Installing Linux to the mSATA Harddrive

Given that the Minnowboard MAX is very similar to a regular PC, installing Linux is also quite similar.

For additional information and alternate distributions, please see MinnowMaxDistros on the wiki.

Installing Debian From a USB Flash Drive

This method requires a USB Flash Drive large enough to store the bootable Debian netinst image. The Debian 8.0 amd64 image is about 260MB.

Download the Debian Image

Current Debian installation images can be downloaded directly from []. For the Minnowboard MAX download the AMD64 netinst image.

Copy the Image to your USB Flash Drive

Plug the USB Flash Drive into you Linux computer and determine the device assignment using the


command. The device assignment will be described last in the dmesg output.

For example:

[2464385.576471] usb 1-1.1.2: new high-speed USB device number 16 using ehci-pci
[2464385.671593] usb 1-1.1.2: New USB device found, idVendor=090c, idProduct=1000
[2464385.671596] usb 1-1.1.2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[2464385.671597] usb 1-1.1.2: Product: USB DISK
[2464385.671599] usb 1-1.1.2: Manufacturer: SMI Corporation
[2464385.671600] usb 1-1.1.2: SerialNumber: AA04012700008630
[2464385.672000] usb-storage 1-1.1.2:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
[2464385.672173] scsi15 : usb-storage 1-1.1.2:1.0
[2464387.193242] scsi 15:0:0:0: Direct-Access     FLASH    Drive SM_USB20   1100 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0 CCS
[2464387.193444] sd 15:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 0
[2464387.195603] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] 3915776 512-byte logical blocks: (2.00 GB/1.86 GiB)
[2464387.196479] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] Write Protect is off
[2464387.196483] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] Mode Sense: 43 00 00 00
[2464387.197477] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] No Caching mode page found
[2464387.197480] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through
[2464387.201858] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] No Caching mode page found
[2464387.201860] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through
[2464387.202858]  sdd: sdd1 sdd2
[2464387.205852] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] No Caching mode page found
[2464387.205856] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through
[2464387.205859] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] Attached SCSI removable disk
[2464387.385349] ISO 9660 Extensions: Microsoft Joliet Level 3
[2464387.386348] ISO 9660 Extensions: RRIP_1991A

In this case, the Linux operating system has assigned the device as sdd.

Using the dd utility, copy the AMD64 netinst Debian image to the USB Flash Drive:

$ dd bs=4M if=Downloads/debian-8.0.0-amd64-netinst.iso of=/dev/sdd
61+1 records in
61+1 records out
257949696 bytes (258 MB) copied, 0.158209 s, 1.6 GB/s

And to unsure all copying is complete, do a sync.


Boot Minnowboard MAX with USB Flash Drive

Remove the power cable from the Minnowboard MAX if the board is currently powered. Insert the USB Flash Drive built in the steps above into a USB slot on the Minnowboard MAX. Assuming the USB Flash Drive is a USB2 device, insert it into the USB2 slot (the top one) on the Minnowboard MAX. Insert the power cable to boot the Minnowboard MAX. Depending on the boot order in the MAX’s bios, you may or may not boot directly to the UEFI shell. If the MAX boots directly from the USB Flash Drive, select Graphical Install from the choices provided on the screen.

If the MAX boots to an UEFI Shell, you can start installation from the USB Flash Drive with the following:


Choose Graphical Install and proceed through the Debian installation steps. At the “Partition Disks” step, you should see 2 choices similar to the following:

   SCSI2(0,0,0) (sda) - 128.0 GB ATA ADATA SP310
   SCSI3(0,0,0) (sdb) - 2.0 GB FLASH Drive SM_USB20

These choices are specific to the type of mSATA hard drive installed in the Silverjaw and the type of USB Flash Drive. In this case, we want to choose the 128.0 GB ATA drive which is the hard drive in the Silverjaw.

Following the completion of the Debian installation to the mSATA drive, remove the USB Flash Drive and reboot. The Minnowboard MAX will reboot directly to the Debian installation on the mSATA drive.

Next Steps

At this point, if you have a mCPIe wireless card you can proceed to:

Configuring the mPCIe Wireless Card

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