Zonbu Desktop-1

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Version Status Date Updated Updated By
710 Unknown N/A N/A
810 Unknown N/A N/A
1004 Unknown N/A N/A
1204 Unknown N/A N/A
Usage Information

Zonbu hardware is a miniature desktop computer, sometimes called Zonbox. It measures 6 ¾” x 4 ¾” x 2 ¼” and is Flash based, fanless, and completely silent.


  • Only UI1 will display properly, UI2 without alpha blending almost works.
  • MythTV will only play liveTV with the OpenChrome driver. For installation see the Display Drivers page.


  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Via Eden CPU (C7 Esther core)
  • Chipset: VIA CX700M
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Ethernet: 10/100 Mbit/s (PXE boot supported)
  • Display: VGA out (up to 2048 x 1536 with 16M colors with MPEG2 acceleration)
  • Storage: 4 GB CompactFlash
  • USB: 6× 2.0
  • Keyboard/Mouse: PS/2

Opening the device wil void the 3 year warranty, but there seem to be some interesting options to be found inside:

  • Mini PCI slot
  • IDE connector, with room a 2.5" hard drive
  • Serial and parallel ports

Booting from network (PXE-Boot)

To make your Zonbu boot from the network you'll have to enable this option in the BIOS:

  • Hit < DEL > on boot to enter BIOS
  • In: Boot > Boot Settings Configuration, set LAN BIOS execute to Enabled
  • After a reboot you can select to boot from LAN in the BIOS: Boot > Boot order

Setting it up as diskless MD

In LinuxMCE 7.10 the Zonbu will be automagically detected as a Fiire station. Because the Fiire stations uses different drivers/settings this will not work. But it can be used to find out the MAC-address of the Zonbu's NIC (there are obviously other ways to do this as well).

  • Make the Zonbu boot from network, it will give an error somewhere along the way
  • In the Pluto-admin go to: Wizard > Devices > Media Directors and you will see a new Fiire station has been added, write down the MAC address (and maybe also the IP-address) we need it for the next steps
  • Delete the newly added Fiire station
  • Click: Add device
  • As the device-template select: Generic PC as MD
  • Click: pick device template
  • Now fill in the MAC-address and the IP-address from a few steps back (maybe also a proper name and room) and click Update
  • Note the device number for your new diskless MD (is shown next to the Name: #...)
  • Click: Setup Diskless MD
    ...and wait for the process to finish
  • Do a 'Quick reload router' from an Orbiter or from Pluto-admin: Wizard > Restart > Quick Reload Router
  • From the console or a terminal on the Core/Hybrid (press <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<F2> or use PuTTY and login with linuxmce) we need to install the video drivers (we are using the UniChrome drivers here for other possibilities see: Display_Drivers)
 # sudo -s 
 # cd /usr/pluto/diskless 
 # chroot <your MD # found on the linuxmce admin devices page> 
 # cd /usr/src 
 # mkdir VIA_UniChrome 
 # cd VIA_UniChrome
 # wget http://www.viaarena.com/Driver/via_ubuntu710_unichrome-v40072d-kernel-bin-_v0.80.zip
 (Actually see the VIA site for the latest driver version) 
 # unzip <the downloaded driver zip file-name> 
   Choose to install the driver (or uninstall if you really want ;) ) 
 # exit 
  • Reboot your Zonbu and complete the Wizards

NOTE!! If you rebuild the image through the Pluto-admin web-interface you will loose this manually installed driver (any manually installed software for that matter)

Low volume problem

You might experience some problems with the volume being very low now matter what (see thread). To correct this:

  • Log into the console of your Zonbu MD by pressing <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<F1> (or F2 , F2, ...)
  • Start alsa-mixer:
 # alsamixer
  • Adjust the 'Master Volume' with your arrow-keys
  • When you are done press <Esc> to exit and logout