Building a server for less than $60 – Rikomagic MK802 II

It’s been a few months since my last post. And this particular device took enough time out of life to make me come back and  write an article about it.

Rikomagic MK802 is a little device which is designed to run Android by default. But you can run almost any variant of Linux on it, provided that you fit the OS into a microSD card.

After reading so many reviews about it, I thought it will get an MK802 II. Ordered it via Alibaba (Lots of issues from Customs, since the product was shipped from China). The device costed me around 40$ but the customs waala charged a 15$ on top of it. And I got a USB LAN adapter along with it, which i use with my Macbook Retina 😉 . So it was a good deal overall.This was in February. Oh! no. March (1 month went by with customs trouble, slower Indian customs 😉 ). Tried the device with the Android for sometime, it worked perfectly. However, the main reason I bought the device was to run a Download client( torrent/aries mainly!) and a tiny web server for my hobby projects. The power consumption makes it one of most efficient super computers. It will run on a 1500 mAh battery for ~4-5 hours neatly. No costly inverters needed eh!.

Ok. In a more serious tone, the device packs in a punch with its specs especially at the price. You picky any MK802 or variants ( UHost, MK808 and so on) they all have good specs. More decent than a 15-year-old computer at 15 times less price i.e.

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Rikomagic MK 802 II has 1 Ghz processor and 1 GB RAM . Has two  usable USB ports , a HDMI port , WiFi a/b/g/n , 1080p & 2160p support and runs on 500 mAh USB power.

So a week back, I finally decided to put the device to its real use. The plan was to run a web-server and a download manager 24×7. And I didn’t have any plans of buying a monitor/display for this at all.  Was determined to set it up with a VNC server and SSH.

The Rikomagic Linux images can be obtained easily over the internet . Word of caution: support is minimal for any devices other than MK802 (and II ).  Get the images from Miniand website (Download any of them, i prefer Ubuntu due to various reasons. If you want a minimal interface you can go for Xubuntu).These ubuntu bootable images are for MK802 . But it’ll work fine (that’s what  I thought!) for MK 802 II. For other variants, get hold of some other website or forum.

Insert a microSD card into the reader (and know the device identifier of it ) &  write the image into the card.  You can use Disk Imager ( in Windows, ironic! i know) or dd command ( In Linux/ OSX : dd if=path_of_image_file.img of=/dev/diskn Make sure that you are giving the correct device code. df -h or Disk Utility for finding the device identifier! ).

If you have a plain MK 802, You’re done with the process of setting up the vanilla xubuntu/ubuntu. However, I encountered a few glitches along the plan since my target was to run it without a monitor ( after setting it up).
The whole process takes only 1 hour or so, since the images are readily available. If I get time to do it again personally, I will write about creating the custom image for the device.

One thought on “Building a server for less than $60 – Rikomagic MK802 II”

  1. Hey Niranjan,
    Was wondering if you have the Ubuntu/Lubuntu images from Miniand’s site? Or if you could point me to where I can download them. Miniand’s site has been down for quite some time. I am currently running Rikomagic’s Lubuntu image, but it keeps throwing up errors for some reason.

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