XJUbunTAB : Tablet Customized/Customizable distro based on Xubuntu+Unity


http://XJUbunTAB.xjesus.net

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UPDATE: I’m not working with these kind of tablets anymore (with 32bits EFI BIOS). If you want a good distro for these “Atom” tablets I recommend you LINUXIUM ISO’s with kernel 4.12.

For any other kind of tablet you can use my normal XJUbuntu ISO’s and just increase DPI, panel size, font size, etc. following this guide:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/HiDPI#Xfce

Other features like gestures (touchegg), on-screen keyboard, etc. are already/still included on the standard XJUbuntu ISO’s.

You can also install newer kernels with ukuu tool included in ubuntumatics.

 

live user: usu   //  live password: blank/empty  //  root password: usu

If you get the boot message “vesamenu.c32…  boot:” just type “live” or “xforcevesa” (special video mode where you can’t rotate) or “install” or press TAB for more options. You can avoid this using Unetbootin. (Or enabling EFI in Virtualbox)

 

 

XJUbuntu TAB or XJUbunTAB or XJUbuntu is a special distro for Intel tablets (x86 and amd64 , not ARM), hybrids 2 in 1, netbooks, etc. based on Xubuntu 16.04. Specially Intel Atom Baytrail or Cherrytrail processors with Realtek 8723BS WiFi cards and 32 bits EFIs.

 

When installed, it lets you choose to login on 2 different Desktop Environments: Unity or XFCE (default).

VirtualBox_XJ PRUS_08_04_2016_13_24_26

  • Unity might be considered better for tablet/touch mode, mainly for his multitouch gestures but XFCE performs better for desktop usage with mouse/keyboard and thanks to touchegg it’s very convenient in touchscreens too.
  • XFCE is more customizable and faster, specially on low powered devices like tablets/netbooks. But you will also benefit on high-powered devices from the speed and customizations.
  • These are some touchegg multitouch gestures I have configured in XJUbunTAB in XFCE:
    • Show Desktop: Drag 5 fingers DOWN
    • Close window: Drag 4 fingers DOWN
    • Exposé Windows: Drag 4 fingers UP
    • Maximize window: Drag 3 fingers UP
    • Minimize window: Drag 3 fingers DOWN
    • Move windows: Drag 3 fingers RIGHT or LEFT
    • right-click: Tap with 2 fingers
    • middle-click: Tap with 3 fingers
    • Scroll UP/DOWN: Swipe 2 fingers UP/DOWN
    • You can modify and/or add more, even per-app based two ways:
      • gedit ~/.config/touchegg/touchegg.conf
      • Running “Touchegg-GCE Gestures Editor”

Touchegg gestures editor

  • Firefox and Chrome can scroll with one finger natural scroll too (like Android/IOS) thanks to extensions installed.

 

VirtualBox_XJX64 16.04_07_04_2016_22_13_10.redimensionado

Chrome apps and Onboard Keyboard showing off 😉

VirtualBox_XJX64 16.04_07_04_2016_22_14_58.redimensionado

I am testing this on a Teclast X98 Plus A5C8 but I hope this can be useful for other kind of tablets and computers in general as well.

Please leave feedback in the comments with your hardware and release tested.

 

** What works (on Teclast X98 Plus):

  • Triple Boot Android+Windows+XJUbunTAB on internal eMMC (see below screenshot with partitions) and on external USB drive (not microSD card)
    • You have to press Vol+ while powering up your tablet to go to BIOS and select Ubuntu partition to boot
    • Or connect and USB keyboard and press F7 to select booting partition.
  • Internal WiFi (Realtek 8723bs) Working with kernel 4.5.4 patched with this driver thanks to Akmelius
    • Kernel and system optimized for Baytrail/CherryTrail Intel CPUs.
    • You can follow this guide to install this kernel in any other Ubuntu based distro.
  • Internal Bluetooth
    • sudo ~/Patches/rtl8723bs_bt/rtk_hciattach -n -s 115200 ttyS4 rtk_h5
  • USB GigaEthernet/WiFi/Bluetooth cards
    • USB Tethering works (You can use WiFi or 3G/4G from your phone)
  • USB keyboard/mouse
  • USB pendrives/hard disks/card readers
  • HDMI out and/or tablet screen (extended display or mirror)
  • HiDPI ready in XFCE with some tweaks like: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/HiDPI
  • Screen Brightness change – From Power Slider
    • Working on auto-adjust but first it needs to access internal cameras.
  • Screen resolution change: Added some new video resolutions like 960×1280
  • Touchscreen
  • Access to eMMC internal flash and microSD slot card.
  • Power button / Suspend

 

** What doesn’t work (on Teclast X98 Plus):

  • You can rotate the screen but the touchscreen doesn’t rotate accordingly in XFCE, it needs manual adjustements (Solved)… In Unity it works Ok. I have created in XFCE some scripts/buttons for direct access.
  • Auto-rotate / rotation sensors
  • microSD card slot access to a 128GB Samsung Evo Plus. My BIOS is from 15/01/2016. Maybe upgrading to the last BIOS it helps…
    • No problems with other card sizes up to 64GB?
  • battery info
  • Internal Cameras
    • External USB Webcam works
  • Internal Audio
  • Audio over HDMI
    • try this
    • SOLUTION: If you want to build your own Linux kernel with HDMI audio support apply this patch to Linux 4.5, and enable CONFIG_SUPPORT_HDMI=y in the kernel config.

 

Installation

  • First backup the internal eMMC with Clonezilla. Note that some kernels only can see 7 partitions max, so not every Clonezilla will work right. I’ve uploaded one that works right here.
  • OLD INSTALLATION GUIDE ON TECLAST TABLETS in XDA Forum
  • You can now install the distro on internal eMMC and/or external USB drives (I haven’t tried microSD), but still needs some manual grub boot and later “sudo update-grub”.
    • There are Grub menus already created for different scenarios that can be modified to your needs.
    • EFI32 Problem description (and solution that used to work) here: https://github.com/Manouchehri/vi8/blob/master/Ubuntu_instructions.md
      • SOLVED: Most of these tablets have EFI-32 bits but you can boot/install any 64 bits distro made with PinguyBuilder. (like XJUbunTAB)
    • Here you can see some screenshots of my installation from one usb disk (/dev/sda) with the live-installer into another usb disk (/dev/sdb) where I have permanently installed the distro.
      • https://imgur.com/UcNuBcXl.png
      • https://i.imgur.com/afe7OWF.png
      • https://i.imgur.com/KRJRXxa.png
      • Don’t use swap partitions unless you really need it because it can degrade flash drives.
      • After rebooting, keep both usb disks connected, select grub menu from the external drive. In the (grub) prompt I had to type:
        • linux (hd1,msdos5)/vmlinuz root=/dev/sdb5
          initrd (hd1,msdos5)/initrd.img
          boot
      • Then after booting,  disconnect the first usb disk (/dev/sda) and type:
        • sudo apt install grub-efi-ia32
        • sudo update-grub
        • Then run “Grub-customizer” for more options and select your manual entry to be the default selection.
      • If it doesn’t work, you still could boot with only one drive and typing at the (grub) prompt:
        • linux (hd0,msdos5)/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda5
          initrd (hd0,msdos5)/initrd.img
          boot
    • I also managed to TRIPLE-BOOT from internal MMC, these are the partitions after resizing Android cache, system and data, leaving almost 14GB available for XJUbunTAB.

Win+Android+XJUbunTAB partitions

 

More info…

*** After install you may still need to select your language/keyboard and reboot.

*** Pressing “Alt+Shift” will swap between different installed keyboard layouts (US/ES/UK) . In Unity you have to press “Win+Space”

XJubuntu distro has UEFI enabled 32 / 64 bits and you can remaster your own customized copy thanks to PinguyBuilder.

There is a script in ~/a to automate creation of the live/skel user and run PinguyBuilder to create your own personalized distro.

There is another script in ~/Patches/patch to make the kernel work with WiFi/Bluetooth from Realtek 8723BS and other patches that might be needed depending on your kernel/tablet.

Change the resolution in the screen or follow this guide to work properly with high resolutions in small screens: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/HiDPI

 

XJubuntu is an optimized remix of Ubuntu+Xubuntu with some useful and common programs pre-installed.

More info: https://xjesus.net/xjubuntu/intro/

Popcorntime + Spotify + blockify (no adds in Spotify)
WPS Office + LibreOfffice
Firefox + Chrome + useful addons (anti-adds, etc.) + flash
Nomacs + Pinta + Gimp (+add-ons) + Instagram effects + XNview + OpenShot video editor
Wine + PlayonLinux + Steam + Virtualbox + Dropbox + Teamviewer + …
All kind of codecs, tweaks and tools that you can find in webs like webupd8.org

 

 

 

Thanks for your feedback! Thanks for your comments, reviews, fixes and anything you can contribute to make these tablets work with Linux.

 

Some more pictures:

photo_2016-04-21_22-51-06

WiFi working with kernel 4.5.1 patched by Akmelius. Resolution is set to 768×1024 for a better view.

 

20160409_215037-recortada

Press F7 after boot to select boot device. In the picture you can see XJubuntu installed in the USB microSD card reader (last menu item). The hub connects also a GigaEthernet network and a remote mini-keyboard/touchpad.

 

 

USEFUL LINKS:

https://telegram.me/xjubuntab

If you got rid of Windows and want to update BIOS on X98Plus/Pro you can do it directly from a pendrive following this guide.

Use your Mobile as USB keyboard/mouse: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=remote.hid.keyboard.client

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/HiDPI#Xfce

http://askubuntu.com/questions/397481/how-to-make-a-persistent-live-ubuntu-usb-with-more-than-4gb

Projects like Shashlik or ARC Welder to run native Android apps directly on Ubuntu.

I fully agree with the moral in the end of this history

OLD INSTALLATION GUIDE ON TECLAST TABLETS in XDA Forum

The forum post from TechTablets where XJUbuntu evolved to XJUbunTAB

 

Chuwi Hi10 / Hi12 users tips:

  • select PCI in BIOS for SDIO controller
  • the kernel need add a boot setting ACPI “i915.modeset=1 vt.handoff=7 acpi_backlight=intel acpi_osi=’!Windows2012′” in GRUB options