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Install Debian on MiniX NEO X7

notice NOTICE: Your Minix will boot from SD-Card automatically. Internal Flash will not be used and won’t be available.

To install Debian on the MiniX NEO X7 you need:

– a SD Card (minimum 4GB)
– a Linux Machine
– a Windows Machine
– these both zip-files: (needed on the linux machine) & (needed on the windows machine)


At first boot up your Linux Box, and insert your SD Card.

Find the right partition of the SD Card, it should contain only one partition:

cat /proc/partitions

Then format the partition as ext4:
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX1

Unzip, then write the extracted rootfs image to that partition:
dd if=./20140305_debian_minimal_server.img of=/dev/sdX1 bs=1M

Resize the partition to the filesystem size to be able to use the whole SD Card:
resize2fs /dev/sdX1

Change the partition label to ‘linuxroot’:
e2label /dev/sdX1 linuxroot

So far, so good. Now eject the SD Card an insert it into the Minix.

Boot up your Windows Box, and extract, it contains

the loader file:

the kernel:

the recovery kernel:

the parameter file:

boot image:

and the RKAndroidTool, to burn the loader, kernel, recovery, boot image and parameter file.

Set your MiniX to recovery mode: To do this, use a paperclip to push and hold the button marked with “recovery”. While pushing, press and hold Power Button for about two seconds. Then release both.

Connect your Minix to your PC. Maybe you have to install the drivers first, please refer to the Minix Video ( how to do that. Drivers are contained in the Minix Firmware Releases zip-files:

Start the RKAndroidTool. On the bottom of the program, something like the following should be displayed:

2014-03-15 11_02_28-Greenshot

  1.  Select ‘erase IDB’
  2. Select and check the loader, kernel, boot, recovery and parameter files and then click ‘Run’.

You could connect the MiniX to a Display and Keyboard, just to track the initial startup.

Username: root
Password: password

Many thanks to the guys in the – forums, especially to the great support of mcividino (who explained me all the steps to get a working debian up and running on my MiniX, all of the files linked at the beginning, are also downloadable on his site, which is actually hosted on a MiniX.)


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21 thoughts to “Install Debian on MiniX NEO X7”

  1. Great work man… have you tried it on a MINIX NEO X8-H? I have one and I feel that Android is too unstable for that.

  2. What do you mean with GUI? A Desktop Environment? Just install one you like e.g. GNOME, KDE, XFCE, etc.

    I use my Minix as a headless server

  3. Hey,
    Nice tutorial but i’ve one problem.
    All went fine until i shut the minix down. I’am not able to boot anymore.
    If i write the debian_minimal_server.img again tothe sd card , i am able to boot once again and all works fine until i shut it down. Then i have to rewrite the file again to boot.

  4. Hi, already connected your minix to a monitor to track the bootup (error) messages? If not, you know what to do now 🙂

  5. The problem is that i don’t get anything on my monitor if i boot the minix the second time.
    The first time i boot the minix after writing the img on the sd card everything works fine.

  6. XBMC / Kodi Installation is also possible on a Raspberry Pi. So the specs of the Minix should be more than enough. It’s important, that the drivers for the GPU are present. Just try it, I don’t have any experiences with a Minix and XBMC / Kodi

  7. I bought a Mini x8 h plus, I will try install Debian on it and xbmc.
    Any idea on what packages I might be needing?

    Thank’s for this tutorial.

  8. hi tom,

    any chance to upload all required files including rkflashtool to google drive? appreciate it if you can do that.

    technomafia and isn’t accessible since long time ago.

  9. Hi Tom,

    I have difficulties to install some sort apps that relay to spesific kernel requirements (like openvpn server, else), because the img was too old (kernel 3.0.6+).

    have you found a way to upgrade the kernel? i successfully to upgrade debian distribution to jessie, but no luck with kernel, it will always boot to 3.0.6+


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