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Updated 2014-05-11!

Well, well, what do we have here? This is a full Debian Unstable installation with the relatively new MATE Desktop Environment, which has finally made it's way to the Debian Unstable. MATE is essentially a continuation of the Gnome 2 desktop, and runs great on lower end hardware.


This DOES NOT have the NVIDIA drivers, as I'm using the very latest X releases. The only thing the NVIDIA drivers really get you is good video playback and 3D performance. I don't find the NVIDIA drivers give better 2D performance.

Minor Issues
  • As you can see in the screenshot, the battery indicator shows as not working. However, if you hover your mouse over the battery indicator, it does show the battery level of both batteries.
  • Systemd recently came the default system and service manager in Debian unstable. Systemd says it requires the AUTOFS4 kernel module, however that module does not seem to exist in @jrohwer's kernel, so you'll see systemd failures during boot. It does boot fine anyway, but see the next bullet point.
  • systemd is unable to do an fsck on the root file system (maybe because AUTOFS4 kernel module) during boot, so it ends up leaving the root filesystem in read-only mode. I have worked around this by adding a line to the /etc/rc.local to remount / as readwrite, which seems to do the trick.
  • Gnome Network Manager has a bit of odd behaviour. After trying to connect to your wireless network for the first time, it will fail, but it will add your network to the list of available networks. Right-click the Network Manager icon, select "Edit Connections...", select your wireless network, click Edit, go to the "Wi-Fi Security" tab and manually enter your wireless passphrase. After doing this once, it will connect normally after that.
  • As before, sound is hit and miss. Powering down and booting again has a tendency to fix it for a while.
  • Periodically, when it boots into MATE, the touchpad will stop working. Undock and dock again and it'll come back.
  • Power management doesn't work.

Good things
  • Touchscreen works!
  • You don't need to undock your keyboard during boot. Nice!

Bluetooth and HDMI was not tested (I don't use them).


Default user is "debian" with a password of "debian".

In Android, if you have an existing linuxroot in your /data/ directory, rename/move it.

Extract the Debian image into /data/

busybox mount -o remount,rw /
mv /data/linuxroot /data/linuxroot-old

cd /data
tar -pxvzf /pathto/debian-unstable-mate-2014-05-11.tar.gz
busybox mount -o remount,ro /
Reboot to recovery, install @jrohwer's kernel and you're away.


Below is my original post for anyone that want's the older Debian Unstable with the NVIDIA drivers

Original Post!

This is a basic Debian Unstable (mostly unstable) image for @jrohwer's rootbind method/kernel found here (see post 3):
It uses the 3.1.10-12 oc kernel.

Obligatory Screenshot:

This has the latest Linux For Tegra binary drivers installed (R16.3) and working. es2_info shows the renderer as "NVIDIA Tegra" and I've included a 720p trailer in the Videos directory which can be played with nvgstplayer with great quality and sound. (nvgstplayer --uri "The Simpsons Movie - Trailer.mp4")

I started with a Debian stable install and got the NVidia Tegra drivers working with it. Debian stable's X is at ABI 12. I then held the xserver-xorg-core (apt-mark hold xerver-xorg-core) package to prevent it from automatically updating. Then upgraded everything else to the unstable versions. It seems very few packages are dependent on newer X releases. I did try to upgrade X to the last ABI 14 version that Debian did, but got bad screen corruption with newer X releases and the Tegra driver.

I tried get gstreamer hardware accelerated playback by following this guide ( but did not have success.


(Mirrors welcome! I suspect Google Drive will shut it down if too many people go for it.)

It's 850 MB download.

Default user is "debian" with a password of "debian".

Ensure your tablet is not docked until you get the login screen.

In Android, if you have an existing linuxroot in your /data/ directory, rename/move it.

Extract the Debian image into /data/

busybox mount -o remount,rw /
mv /data/linuxroot /data/linuxroot-old

cd /data
tar -pxvzf /pathto/debian-unstable.tar.gz
busybox mount -o remount,ro /
Reboot to recovery, install @jrohwer's kernel and you're away.

Wireless works, sound mostly works (it seems to randomly stop working for no apparent reason.. @DjDill complained about the same thing for his Ubuntu image as well. As mentioned, hardware acceleration is working.

I didn't test bluetooth, HDMI, or power management.
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by TravellingGuy; 12th May 2014 at 12:14 AM. Reason: Use URL shortener to track clicks.
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