: Ryzen Embedded… I can only look at the specs, but I admit I am out of my depth here commenting on that, since I don’t know much about it.

      I can say that the cTDP of lower-powered Ryzen Embedded is the same as Ryzen for laptops (i.e. 12 to 25 Watts).[footnote 2] So if Ryzen for laptops works in this fanless case, so should Ryzen Embedded.

      I can also say we have a pretty good hint the chips are available for a smallish-volume project like Mintbox: Ryzen Embedded is used in a nearly-finished Kickstarter campaign. The campaign is something called SMACH-Z, a handheld gaming-oriented PC project. (Looks like a chunky PSP-shaped thingy that runs Windows or Linux or whatever you want.) [footnotes 3 & 4]

      So if a newcomer company like SMACH Z can use Ryzen Embedded, maybe Compulab can use it too?

      I still want to know what it costs to put any of these chips (Ryzen, AMD FX, Intel Celeron…) into something like MintBox. And it would be great to know how all these chips perform thermally inside these fanless enclosures.

      If those questions were anwered, I could make a fair comparison, but I’m going to go ahead and admit I cannot make a fair or informed comparison. I wish I had more info.

      (A big part of my uncertainty is that these prices aren’t available to consumers, since the chips aren’t sold direct-to-consumer, only to OEMs. And I expect real-world testing is the only way to fill in the missing thermal performance info, so I’m not going to make any assumptions there. 12 watts sounds pretty workable, just off the top of my head, but I don’t have experience using fanless enclosures, so I’d rather just admit I don’t know than pretend to know.)

      Sources:
      [1] https://www.amd.com/en/products/apu/amd-ryzen-3-2200u
      [2] https://www.amd.com/en/products/embedded-ryzen-v1000-series
      [3] https://www.amd.com/en-us/press-releases/Pages/amd-launches-epyc-embedded-2018feb21.aspx
      [4] https://www.smachz.com/

  7. I am also not happy about the choice of CPU. The AMD Raven Ridge APU would be perfect if I should buy. Luckily it is easy to find alternatives.

  8. This is great news!!
    Do you already have a reseller in France? Do you know who it will be?
    I would love to pre-command it!!!
    Best

    1. Hi Neuro,

      Compulab usually sells to the EU market via Amazon.de. They’ll ship to France and without customs tax (in comparison to buying straight from Compulab).

  9. NICE!!! This is THE ONE! I’ve been waiting for this one a L–O–N–G time; I guess I can wait a few more months. It’ll give me time to get my shekels and denarii lined up; and it’ll give you time to make Mint 19 and the Mintbox Mini 2 a perfect pairing. (“… no pressure …”) I’d be willing to bet that plenty of other Linux users (of ALL flavors, not just Mint) have been waiting for just such a perfect pairing, too, to “put a little Mint in their life,” as it were.

    Do you know just how BIG this is going to be? (Of course you do!) Do the folks at CompuLab know? I hope that they do and are scaling up for a MUCH larger and more sustained production for these new Celeron J3455-based Mintbox Minis than they’ve had for earlier Minis in the past. I.M.H.O., “… twice as many units for the Mini 2 …” will not be nearly enough to take advantage of the demand for these beauties. A scale-up of 4x to 5x would probably be a safer bet. (As justification for this, read Michael Larabel’s recent article on the fitlet2’s performance [https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=compulab-fitlet-2&num=1]. His test unit was also a J3455 with 8GB RAM.) If you, and they, can make that happen, the World will become a Mintbox World (and maybe even “a better place,” at least for a while. But, again, “… no pressure …”). Is there any way the Linux Mint Team could — I don’t know — convey to the folks at CompuLab just how HUGE an opportunity this could be? Just a thought …

    And now, I’d better sign off. I’m starting to sense a stream of revised lyrics to the old song, “Put A Little Love In Your Heart,” [See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMj7UcjPZ0U%5D running through my mind — call it “Put A Little Mint In Your Life” — and we wouldn’t want a repeat of what happened with “Adagio” [See https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3418#comment-137723%5D now, would we?

  10. Genuine question, not criticism: Why do we still see USB2 ports?
    When USB2 came out, USB1 totally disappeared in a couple of years.
    USB3 has been around for 8 years and still USB2 won’t die. Why oh why?

    1. Some common wireless mouse dongles don’t work well in USB3 ports. I have a USB2 hub connected to my desktop for exactly this reason.

  11. The Mintbox looks intriguing. You didn’t mention exactly what it is or what it does, however. Small oversight. I assume it’s some sort of host for an X dumb(-ish) terminal, no?

    1. Sorry Erik,

      We focused on what changed since previous models.

      It’s basically a desktop computer. It’s much smaller than a mini tower of course, uses less power and doesn’t make any noise so it’s perfect for offices, open-spaces, libraries etc.. It’s also easy to bring with you and it can stay ON for hours, on the go, with fit-Uptime, so it’s perfect for people who like to commute and work with keyboards/mice/monitors (although less versatile, it’s a good alternative to having docking stations for a laptop).

      And last but not least, it’s cute 🙂

  12. It’s so small!! So what’s taking so long to put the internals of this thing into a laptop with a 3:2 aspect ratio:) Imagine an *official* Mint Laptop with complete (no fuss, rolling release) support. Make it so…

  13. There are serious problems with AMD’s Ryzen, some of which may be hardware and effectively un-fixable. Reports by CTS Labs have been backed up by AMD themselves, these problems are real.

    I don’t know what the best option would be, but I don’t think Atom is the way to go either 🙁

    1. Amd’s chip issues are not significant in the real world and AMD has said they are easy fixes that are being done right now. The layouts are done and the new wafers are being used today or will be within weeks. Also remember to exploit these issue you have to physical access to the computer. And if that is the case, you got bigger problems. No one is going to take the time to do these exploits when you can copy, damage, or walk off with the data… RYZEN+ chips are going to be fantastic. 🙂

  14. You know what I would /really/ like, for Linux Mint (not for hardware) would be an option with the exclusion of systemd.

    1. In theory, there is one; Ubuntu (at least the current version) allows one to switch between ‘systemd’ and ‘upstart’ with the use of certain configuration commands.

      In practice, there may be issues with Cinnamon; I understand that the latest Cinnamon requires a ‘systemd’ component to keep track of time (with the NTP daemon being removed). Perhaps Clem can clarify this point? I doubt that MATE or Xfce would have difficulties, however.

  15. I have a windows 10 home OS laptop 4GB with intel core i3 M330 @2.13 GH , 500 HDD,
    Model Hp pavilion 64 . It is slow and hanging .
    If I have to change OS to Linux Mint, Is it good and how to do it ?

  16. Guys i think that you should go wih Ryzen, this meltdown shit will slow down significantly intel cpus.

  17. The filet2 specs says “Programmable indicator LEDs” not GPIOs. If they were you should be able too hook up an i2c display, sensor boards or something more useful.

  18. This is just what I’ve been looking for. I’m presently dual booting macOS and Mint on my 2008 MacMini, and while it woks really well I’ve been looking for a dedicated Linux box, designed to run Linux. I had been looking at System76’s MeerKat Linux box, preloaded with Ubuntu, but now I’m going to get me a Mint Box.

  19. Is there any improvements coming for HiDPi support. I just bought a 4k monitor and I need some apps to run in double scaled mode and some to run hidpi. It would be nice to have a switch or to be able to right-click and select hidpi to launch.

    1. Hi,

      No, and that’s a limitation with Xorg. We currently support HiDPI automatically in Cinnamon (and probably in MATE also in Mint 19), at scales of 2x and 3x. We’re constantly working on improving that support in software applications (by moving to GTK3, away from PNG etc..) and in the desktop. Mint 19 will bring significant improvements over Mint 18.3 in that respect. That said, we can’t have different ratios per monitor, or per applications, not with Xorg anyway.

  20. Are you using Intel Ethernet ? They are much better as they offload much of the work form the cpu. Also, any chance we will see the embedded Ryzen chip version?
    Thanks. BTW HUGE fan!

  21. I am a user of Linux Mint last 7 years. I always dreamed about buying a mint box* variation. But I am a resident of India and have no dealers here selling such boxes. Purchasing from international market is too pricey ( As per Indian price standards.) that it need my nose & fingers to be given. So we are watching these boxes in the pictures and videos with with tremendous excitement & little frustration. My only hope is that a day will come when these boxes will be available with reasonable prices.

  22. Hi- Is it easily convertible to other OS’s or distros and also able to revert back to Mint 19 without imposing issues? Thanks for previous answer about video adapters.

    1. Hi Pat,

      Yes, it’s a PC. You can boot and install whatever you want on it, whether it’s different versions of Mint, Windows, other distributions, multiboot etc.. In terms of setup there’s nothing much to do, the Intel GPU runs modesetting by default in Mint 19.

  23. Sucks that Compulab abandoned AMD as the provider of the CPU in the Mintbox Mini.
    Especially with Ryzen CPUs cooming up. How about the Mintbox? If that one got the R5-2400G it would be an amazing little Linux gaming machine.

    1. @Pedro
      Compulab did not abandon AMD. MintBox history was AMD –> Intel –> AMD –> Intel.
      Since 2017 Intel had a solution that we found better for making the MBM2. No reason why there shouldn’t be a future AMD version (but not in 2018).

  24. Question: You talked about these units being mobile or going to the library. How does that work? I mean do you carry the unit and a Ethernet cable, power plug, and hdmi cable with you and then borrow a monitor? Or is there some kind of small flat screen you can carry? How does it work in a practical way? My birthday is in June, maybe I’ll reward myself. 😉

    1. Hi Bill,

      You can’t use them “on the go” without additional equipment (like you would a laptop). In other words, you need a mouse, a keyboard and a monitor. Their small size makes it easy to transport them and their low power consumption means you can plug them in to something like the fitUptime http://www.fit-pc.com/web/products/fit-uptime/ and keep them powered for hours. That can be handy to move them from one desk/room to the next without turning off, or from your home to your office.

    2. bill, exactly. Why should I replace my desktop, which is better, with just smaller MintBox Mini2? I did not found any purpose to do that.

  25. Do you know of any supported remote controllers (USB receiver) for this machine? I would like to buy one if I can connect remote to operate Kodi. Thank you

  26. IT WOULD LOOK MUCH BETTER WITH HEAT SINK (FINS) DOWN. CELERON IS A DISAPPOINTMENT. ANYWAY, WE DON’T GET IT IN INDIA!

    1. @sripada :
      It might look better (to your eyes) the other way up, but the heat sink will be more effective if it is on top. The designers are clearly aware of this.

    2. Agreed, now that it should be fixed underneath the table and upside down when looks dosen’t matter!

  27. The SSD is inside the Mint 2? Can I install Recalbox, a retrogaming system that based on na Raspbian Linux?

    1. Yes. You can install any i386 (x86) or amd64 (x86_64) operating system. You can dual boot too. I’m not sure the MintBox can boot from the SD card though, but you can burn the ISO to USB the same way and boot it from there.

    2. Raspbian runs on the ARM architecture, so i assume it doesn’t provide an i386 (x86) or amd64 (x86_64) image.

  28. “two gigabit ethernet” but where is it in the pictures? Is it them round holes in the center of the unit shown in your photos? I hope those are sockets for 3.5mm audio plugs, but if they are some kind of unknown to me ethernet sockets then seriously what is the point to make such tiny unit when dongles for standard plugs will take twice as much space around it… (yeah I would use HDMI to VGA too)
    And could you post photos of each and every side of the unit? All 3 pics above show the same side (back I assume)

    1. Yes. Supra:

      “Hi Neuro,

      Compulab usually sells to the EU market via Amazon.de. They’ll ship to France and without customs tax (in comparison to buying straight from Compulab).”

  29. I’m not disputing potential performance claims, I’m just not up-to-date with those to even try to confirm or deny; but that none of the computers I ever built used an Intel CPU is not an accident, and I have zero intentions to change that…

    1. “I have no idea what I’m talking about, I just haven’t got enough knowledge to even have an informed opinion; but I have an absolute opinion nevertheless, and I have no intention of opening my mind… (and I’m going to comment here to show how proud I am of this…)”

  30. Well.

    When a Mini-PC with Linux Mint and Minimum AMD APU 2200G is for sale, I will look into it.
    Intel Celeron is simply too weak for me.
    Intel I5 og I7 will work too, but price/performance?

  31. Can you confirm that this supports up to 16 GB of RAM? Intel’s Ark site for the J3455 says that it only supports up to 8 GB.

    1. J3455 supports 16 GB RAM even though ARK list 8 GB max. It’s not the first time memory controller capability is higher than listed. The same applies to MintBox Mini 1.

  32. I’m definitely interested in getting one no matter who has what to say about it. I’m almost a year in using Linux, I still don’t feel as comfortable as using any other mainstream OS but I don’t plan on going back to them anyways and yes Microsoft is evil, it’s very professional on your part to disagree with us.

  33. this looks very interesting!! any infos about the audio quality? is there an on board sound chip?
    off topic:
    I would LOVE! to have a linuxmint laptop with no fan and no moving parts, anyone knows if this is existing?

    1. @kris
      There is dedicated ALC886 codec with line-out/in/S/PDIF 7.1 (over copper, requires a cable sold separately) as well as HDMI / DP digital audio.

      We don’t intend to make a laptop, but we do experiment with a small touch screen (not yet a product) and we do have a small backup battery (fit-Uptime) that can keep MBM2 running for 2 hours or so.

  34. Just curious if there are any comparable benchmarks of Raspberry Pi Zero, Raspberry Pi 3, etc. to provide an apple-to-apple comparison of compute horsepower.

    Also curious if there are any adapter/breakout/daughter boards that provide connection of external PiHat or Arduino shield boards via a I/O connector pinout that is compatible with either of those ?

    I intend on sharing info on the new Mintbox mini/mini pro with my colleagues in regard to an internal IOT initiative.

    And, BTW, great job on partnering to get this industrial-grade hardware and Linux Mint Linux to work together!

    1. @John R.
      You can check Geekbench. MBM2 performance is about 4 times that of RPI 3.
      We are thinking about supporting hats / shields, no concrete plan yet.

    1. Hi Markus,

      You could in the previous models. In this one, although it’s still really easy to open up the box (it’s held by 4 regular screws), the SSD is stuck to a cooling plate to improve passive cooling. You can see what it looks like in the storage section at https://fit-iot.com/web/products/fitlet2/. Compulab might have more details on how easy/hard it is to replace the SSD.

  35. I just love Linux Mint – unfortunately I still have to have a Computer/Laptop that runs some Version of Windows. But the idea of this mini computer is awsome. I want and would buy, but not over Amazon – personal issues. So who would ship it to Germany? The named price is also very attractive – just think what a ‘normal’ computer costs – and shipped with windows. I do not “Game”, I just want a Linux computer that does what a computer should do – compute.

    1. Compulab will sell it Worldwide, but it will ship from Israel so compared to Amazon you’ll have to pay extra customs taxes as it enters the EU.

    1. … guess the answer is obvious. Just to make sure. And yes, this seems to be a great piece of hardware to run Linux at all. Will patiently wait till June arrives.

  36. Hi Linux Mint
    Thanks! This is what I was looking for. Nice workstation running LMDE. Love classic Debian that is with me since I can ever remember, almost day ‘0’, love LMDE! Hope that part of the price goes to the project so that we can keep it going strong.
    Thank you for your answer.

  37. I love the idea of a portable LM desktop but have a concern that with “no fans or moving parts” — how will this thing keep from melting? This is the first time I’ve heard of this. It’s like a Raspberry pi only this is a Mint Cake. I’m really hungry right now for some reason. Keep up the great work and innovations. Love you guys!

    1. Hi Ryan,

      The unit is made of metal. The casing acts as a heatsink. When the inside of the unit gets hot, that heat is conducted by the metal and the casing evacuates the heat outside. You can see the top of the unit maximizes the amount of surface between the metal and the air.

      Compulab is expert in passive cooling technologies, the latest models (the Airtop or the Mini 2) barely feel hot to the touch.

    2. This is not a new development. A few years ago a German company called Cirrus7 designed a desktop computer that is based on high-end laptop parts and the computer is completely fanless. They’ve put a lot of effort in designing of an aluminium casing that works as an elaborate heat dissipator.
      http://www.cirrus7.com/produkte/cirrus7-nimbus/overview
      I owe one of these and I love it! It makes absolutely no sound (it also sports SSD hard drive) and because it’s a sealed case it sucks no dust inside.

    3. The partnership between Compulab and Linux Mint started in 2012. All units have been silent and passively cooled from the start. This is what Compulab specializes in, they’ve been doing this for years. The concept isn’t new to us, the units keep getting better.

  38. you said “The MintBox Mini 2 and the MintBox Mini 2 Pro will ship with Linux Mint 19.” – but I’m interested in Mini Pro. Will the Mintbox Mini Pro ship with Linux Mint 19?

    1. Hi,

      The Mini Pro ships with Mint 18, but you can replace it with Mint 19 (or even upgrade to it). That said, assuming there’s still stock, I wouldn’t recommend to purchase a Pro anymore. The Mini 2 Pro despite being cheaper is better in terms of heat, performance and connectivity.

  39. This product was recently brought to my attention, so far overall, I am liking what I am seeing. I do have a few questions. First, what type of ram is being used? Secondly, I saw this in an earlier reply “It’s also easy to bring with you and it can stay ON for hours, on the go, with fit-Uptime” Is this in reference to running on battery power or is there a heat vs uptime in where it would need to be shut down for a period of time to cool down? My first thought when I saw the product was OOOOOOO mini server!!! Lastly, what’s the power supply? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi,

      Please check https://fit-iot.com/web/products/mintbox-mini2/mintbox-mini2-specifications/ for the detailed specs.

      Regarding fit-Uptime, it’s a little box which you plug in between the mintbox and the power adapter. It gathers power while powering the unit. If the power is lost, the unit continues to work as if nothing happens. The last time we tested fit-Uptime it was with the Mintbox Mini Pro and it could power the unit for hours (it’s not meant for that of course.. you’d still need to power your monitor as well, but it protects the unit and allows you to carry it somewhere else without powering it off if your power cut looks like it’s going to be a while).

  40. Nothing to say abuot the splendid technologies. I only have something to say about the new name of Mint 19 version: Tara. Tara in italian means defect, limit or something with little capacities 🙂

  41. Thank you for the overview and testing.

    Very interesting devices, few questions…

    1. Due to the cooling fins being located only on the upper surface (when unit is laid flat), is the underside constantly cool? Ask in connection with VESA mounting, also wonder if cooling would be further enhanced by the addition of small feet on the base plate?

    2. Please can you provide information about the supplied Mint 19 partition set-up for these new units, now Mint has switched to an Ubuntu 18.04 base, are you using a swap file by default, or still using a swap partition? Realise this can be changed afterwards, but hoping for the former.

    3. -40°C to 85°C is mentioned above, but (if looking at correct link) website seems to imply 0°C – 40°C operating temperature, maybe specifications on the website have been recently modified?
    https://fit-iot.com/web/products/mintbox-mini2/mintbox-mini2-specifications

    4. Will the units supplied PSU provide enough power for an external USB HDD, or is a separate power source required for external disk drives?

    Thank you in advance for replies. 🙂

    1. Hi Dave,

      2. The model we received shipped with 18.3 in OEM mode. We wiped it with 19 though as we wanted to test with the next version. I’m sorry we didn’t take note of the initial setup. Compulab might shed more light on this.
      3. Support for extreme temperatures is an option you can purchase during the order on many Compulab units. The -40C/85C was taken from the Fitlet2 specs. We’ll confirm with Compulab whether this is available as an option for the Mintbox Mini 4. Yes, it should. We used an external HDD (USB powered Toshiba 2TB HDD, DC 5V) to test the video playback. It was connected to one of the USB 3 ports, there was no issue with power.

    2. @Dave B
      1. There is good thermal coupling between all elements. The bottom is not hotter than the top. Rubber feet may reduce the touch temp slightly, but really not needed with MBM2.
      2. Partitioning will be coordinated between Linux Mint and Compulab SW team for optimal experience.
      3. 0 to 40C is a limitation for CE mark safety of metal-housing devices. MBM2 will not fail at higher ambient temperatures, but surface may be hot to touch.
      4. PSU is rated for 12V 3A. MBM2 would hardly exceed 15W so there is plenty of spare power.

  42. I am using the current MiniPro and am very happy with it. I installed the heat sink and appreciate the fact that the new model will have it as standard. I too would have preferred an AMD processor, since it includes ATI video. I would also prefer having the audio jacks on the rear, so their cables do not obstruct the USB 3 ports.
    I would also suggest installing Mint 19 with /boot, /, /home and /var in separate partitions.

  43. Will this be available to the UK? I’m thinking of purchasing a machine like this, so I can plug my TV into it. Did think about the Meercat but I do much prefer Cinnamon to GNOME, so would probably go for something like this instead!

  44. The box is so cute, tiny and tidy, it can be stolen easily in the pocket! There should be a way to fix it securely and discreetly. I will be tempted to put the coffee cup over it!

  45. @Linux Mint
    So, this “revolutionary” project is by the authors of Linux Mint – “true fans of the open source” – but it does not ship with a coreboot open source BIOS instead of a standard proprietary UEFI with backdoors? Yes, you have changed a logo for your proprietary BIOS, but like every second schoolboy could do the same thing with his existing already-bought hardware with the widely available UEFI modification tools
    Maybe, if there was a coreboot support, someone like me would have bought your box, but – with a proprietary UEFI full of backdoors and turtle slow Celeron instead of some good AMD CPU (AMD always wins price/performance), and especially for that price — I am afraid that you, the authors of Linux Mint, would have to be the big majority of consumers of that box. Consume it by yourself, because no sane open source fans would overpay for UEFI backdoors and turtle slow Celeron. True open source fans love coreboot open source BIOS, but your UEFI box does not provide that and does not care about the privacy

    1. We appreciate your feedback about the BIOS. There’s really no need for the drama.

      lets-see-if-there-is-a-censorship-of-free-speech@gmail.com. There certainly is. Your free speech isn’t relevant to anyone else. The argument about privacy and coreboot sounds interesting but wasn’t developed. Nobody talked about this before so this wasn’t moderated. It brings something new to the discussion. Try to be a little more constructive next time though, it’s not pleasant to exchange on that tone and in that ambiance.

  46. All I’ll say is that I’m not entirely sure where this fits in the technology arena. Its only just a little cheaper than a good desktop but with lower specs and its 10 times the price of a SBC makerboard which is by far the best use of mint! Can I upgrade the ram? GPU? Processor? ummm… No

    I’m sure you done your marketing research and investigations Mint team…but I’ll be buggered if I can work out where this fits? Who is it for?

    1. @Mick
      The short answer is that from what we have seen, usually one knows immediately if MintBox suits him or not.
      A little longer answer – MintBox works out-of-the-box, plug-in and start using Linux which is a very different experience from a maker-board and there are people looking for that (not everybody likes or has the time for tinkering).
      MintBox users usually think it is a good desktop. What makes a good desktop is beyond the scope so let’s just say that MintBox is good for people that value silence, space saving, build quality and freedom as in free speech.

  47. If the unit is installed upsidedown (under a table) how would that affect its ability to radiate away heat (given that heat rises)? Will it affect the performance of the unit substantially?

  48. I’m really impressed with the improvements that the Mint team continues to make, and MintBox looks like it will be a great product for those who need a portable, secure, stable system at a dirt cheap price.

    One key suggestion I would like to make. I recently replaced Windows with Mint 18.3 on some computers owned by a local non-profit that I help. I created the admin account, then created a “guest” account with no admin rights for the volunteers to use. I was hoping to be able to set up Mint to automatically download and install updates according to the update policy, but was disappointed to see that isn’t an easily available option in the Update Manager UI. I saw some new stuff was added in 18.2 to move this in the right direction, but I still had to cry with terminal scripts and couldn’t get it to work (I’m moderately competent with Linux but I’m no IT expert).

    In Mint 19, please create a way to easily, intuitively implement an automatic update policy. I’m sure a LOT of us would feel more comfortable installing Mint on computers owned by our friends and family if we could put updates on autopilot.

    1. Hi Richard,

      Thanks for your feedback on this. No promises for Mint 19 (we’re planning improvements related to this but mostly around the integration of Timeshift and the preparation of better documentation).

  49. I’ve been trying for some time to get the JACK audio connection kit to work properly without success and have concluded that it must be because I am using an old 2006 vintage computer. It runs linuxmint 18.3 32bit without a problem but JACK won’t respond to any tweeks I try. And yet other people have no connection problems at all hooking audio and midi devices together with JACK. Can I be confident that if I purchased a mintbox, which has as you say been build especially for linuxmint, that JACK (and thence qtractor and various synths) will run seamlessly?

  50. Packard Bell EasyNote TE69AP-C1NJ NX.C4DEU.001 has almost the same hardware as your MintBox Mini 2 Pro + screen + battery but its price even in my country is ~241$.

    1. Hi Cargo,

      Your comment was edited. We kept the constructive part.

      This is a budget laptop, it’s mass produced and you can buy that anywhere. If you don’t care about mobility, you can get the same specs for even cheaper.. buy them separately and shove them into a budget tower. Many people sell that, already assembled for you, for really cheap on eBay. There are great deals out there. That has nothing to do with what Compulab does though.

  51. Will there be an option to skip the dual Gigabit in favor of more USB ports? Are the fitlet2 cards compatible if that isn’t an option at purchase so we could swap?

    1. There is a FACET Card with extra 4 USB ports that can be purchased separately (this is one of the new features of MBM2 that was not available with previous MintBoxes).
      However this particular FACET card comes instead of the WiFi card.

    1. Yes. MiniDP is Mini-DisplayPort, it’s the evolution of HDMI, among other things it allows to connect multiple monitors with a single port.

  52. Two questions, does the box support nativily decoding h.265 and HDMI-CEC from the Intel Graphic card?

  53. can we preorder ? need a few for our serverfarm….when is delivery and when can we order – do you accept crypto…

  54. So the only difference between the MBM 2 and the MBM 2 Pro is the amount of memory and the size of the storage?

  55. I love the design and concept of the hardware, makes me wonder if this can have its own power supply, since power bank are getting smaller and powerful perhaps it can be integrated in the design. I love the look and functionality it offers. It reminds me of the Porsche or the VW cars, simple but packed with a lot of power. Keep it up Mint Team.

  56. I have a Mintbox Mini with a GPIO port. This seems to have been dropped on the Mintbox Mini 2. Which fitlet models will continue to have it? Could the J3455 support this anyway? Is there a way to implement SW controlled digital inputs and outputs?

    Thanks

    Thanks

    1. GPIOs are not native in the MBM2. But MBM2 has plenty of extensions (FACET Cards), a FACET with GPIOs (FC-SCG) will be introduced soon by Compulab. The GPIOs are controlled through I2C interface and can be controlled by software.

    1. Hi,

      I’d say it depends on your environment. We use lightweight development environments here mostly: sublime, terminal, glade, devhelp, git, alongside firefox.. etc. We develop mostly on Cinnamon. The Mini Pro 2 handles that without any problem. Compared to a dedicated development machine (my choice for instance is the Airtop, but that’s much bigger and more expensive), it can do the same things, but it obviously takes longer to compile code (check the comparison at https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3528#comment-140560).

      I used the Mini Pro 2 for 2 weeks as my main machine on my last travel to France. It did the job nicely.

  57. I anticipation of purchasing the MintBox Mini 2 I went on amazon for monitor options, I have 2 HDMI monitors I will be hooking up. All the video splitters I see, MiniDP to Dual HDMI , say for ‘Windows only ‘
    MiniDP to dual hdmi monitors don’t work in linux? https://www.amazon.com/gofanco-Mini-DisplayPort-HDMI-MST/dp/B079VYVJG9/ref=pd_sim_147_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B079VYVJG9&pd_rd_r=59KM1A1Z1FYKNAW16P1E&pd_rd_w=oii5a&pd_rd_wg=FS1Al&psc=1&refRID=59KM1A1Z1FYKNAW16P1E

    1. The mini-DP supports HDMI monitor (DP++ = HDMI signaling on DP connector). No need for a fancy converter. A simple mini-DP to HDMI cable will do.

  58. Looking at the picture of the “little giant”, I imagined a “Charley Brown” bubble with a picture in it of “Br’r Rabbit” in a brier patch. Can you give us a link (or some links) to suggestions as to how to handle all the wires we must attach to the MBM2? The little unit would fit nicely on top of my computer desk/cabinet, but what would keep the dangling wires from pulling it off in the floor?

  59. Will I be able to swap my currant SSD out of the Mintbox I have now into a new Mintbox and have it work or do I need to do any setup

  60. Dear Linuxmint-Team,

    why do you use an old apollo processor and not the current gemini lake/goldmont plus architecture? I’m confused.

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