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[DEV] ArchLinux on the TF300T(G)

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By cb22, Member on 3rd October 2012, 08:19 PM
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I've always been more of an Arch than Ubuntu person (how do you know if someone uses ArchLinux? Don't worry, they'll tell you)

This requires you to be unlocked and on the JB bootloader. I disclaim all responsibility if it somehow turns your tablet into a pile of ashes...

What works:
  • Dual boot with Android.
  • Internal storage and MicroSD Card
  • X11, with compositing
  • Audio
  • Mouse and keyboard on the dock, as well as dock hotplugging.
  • Touchscreen
  • Playing videos (full 1080P works great.) using Xfce's media player
  • Sensors (Light, compass, accelerometer, gyro). These are all exposed under sysfs.
  • Charging / Dock charging. This appears to be managed by the kernel.
  • USB gadget (as a RNDIS device for network access via USB)
  • CPU frequency scaling / Tegra LP core. The LP core is automatically used you can see its status in /sys/kernel/cluster/active (when that file reads LP) and its use is simply what the current CPU1 use appears to be.
  • WiFi, with NetworkManager
  • 3G, on the TF300TG model, with NetworkManager
  • Battery (and dock) status in Xfce
  • USB port on the dock
  • Some sensible key remapping (Back -> Escape, Search -> Alt, Home -> Super)

What doesn't work:
  • Bluetooth
  • Two finger scrolling with the mouse
  • Rebooting from Linux (have to do a sync then hard power off)
  • Basic framebuffer console - to get dual boot working I had to remove the FB console
  • Using "standard" xv (as in, mplayer -vo xv). Untested really, use gstreamer.
  • Cameras

Current priorities:
  1. Get Bluetooth working
  2. Get two finger scrolling working.
  3. Get rebooting working

Anything else is untested. Currently, I'm using the TF300TG's kernel source at https://github.com/cb22/tf300tg_jb_kernel - which is just the standard source from ASUS with a patch or two.

Dual booting:
At the moment, my "hybrid" initramfs checks for a file ".boot_linux" on the internal SD card (/data/media/.boot_linux or /storage/sdcard0/.boot_linux - same thing). If it exists, it boots Linux, otherwise, Android starts up. It wouldn't be difficult at all to make a simple Android app with a "Reboot into Linux" button, and vice versa one for Linux with "Reboot into Android"

Important note:
Currently, the provided kernel / initramfs is built for the TF300TG. It does seem to work fine on the TF300T however.

Downloads:
Kernel + Initramfs blob: https://rapidshare.com/files/2827313...ridkernel.blob
RootFS with Xfce: https://rapidshare.com/files/201953815/linux.tar.gz

Installation:
Flash the blob to staging using fastboot.
Untar the rootfs to /data/linux/. The easiest way to do this is probably to copy it across to the Transformer via adb or MTP, then run
Code:
$ su
# mkdir /data/linux
# tar -xzvf /storage/sdcard0/linux.tar.gz -C /data/linux
Issues:
Apparently permissions aren't set properly when untar-ing. This can be "fixed" by a chmod 755, apparently. As soon as I can, I'll make a better way of installing this (update.zip style)

Credits:
This work is based off the Arch Linux ARM distribution
Last edited by cb22; 15th December 2012 at 12:38 PM. Reason: Update!
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3rd October 2012, 08:21 PM |#2  
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Sounds good, I think would be nice together with a dual boot kernel
3rd October 2012, 08:41 PM |#3  
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AWESOME! This is what I've been looking for. Thanks for kick starting this, I'm flashing the recovery right away. I suppose I'll start playing around with the .config and see where that takes me.

C'mon people! lets get this done so we can then try out dualboot options and bring some GNU/Linux flavor to the Transformer Pad.
4th October 2012, 07:57 AM |#4  
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Good work. Im waiting for a working Ubuntu so I can install Blackbuntu.
Shame Im on ICS bootloader as I would have tried it.

The Prime Ubuntu project aint had any updates recently sadly.
4th October 2012, 08:26 PM |#5  
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if you get this working, would you then maybe get the win8 tablet version also working? Loving linux, but Win8 on tablets even a bit better
4th October 2012, 08:39 PM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valantur

AWESOME! This is what I've been looking for. Thanks for kick starting this, I'm flashing the recovery right away. I suppose I'll start playing around with the .config and see where that takes me.

C'mon people! lets get this done so we can then try out dualboot options and bring some GNU/Linux flavor to the Transformer Pad.

That's the aim! It would be really nice to have Android for tablet mode, and GNU/Linux for dock mode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekromantik

Good work. Im waiting for a working Ubuntu so I can install Blackbuntu.
Shame Im on ICS bootloader as I would have tried it.

The Prime Ubuntu project aint had any updates recently sadly.

You can always use NVflash to backup your bootloader and such, then freely flash away. That's what I did (I'm on the TF300TG, and no one has uploaded their JB dlpkgfile *hint* *hint* and it's not available on ASUS's site yet) so I simply restored using NVflash to get my ICS with 3G back for when I'm not dev'ing.

Also - the ideas port over to any GNU/Linux system fairly easily once figured out - getting Ubuntu running wouldn't be much more effort. I'm using Arch to start since I understand it better (and prefer it)


Quote:
Originally Posted by -angel*

if you get this working, would you then maybe get the win8 tablet version also working? Loving linux, but Win8 on tablets even a bit better

Highly unlikely, sorry, and definitely not my field of expertise!
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4th October 2012, 09:17 PM |#7  
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yeah nP - was just a think if they would have similar kernels...

Video looks very good, but as you say in the first post, nothing for ppl who don't know how to flash it and as I need the tablet for school I'd need dual boot at all... :/

But get on your working, really nice, but unfortunately I don't know anything about developing such things, so I can't help you...
Last edited by -angel*; 22nd October 2012 at 06:19 PM. Reason: Schulteree
5th October 2012, 12:22 AM |#8  
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This is awesome i'm gonna have to read up on this to see how it works! great work! Always wanted something like this.
5th October 2012, 06:00 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb22

You can always use NVflash to backup your bootloader and such, then freely flash away. That's what I did (I'm on the TF300TG, and no one has uploaded their JB dlpkgfile *hint* *hint* and it's not available on ASUS's site yet) so I simply restored using NVflash to get my ICS with 3G back for when I'm not dev'ing.

Also - the ideas port over to any GNU/Linux system fairly easily once figured out - getting Ubuntu running wouldn't be much more effort. I'm using Arch to start since I understand it better (and prefer it)

Yeah.
Might try when I get some spare time.
7th October 2012, 12:22 PM |#10  
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Great initiative! I'd personally prefer a native debian distro over Arch but I figure once you've laid the groundwork the road's paved for more distro's.
7th October 2012, 07:19 PM |#11  
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Finally, a real reason to unlock the tab. When this works and it's dual boot, I will be unlocking and installing this.

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