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Old December 23rd, 2012, 10:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 105
 
Device(s): Androids: Ainol Novo 7 Elf II, Samsung GT-I5500, Pendo PP4MT-7, Nexus 7 and Sony E ST21a2.
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Cool Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal armhf for Elf II and Aurora II by AndrewDB (Alpha 0.3)

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This runs from a sdcard look for red text post below orginal post by AndrewDB i have taken out download/other links
the source at end of post is where you'll find them read on.

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Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal armhf for Elf II Alpha 0.3 release - based on Quantal Beta 2


Hi everybody,
I'll update this post, offer support and answer questions in this thread from now on. Please at least read this first post COMPLETELY before asking any questions!

What's this about? Well, this is about having Ubuntu Quantal (12.10 release) running on the Elf II or the Aurora II. More precisely, it's a subset of Ubuntu 12.10 beta 2, with updated packages resulting in a working, fully upgradable minimal Linux system.

Present version is Alpha 0.3.

Without further ado, here is where you can download it from (approx. 120MB for mini version, 620MB for Xubuntu version):
link

For the Aurora II (testing), mini version only: link

Requirements:

- Elf II or Aurora II (obviously).
- microSD card (4Gb, 8Gb, 16Gb).
- Optional: USB hub + USB keyboard + USB mouse.

This Linux distribution DOES NOT USE THE TABLET'S INTERNAL FLASH in any way, so your Android setup is left untouched. Everything runs from the microSD card.

To install the downloaded tarball on a microSD card you'll need a Linux computer or you can use your Windows box, just boot with a Linux Live CD (I suggest an Ubuntu Live CD).

micro SD card setup

1. Use GParted to create two partitions, partition 1 is a 63MB FAT32 partition STARTING ON SECTOR 2048 (i.e. leave 1MB space BEFORE the partition - GParted does that automatically btw), partition 2 is the rest of your SD card, ext4. DO NOT LABEL partition 1, DO LABEL partition2 LinuxRootFS.

2. As root, extract the tarball, and copy (using cp -a): first, the two files in the boot directory to Partition 1, second, all the files in the root directory to partition 2.

To boot into your microSD card:

- Completely turn off your Elf II.
- Press and keep pressed the Volume - key, then press and keep pressed the Power key. Release both keys after the green Android logo shows up.
- The screen will go blank for around 20s while the kernel boots.
- You'll be greeted with a login screen in the XFCE version, or with a login prompt in the Minimal version. The predefined user is user ubuntu, password ubuntu.

To become root just use sudo su. The default password for user ubuntu is ubuntu, please change it to something else for security reasons!

Elf II HDMI desktop screenshot:



Changelog

Alpha 0.1: initial release.
Alpha 0.2: Broadcom wifi module now works properly.
Alpha 0.3: now based on Ubuntu Quantal (12.10 release). Important note: Minimal and Xubuntu versions available! Read below!

Versions:
Minimal: command-line version of Ubuntu, does not include X window + GUI. You can easily install the GUI of your choice with a single "apt-get install" command. Requires approx. 600MB on microSD card.
Xubuntu: has complete XFCE desktop installed by default, with Chromium replacing Firefox. Requires approx. 2GB on microSD card.

TODO:
- Porting of HDMI_Switch to Linux.
- Hardware assisted video playback (the drivers are already included in the kernel, all that is needed is a user-space program).
- Audio testing.
- Camera support testing.
- Add touchscreen support.
- Kernel compiling on the Elf II itself.

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Features:
- Minimal version has no GUI desktop installed, but is upgradeable to the desktop of your choice, either LXDE or XFCE work well.
- Xubuntu version has full XFCE desktop installed, with Chromium replacing Firefox.
- Wifi using the internal Broadcom BCM40181 chipset.
- Aml8726MX dual core running in SMP mode with default performance governor @1.488GHz maximum clock (boots at 1.2GHz).
- Ainol kernel with added Bluetooth support, support for many USB Ethernet and Wifi dongles, reports complete kernel config in /proc/config.gz, removed PARANOID_NETWORKING.
- Can be upgraded to full Ubuntu 12.10 distribution quite easily, but please note that Unity requires a 3D card, so you can't run a full Unity desktop here.
- Bluetooth support installed in both Minimal and Xubuntu versions (Minimal version can use command-line utilities to pair Bluetooth devices, Xubuntu version uses Blueman).
- Framebuffer console! Yes, you can switch from X to a text console with the usual Ctrl-Alt-F[1 to 6] and back to X with Ctrl-Alt-F7.
- HDMI @ 1920x1080.
- Latest gcc 4.7.2 toolchain installed.

Not tested:
- Audio.
- Camera.
- Touchscreen input.
- Suspend/Hibernate.
- Video playback. The Aml8726MX Linux kernel supports hardware-assisted video H264 decompression, so videos should play in HD without problems and with low CPU usage. I'll try to include a working video player with hardware assisted video playback in a later release.

Not available:
- Mali support (3D acceleration). The Mali X drivers are not freely distributable (ARM license required) but there is an on-going Open Source project to support the Mali GPU in Linux. [link]

Known bugs:
- Seems the blinking cursor is missing in the framebuffer console. I found the following:
PHP Code:
 # If on console, change cursor colour according to
 # /usr/src/linux/Documentation/VGA-softcursor.txt
 # Reset using echo -e '\033[?2c'
 
if [ $TERM 'linux' -a $SHELL == '/bin/bash' ] ; then
     
echo -'\033[?17;0;64c'
 
fi 
Unknown bugs:
- Probably many...

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FAQ

Q1. How do I install the smallest possible LXDE desktop on the Minimal version?
A1. As usual in Ubuntu:
  • sudo su
  • apt-get update
  • apt-get install lxde slim


Q2. What is the password for user ubuntu?
A2. It is set by default to "ubuntu", you should reset it to something else:
  • passwd ubuntu


Q3. How do I switch to HDMI output?
A3. Until HDMI-Switch is ported to Linux, you have to do it manually:
  • Ctrl-Alt-F1 to switch to a text console.
  • sudo su (if you are not already root)
  • service lightdm stop (this stops the X server on Vt7)
  • echo 1080p > /sys/class/display/mode (the LCD panel turns off at this point, so either make this into a script or run from another machine using ssh)
  • fbset -a -fb /dev/fb0 -g 1920 1080 1920 1080 16
  • service lightdm start (restarts the X server in 1920x1080 mode)
  • Ctrl-Alt-F7 to switch back to X.


Q4. I don't have a mouse and keyboard, how do I use it?
A4. Openssh-server is installed and started at boot. You must configure the wifi manually on your Linux PC (edit /etc/network/interfaces in the rootfs partition) and then after booting the tablet, check its IP address on your AP/router's log. Now simply ssh to the tablet:

  • ssh ubuntu@<ip address of your tablet>


Q5. How do I set the correct timezone?
A5. Easy:

  • sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata


Q6. Wifi is not working!
A6. If you downloaded the Minimal version, you have to configure the wifi interface by editing the file /etc/network/interfaces.

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