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Mini-ITX Ubuntu tutorial


By: Bart van Wunnik

This guide provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to build yourself a Mini-ITX Ubuntu Linux computer running Cuelux. It is the low-budget Cuelux computer system as discussed in Maarten's article.

Before we start, be sure that you are working in an electrostatic discharged environment.

To discharge yourself, just touch the central heating pipes of your room ;)

The parts as they arrive

The parts out of their boxes.

Taking the case apart:

On the back of the case, there is one screw which holds the whole case in place.

When you have unscrewed the case, you just slide it back and lift it to open.

Once the case is open, remove the hard-disk mount.

Now put in the motherboard read panel in place, you might need to use some force to click it in place. Note: be sure to put it in correct, take a look at the motherboard to see which connecter comes where.

Take out the cables of the Front USB ports and power switch, else we can not fit the motherboard in place. Be sure to check how they should be placed back.

Once these cables are removed, put the motherboard in the case.

Gently tighten the motherboard with the screws enclosed with the case.

You might need to push the motherboard to the rear panel a bit to reach the screw holes.

The computer that we are building does have two power supplies, one internally that makes all the different voltages for the motherboard (5, and 3.3 volts) and an external power supply that will change the wall outlets voltage to 12 volts.

Fit the internal power supply, the connector only fits one way, so don't worry about pinouts.


When the power supply is in place, connect the ATX-power to the motherboard (the 4 pin connector attached to the power supply)

Connect the power supplies external connector to the casing.

Now that the motherboard and the internal power supply are in place, we can install the RAM memory module.

To install the memory module, you have to check that you have the memory module the correct way around.

You can do this by taking a look at the motherboard, the connector has two half’s that have a different size. (it can only fit on way)

Put the memory module in the slot under a 45º angle, then gently push the module down so it will click in place.

Reconnect the front USB and power connectors that we have removed earlier

Now connect the front USB connector to the motherboard, take a look at the manual of the motherboard to know where and how to connect these.

Al the work on the motherboard is done, we now can install the hard-disk.

Screw the hard-disk to the hard-disk mount using the screws enclosed with the case.

Connect the red SATA cable to the motherboard and to the hard-disk.

Connect the SATA power connector to the hard-disk.

Clean up your cable mess

Screw the hard-disk mount in place

Open the front of the case (there are two placeholders on each side of the case)

Put the jumper in place next to the USB connector. This will cause your system to restart after a power failure.

Now close the case and enjoy the new system that you have build.

Installing Ubuntu

You will need a USB-DVD ROM player to install Ubuntu on this computer since there is no internal DVD ROM player.

Download Ubuntu Linux from: and burn it to disk.

Insert the DVD and follow the instructions on screen.

After installing Ubuntu, download Cuelux for Linux from

Choose to open the file after the download has been completed.

When the download is done, the Ubuntu Software Center will start.

Click on “Install” to install Cuelux on your computer.

When the installation is done, you can find Cuelux on “Applications > Other > Cuelux”.

If you would like Cuelux to auto start as soon as your computer starts, click on “System > Preferences > Startup Applications”

Click on Add

In the “Command” field, just type the name of the application that you want to auto start and clock Add.

Now close the “Startup Applications Preferences” dialog and restart your computer to see the result.

And that's it! You have finished building and setting up your Cuelux on Ubuntu PC