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ASUS Eee Pad Transformer/How to install Ubuntu

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Warnings

You WILL lose your data.

You will probably void your warranty.

DISCLAIMER -- Steven Barker (lilstevie) nor anybody will take any responsibility for any damage, data loss, fire, death of a loved one, or loss of data resulting from using this mod for your device. Using this mod may void your warranty.

Work in progress -- This page is a work in progress based information found in this thread.

What works and what doesn't

This will work on SBKv1 and SBKv2 devices. See ASUS Eee Pad Transformer#Secure Boot Key for information on these variants.

SBKv1 devices have any flash so setup is fairly simple and straightforward.

SBKv2 devices must be rooted and have a special kernel created to work here.

Usability

  • Wordprocessing works well. LibreOffice works except perhaps for the database stuff. Write, Calc and Presentation are known working.
  • Web browsing works well except perhaps for Flash.
  • Video playback and audio works.
  • Power management works though there are some issues with the screen auto-turn off. If you leave the Transformer alone for a while it will put itself in low-power mode.
  • Running Windows programs with Wine is not possible because the Transformer CPU (ARM) is different to those in PCs (x86).

Annoyances

  • Screen auto-turnoff issues.
    • Turning the screen brightness down to 0 will require a hard reboot to get the screen back on.
      • WORKAROUND (Only fixes the mis-clicks of the key so you do not have to reboot every time you click the button): Go to Sys. Settings → Keyboard → Shortcuts, select function you want to assign to the Sleep button click on it (I actually had to double-click and then click again until I could assign the key) and then click on the Sleep button and the button does not work as sleep anymore!
    • After pressing the Lock screen key the screen will keep turning off every few seconds. Partial Workaround: Disable suspend, as supposed here
    • After closing and reopening the lid the screen keeps on turning off every few seconds. Partial Workaround: In system preferences change power settings to do nothing when the lid is closed. Even if you do that the screen blanks when the lid reopens rather than when it closes. The power button will wake it up.
    • When the Transformer is in sleep mode, don't open/close the lid, don't plug in/unplug the keyboard dock, and don't connect/disconnect the power lead. All of those actions trigger a wake-up call that is currently badly interpreted.
  • Touchpad is not disabled when typing.
  • If you choose Reboot into recovery from within Android you will find yourself locked out of the primary system. The pad boots the secondary system automatically.
    • One temporary fix is to hold volume down when you turn on, and wait when asked to press volume up. Then when asked whether to wipe all user data, press volume down to cancel. That will take you into the primary system just once.
    • A better fix is to run the following command from within Ubuntu: sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/mmcblk0p3
      • (Note that this will complain that there is "no space left on device" if it works as intended)

What's working in the current release

Feature2.6.36 Kernel (OLiFE)3.1.10 Kernel (Jhinta)
Touchscreen Yes Yes
Keyboard Dock Yes Yes
SD and microSD Yes Yes
USB Ports Yes Yes (device must be connected at boot)
Touchpad Basic Functions (no multi-touch) Basic Functions (no multi-touch)
Wi-Fi Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Battery Meter Works in 12.04 Works in 12.04
Sound Headphones Only (Speakers require patch) Yes
Hardware Acceleration No OPENGL-ES
Web camera No No
Overclocking No Up to 1.6 GHz On-Demand (Requires patch)

Notes

  • Touchpad works, but isn't detected as one so it won't be automatically disabled when you're typing. Multitouch works (e.g. 2 finger tap to right click), but not gestures (e.g. scrolling).
  • There is an FM radio chip but we don't even know if it has the right sort of antenna to work properly.
  • Wine currently does not work but future versions may run Win8 apps. QEMU emulation is too slow to run any recent version of Windows.
  • Bluetooth requires copying over libs from Android.
  • Wi-Fi requires copying over libs from Android
  • Overclocking is set to be OnDemand and is set at boot. Use cat /proc/cpuinfo to check if you have overclocking. New patch is required to enable overclocking.

Ubuntu Installation and Development

Installing Ubuntu

There are a variety of ways to have Ubuntu installed.

  1. Install Ubuntu only.
  2. Install Ubuntu and Android. Have Ubuntu kernel replace recovery partition (default for OLiFE).
  3. Install Ubuntu and Android. Keep recovery partition and flash Ubuntu/Android kernel to boot into respective system.

Ubuntu can be installed on the tablet using a Linux PC, including using a Linux VM running on Windows, or using a Windows PC directly. For detailed install instructions read the Installation Section.

Development

  • Kernels
    The Ubuntu Kernel Section explains how to compile and flash new kernels. New/custom kernels allow you to experiment with the latest developments as well as add custom features and functionality. This should be especially beneficial to SBKv2 owners who need to modify the standard kernel to support their partitioning scheme.
  • RootFS
    The Ubuntu RootFS Section explains how to build a custom Linux root file system (rootFS). A custom rootFS will allow you to create a specialized Ubuntu environment or install a different flavor of Linux.
  • eMMC partitions
    The partition table below can be useful when trying to mount Android partitions from within Ubuntu or vice-versa. Partitions without a block device are only accessible from within blobs.
#Block DeviceNameType
2 BCT Boot Config Table
3 PT Partition Table
4 EBT Bootloader
5mmcblk0p9* SOS Recovery OS kernel (e.g. CWM)
6mmcblk0p10* LNX Current OS kernel (Android/Ubuntu)
7 BAK Data
8 GP1 Partition Table (Instance #1)
9mmcblk0p1 APP Android apps partition
10mmcblk0p2 CAC Data
11mmcblk0p3 MSC Data
12mmcblk0p4 USP Data
13mmcblk0p5 PER Data
14mmcblk0p6 YTU Data
15mmcblk0p7 UDA Android User Data partition
16mmcblk0p8 UBT Ubuntu Data Partition
17 GPT Partition Table (Instance #2)

Usage

Mounting Partitions

  • It is possible to mount the Ubuntu partition from within Android and to mount the Android partition from within Ubuntu.
    • To mount the Ubuntu partition go to the terminal and type
su
mount /dev/block/mmcblk0p8 /sdcard/mnt
    • To mount the Android partition go to the terminal and type
mount /dev/mmcblk0p7 /media/
  • To chroot into Ubuntu from Android you must mount the partition and then in terminal type
chroot /sdcard/mnt/ /bin/bash

Credits

Ubuntu flash pack for the ASUS Transformer / OLiFE


(c) 2011 Steven Barker <lilstevie@lilstevie.geek.nz>

NVFLASH


nvflash is the intellectual property of nvidia, and remains the property of nvidia. Any questions or queries regarding the usage and licence of nvflash should be directed to nvidia.

abootimg


abootimg is by Gilles Grandou <gilles@grandou.net> and is unmodified. The source is available from online at http://gitorious.org/ac100/abootimg