• Introducing XDA Computing: Discussion zones for Hardware, Software, and more!    Check it out!

Linux on the Acer Iconia Tab A500, 2020 edition

Search This thread

Zarosky

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2016
119
33
Buenos Aires
TWRP -> Andvance -> Terminal

# df

if mmcblk0p8 is userdata partition, it had more space

# umount /dev/block/mmcblk0p8 (2 times)

Then back PC/latop:

# adb push /tmp/postmarketOS-export/acer-picasso.img /dev/block/mmcblk0p8

If it failed again, check your usb cable, i think 1.0 -> 2.0 support
Many thanks!

Now I have another problem, when you start for the first time ubuntu mate 20.04 you have to configure, but when it is finishing it says the keyboard configuration fails and the configuration is cut off. Do you know why this can happen? could you connect the keyboard at the time of setting username and password? should I have connected it before?
 

Baonks81

Member
Aug 8, 2020
37
11
Many thanks!

Now I have another problem, when you start for the first time ubuntu mate 20.04 you have to configure, but when it is finishing it says the keyboard configuration fails and the configuration is cut off. Do you know why this can happen? could you connect the keyboard at the time of setting username and password? should I have connected it before?
slide to block paragraph/text, and then copy/paste at create user, or you can connect micro-usb keyboard, kernel 5.14 support otg-usb. Nice tips when I stuck at oem setup abit ^_^!
 

B83C

Member
Dec 7, 2020
28
4
Behind you
Asus ZenFone 2
Installing it is very simple.
But the prerequisites are:
  • Patched ICS bootloader v9 by @Skrilax_CZ ( or you can build the unreleased v10 version from his git repository )
  • Some Linux experience

Here's what I did to make the kernel easily upgradable in the future
Steps:
  1. With the help of nvflash, I enlarged the boot partition(LNX) ( to maybe around 155MB ) and leave UDA as it is.
  2. Then, in twrp, connected to adb shell, I executed make_ext4fs to format /dev/block/mmcblk0p2 ( as in LNX ) and /dev/block/mmcblk0p8 ( as in UDA ) followed by mounting them respectively to any empty folders.
  3. Having done so, I pushed both acer-picasso-boot.img and acer-picasso-root.img (generated from pmbootstrap export after doing pmbootstrap install --split) to the anywhere on the device and mounted them.
  4. Now, you only have to copy their content onto the previously mounted partitions respectively ( boot onto mmcblk0p2 and root onto p8 )
  5. And the most important step is to label mmcblk0p2 as pmOS_boot and mmcblk0p8 as pmOS_root using tune2fs.
  6. You are almost done. At this point, you would need to create a file in your mmcblk0p2 (LNX) partition. What I would do is to create one named 'menu' (so as to reduce the amount of codes needed to type)
  7. In the newly created file, you write
    Bash:
    [BOOT1]
    title=postmarket OS
    android=LNX:/boot.img-postmarketos-grate
  8. Last but not least, boot into fastboot and on your PC do this :
    Bash:
    fastboot oem set-boot-file LNX:/menu
  9. Reboot, and voila!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Baonks81

B83C

Member
Dec 7, 2020
28
4
Behind you
Asus ZenFone 2
TWRP -> Andvance -> Terminal

# df

if mmcblk0p8 is userdata partition, it had more space

# umount /dev/block/mmcblk0p8 (2 times)

Then back PC/latop:

# adb push /tmp/postmarketOS-export/acer-picasso.img /dev/block/mmcblk0p8

If it failed again, check your usb cable, i think 1.0 -> 2.0 support
have you tried doing :
Code:
fastboot flash userdata /tmp/postmarketOS-export/acer-picasso.img
?

I probably overlooked something, ignore this msg...
 

Zarosky

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2016
119
33
Buenos Aires
problem whit ubuntu mate 20.04 first boot, installer crash:
Installer: Configuring system locales... (takes about 5min)
Installer: Configuring keyboard...
Pop-up appears with title: Installer crashed (on Ubuntu).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Baonks81

Zarosky

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2016
119
33
Buenos Aires
Do not connect wifi, bypass this step. And test again
never connect wifi

I tried to install it many times, and I always crash

Likewise, I think that with 1gb of ram it is very difficult to use this system, in the nexus 7 that also has a 1gb of ram, it is checked when you want to surf the internet, or with few open programs, you have to see if any version of puppy
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Baonks81

Baonks81

Member
Aug 8, 2020
37
11
never connect wifi

I tried to install it many times, and I always crash

Likewise, I think that with 1gb of ram it is very difficult to use this system, in the nexus 7 that also has a 1gb of ram, it is checked when you want to surf the internet, or with few open programs, you have to see if any version of puppy
Well, I think you have to optimize sysctl.conf before run oem setup, Acer a500 iconia image has no change, sysctl file was empty
 

Baonks81

Member
Aug 8, 2020
37
11
I tried it today, and that didn't solve anything about me being unable to run Firefox at all. Really, Firefox 57 and newer are compiled with mandatory usage of NEON instructions for ARM architectures, and nothing software-wise can allow me to run more recent Firefox versions. Really, I only have a few options if I still want to run Firefox:
  • Replace my Acer Iconia Tab A500 with a newer hardware tablet.
  • Stay on Firefox 56, which is the last pre-Quantum version, but which doesn't receive security updates.
  • Switch to a pre-Quantum Firefox fork, such as Pale Moon.
The Tegra 2 CPU was affected by planned obsolescence from Nvidia from the start: by not including NEON instructions until Tegra 3, it is one of many cases that forces people to buy newer hardware once the majority of mainstream software stopped supporting it.
new kernel config for Acer Iconia A500
 

PsychosisNC

Member
Oct 3, 2010
33
5
I have tried the Ubuntu Mate image on 2 different sd cards and each time it gets to configuring system locales and the installer crashes. Can't login using the username and password I chose. Have tried connecting to wifi or not. Any thoughts?
 
  • Like
Reactions: bascore

bascore

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2010
54
11
calais
hello me too I have tried the Ubuntu Mate image on 2 different sd cards and each time it gets to configuring system locales and the installer crashes. Can't login using the username and password I chose. Have tried connecting to wifi or not. Any thoughts? always blocked for keyboard configuration
 

Attachments

  • IMG20211005220657.jpg
    IMG20211005220657.jpg
    19.4 MB · Views: 12
Last edited:

PsychosisNC

Member
Oct 3, 2010
33
5
hello me too I have tried the Ubuntu Mate image on 2 different sd cards and each time it gets to configuring system locales and the installer crashes. Can't login using the username and password I chose. Have tried connecting to wifi or not. Any thoughts? always blocked for keyboard configuration
When you get to that message don't click ok. Hit ctrl+F4 I think it is and login on the command line using oem for user and pass. Then adduser {yourusername}. Set up your user and password and then reboot. It should boot in then next time and not go through the setup. Make sure you do it at the last error and not the first.

The problem I am having now is finding a browser that will work. Firefox is not working and none of the others will install.
 

bascore

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2010
54
11
calais
When you get to that message don't click ok. Hit ctrl+F4 I think it is and login on the command line using oem for user and pass. Then adduser {yourusername}. Set up your user and password and then reboot. It should boot in then next time and not go through the setup. Make sure you do it at the last error and not the first.

The problem I am having now is finding a browser that will work. Firefox is not working and none of the others will install.

nothing to do
 

Top Liked Posts

  • There are no posts matching your filters.
  • 1
    I have tried the Ubuntu Mate image on 2 different sd cards and each time it gets to configuring system locales and the installer crashes. Can't login using the username and password I chose. Have tried connecting to wifi or not. Any thoughts?
  • 3
    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: 5.14.0-rc1
    • 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: 598.8 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!