Zealz GK802 - a mini-computer with the ability to install Ubuntu

    You will hardly surprise anyone with mini-computers and media players with the Android operating system. But there is still a device among them that can stand out among the gray mass - this is the Zealz GK802 mini-computer, in which Android version 4.0.4 is installed by default.
    What is interesting about him?
    But what’s interesting in it is that it is built on a 4-core Freescale i.MX6Quad ​​chip and there is a full Ubuntu assembly for it!

    ►Technical specifications

    imageFour-core Vivante GC2000 video accelerator
    imageFour-core Freescale i.MX6 Quad processor with Cortex A9 architecture
    image1 GB of RAM
    imageAndroid 4.0.4 operating system
    image8 GB of user memory + microSD card slot
    imageCommunication: Wi-Fi (802.11 b / g / n), Bluetooth

    ► Appearance and equipment

    Zealz GK802 comes in a small black box: The

    mini-computer is small in size, made of metal with a small plastic insert, under which a Wifi antenna is hidden.

    On the other hand and on the sides are many vents. They are really needed, in the process, the device heats up significantly.

    MicroSD card slot:

    Charger included, USB cable:
    A microUSB-USB cable is used to connect power from the TV’s USB port, or from a USB hub.

    As well as an HDMI extension cable: There

    is a microUSB port on the back, which is used for power and a full USB port.
    You can connect many different USB devices (mouse, keyboard, external hard drive)

    In front is male HDMI:
    If the HDMI input on the TV is turned into a wall, then you can use the HDMI extension cable that is included in the package.


    The Zealz GK802 is disassembled very simply, you just need to unscrew the 2 screws in the front and carefully move the design:

    Under the radiator is the Freescale i.MX6 Quad chip itself.

    Also visible are 2 memory chips from Samsung:

    Turn over and see 2 more memory chips:

    Please note that the internal memory is organized as a microSD card.

    On the one hand, this reduces the speed of accessing read-only memory, and on the other hand, we get a device that cannot be "killed" by unsuccessful flashing. If something went wrong - just write the image to the card from the computer, insert and get the working device again!
    Also, this approach to organizing memory allows you to store several prepared operating systems on microSD cards without the need to update the firmware each time.

    ► Software

    Android 4.0.4 is preinstalled, without any launchers.


    Pre-installed Google Play:

    Supports image output with a real resolution of 1080p:

    With a resolution of 1080p, the Android interface becomes not so responsive.


    Freescale i.MX 6 Quad is a very promising chip that manufacturers in China have left unattended. The only tablet that more or less made friends with it was the Ampe A10 Quad.
    It is based on a 4-core Cortex-A9 processor with a frequency of up to 1 GHz and a Vivante GC2000 GPU.
    The amount of RAM is 1 GB, the constant is 8 GB. Since the internal memory is organized in the form of a microSD card, it will not be any problem to put a larger amount.

    Antutu 3.2.2 performance test results with a resolution of 1920x1080:


    In the results, we see the expected performance drop with an increase in

    Vellamo resolution :

    Quadrant when starting the test shows only a black screen. Probably I’m not lucky, but this is the third device on which this test does not run.


    The Vivante GC2000 GPU is not very popular, which is why there are compatibility issues in some 3D games.
    With 2D, things are better and most games work without problems.

    GTA goes jerky on average graphics quality settings.


    MX Player plays both 720p and 1080p video:

    There is an XBMC assembly for the GK802, but the program interface loads the processor too much and the device overheats. Perhaps in the future they will make an assembly that will not load the processor 100%.

    ►How to manage?

    You can control the Zealz GK802 in the following ways:
    1. Using a mouse and keyboard, connected via a USB hub to a mini-computer.
    2. Bluetooth mouse / keyboard.
    3. Wireless mouse keyboard. There are so many options on the market now. For example iPazzport:

    Lenovo also has a solution with a trackball - Lenovo N5901:

    ►Installing Ubuntu

    There are currently several versions of Ubuntu that can be installed on the GK802.
    This is Ubuntu 11.10 which has support for hardware decoding of GPU and VPU and Ubuntu 12.04.
    To install Ubuntu 11.10, you must take the following steps:
    1. Download the image of Ubuntu 11.10, uboot, the kernel, and modules by running the commands:
    wget http://dl.miniand.com/jas-hacks/gk802/ubuntu_gk802.img.gz 
    wget http://dl.miniand.com/jas-hacks/gk802/u-boot.imx 
    wget http://dl.miniand.com/jas-hacks/gk802/uImage_3.0.35-0269_cpu_freq 
    wget http://dl.miniand.com/jas-hacks/gk802/modules_3.0.35-02695.tar

    2. Unzip the image:
    gzip -d ubuntu_gk802.img.gz

    Copy image, uboot and kernel to microSD memory card
    sudo dd if=ubuntu_gk802.img of=/dev/ 
    sudo dd if=u-boot.imx bs=1k seek=1 of=/dev/ && sync 
    sudo dd if=uImage_3.0.35-0269_cpu_freq of=/dev/ bs=1048576 seek=1 && sudo sync

    replacing / dev /to the path to the sd card in the system. In my case, when connecting through the laptop’s built-in card reader, the path was / dev / mmcblk0 .
    If an error occurs when unpacking the file that the size of the microSD card is not enough - it's okay, at the end of the image there is no important data.
    4. Remove the microSD card from the computer and insert it again to mount rootfs. If this did not happen automatically - manually mount with the command
    sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sdc /media/ubuntu

    5. Copy kernel modules to rootfs.
    tar xvf modules_3.0.35-02695.tar 
    sudo cp -r modules/3.0.35-02695-ga09806b-dirty /media/ubuntu/lib/modules

    6. Unmount the memory card and remove it from the computer.
    7. Disassemble the G802, insert a memory card with a Linux image, assemble and run.

    We turn on the power, wait for a while, and after some time Ubuntu meets us:

    You can check the hardware acceleration of the GPu in the e2gears benchmarks:

    And glmark2-es:

    The Mozilla Firefox browser is preinstalled:

    In this assembly, Ubuntu 11.10 works:
    1. Wifi
    2. External memory cards
    3. USB
    4. Hardware acceleration of the GPU and VPU.

    The interface works quite smoothly; there are no loops when dragging windows. But on the whole, one gets the impression of some thoughtful reaction to actions in the system.
    You can configure it to work as a Linux server, or a torrent download. But do not forget about heating: when Ubuntu is running, the case becomes very hot. If you plan a long work in Ubuntu - be sure to do additional cooling (the most elementary is a radiator directly to the case) for security reasons!

    Video from Youtube from one of the creators of the Ubuntu assembly for GK802:

    There is an assembly of Ubuntu 12.04 which works:
    1. Hardware acceleration of the GPU and VPU
    2. Wifi
    3. Unity 2D or Xubuntu desktop to choose from
    4. Preset Chromium
    But also Bluetooth does not work.

    Install Ubuntu 12.04 as follows
    Инструкция предполагает что у на microSD карте уже установлен Ubuntu 11.10.
    1. Скачать rootfs imageUbuntu 12.04
    2. Удалить существующую rootfs из образа на microSD карте:
    rm -rf /ubuntu/*

    3. Распаковать новый rootfs
    cd /ubuntu
        tar xvf linaro_12_04_gpu.tar.gz

    4. Скачиваем ядро и записываем на карту:
    wget http://stende.no-ip.info/jas/uImage_cpufreq
    sudo dd if=arch/arm/boot/uImage_cpufreq of=/dev/sdc bs=1048576 seek=1 &&  sudo sync 

    5. Скачиваем uboot и записываем на карту:
    wget http://stende.no-ip.info/jas/u-boot.imx
    dd if=u-boot.imx bs=1k seek=1 of=/dev/sdc && sync

    6. Разобрать G802, вставить карту памяти с образом Linux, собрать и запустить.

    Various Linux assemblies can be found on the ArmTech forum .

    As you can see, you can install Ubuntu on a memory card for the G802 from the Linux operating system. If you do not have Linux at hand, but only Windows, then you can install Ubuntu on a flash-drive and after loading from USB, install the image on a microSD card for GK802. To do this:
    1. Download the Ubuntu distribution package from ubuntu.com
    2. Download the program to install Ubuntu to a USB flash drive
    3. Prepare a flash drive, run the program for recording images.
    4. Select the type of operating system to install, the device for recording.
    5. Write the image to the flash drive.
    6. Restart the computer, enter the BIOS at startup (the login button appears when the computer boots)
    7. In the boot sequence setting, select Removable Device first, save the settings and reboot.
    8. At startup, there will be a suggestion to try Ubuntu now, or to install immediately. We choose to try.
    The following is an instruction for installing an image on a microSD-card similar to the installation from Linux.


    imageSupport for displaying images with a resolution of 1080p
    imageBuilt-in Bluetooth The
    imageability to install Ubuntu

    Zealz GK802 turned out to be a very interesting product. Probably for normal use as a media player, you can choose a device on the RK3066, which will cost you about $ 50. But if you are interested in possibly installing Linux, then the GK802 is the best candidate.
    The price of the Zealz GK802 at the Geekbuying.com store is around $ 90 including shipping from China. You can purchase a mini-computer for the price of only $ 69.99 using the FVKIWVAG discount coupon .

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