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[UBUNTU][Testing] How-to install it on the Prime

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etienne51

Member
Sep 25, 2005
32
30
-----------
HOW-TO: Ubuntu on Asus Transformer Prime TF201

Port by lilstevie (thank you for your hard work)
--------

DISCLAIMER:
I wrote this how-to from my experience installing successfully Ubuntu on my Prime.
I am in no way responsible for what you do with your Prime, even when you are following my instructions.
There is always the risk of making it worse, hardbricking your device, and this risk is completely down to you !
This is not a final version. This port is currently very unstable !
Install Ubuntu on your TF201 for testing purposes only !


HOW-TO Unbrick your Prime (or not...):
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1514088

--------

VERSION:
v0.1: First version of the tutorial

ABOUT:
- Working:
Wifi – Same patch as for the TF101
Keyboard (if you have a dock)
USB Host (if you have a dock)

- Partially working:
Graphics Acceleration (only 2D at this point)
Touchscreen (it works but every few touches are off target by 1/2 the screen)

- Not working:
Bluetooth
Trackpad
Sound
Sensors (ALS, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, GPS, magnetometer)
Shutdown, Reboot, Suspend

--------

Links:
Bootimage http://173.244.200.139/ports/prime-sdlinux.blob
RootFS http://173.244.200.139/ports/ubuntu-prime.img.gz
Fastboot http://alpharev.nl/wintools.zip

MD5:
9625d336062b2ff7eb9530dd5e48fb9e prime-sdlinux.blob
1a59e7918c199a85f805cb62ca130dae ubuntu.img
81238957a42b207213442cba7eeff684 wintools.zip

--------

Hardware:
Asus Transformer Prime TF201 (bootloader unlocked & with data/charge cable)
A computer with Linux installed
MicroSD card of at least 4GB (a fast card is better)

--------

Pre-requisities:
1. You need to have an already unlocked Prime.
To unlock it, use the official Asus Bootloader Unlock Tool APK on Android.

2. You need to have the latest ClockWorkMod (CWM) Recovery installed to easily backup & restore your device.
To install it, you can use the Android tool 'ROM Manager' from Play Store if you system is already rooted.
Otherwise, you can use the 'Fastboot' tool along with this tutorial (BE CAREFUL!):
HOW-TO 1: http://www.theandroidsoul.com/install-cwm-5-8-2-0-on-transformer-prime/
HOW-TO 2: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1576937

(You can also install the Touch version of CWM to avoid destroying your volume buttons while navigating :D)
CLASSIC : http://download.clockworkmod.com/recoveries/recovery-clockwork-5.8.2.0-tf201.img
TOUCH : http://download.clockworkmod.com/recoveries/recovery-clockwork-touch-5.8.1.8-tf201.img

3. Before trying to do anything with your device, make a full nandroid backup of the current WORKING Android system.

To do that:
- Reboot on CWM (see the sticky, at the end)
- Navigate to 'backup and restore', then 'backup'
- Wait until the full backup is done...

--------

- INSTALL Ubuntu -

Introduction:
To have a working Ubuntu system on the Prime, you have to:
- Extract the root file system on your MicroSD card
- Flash the bootimage right on the device

While installing Ubuntu, the only thing you modify about Android, is the bootimage. You leave the system intact,
so you'll be able to do a pseudo-dualboot between Ubuntu, and Android (we'll see that later).

HOW-TO:
Extraction of the root filesystem:
- Connect your MicroSD card on the computer running linux (ex: /dev/sdc)
- Umount all current partitions from the card
- Using fdisk, fully erase it, rebuild partition table, and create one partition (ex: /dev/sdc1)
- Format it in 'ext4' (ex: $ mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdc1)
- Using 'dd' command, extract the 'ubuntu.img' filesystem to the recently created partition
(ex: $ dd if=ubuntu.img of=/dev/sdc1)
- Wait until extraction completes... (It takes a while...)
- Mount the partition to verify that the extraction completes successfully (ex: $ mount /dev/sdc1 folder)
- Umount it, eject the card and put it on the Prime (ex: $ umount /dev/sdc1)
- Your Ubuntu filesystem is ready to use !

Flashing the bootimage (BE CAREFUL!):
- Reboot in fastboot mode (see the sticky, at the end)
- Connect the Prime to the computer, and be sure the drivers are correctly installed
You can find the drivers here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1426502
- Extract the fastboot archive 'wintools.zip' and move the file 'prime-sdlinux.blob' in the same folder
- Execute the command: fastboot -i 0x0b05 flash boot prime-sdlinux.blob
(WARNING! This command will overwrite the bootimage of your Prime! Be sure you know what you're doing!)
- Wait until the flash completes... (it generally takes a few seconds...)
- When the blue progress bar is full, on the Prime, hold the Power switch to reboot the device
- Be sure that the MicroSD card is in the Prime
- Your Prime is now booting on Ubuntu, you should see some text displaying on the screen
- Wait until the system initializes... (It takes a while for the first boot...)
You should see kernel verbose booting, displaying something saying the system is resizing a partition
on the MicroSD card...
- Your Ubuntu system is installed ! You can do the graphical basic setup, then do a hard reboot of the device !
- Good luck with your freshly installed Ubuntu on your awsome Asus Transformer Prime !

--------

- RESTORE Android -

Introduction:
After installing Ubuntu, to have Android back on the Prime, you have to:
- (OPTIONAL: Do a full nandroid backup to be able to restore the Ubuntu bootimage directly from the CWM later)
- Simply restore the Android bootimage from the nandroid backup made before the installation of Ubuntu

HOW-TO:
To do that:
- Reboot on CWM (see the sticky, at the end)
- Go to 'backup and restore', then 'advanced restore'
- Choose the Android backup made before installing Ubuntu
- Choose 'Restore boot' option
- Wait until the restore is done...
- Choose 'reboot system now' to boot in Android

--------

- DUALBOOT Android/Ubuntu -

Introduction:
We can note that the both systems are installed on two different storage devices.
Android is directly on the device and Ubuntu is on the MicroSD.
The only thing that changes between the two systems is the bootimage.
If you have a nandroid backup of each WORKING systems, you can do an advanced restore of the boot 'boot.img'
of Ubuntu to boot it from the MicroSD card, or restore the boot of the Android backup to boot on Android !

HOW-TO:
To do that:
- Reboot on CWM (see the sticky, at the end)
- Go to 'backup and restore', then 'advanced restore'
- Choose the correct backup (the Android one, or the Ubuntu one)
- Choose 'Restore boot' option
- Wait until the restore is done...

--------

STICKY:
- Booting the Prime on recovery mode (CWM):
1. Power off the device (using Android, or by a long press of the power switch)
2. Power it on, by keeping simultaneously pressed the power switch and the volume down button
3. When text displays on top of the screen, release all, and press the volume up button
4. Wait a few seconds and CWM will appear on the Prime...

- Booting the prime in fastboot mode:
1. Power off the device (using Android, or by a long press of the power switch)
2. Power it on, by keeping simultaneously pressed the power switch and the volume down button
3. Wait until the message saying 'OS will coldboot in 10 seconds' etc... then release all buttons
4. Use the volume down button to select the USB icon
5. Validate with volume up
6. You can connect your device to a computer to send fastboot commands...
 

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  • prime-ubuntu-v0.1.txt
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Last edited:

cherian_aiims

Senior Member
Jul 6, 2010
122
19
Delhi
This is really great news!!!...I wanted to run ubuntu on my prime and use it as fully fledged portable laptop...
all there already was had either ubuntu running through vnc server and that too outdated version or chroot ubuntu...(if i am not missing anything here)

I wish that we would be soon able to get ubuntu for android (UFA) from canonical preinstalled with the next update of tf201...I heard that we cannot possibly install it without asus agreeing to team up with canonical...:rolleyes:

atm, this seems great...will test and report...!!!:)
 
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barryflanagan

Senior Member
Aug 17, 2009
260
78
Dublin
barry.flanagan.ie

etienne51

Member
Sep 25, 2005
32
30
As I said at the beginning, this is the work of lilstevie. I searched how to install it, and once I've set it up on my Prime, I made that tutorial today.
I share it here if someone want to try installing Ubuntu on their Prime.

The files are the original ones hosted by lilstevie. And I did not found any version newer, so let's wait for a new release, or a final version.

And no I don't work with him for the development.
 
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ryanbell

Member
Jun 6, 2010
34
5
Looking Forward to this

Will transform then Device into a laptop excellent.
Not sure why more people arn't getting involved.
 

barryflanagan

Senior Member
Aug 17, 2009
260
78
Dublin
barry.flanagan.ie
Will transform then Device into a laptop excellent.
Not sure why more people arn't getting involved.

Probably due the the high risk of completely bricking your prime until a safe dual boot or single boot solution is in place. Certainly that is what is holding me back.

The whole reason I bought the Prime was for this, but without nvflash I am going to hold back until some more intrepid soul does the boot work :)
 

Komodo Rogue

Senior Member
Oct 30, 2010
336
100
DC
do we need linux to format the sd card or can we do it in windows?

You need Linux, but don't let that stop you if you're a windows user - installing, say, Ubuntu is INCREDIBLY simple on windows, you can install it as a windows program, run live CDs, or (with just a liitle more effort) set up a dual-boot with windows and the Linux distros you like. I am NOT computer savvy, so trust me when I say it isn't hard :)

To anyone who has tried this, any comments on how well it runs? I'm not going to try this just yet, but I'm really curious. Does it run as well as Ubuntu on today's low-range laptops? I guess what I'm wondering is, does it seem like ordinary Ubuntu on ordinary x86 machine? Forget about the known issues, just browsing Unity or gnome, is it smooth and pleasant enough? Thanks for any info
 

jellydroid13

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2011
784
187
You need Linux, but don't let that stop you if you're a windows user - installing, say, Ubuntu is INCREDIBLY simple on windows, you can install it as a windows program, run live CDs, or (with just a liitle more effort) set up a dual-boot with windows and the Linux distros you like. I am NOT computer savvy, so trust me when I say it isn't hard :)

To anyone who has tried this, any comments on how well it runs? I'm not going to try this just yet, but I'm really curious. Does it run as well as Ubuntu on today's low-range laptops? I guess what I'm wondering is, does it seem like ordinary Ubuntu on ordinary x86 machine? Forget about the known issues, just browsing Unity or gnome, is it smooth and pleasant enough? Thanks for any info

thanks but i dug through and found my live linux flash drive(im no noob :)) i will be installing soon and tell you how it goes.
 

dotnerdify

Member
Dec 21, 2010
49
7
Mississauga, ON
just tried it and it looks very promising. I could finally use remote desktop decently from my prime and control vms within the server, which was awesome.

can't wait for these corageous and smart people to get dual boot working among the other issues

also found out:

- no functioning battery indicator for both batteries (dock/tablet)
- couldn't install flash so for youtube (guess none is available for arm?)
 
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jellydroid13

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2011
784
187
i also just tried it out and cant wait for it to be fully functional (is anyone even still working on it?) anyways i would replace android with it.
 
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barryflanagan

Senior Member
Aug 17, 2009
260
78
Dublin
barry.flanagan.ie
But then what is the point of having a tablet over a netbook or cheap laptop? Battery life? Touch screen?

Both of those things, plus versatility (dock, no dock, Linux or Android), and of course the cool factor :)

I would want to keep android around (hence desire for dual boot) for the times I might want it (like to watch movies on a flight, etc) but I think for the most part if there was a good, fast native Linux that's where I would be.
 

Atlas7

Senior Member
Feb 4, 2012
353
31
Grad Zagreb
My opinion is that there is no need for Linux Ubutnu on Primes, because I bought just because PRIME has Android OS and has features that no laptop! And more like Prime with Android OS because it is function of the sea than no have a laptop with Windows, Mac or Linux Ubuntu. Some of the features that I like on my To: Touchscreen, Bluetooth, trackpad, sensor (ALS, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, GPS, magnetometer), shutdown, reboot, no need for always shotdown and wait time for the system start, It is great for work and playing games, two cameras, GPS, BATTERY LIVES IS MUCH BETTER THAN IN LAPTOPS and lot more options.

:cool:
 

qubz

Inactive Recognized Developer
Jun 12, 2007
585
71
A parallel dimension
Sure tabs have their use cases, but having a full blown Linux distro running as well extends that set of use cases by a phenomenal amount. I can certainly use a Linux distro on my tab for the full blown IDE Eclipse an other apps available like FTP, VNC etc.

Current users, can you say how the touch screen works? Still half of the screen?
 
Last edited:

jellydroid13

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2011
784
187
Sure tabs have their use cases, but having a full blown Linux distro running as well extends that set to use cases by a phenomenal amount. I can certainly use a Linux distro on my tab for the full blown IDE Eclipse an other apps available like FTP, VNC etc.

Current users, can you say how the touch screen works? Still half of the screen?

My touchscreen has been working fine so far also lilsteve said on his twitter that he has a most stuff working and that the release of Ubuntu 12.04 in 4 days is supposed to have native tegra 3 support so he is planning on a 12.04 release with most stuff working soon.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
 
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  • 20
    -----------
    HOW-TO: Ubuntu on Asus Transformer Prime TF201

    Port by lilstevie (thank you for your hard work)
    --------

    DISCLAIMER:
    I wrote this how-to from my experience installing successfully Ubuntu on my Prime.
    I am in no way responsible for what you do with your Prime, even when you are following my instructions.
    There is always the risk of making it worse, hardbricking your device, and this risk is completely down to you !
    This is not a final version. This port is currently very unstable !
    Install Ubuntu on your TF201 for testing purposes only !


    HOW-TO Unbrick your Prime (or not...):
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1514088

    --------

    VERSION:
    v0.1: First version of the tutorial

    ABOUT:
    - Working:
    Wifi – Same patch as for the TF101
    Keyboard (if you have a dock)
    USB Host (if you have a dock)

    - Partially working:
    Graphics Acceleration (only 2D at this point)
    Touchscreen (it works but every few touches are off target by 1/2 the screen)

    - Not working:
    Bluetooth
    Trackpad
    Sound
    Sensors (ALS, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, GPS, magnetometer)
    Shutdown, Reboot, Suspend

    --------

    Links:
    Bootimage http://173.244.200.139/ports/prime-sdlinux.blob
    RootFS http://173.244.200.139/ports/ubuntu-prime.img.gz
    Fastboot http://alpharev.nl/wintools.zip

    MD5:
    9625d336062b2ff7eb9530dd5e48fb9e prime-sdlinux.blob
    1a59e7918c199a85f805cb62ca130dae ubuntu.img
    81238957a42b207213442cba7eeff684 wintools.zip

    --------

    Hardware:
    Asus Transformer Prime TF201 (bootloader unlocked & with data/charge cable)
    A computer with Linux installed
    MicroSD card of at least 4GB (a fast card is better)

    --------

    Pre-requisities:
    1. You need to have an already unlocked Prime.
    To unlock it, use the official Asus Bootloader Unlock Tool APK on Android.

    2. You need to have the latest ClockWorkMod (CWM) Recovery installed to easily backup & restore your device.
    To install it, you can use the Android tool 'ROM Manager' from Play Store if you system is already rooted.
    Otherwise, you can use the 'Fastboot' tool along with this tutorial (BE CAREFUL!):
    HOW-TO 1: http://www.theandroidsoul.com/install-cwm-5-8-2-0-on-transformer-prime/
    HOW-TO 2: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1576937

    (You can also install the Touch version of CWM to avoid destroying your volume buttons while navigating :D)
    CLASSIC : http://download.clockworkmod.com/recoveries/recovery-clockwork-5.8.2.0-tf201.img
    TOUCH : http://download.clockworkmod.com/recoveries/recovery-clockwork-touch-5.8.1.8-tf201.img

    3. Before trying to do anything with your device, make a full nandroid backup of the current WORKING Android system.

    To do that:
    - Reboot on CWM (see the sticky, at the end)
    - Navigate to 'backup and restore', then 'backup'
    - Wait until the full backup is done...

    --------

    - INSTALL Ubuntu -

    Introduction:
    To have a working Ubuntu system on the Prime, you have to:
    - Extract the root file system on your MicroSD card
    - Flash the bootimage right on the device

    While installing Ubuntu, the only thing you modify about Android, is the bootimage. You leave the system intact,
    so you'll be able to do a pseudo-dualboot between Ubuntu, and Android (we'll see that later).

    HOW-TO:
    Extraction of the root filesystem:
    - Connect your MicroSD card on the computer running linux (ex: /dev/sdc)
    - Umount all current partitions from the card
    - Using fdisk, fully erase it, rebuild partition table, and create one partition (ex: /dev/sdc1)
    - Format it in 'ext4' (ex: $ mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdc1)
    - Using 'dd' command, extract the 'ubuntu.img' filesystem to the recently created partition
    (ex: $ dd if=ubuntu.img of=/dev/sdc1)
    - Wait until extraction completes... (It takes a while...)
    - Mount the partition to verify that the extraction completes successfully (ex: $ mount /dev/sdc1 folder)
    - Umount it, eject the card and put it on the Prime (ex: $ umount /dev/sdc1)
    - Your Ubuntu filesystem is ready to use !

    Flashing the bootimage (BE CAREFUL!):
    - Reboot in fastboot mode (see the sticky, at the end)
    - Connect the Prime to the computer, and be sure the drivers are correctly installed
    You can find the drivers here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1426502
    - Extract the fastboot archive 'wintools.zip' and move the file 'prime-sdlinux.blob' in the same folder
    - Execute the command: fastboot -i 0x0b05 flash boot prime-sdlinux.blob
    (WARNING! This command will overwrite the bootimage of your Prime! Be sure you know what you're doing!)
    - Wait until the flash completes... (it generally takes a few seconds...)
    - When the blue progress bar is full, on the Prime, hold the Power switch to reboot the device
    - Be sure that the MicroSD card is in the Prime
    - Your Prime is now booting on Ubuntu, you should see some text displaying on the screen
    - Wait until the system initializes... (It takes a while for the first boot...)
    You should see kernel verbose booting, displaying something saying the system is resizing a partition
    on the MicroSD card...
    - Your Ubuntu system is installed ! You can do the graphical basic setup, then do a hard reboot of the device !
    - Good luck with your freshly installed Ubuntu on your awsome Asus Transformer Prime !

    --------

    - RESTORE Android -

    Introduction:
    After installing Ubuntu, to have Android back on the Prime, you have to:
    - (OPTIONAL: Do a full nandroid backup to be able to restore the Ubuntu bootimage directly from the CWM later)
    - Simply restore the Android bootimage from the nandroid backup made before the installation of Ubuntu

    HOW-TO:
    To do that:
    - Reboot on CWM (see the sticky, at the end)
    - Go to 'backup and restore', then 'advanced restore'
    - Choose the Android backup made before installing Ubuntu
    - Choose 'Restore boot' option
    - Wait until the restore is done...
    - Choose 'reboot system now' to boot in Android

    --------

    - DUALBOOT Android/Ubuntu -

    Introduction:
    We can note that the both systems are installed on two different storage devices.
    Android is directly on the device and Ubuntu is on the MicroSD.
    The only thing that changes between the two systems is the bootimage.
    If you have a nandroid backup of each WORKING systems, you can do an advanced restore of the boot 'boot.img'
    of Ubuntu to boot it from the MicroSD card, or restore the boot of the Android backup to boot on Android !

    HOW-TO:
    To do that:
    - Reboot on CWM (see the sticky, at the end)
    - Go to 'backup and restore', then 'advanced restore'
    - Choose the correct backup (the Android one, or the Ubuntu one)
    - Choose 'Restore boot' option
    - Wait until the restore is done...

    --------

    STICKY:
    - Booting the Prime on recovery mode (CWM):
    1. Power off the device (using Android, or by a long press of the power switch)
    2. Power it on, by keeping simultaneously pressed the power switch and the volume down button
    3. When text displays on top of the screen, release all, and press the volume up button
    4. Wait a few seconds and CWM will appear on the Prime...

    - Booting the prime in fastboot mode:
    1. Power off the device (using Android, or by a long press of the power switch)
    2. Power it on, by keeping simultaneously pressed the power switch and the volume down button
    3. Wait until the message saying 'OS will coldboot in 10 seconds' etc... then release all buttons
    4. Use the volume down button to select the USB icon
    5. Validate with volume up
    6. You can connect your device to a computer to send fastboot commands...
    17
    Here is a video of the current status.


    There is a blog post coming soon.
    10
    You have pubblished new files ?
    We are anxiously awaiting :D

    there is a major bug with the 3.1 kernel which is holding things up at the moment, there is a race condition which means the boot needs to be broken out into an initrd shell and resumed to work
    10
    Can You write on How-to for install one distro complete ?

    no, and the reason will make you happy!
    just now i've got kexec works! :laugh:

    PLEASE STOP TESTING ROOT_CHOOSER v5.
    configuration files syntax will change for support external kernel loading.

    so, let me make root_chooser v6 and a custom kernel for boot everything.
    i'll update you soon!

    Cheers!
    9
    i did it!
    the touchpad WORKS!
    ensure to have xf86-input-synaptics package installed ( on ubuntu should be 'xserver-xorg-input-synaptics' ).

    as usually you can find everything here: https://github.com/tux-mind/tf201-dev
    for update your TF201 follow this guide: http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Asus_Transformer_Prime#INSTALLING_THE_KERNEL

    we ALWAYS provide the source code, for now all our kernel changes are in the JB15.patch file.
    if you want to contribute i'll add you to the repository collaborators.

    cheers!