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Intel NUC
Intel NUC provides a very nice hardware that together with castmilll results in a robust, maintainance free device that can run un-attended 24/7 for years.
The following guide is based on Arch-Linux (https://archlinux.org/) but certainly other linux distributions will work as well. We provide an install script that makes all the necesary steps to convert your device into a Castmill player.

Requirements

  • You will need a Intel NUC device with at least 4Gb ram and 256Gb HDD.
  • A USB drive with at least 4Gb space (note, its contents will be destroyed).
  • A PC or Mac

Prepare a USB

First we need to prepare the USB drive with the Arch linux install image. You can grabb it from here. Download a file like archlinux-YYYY.MM.DD-x86_64.iso
Then you need a tool to "flash" the image in the USB drive, for this we recommend the free tool "balena etcher" that works in both Windows, Mac and Linux systems, you can get your copy here: https://www.balena.io/etcher/
Just select the .iso image dowloaded before, the USB drive as target and let it perform the flashing.

Prepare the Intel NUC

Preparing the NUC requires 2 steps: activate auto-start on power on and install archlinux. First make sure you have your Intel NUC connected to an ethernet cable providing internet access, as well as a screen and keyboard attached to it.

Enable auto power on

By default the Intel NUC will not start automatically if the power goes off and on again, this is very important for un-attended operation, so that in cases where the device is shut down due to electricity shortage it will start up again automatically.
Be prepared to press F2 when the device starts so that you can get into the Bios, if you miss to press F2 in time just turn off and turn on again. The BIOS menu will appear. If you still have problems to access the BIOS please check this guide: Can't Access BIOS Setup with F2 Key for Intel® NUC

Disable secure boot

It is possible that your Intel NUC has secure boot activated, in this case you will get an error when trying to boot from the USB device. To avoid this problem just disable the secure boot on the bios:

Install Arch Linux

Insert the newly flashed USB drive in any of the USB slots in the Intel NUC and turn it on. The Device will start and a menu will appear, choose the first option: "Arch Linux install medium (x86_64, UEFI)".
The device will boot and a prompt till be displayed. Now run the script that will perform all the installation semi-automatically (you will need to provide a password and press 'y' a couple of times):
1
# bash <(curl -s scripts.castmill.io/arch-setup.sh)
Copied!
Your keyboard may not be US standard, one option is using this sheet in order to find the proper symbols:
US Standard keyboard
The script will run directly and starts by asking you for a network name for your player, this is just a human readable name to indentify the player in the local network, such as when you check in your router list of connected devices, you can call it something like "castmill-player-1", these naming can be of importace when you have many devices and you wish to connect to them via SSH for low level maintainance.
Next it will ask you for a password, this password is required in order to login into the device via SSH for maintenance, make sure this password is kept secret, and it will be asked later on during the installation step of the script, so keep it handy.
The script will continue running and will ask you a couple of times if you want to proceed, write "y" (yes).
It will take a couple of minutes before it completes.
When the script completes succesfully without errors just type "reboot" and the device will restart automatically.
If you get any errors at this stage please contact us at [email protected] with all the information available and we will help you promptly to resolve the issue.
You can now remove the the USB drive and the device will show an image like this:
If you have a mouse you can click and a menu will open with some useful functions, for example to configure the Wifi settings.
Although Wifi is a fine solution, we always recommend to use a wired Ethernet connection when possible to increase stability.
Now you can just proceed to register this player in Castmill as with any other player, please see Registering your first player.