None of the documentation for the Zotac ZBOX Nano mention any Linux support, but Booting Linux from USB on a Zotac ZBOX Nano is easy once you get the right BIOS settings.
Booting Linux from USB on a Zotac ZBOX Nano
The ZOTAC ZBOX Nano is a line of mini PCs, available in many configurations and provide passive cooling.
Since I was looking for a new, low power 64 bit PC for my pfSense firewall, the ZOTAC ZBOX Nano C Series CI323, with 2 networks ports, seemed to be the right fit.
ZOTAC ZBOX C Series CI323
- Barebones System. No Memory, No HDD, No Operating System.
- Processor: Intel N3150 (Quad-Core 1.6GHz, 2.08GHz with TurboBoost). 64 bit
- Hard Drive: Support 2.5-inch SATA3 HDD:
- Dual Gigabit Ethernet; 802.11ac Wireless; Bluetooth 4.0.
- Ports: 2x USB 3.0 Ports (1 rear, 1 front Type C), 2x USB 2.0 Ports (2 rear).
- 1x Wi-Fi Antenna Connector, 2x RJ45 Ports, 1x 3.5mm Headphone Output, 1x Microphone Jack, Front SD/SDHC/SDXC card reader.
- Triple display capable: 1x HDMI Port, 1x DisplayPort, 1x VGA Port.
- Create your desired Linux USB installer or Live CD
- Insert your USB drive in to one of the USB ports.
- Power on the ZBOX Nano and press the Delete to open the BIOS.
- Go to the Features tab, click on USB Configuration and verify that your USB drive is being detected by the system.
- Head to the Security tab, open the Secure Boot menu and disable Secure Boot. Note: Secure Boot was enabled, by default on my ZBOX)
- Switch to the Boot tab, change the Boot Mode to Legacy Only.
- Save & Exit the BIOS.
- The system should now boot from your USB drive, if it does NOT, press the F8 key to access the Boot menu, then select your USB drive to boot the Linux distribution.
I was able to boot and install pfSense on my Zotac ZBOX Nano. Now that I have the Bios Settings figured out Booting Linux from USB on a ZOTAC ZBOX Nano is a piece of cake!