[Discontinued] Linux on the Acer Iconia Tab A500, 2022 edition

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Worldblender

Senior Member
Feb 17, 2015
58
44
Moto G Power
Thank you very much, I have managed to install linux on the Iconia A500, but when I start it asks for a username and password, what should I put as username and password???
The original image (this one is based off the one for Raspberry Pi computers) should've prompted you to set your keyboard configuration, time zone, and then to create a new account, where you will enter a username and password of your own. Did that screen even show up? You may have to start over with reflashing the image if you forgot the username and password you entered earlier from that screen.
 

mariohce

Member
Jun 28, 2022
8
0
The original image (this one is based off the one for Raspberry Pi computers) should've prompted you to set your keyboard configuration, time zone, and then to create a new account, where you will enter a username and password of your own. Did that screen even show up? You may have to start over with reflashing the image if you forgot the username and password you entered earlier from that screen.
Sorry for so many inconveniences, I did the whole procedure again and when I start this screen appears, what happened. Please
 

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Worldblender

Senior Member
Feb 17, 2015
58
44
Moto G Power
Sorry for so many inconveniences, I did the whole procedure again and when I start this screen appears, what happened. Please
It seems that either the microSD card you used is not inserted, or it's not flashed properly. You need to like, start over the whole flashing process, and make sure you're using an appropriate program for this. After that, insert the microSD card that you used. It is possible to install the OS onto the internal storage, but I encourage using microSD cards to make things less tedious. Have you inserted your microSD card back in yet? If successful, you should eventually be brought to a screen for setup, starting with choosing the system language.
 

mariohce

Member
Jun 28, 2022
8
0
It seems that either the microSD card you used is not inserted, or it's not flashed properly. You need to like, start over the whole flashing process, and make sure you're using an appropriate program for this. After that, insert the microSD card that you used. It is possible to install the OS onto the internal storage, but I encourage using microSD cards to make things less tedious. Have you inserted your microSD card back in yet? If successful, you should eventually be brought to a screen for setup, starting with choosing the system language.
Thanks, if I did the whole procedure again, I get to the language setup screen but when it starts with the keyboard setup the setup program gives an error and exits. Then as it starts and it asks for username and password and I put the ones that I configure and it gives me a password error. I am done. Sorry for the question the image file will not be corrupted and something????
 

mariohce

Member
Jun 28, 2022
8
0
Thanks, if I did the whole procedure again, I get to the language setup screen but when it starts with the keyboard setup the setup program gives an error and exits. Then as it starts and it asks for username and password and I put the ones that I configure and it gives me a password error. I am done. Sorry for the question the image file will not be corrupted and something????
Hello, these are the errors that it gives me during the configuration, again I apologize for so many inconveniences, thank you.
 

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Worldblender

Senior Member
Feb 17, 2015
58
44
Moto G Power
Thanks, if I did the whole procedure again, I get to the language setup screen but when it starts with the keyboard setup the setup program gives an error and exits. Then as it starts and it asks for username and password and I put the ones that I configure and it gives me a password error. I am done. Sorry for the question the image file will not be corrupted and something????
You have to redownload the image from the original location, and maybe you'll have to use a different microSD card. You can use any 8 GB, 16 GB, or 32 GB microSD card. The pmOS_root partition can be resized to take up any remaining space.

I looked at all three of the errors, and the first one I cannot read, because it's in Spanish. I'm sorry about all of the troubles you're running into; I hope you won't give me a bad impression if I try my best and still cannot help you in the end.
 

mariohce

Member
Jun 28, 2022
8
0
You have to redownload the image from the original location, and maybe you'll have to use a different microSD card. You can use any 8 GB, 16 GB, or 32 GB microSD card. The pmOS_root partition can be resized to take up any remaining space.

I looked at all three of the errors, and the first one I cannot read, because it's in Spanish. I'm sorry about all of the troubles you're running into; I hope you won't give me a bad impression if I try my best and still cannot help you in the end.
The error says: "Sorry the installer crashed, after closing this window you will be able to file a bug report using the built in bug reporting tool.
This will collect information about the system and the installation process. Details will be sent to our bug tracker and a developer will address the issue as soon as possible".

Thank you very much for everything you have done, I will keep trying. Hoping that maybe later you'll get another distribution
 

mariohce

Member
Jun 28, 2022
8
0
tengo el mismo problema, probe con dos microsd distintas y nada
You too, we'll have to wait for the author to compile another image and then test it. I don't know if he will since he posted a message that the theme will be discontinued. A pity because the tablet still gives to use it some more time.

Tu también, tendremos que esperar que el autor compile otra imágen y luego probarla. No se si él lo hará ya que posteo un mensaje que el tema será discontinuado. Una pena porque la tablet todavía da para usarla algún tiempo más.
 

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  • 3
    UPDATE: I discontinued work for this tablet model, due to the lack of NEON support for the Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU used in this model. Any existing work I uploaded will remain online, but I won't be uploading anything new. I'm also considering selling my tablet to anyone interested.

    I have become successful with getting postmarketOS to run on this tablet for the past 2 months, running mainline Linux (5.8.0 as of this writing). This allows us to use this tablet model for a little longer, without getting stuck on older Linux kernel versions.
    postmarketOS is an experimental, touch-optimized and pre-configured Alpine Linux. It can be installed on smartphones and other devices.

    About postmarketOS, from their homepage:
    We are sick of not receiving updates shortly after buying new phones. Sick of the walled gardens deeply integrated into Android and iOS. That's why we are developing a sustainable, privacy and security focused free software mobile OS that is modeled after traditional Linux distributions. With privilege separation in mind. Let's keep our devices useful and safe until they physically break!

    Wiki page for this tablet: https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Acer_Iconia_Tab_A500_(acer-picasso)
    Most features should work, except for the camera and 3D acceleration. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work only if the non-free firmware is chosen to be installed.

    How to install:
    Follow the installation guide at https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Installation_guide, where theses specifics have to be specified when requested (this device is now in upstream pmaports):
    • Vendor: acer
    • Device code-name: picasso
    • Install non-free Wi-Fi + Bluetooth firmware: y
    Only the mainline kernel is available for installation now, as downstream kernels no longer successfully compile. The user interface may be freely selected, as long as it is not one that requires 3D acceleration. To use KDE Plasma 5, add these lines to /etc/security/pam_env.conf:
    Code:
    QT_IM_MODULE=qtvirtualkeyboard
    QT_QUICK_BACKEND=software
    LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=1

    Next, run the following commands in succession, after each one finishes, assuming the working directory contains the pmbootstrap.py script:
    Code:
    > ./pmbootstrap.py build device-acer-picasso
    > ./pmbootstrap.py build firmware-acer-picasso
    > ./pmbootstrap.py build linux-postmarketos-grate

    From here on out, the generated chroot can be either installed to the eMMC, or a microSD card that must be inserted at or before boot time (the latter method allows for dual-booting Android already installed to the eMMC, although it can be directly accessed from the Linux system). The boot partition always has to be flashed to the eMMC in fastboot mode, as it is not possible to boot directly off of a microSD card.
    If installing to the eMMC, run
    Code:
    > ./pmbootstrap.py install
    > ./pmbootstrap.py flasher flash_kernel --partition secboot
    > ./pmbootstrap.py flasher flash_rootfs
    (optional) > ./pmbootstrap.py flasher boot
    If installing to a microSD card, run
    Code:
    > ./pmbootstrap.py install --sdcard [path to the device for installation]
    > ./pmbootstrap.py flasher flash_kernel --partition secboot

    Depending on what user interface was chosen earlier in the installation process, there may not be enough packages installed to get a fully-loaded GUI. Besides the built-in Wi-Fi, it is also possible to use a USB ethernet adapter, or connect to another computer with a micro-USB cable and get RNDIS access that enables using SSH to the tablet.
    3
    Using another distro in place of postmarketOS

    Advanced: Using another distro in place of postmarketOS
    It is possible, if using the microSD card method, to use a different distro instead of postmarketOS, for those who want more software OOTB. I use the Ubuntu MATE rootfs from https://ubuntu-mate.org/ports/raspberry-pi/ as my daily driver, but other distros may take more effort to get working. Glibc limitations no longer apply, as the kernel version is no longer stuck at 3.1.0 (unlike with my earlier attempts). Carefully follow the instructions listed below, or the resulting system will become unbootable:
    1. Use losetup or GNOME Disks (Utility) to mount the image in read-write mode.
    2. Run GParted with the loop image and the target microSD card as the arguments.
    3. Copy only the larger rootfs partition to the microSD card. Resize as necessary to get it to fit on the target microSD card.
    4. Make sure on the target microSD card the boot partition is named 'pmOS_boot' and the rootfs 'pmOS_root'. The initramfs is hard-coded to search for partitions with these names by default for microSD cards. The loop image is not needed after this point, and can be safely detached.
    5. On the copied rootfs, edit /etc/fstab to reflect the partition layout. To get access to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, copy the kernel modules and firmware from the pmOS rootfs on the host system to the microSD rootfs.
    Let me know if something wasn't understood from my instructions, or more clarification is needed. The instructions here can be somewhat overwhelming for those who have less Linux experience, but at least we're not forced to stay on old distro versions anymore.
    3
    Premade Linux images

    I finally have managed to create a premade image to make the installation process easier for other people, especially for those who don't want to go through the hassle of compiling software. Every image I make can be found at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1pMqaS5GaM6N9TAKlNGQZWCG8UTiRn4pK?usp=sharing.

    For all images:
    • Kernel version: 5.15.0-rc4
    • Includes all compiled kernel modules from postmarketOS builds, plus nonfree firmware enabled.
    • The postmarketOS splash screen will appear, although the underlying OS differs based the image used.

    Images available:
    • Ubuntu MATE 20.04.1 (ubuntu-mate-20.04.1-desktop-armhf+acer-picasso.img.xz) (size: 1.3 GiB):
      • Based on 'ubuntu-mate-20.04.1-desktop-armhf+raspi.img.xz', available from https://ubuntu-mate.org/ports/raspberry-pi/
      • Underlying OS is Ubuntu 20.04.1, which is supported for 5 years until April 2025. However, Ubuntu MATE officially has support only until April 2023.
      • Requires at least an 8 GB or greater size microSD card (the image is 5.6 GiB decompressed).
      • The setup screen will open upon the first successful boot, where a username and password have to be set.
      • Most extra packages for the Raspberry Pi family of computers have been removed, including the kernels.
      • The battery icon in MATE cannot be enabled graphically, as the preferences window has been patched to permanently hide such an option (as the Raspberry Pis lack native battery support); instead run the command
        Code:
        gsettings set org.mate.power-manager icon-policy 'always'
        to manually enable it.
      • The PPA at https://launchpad.net/~grate-driver/+archive/ubuntu/ppa is pre-configured to be accessed. Most packages from this repository, including the opentegra driver, come preinstalled. They currently are enough to get 2D acceleration working, but not for 3D acceleration.
      • Except for what has been mentioned above, any packages shipped may have to be updated once an internet connection is established.
    • Arch Linux ARM (ArchLinuxARM-armv7-latest+acer-picasso.img.xz) (size: 576.6 MiB):
      • Based on 'ArchLinuxARM-armv7-latest.tar.gz', available from https://archlinuxarm.org/about/downloads
      • Rolling release distro often with the latest versions of most packages. More recent software can be acquired at a small expense of instability.
      • Requires at least an 2 GB or greater size microSD card (the image is 1.9 GiB decompressed). Larger size is recommended for installing more packages.
      • To login into system:
        • Login as the default user alarm with the password alarm.
        • The default root password is root.
      • Initially command-line only; contains no desktop environment installed.
    Use any image writing program with these images. If such a program does not support XZ compression, the image needs to be extracted instead, and that has to be used.
    I hope the images will proves useful to some people. Let me know if any issue pops up during usage of this image!
    2
    I released a new version of the premade Ubuntu MATE image just now, named 'ubuntu-mate-20.04.1-desktop-armhf+acer-picasso.img.xz'. The following changes have been made since the last image:
    • Kernel version upgraded to 5.10.1-rc1
    • Based on Ubuntu MATE 20.04.1
    • Everything that changed since the beta1 image
    Other than these changes, there are no other differences that can be noticed right away.
    Direct link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mr-7e29KJYeagJju0Yo1qUpT2YRb61AR/view?usp=sharing
    2
    Many thanks for your work. I've entered today this forum just curious about something new and found this!
    Second life for this old machine!

    For those with problems installing, I've flashed precompiled image using balenaEtcher into the sdcard.
    Then, extracted .xz image, extracted .img, then extracted 0.img and copied boot file from there. After that, renamed the file to boot.img and flashed it with fastboot.
    As I've the old modified skrillex bootloader, the command is fastboot flash secboot boot.img.

    It boots and works well for now!