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[Q] where are the x86 tablet hackers?

OP danharris

4th September 2014, 05:41 PM   |  #1  
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I just bought my first tablet. An acer Iconia a1 830. rooted it the first day, got some chroot linuxes going, ssh into some other boxes. awesome.
so my googles have come up short looking for people who are running (or trying to run) x86 linux on x86 tablets. Ive been building and breaking linux for about ten years now and i think i could help this effort. everything i have found is for arm ports and stuff. I know i am not the only one who is looking at his x86 tablet wondering how to get some dual boot action out of this.

send me a link to the place i need to go, to find the people who are thinking about this.

acer iconia a1 830
htc desire hd running some cyanogenmod
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7th September 2014, 01:49 PM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danharris

I just bought my first tablet. An acer Iconia a1 830. rooted it the first day, got some chroot linuxes going, ssh into some other boxes. awesome.
so my googles have come up short looking for people who are running (or trying to run) x86 linux on x86 tablets. Ive been building and breaking linux for about ten years now and i think i could help this effort. everything i have found is for arm ports and stuff. I know i am not the only one who is looking at his x86 tablet wondering how to get some dual boot action out of this.

send me a link to the place i need to go, to find the people who are thinking about this.

acer iconia a1 830
htc desire hd running some cyanogenmod

Hi,
I have an 830 and a Razr i, I've tried to get chroot running on both when I first got each of them, but didn't finish the things. I'm pretty sure if I gave it a few more hours I'd be able to get it running, but as of now no luck.
I will tell you the progress I made though.
You've probably heard of linux on android or complete linux installer http://linuxonandroid.org/, and I'm sure you worked out pretty quickly the version of busybox they gave you, along with the images, where for arm.
It might pay to message, but let's be honest, in this case WE are the developers, and unless one of us is willing to send them one of our devices we'll have a hole lot more luck trying it ourselves.
Busybox x https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...complete&hl=en can install an x86 binary, and it certainly runs, but I had some issues that may be related to how it was compiled, or just me being an idiot.
You say you've been playing with linux for 10 years, so I know you probably already know this, but just in case, and for others reading this, it's probably worth explaining. chroot isn't a VM nor is it a system for traditional duel booting. It will allow you to run a linux userland from the already running linux kernal on the device, alongside android. It works by specifying a directory or image with a linux install in it, then telling the kernal to start that **** up, as if it where the kernal in the instalation.

Now, onto my progress. I was able to run chroot, so it was obviously an x86 binary, I was also able to mount an image of an x86 debian install made with debootstrap (What linux on android uses to make their ARM images) on my SD card. The first problem I had was android doesn't give stuff on the SD card execute permissions, and stuff got messy, but I eventually got that working. Do as you see fit.
I had numerous other issues, but the one I finally got stuck on was chroot not being able to find /bin/bash in the debian install directory.
I played around with the boot scripts you get with linux on android, but I don't think chroot evern ever ran from there. Neither was I able to run a plain "chroot /mnt/debianimagemounted/", I kept getting the "can't find bash" thing. I'm guessing this could have been because the linux for android scrypts made aliases before running chroot. Read them for yourself to see what I mean.
This all could be as simple as redirecting the linuxonandroid program from the arm version of chroot it uses to an x86 copy, or it could be more difficult.
Actually, I'll email them now, I'll post any response I get here.

I don't think there really are many people talking about this, I mean your post was the first google hit for "x86 android chroot", so this is probably gonna take some effort on our part.
I'm pretty busy with study right now, but in 2 weeks or so I'll dedicate a few solid days to getting this running.

As far as I can tell all we need is some good hard trial and error.


Can't wait to hear from you.
8th September 2014, 06:12 AM   |  #3  
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One other thing, I forget where but heard that you should try to stick to i386 binaries only, and that i686 ect could cause problems, but I don't know this for sure. Again, use your own discretion.

---------- Post added at 05:12 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:15 AM ----------

Sorry, last time I post, but I found this, you might want to check it out:
http://sven-ola.dyndns.org/repo/debian-kit-en.html
8th September 2014, 08:13 PM   |  #4  
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Yup, from what I've found, Debian-kit seems like the most promising project. Heres a link with a little more insight.

wdowiak.me/debian-kit/index.html

For anyone else who gets here... this is what I used to root the 830

androidfilehost.com/?fid=23578570567714700

then I got Debian-kit from fdroid because it has a newer version, but the one from google play works fine too. get your connect bot and RDP client and ur off to the races.

***sorry for the non linked links, Im not allowed to post real links yet
Last edited by danharris; 8th September 2014 at 08:18 PM.
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19th October 2014, 12:23 AM   |  #5  
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Dan, I think wdowiaks kit in your link is newer than the fdroid version and installs Wheezy. It definitely has good install info. I rooted my new a1-830 yesterday and installed the wdowiak version in the initial install version (not the one on the external sdcard). I had a little problem with the Iconia not mounting the external card formatted to two ext2 partitions, so the install was to internal memory aas a first try.

But today I removed the deb installation and reformatted the external card to 3 partitions with vfat on the first, and ext2 on the other two, and Android mounted the first partition where the deb script was located. So I'm hoping to install tonight. I was surprised the ext2s werent mounted automatically. But this might be a gtood thing, since there are warnngs not to let Android apps write data to them anyway.

Anyway, wanted to thank you for the above Debian info.
19th October 2014, 04:52 AM   |  #6  
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Some notes as I'm installing the wdowiak debian-kit-1-6.shar:

I'm installing to the third partition on the sdcard (which shows up as /dev/block/vold/179:53)

At first I had trouble using the command:

mk-debian -i /dev/block/vold/179:53

I had to issue it as:

/data/local/deb/mk-debian -i /dev/block/vold/179:53

but even then it threw an error saying it couldn't fdisk 179:48 .

That seemed odd. But it didn't stop there and went on to query if I wanted to format 179:53 or " (A)bort " I decided to go ahead and typed a "Y" and was brought back to a prompt.

That didn't seem to work, so I tried again by just hitting <ENTER> . But that had the same result. Finally I figured out that the response it wanted to proceed was lowercase "e". That worked and the partition was formatted -- the install is going on now.

One other note -- though I originally partitioned as ext 2, the mk-debian command seems to be re-formatting to ext 3. There is a suggestion earlier that if it is to be a journaling format, rather than ext2, to turn journaling off. This reduces the number of writes and therefore extends the life of the sdcard.

---------- Post added at 10:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 PM ----------

More notes:

I got a lot of error messages from debconf about needing a certain screen size during:

apt-get install andromize

Nevertheless it proceeded through. I'm now at the stage in connectbot where Ive logged into my user through ssh and am adding the lxde desktop via

apt-get install andromize-lxde

That's a pretty big chunk of realestate for a desktop -- almost a gig unpacked -- I'm used to Puppy Linux which is about 100 megs total for everything, including OS, desktop, and a full suite of apps!

I'm hoping that with some experience w/Wheezy on the a1-830 I can try getting an Intel Atom optimized version of Puppy linux on board.
19th October 2014, 05:13 PM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danharris

so my googles have come up short looking for people who are running (or trying to run) x86 linux on x86 tablets...send me a link to the place i need to go, to find the people who are thinking about this.

Hi...I don't know much about this at all to be honest, but its an interesting thread and I found some links which will hopefully help you a little bit, though you may already be aware of them:

http://www.android-x86.org/

http://www.in.techradar.com/news/sof...w/38781789.cms

https://community.kde.org/Plasma/Active

All the best!
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20th October 2014, 05:10 PM   |  #8  
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Thanks ishaang.

The middle link was pretty interesting, though I wish they had elaborated on their installation method:

Quote:

We're fairly sure you don't need to be told how to install a Linux distro - most now use an identifiable and easy-to-navigate installer - but we thought it would be interesting to see how well they coped, first as a live image, via a bootable USB, then secondly as a fully installed OS.

My own interest is in Puppy Linux, which is generally accomplished from an ISO live CD session running in memory (on most computers). You run the CD then install to HD or USB stick.

For a so-called "frugal install" (the kind I use) there's another option besides making and running the LiveCD, You can just extract three files from the ISO, place them in a folder on the HD and point a stanza of GRUB's menu.lst to them. Typically the files are:

initrd.gz
vmlinuz
puppyversion.sfs

and an example GRUB menu.lst boot stanza for the Racy 5.5 version of Linux located on sda5 of a hard drive would look like this:

title Racy 5.5
kernel (hd0,4)/Racy55/vmlinuz PDEV1=sda5 ro
initrd (hd0,4)/Racy55/initrd.gz
boot


So I'm wondering how this translates to an alternative OS boot on the Iconia tablet? -- I could easily put those three files on an external sdcard, but how do we point the boot process to it on the a1-830?

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