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Linux on the Acer Iconia Tab A500, 2020 edition

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Baonks81

Member
Aug 8, 2020
48
12
Thank you for giving me this info. I have uploaded a newer version of the Ubuntu MATE image with these changes in mind. I'm not sure of how to enable the extra parameters you gave me, but at least you encouraged me to get audio working again.

Changes:
  • Kernel version upgraded to 5.14.0-rc1.
  • Most extra packages for the Raspberry Pi family of computers have been removed, including the kernels.
  • 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.
To get sound working again for existing images, edit the file at /etc/modules and add to this file:
Code:
snd_soc_tegra20_i2s
snd_soc_tegra_pcm
snd_soc_tegra_wm8903
snd_soc_wm8903
 

Worldblender

Member
Feb 17, 2015
47
39
Moto G Power
hi i have compiled the 5.15.0_rc4 kernel

always password error
The password you have to use is the one that was entered during the pmbootstrap setup phase. It can't be seen during this time, so you have to make sure to not make any mistakes, even during the second time. You can use something easy like '1234' if you're in fear of making mistakes. It it possible to chroot into the filesystem after installation to change the user password, in case this doesn't work, however.
A new image with a newer kernel? Maybe. I've found myself less motivated to work on this and related images, because of the lack of NEON that prevents me from being able to run certain programs such as Firefox 57 and newer. However, I'm open to letting others reproduce the images I made, including newer versions, and this might have to be done should I find myself with less free time later on.
 

Baonks81

Member
Aug 8, 2020
48
12
The password you have to use is the one that was entered during the pmbootstrap setup phase. It can't be seen during this time, so you have to make sure to not make any mistakes, even during the second time. You can use something easy like '1234' if you're in fear of making mistakes. It it possible to chroot into the filesystem after installation to change the user password, in case this doesn't work, however.

A new image with a newer kernel? Maybe. I've found myself less motivated to work on this and related images, because of the lack of NEON that prevents me from being able to run certain programs such as Firefox 57 and newer. However, I'm open to letting others reproduce the images I made, including newer versions, and this might have to be done should I find myself with less free time later on.
Ok, I just replace kernel 5.15.0-rc4 from @bascore , following your guide. I hope it'll work, I didn't have Acer Iconia device to test those images

 
Last edited:

bascore

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2010
61
15
calais
Ok, I just replace kernel 5.15.0-rc4 from @bascore , following your guide. I hope it'll work, I didn't have Acer Iconia device to test those images


Ok, I just replace kernel 5.15.0-rc4 from @bascore , following your guide. I hope it'll work, I didn't have Acer Iconia device to test those images

hello keyboard function not
 

ohiotech

New member
Nov 2, 2021
2
0
Would much appreciate some help please. My Linux skills are intermediate. I want to try one of these linux images, but I can't get past the first step of getting a file manager installed to get the CPU ID. All I find says to go to the play store. Now that everything is https and tls 1.2, I can't get this old browser to connect for a download/install. Even tried apkpure.com hoping to get a 3rd party download, nothing works. Would setting up local ftp server work? Thanks in advance. Ohiotech
 

Baonks81

Member
Aug 8, 2020
48
12
hi no GPU accelerate grate-driver! how to install eMMC rootfs kali
Using adb push to /userdata partition on PC and twrp -> advance -> terminal -> df -> umount mmcblk0p--

But you have to make sure which mmcblk0p-- was /userdata partition. Its can be brick your device

Btw, I didn't have Acer Iconia A500, so I can't test those steps
 
Last edited:

Baonks81

Member
Aug 8, 2020
48
12
Would much appreciate some help please. My Linux skills are intermediate. I want to try one of these linux images, but I can't get past the first step of getting a file manager installed to get the CPU ID. All I find says to go to the play store. Now that everything is https and tls 1.2, I can't get this old browser to connect for a download/install. Even tried apkpure.com hoping to get a 3rd party download, nothing works. Would setting up local ftp server work? Thanks in advance. Ohiotech
I'm new in linux too. But I try to search and learn more on internet, why could you do like us!? Try hard :)

 

bascore

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2010
61
15
calais
Would much appreciate some help please. My Linux skills are intermediate. I want to try one of these linux images, but I can't get past the first step of getting a file manager installed to get the CPU ID. All I find says to go to the play store. Now that everything is https and tls 1.2, I can't get this old browser to connect for a download/install. Even tried apkpure.com hoping to get a 3rd party download, nothing works. Would setting up local ftp server work? Thanks in advance. Ohiotech
hi i will make an img that works for you help
 
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bascore

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2010
61
15
calais
arm-linux-gnueabi-ld : ./fastboot.o : dans la fonction « fastboot_main » :
fastboot.c:(.text.fastboot_main+0x88) : référence indéfinie vers « fastboot_status_ok »
arm-linux-gnueabi-ld : fastboot.c:(.text.fastboot_main+0x168) : référence indéfinie vers « fastboot_status_ok »
arm-linux-gnueabi-ld : fastboot.c:(.text.fastboot_main+0x196) : référence indéfinie vers « fastboot_status_ok »
arm-linux-gnueabi-ld : fastboot.c:(.text.fastboot_main+0x1c4) : référence indéfinie vers « fastboot_status_ok »
arm-linux-gnueabi-ld : fastboot.c:(.text.fastboot_main+0x350) : référence indéfinie vers « fastboot_status_ok »
arm-linux-gnueabi-ld : ./fastboot.o:fastboot.c:(.text.fastboot_main+0x404) : encore plus de références indéfinies suivent vers « fastboot_status_ok »
make: *** [Makefile:83 : bootmenu.elf] Erreur 1
 
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  • 1
    Would much appreciate some help please. My Linux skills are intermediate. I want to try one of these linux images, but I can't get past the first step of getting a file manager installed to get the CPU ID. All I find says to go to the play store. Now that everything is https and tls 1.2, I can't get this old browser to connect for a download/install. Even tried apkpure.com hoping to get a 3rd party download, nothing works. Would setting up local ftp server work? Thanks in advance. Ohiotech
    hi i will make an img that works for you help
  • 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!