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[LIVE][USB][T100] Asus T100-TA Magic Stick

24th April 2015, 11:21 AM |#1  
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Asus T100-TA Magic Stick

Asus T100 Magic Stick

Since development and hacking for the Asus T100 tablet has been rather slow these past few months, due to the many problems that plagued the kernel and missing drivers, I decided to make a simple-to-use toolchain that works well on the device out-of-the-box. Thus, I have bundled a fully working Ubuntu live CD image and an Android-x86 build into a single usb stick format (I call it the "Magic Stick"), to allow easy testing, booting and updating stuff on the tablet. You can also use it to recover your device and perform maintenance activities without the usual hassle. And you can use it for showing off to your friends and co-workers by triple booting your tablet.

T100 Magic Stick Features:
  • Dual-boot directly from USB stick into Android or Ubuntu!
  • Test and play with both systems to see if you like them
  • Ubuntu 15.04 Live:
    • Updated 4.0 kernel (thanks to Kirill Belyaev for the kernel build)
    • No more internal HDD errors (no more rpmb issues)
    • Suspend working!
    • Installer working with grub installation! Finally!!
    • microSD Card working correctly
    • Wi-Fi working stable at boot
    • Battery reporting
    • Hardware buttons
    • Additional tools by default (gparted, mc, uefi, efibootmgr, grub2)
  • Android-x86 4.4 Live:
    • Updated 4.0 kernel (thanks to Povilas Staniulis for the kernel build)
    • No more internal HDD errors (no more rpmb issues)
    • Wi-Fi working
    • Battery reporting
    • Hardware buttons working
    • Google Services! (Play Store etc.)
    • Pre-rooted!
    • Writable system partition
  • Shrink and change partition layouts
  • Install and repair bootloaders, grub2 and UEFI
  • Install, repair, debug and update any operating system

Download and Install:

The installation procedure is extremely simple:
  1. Download the Magic Stick zip file from here: T100 Magic Stick download
  2. Extract the ZIP file
  3. Copy the extracted contents to a USB stick
  4. Disable secure boot in the UEFI firmware configuration (tap F2 at startup to enter configuration)
  5. Boot from the USB stick (tap F2 at startup and choose the stick as boot device from the menus)

Thanks and credits:
  • Kirill Belyaev, Povilas Staniulis, rbg, Chih-Wei Huang, Brain WrecK, pstglia
  • The whole Asus T100 Ubuntu Google+ Community (chck us out!);
  • The whole Android-x86 Google Group (check us out!);
  • Everyone else who contributed patches, fixes, ideas and suggestions!

Cheers,
C.
Last edited by cheatman; 26th April 2015 at 11:01 AM.
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24th April 2015, 11:22 AM |#2  
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Changelog:
  • v1.3: Ubuntu installer does not crash anymore!
  • v1.3: Added suspend support in Ubuntu
  • v1.3: Updated to Ubuntu 15.04
  • v1.3: Added sound for Ubuntu
  • v1.2: Initial release

Known Issues:
  • Ubuntu: suspend doesn't work as it should, no bluetooth, no rotation, no camera;
  • Android: suspend doesn't work as it should, no bluetooth, no rotation, no camera, no microSD;
  • Android: at boot, Google text-to-speech will FC a couple of times. This is fixed once you log into google play and update the APP;
  • Android: sometimes the keyboard dock is not enabled at boot. This is caused by a race condition at boot and I won't fix it. If you run into it, reboot and try again;
  • You tell me...

Frequent Questions:
  • Can I remove the stick after boot?
    Answer: No. This works like a live CD.
  • Will my data be saved?
    Answer: No. This works like a live CD.
  • Can I install Ubuntu?
    Answer: Yes. This works like a live CD.
  • Can I install Android?
    Answer: Yes, but not using the built-in installer.
  • How can I install Android-x86?
    Answer: Manually, but it's easy. Maybe I will create a step-by-step guide later...
  • Will Android work with ART (before or after install)?
    Answer: No.
  • Can I install xposed framework?
    Answer: Yes, but not on the live version, you must install Android locally first.
  • How can I update the Android-x86 version on the stick?
    Answer: Replace the files in the "x86" folder on the stick.
  • How can I update the Ubuntu version on the stick?
    Answer: You can't.
Last edited by cheatman; 26th April 2015 at 10:52 AM.
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24th April 2015, 11:23 AM |#3  
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Windows Tools:
I recommend you download these and save them onto the USB stick you create yourself, to always have them on hand. I did not include them on the stick as they are licensed separately (even if "free") and all credits go to their respective authors. I also recommend downloading the Windows 8.1 drivers for the T100 and saving them to the same stick, just in case you have to re-install Windows. Just make a separate folder on the stick and save whatever you want there. It won't break any functionality.
  • EasyUEFI - Download
    A tool which helps you manage UEFI boot entries, paths and configuration for booting with ease
  • Ext2Fsd - Download
    A tool which helps you mount ro/rw the Android/Linux partitions in windows as regular drives
  • unsqashfs 4.0 - Download
    A tool to extract the ".sfs" and ".squashfs" images to regular ".img" files (to make system.img writable, mountable etc.)
  • Advanced reboot script - Download
    A Windows batch file that reboots the system so you can select the boot device using your touchscreen (boot in Android/Ubuntu directly without the dock attached etc.)

Linux how-to resources:
Last edited by cheatman; 24th April 2015 at 01:25 PM.
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24th April 2015, 11:24 AM |#4  
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How-to / guides section:
This section contains a set of guides to help you with some basic tasks and activities to easily manage your own installation(s) of Android and Ubuntu. This is the part where the Magic Stick itself will prove to be useful and how you can use it to customize and repair or update anything.

WARNING: These guides are not extremely detailed and include only the activities which have to be performed. Each configuration is different and you need to understand what you are doing to make sure you don't break anything. Worst case scenario is that you will lose all your data. However, you will still be able to boot the Magic Stick to repair or re-install everything (thank me later!)

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any loss of data and you are at your own risk while using the tools, guides and information provided here. Back up your data and do not play around with systems that you use on a daily basis. Only follow these guides if you feel comfortable with the instructions and completely understand what you need to do at each step.

Make the Android system partition writable

When you download an Android-x86 release, you will find in the ZIP or ISO a bunch of files, including a file called "system.sfs" or "system.img".
  1. If you have a file called "system.img" you can stop now, your Android system partition is writable and you can skip to the final step.
  2. If you have a file called "system.sfs", then use the unsquashfs command to convert it into a writable format:
    • If you are using Windows, download the unsqashfs tool above and extract the zip. Drag and drop the "system.sfs" file on top of the unsqashfs executable to extract the system.img (you can find it inside the generated folder)
    • If you are using Linux, make sure squashfs-tools are installed and run this command from the folder containing the "system.sfs" file:
      Code:
      unsquashfs ./system.sfs
  3. That's it, now you can mount the system.img file generated under linux using this command:
    Code:
    mount -o loop ./system.img /path/to/destination/

Resize the system partition

Usually, the system partition of Android-x86 is made as small as possible (you don't want to download "free space", right?) so if you want to add gapps or other packages to the system partition there will be no space left. Here's how to increase the size of the system partition:
  1. Boot the Magic Stick into Ubuntu
  2. Open a console using the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut
  3. Browse to the folder containing the system.img file (using 'cd' or 'mc')
  4. Extend the system.img file by 200MB. Replace 200 with the amount of MB you want to add:
    Code:
    dd if=/dev/zero bs=1M count=200 >> ./system.img
  5. Run gparted to also extend the partition inside the file:
    Code:
    sudo gparted system.img
  6. In gparted, right click on the partition and select the option to shrink it down by only one MB (so it registers a change) and apply the changes
  7. Close gparted. You're done.

Make space to install Android

Creating a new partition onto which to install Android usually requires shrinking an existing partition. If you want to install Android on the tablet (not the dock base) you will have to shrink the Windows system partition. Here's how to do it in a reasonably safe way:
  1. Boot the Magic Stick into Ubuntu
  2. Open a console using the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut
  3. Run gparted as root:
    Code:
    sudo gparted
  4. In gparted, right click on the Windows system partition and select the option to shrink it down by at least 2GB. Make sure the partition actually has 2GB of free space, otherwise the process will not work.
  5. Right click the free space and create a new partition and select to format it as ext4. It's important to make it ext4, so keep this in mind. Also give it a name such as "android".
  6. Apply the changes and wait for the partition to be created.
  7. Close gparted. You're done.
  8. To have the partition available in Ubuntu Live, you have to mount it manually or just reboot (to have it mounted at boot automatically)

Install Android locally

Make sure you have the system.img, kernel, ramdisk.img and initrd.img files available. Make sure you have an ext4 partition mounted. The Android-x86 installation is in fact a simple process of copying the ISO/ZIP files onto the destination partition:
  1. Boot the Magic Stick into Ubuntu
  2. Open a console using the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut
  3. Copy the four relevant files to the ext4 partition using your method of choice
  4. That's it, Android-x86 is installed (but not yet bootable!)

Enable data saving for Android

To enable data saving for Android-x86, you have many choices. However, the simplest one is to use an ext4 partition and create a dedicated "data" folder for android. Make sure Android-x86 is installed onto an ext4 partition:
  1. Boot the Magic Stick into Ubuntu
  2. Open a console using the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut
  3. Navigate to the root of the partition (the mount point folder)
  4. Create a folder called "data":
    Code:
    mkdir -p data
  5. You're done, Android will save data persistently across reboots.
Note that this only works for ext4 partitions.
Note that using ext2 or ext3 will output errors for Google Play if you use Lollipop builds.
You have been warned.

Install the grub2 boot loader

Resizing partitions and copying (read installing ) Android is a very simple process. However, the bootloader installation is a much more complicated business (usually!). Here's how to make sure everything is installed correctly:
In progress...

Add the Android menuentry to grub2

Once we have grub2 installed and ready to go, it's time to make Adroid-x86 bootable as easily as possible:
In progress...

Update Android with new releases

Once Android is set up and ready to go, all you need to do to update it properly is to overwrite the existing files and reboot. Make sure you have the updated system.img, kernel, ramdisk.img and initrd.img files available. Make sure you have the Android ext4 partition mounted:
  1. Boot the Magic Stick into Ubuntu
  2. Open a console using the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut
  3. Copy the four relevant files to the ext4 partition using your method of choice, overwriting the existing ones
  4. That's it, Android-x86 is updated


Cheers,
C.
Last edited by cheatman; 24th April 2015 at 02:26 PM.
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24th April 2015, 02:24 PM |#5  
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Reserved....
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25th April 2015, 12:33 PM |#6  
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I am having some problems with this. Granted I am trying to use it for install on the Dell Venue 8 Pro. This tablet is a bay trail base, with most of the same hardware, minus the wireless/bt card. This works fantastic as a live cd, but when I install it I get problems. Is the ubuntu image only i386? When I was trying to change the kernel from the G+ group I kept getting the architecture mismatch (Kernel.deb file is amd64 and system is i386). Also the bootloader is kind of weird. All of the grub settings are correct, but if I want to boot ubuntu from the mmc I have to enter the advanced menu, then boot recovery mode. When recovery mode boots, I hit resume boot and then I am magically loaded into my installed system. Am I doing something wrong here?
26th April 2015, 09:01 AM |#7  
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The live image is i386 only. For the grub boot loader, try copying the entry contents into the stick boot menu and see if it works as intended. The menuentry file on the stick is in ./boot/grub/grub.conf.
I'll be releasing a new version of the stick with Ubuntu 15.04 (i386) and some additional sound fixes in the next few hours as well.

Cheers,
C.
Last edited by cheatman; 26th April 2015 at 10:27 AM.
26th April 2015, 11:04 AM |#8  
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Ok, v1.3 with new updates and fixes has been posted. Let me know of any improvements and/or problems.

Cheers,
C.
26th April 2015, 10:32 PM |#9  
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Thank you for great work! One promise: please, fix bug for HP Omni 10. My tablet can't boot in Ubuntu (but works perfectly with Android). Here is a link to the G+ posts with bug disc.

https://plus.google.com/105824122847...ts/4G1BQgD5LNQ
https://plus.google.com/105824122847...ts/gxqsVsNNJoq
26th April 2015, 10:40 PM |#10  
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The HP omni problem comes from the kernel, which I did not build and I do not maintain. Also, I don't have a HP omni, so I can't test it out.

The bottom line is that I can not promise to make it work, but I will update the kernel when possible. Keep in mind that this is a Asus T100 tool. Follow the thread and when an update for the kernel is posted, try the new version.

Cheers,
C.
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