Update: 2019-07: those machines are SUPERB reliable and fast and work very well with Linux (this update is written on exactly this machine with CentOS7/Rhel7/RedHat7 (usually used for server but works nice as client as well))

Hello Guys,

the Giada F300 is a fanless i5 or i3 computer with up to 16GB of RAM (has only one SO-DIMM slot) and 120GB SSD (can only attach one) is actually designed for digital signage usage…

giada f300

  • idle power usage 17 Watts
  • industrial grade PC (unfortunately not produced anymore 3 years later ?)
  • superb speed and reliability
    • also BIOS boots pretty fast
  • 2x front USB 4x back USB (4x USB 3.0)
  • dual monitor hdmi and display port

the data gonna go on a QNAP NAS 219 Turbo


  • this NAS is (imho) pretty slow (CPU)
    • it is okay but not fast (searching a 2TB drive takes real 23m)
    • it is busybox, so commands like “find” are not the full-scale find, for example it only does -name but not -iname (upper and lower case search)

. which does around 17MByte/Sec via NFS and UDP.

currently only 4GB of RAM are installed… which is okay if you don’t wanna run more than 2x VirtualBox VMs at the same time.

8 GB of RAM could be acquired for 80€… but i don’t need it desperately right now.

but i gonna use it as successor workstation 🙂 to this Apple Mac Pro 3.1 (Early 2008) 8x2.8Ghz (2X Quadcore)

a Apple Mac Pro 3.1 (Early 2008) 8×2.8Ghz (2X Quadcore) 12 GB RAM 1xSSD+RAID 2 TB consuming

The Giada (20-30W) + NAS should not consume more than 50 Watts altogether (under load)… but i still have to measure that.

  • it uses only 17 Watts in idle!

The BIG DATA will be rsynced / go onto a Debian-powered QNAP NAS… 

Which is 6x times less than that MacTower (that i loved… because it was fast… looked cool… robust hardware… bought it second hand… now sold it third hand… )


Finalizing my move from Windows to Apple Mac OSX (5 years) to LINUX DEBIAN! (hopefully less than 5 years ;-p)

Most of my stuff i have running in VirtualBox VMs anyway.

So no need to massively reinstall things.

How to install Debian on Giada F-300:

first we gonna install wheezy stable and then upgrade our distro…  (i tried to install Testing directly… but “failed to mount root device”

debian setup jessie attempt to mount a filesystem failed


What you need:

1. an GIADA F300 with i5 or i3 and Intel HD Graphics 4400

2. TWO (!) usb sticks – one for the


0. hook up your GIADA to an LAN with internet access

1. format both  USB STICK to Fat32 (if allready… it will not overwrite your files… but your stick’s content will look chaotic afterwards… so better backup & restore later)


2. get Debian 8 “Jessie” iso from https://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/?

direct download link: http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/jessie_di_rc1/amd64/iso-cd/debian-jessie-DI-rc1-amd64-netinst.iso


3. get the super cool ISO 2 USB STICK TOOL: http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

mirror: unetbootin Win Lin OSX.zip

select DiskImage -> … your just downloaded: debian-jessie-DI-rc1-amd64-netinst.iso

DO NOT USE THE “SELECT DISTRO INTERNET DOWNLOAD OPTION”… it works for wheezy but not for jessie rc1.


hit ok…

4. download the network card (non-free) firmware to the root of your second usb stick:


mirror: firmware-realtek_0.36+wheezy.1_all.deb.zip (unzip it)


5. plug first USB Stick into the FRONT USB of your Giada


6. Start Giada…


7. Hit DEL/ENTF in order to get into bios and configure to boot from stick first instead of harddisk (while beeing in BIOS change the harddisk type from HDD to SSD and disable the “agressive” energy saving option)

giada f 300 bios settings giada f 300 debian 8 jessie boot from usb stick

Hit F10 to save and exit


8. you should see this boot screen:

giada f 300 debian 8 jessie boot screengiada f 300 cardboard box

… if your screen only has one entry… you probably used the unetbootin internet download option… and it gonna fail with “could not mount root filesystem”.

… hit the “Default” option and continue.

You get into Grafical Debian setup:

giada f 300 debian 8 jessie boot grafical setup


9. sooner or later it will ask you for: “The missing firmware files are: rtl_nic/rtl8168e-3.fw (this is the network card… you can not continue without it)

insert the second USB stick to the second front port… hit “YES”.

… it should then configure the network successfully… (DHCP)

10. you might encounter some strange errors… just try yes or no… (after several NOs… i could continue)

if you know what you do, do the partitioning manually… otherwise use guided – full disk… all in one partition…


11. i first gonna try LXDE because i need every bit of RAM for virtualization 😉

i might checkout GNOME 3 later…

giada f 300 debian 8 jessie choose desktop



synapse jessie

first thing i do:

# get some basic tools
apt-get install ssh rsync htop gnome-screenshot;

# make ll work in terminal (relogin afterwards)
echo 'alias ll="ls -lah"' >> /etc/bash.bashrc;

# create script to automount NAS

vim /scripts/mount123.sh

# content
echo "wait for QNAP.123 to powerup";
sleep 100;
echo "mount QNAP.123"
mount /mnt/DATA/

# insert it here to autostart with root priviliges
vim /etc/init.d/rc.local

case "$1" in

        /scripts/mount123.sh & # mount qnap NAS NFS SHARE

debian enable num block on boot

find / -name *greeter.conf; # find greeter.conf
echo "greeter-setup-script=/usr/bin/numlockx on" >> /etc/lightdm/lightdm-gtk-greeter.conf; # add config line at end of file
apt-get install numlockx; # The package automatically installs session script to enable numlock on session start.
reboot; # reboot


customize locales

i like to use the OS in english, type in germany (german keyboard layout) but have my date like this: YYYY/MM/DD similar how the number system works.

unfortunately this is not soooo super easy.

locale; # check what locale is beeing used

cp /usr/share/i18n/locales/en_US /usr/share/i18n/locales/custom; # make a backup copy of locales in use en_US

vim /usr/share/i18n/locales/custom # modify the locoales

% Appropriate date representation (%x)
%       "%Y/%m/%d"
d_fmt   ""

Save and exit your text editor.

You now have a custom locale in the file “custom”.

In order for the system to use it, you need to compile it into a system readable locale definition.

This can be done using the locale compiler by executing:

sudo localedef -f UTF-8 -i custom custom.UTF-8

Now the new custom locale is available to the system,

you need to configure the system to use it.

Do this by editing the file

vim /etc/environment

and adding (or modifying) the line:


All that remains is to log out and log in again, or restart any system services, to see the new format being applied.

source: https://ccollins.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/how-to-change-date-formats-on-ubuntu/



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