Installing Retrowave to an Asus T100t tablet

I've received an Asus transformer T100t tablet from an acquaintance.
He specifically asked for Ubuntu but alas that takes adding "bootia32.efi" to "EFI/boot/" in their .iso but ...... that refused to boot anyway. :shocked:
So I looked at Elive Retrowave and that had "bootia32.efi" already available on the .iso and it booted straight into Retrowave-live. Not counting the stressful 'Escape' toggling to get into the BIOS and disable 'secure boot'.

Alas no sound device but that's for later ...... now I'm running the installer with all the default options and am getting quite excited. :dance:

the good life :slight_smile:

I will update as I go. :smiley14:

Installing Grub2 clearly got messed (probably the mmcblk2p1 not being found)

So I'm trying some "chroot" magic to get grub install correctly (more on that later)

Alas that didn't work as it should:

and the system unsurprisingly refused to boot. :frowning:

But what I find really worrying is that the "use the whole disk" option .... did not create a swap partition after erasing Windows. :astonished:

@Thanatermesis This should not be happening!!!!! :frowning:

So I thought .... nothing left to lose, so why not try the i386 iso?

And lo and behold ..... the installer initialized a new install (no upgrade) and eventually came up with the offer to reinstall the bootloader and even offered up a terminal and a ready chroot environment in which to check and change stuff. :dance:
Checking out the bootloaders and /boot/efi showed all was done and required no fiddling as it should and I rebooted into a new installed system.
The resulting desktop was/is a bit weird though :astonished:

Nothing I can't handle (I think) but not quite what was to be expected. :face_with_head_bandage:

Despite that E16 doesn't want change it's looks, the low RAM usage is quite impressive. :slight_smile:

Doing a subsequent upgrade using the installer from a running live session. Like what's there to lose? :madness:
At least this time I get that upgrade option offered.
The result is very much the same as before even after removing the whole .e16 directory and starting new.
Somehow the theme doesn't change nor can I do anything about the borders.
A new user creation does work well, so for now, let's call this a freak situation.

Then onto the not-recognized audio card which wouldn't work despite reinstalling 'alsa-ucm-conf' and adding 'alsa-base.conf' to /etc/modprobe.d/ and setting the dsp_drivers to 2. That was the stuff I found on the net about the audio.

I was getting fairly frustrated did an "apt upgrade" as there were a few new packages available (including elive-tools) and a reboot and .......... I'm greeted by the startup audio. :dance: even the microphone works.

I'll be needing to make some optimizations for the tablet itself like "auto-screen-rotating" (Do I even want that? :thinking: ), bigger icons and pager to accommodate decent finger area on the touch screen.... and still be needing to create a swapfile, albeit with 350Mb of the 2Gb RAM in use there's no real hurry.

Next up is getting the front camera to work but that looks to be hard if not impossible. :thinking:
Nope, not even trying that. Saves me putting a sticker over the cam.

Bluetooth seems to work OTOB :slight_smile: but does need more testing ..... I have some minor doubts there.

Looks like we can conclude that Elive (once installed) does a great job on this old machine and AFAIK is the ONLY distro that even offers ia32 boot on the iso.
Considering the low hardware specs, the i386 (32bit) is the best Elive version to use on this machine, even if it does boast a 4 core CPU. :innocent:

A niggle I'm not sure about is 'suspend'.
There is a dedicated key-combo 'Fn+F1' to suspend and it works but a few hours later I noticed the closed machine was warm to touch (i.e it was running and consuming power).
I'm not in the clear what causes that yet. :thinking:

The built-in micro-SD card reader does not work OOTB. It is in fact not even recognized by the kernel as an event when inserting a card. :frowning:

the bios forces to boot on ubuntu recognized systems? :thinking:
maybe you want to use the Leah's project :happy: which if im not wrong is a free bios replacement

but you are installing the 32bit version instead of the 64bit one? :thinking: it may be possible that the 32bit version doesn't supports correctly EFI

because you are running 32bit instead of 64bit? :thinking: note the "efi variables not supported", it should not be the case if you are booting in efi mode, so as said maybe the 32bit version is not efi compatible

updated installer fixed this issue, as we commented in the swap-specific thread

so... the 32bit version worked but not the 64bit one? :thinking:

that's a broken desktop for sure, why it happened? it looks like the e16 "defined" theme is not installed on your installed system, can you check that? maybe removing some X package removed the theme, which is of course a bug that should not happen, run: dpl | grep e16-theme

could be good to know at least if elive is missing any driver to include by default

I wonder why people loves to put stickers on the cameras :thinking: I never did that, It is not a likely scenario that the cam used remotely by a malware unless you use windows, and if this happens in linux then I think the user has a more serious issue to worry than the camera watching - also note that commonly computers ships with a led on the camera which is meant to light-on when used


You booted the 64bit version using a 32bit boot? im a bit confused on your arch issues now lol

the 32bit version is always a good option for low end machines, pretty complete and lighter than the 64bit one :happy:

sudo htop or similar doesn't shows any process consuming cpu? (remember to check processes by root, not user, otherwise root/all-users processes will not show up). - maybe elive-pm needs to kill a possible process after suspend

also try "elive-pm suspend" from user instead of the hotkey

Make sure is enabled in your BIOS, sometimes is because of that. Also make sure there's no dust when you insert it, a trick is to blow slowly in the SD hole to send some "humidity" to the contacts and then insert-remove like 10-20 times your SD card in order to make it detect it

Most webcam leds actually kinda suck:

I very, very clearly stated that about the first install. It was the 64bit version that had the boot issues.
Please read well.

It was, that was the 1st thing I checked.
The newly created user, as mentioned had a full Retrowave desktop which wouldn't have been possible w.o those themes.

Frankly, when a machine is suspended, that's an impossibility. :face_with_head_bandage:
The only thing I can do is ping to see if a network connection is alive or not.

Anyway, I suspect connecting the charger woke up the machine.

In windows is possible they are easy to hack, in linux should be possible to turn off by modifying the kernel modules, but this doesn't only requires a full re-compilation of the kernel (or at least the module if is an external source) but also the root access to do that. Maybe it can be modified by /proc or /sys too. Anyways that's not an important topic to discuss

Yeah but you mentioned something about booting from a grub ia32 file, so the default grub from 64bit didn't boot but you were able doing what? later if im not wrong you were able to install the 32 bit iso without issues

Ok, so what was the issue with the themes finally? im a bit lost / what needs to be fixed

Ah you meant the computer was hot when it was in suspension? that sounds like it was not really suspended (only with the screen off), anyways this sounds like a hardware / drivers incompatibility with suspension, let's see if the future upgrade to booksworm solves the problem :thinking:

Oh yes amd64 did ... using the available ia32.efi on the .iso in "/EFI/boot/"
Just the install that apparently didn't find the right EFI partition.

Please read the first post more carefully.
You're filling this thread with questions of which the answers are already there in the report. :frowning_face:


I think the "issue" had something to do with user permissions that got messed during the upgrades .... not sure though. :thinking:
Like I said: I consider it a fluke .... not a real issue.
So no fixing needed. :slight_smile:

User permissions? that sound very strange, but can be... anyways if you still have the issue in the future we need to investigate it more

From what I see (and what I understood more or less from the previous comments), I don't think 32bit is very compatible with uefi, but also you booted using a 32bit boot over 64bit system which can make things incompatible, also the real issue is that it should have been booted using the 64bit boot, why it didn't? I don't know, maybe a simple bug on that boot (i dont know also how/where you picked the ia32 boot). But as mentioned before, let's ignore than for now and try it again in the future booksworm using a 64bit install just to see if the bug stills here.

Because the machine has a multi-core ia32 CPU. It's a very strange machine and doesn't boot like normal Intel CPUs i.e it will NOT boot without the ia32.efi in "/EFI/boot" and the accompanying "efi.img" in the root directory.

And that is what Elive has by default, all other distros require me adding those 2 to the .iso myself. :happybounce:

It's more a tablet on steroids than a real laptop.

Bookworm wont change that .... you'll always need ia32.efi to boot that chipset. I.e it's not a bug, it's a feature.
It is a mixed mode EFI system (i.e. a 64-bit CPU combined with a 32-bit EFI).

I see, I understood now. On the other hand, this means that what is really this laptop is a 32bit machine right? so apparently the correct OS which needs to run on it is the 32bit one (this is very strange because many OSes stopped to ship with 32bit OS / software :thinking:)

No, it is actually capable of running 64bit software but needs 'ia32.efi' to boot.
It's an 'Atom x5-Z8500' CPU:

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I eventually found a "reasonably" easy solution to this case.
After installing the X64 version Elive wouldn't boot and that's not so strange as nothing had been written to /boot/efi/ during the installation.

  1. Using a Grub2 boot disk I booted up Elive and had to do that twice to allow it to remove the installer. This can also be done in a "chroot" environment from a live session ..... I just didn't feel like. :work:
  2. Once running I had to install "grub-efi-ia32" and run "sudo update-grub2" and subsequently "sudo install-grub"
  3. Then I had to go into /boot/efi/EFI/elive and "sudo cp grubia32.efi grubx64.efi"

After which the machine will boot Elive without any additional help. :happybounce:

There is a major downside though:
On the 32bit install somehow magically sound started working after upgrades (no idea why) but on x64 I'm getting nowhere. :face_with_head_bandage:

Audio is really one big PITA to get working. I can see what's going wrong (loading incorrect firmware) but there's no easy way of repairing that.
On top there's no proper way of simply restarting pulseaudio i.e a reboot is required every time and hoping the correct module will get loaded by the kernel. :nauseated_face:

11 posts were split to a new topic: Issues with 3.8.32 on Asus morphed into general Elive issues