Linux on Intel Atom Tablet

I have an windows intel atom tablet that i bought here many years ago. It have WINDOWS so very queekly I stop to use it. It have 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. Is enouth to bring a new life to it. For windows 10 this is not enouth. At the first update all things was broken.
(If you are interested on this maybe you can be interested also in the most recent Linux Mint 20 on Teclast X4.)

used tablet

But with linux you cannot have this problems. Up to now there is many tutorial with linux on microsoft surface that have a intel i3 or i7. In this kind of tablet all work good. It works good also for taking notes at university with xournal++. But this tablet is very expensive.

Exists more economic tablet with windows 10 with Intel Atom z3735f. So I try to install on it Kubuntu Linux 18.04. An I put all intresting resources here.

# WoeUSB for put iso in usb deviece
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install woeusb

If you use a microsoft pc you can use rufus maybe.

Why using WoeUSB instead of Balena Etcher or UnetBootin? Because this kind of tablet have a cpu with amd64 instruction set, but the boot loader must work with x86(32 bit) istruction set and it should be EFI. So we can use butia32.efi that I create using a part of this guide but you can download it here.

# use 4 GB usb stick
# manually format to fat32
# use the graphic interdace of WoeUSB to boot Kubuntu 18.04 amd64
# at the end remount usb (remove and reinsert the usb stick)
# copy inside this folder at path /EFI/BOOT/ the file bootia32.efi

Now your bootable USB is ready.

# put an usb keyboard to your device
# put the bootable USB
# run your device
# press f12 or esc or canc or del
# (if it doesent work you shoud disable windows fast boot)
# (maybe if you hard shutdown windows before his start is completed for two or three times maybe can have the same effect of disable fast boot, but only until you start windows)
# and install ubuntu

After the installation touch work as a simple mouse and network connection work. Also bluetooth work.

Now I have been some problem with audio so I use this guide to fix it. You can download es8386.tar.gz and unpack it.

cd es8386
sudo sh es8386.sh
sudo reboot
# now you audio should work

I try two virtual keyboard: onboard and florence . The better in my opinion is the second:

sudo apt install florence

It do not have much feature, is only a keyboard. I put it in the app barr and wen I need it I can open it. It do not open automatically.

To use autorotation with kde I use a service that can be find at github repo.

But in my case with the Goodx touchscreen the rotation are not correct so I modify it at this repo and I install it with:

git clone https://github.com/nicolalandro/kde-auto-rotate.git
cd kde-auto-rotate
./install

For the Browser I usually use firefox but it does not support touch screen very well so I use Opera touch. Download it and install with GDebi or another method for installation of .deb file.

To Take Notes like in a paper seet I used to use Xournal but Xournalpp have much features so I install it:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:andreasbutti/xournalpp-master
sudo apt update
sudo apt install xournalpp

After the installation into settings I use the touch as Pen because from default it use the touch for shortcut as zoom or scroll.

To Draw I use Krita that has a large selection of brushes and support well multi touch also if rotation and zoom it is used the same touch gesture with two touch.

For my tabled and his resolution I modify something in ui. For example I expand the menu bar in order to click it good with my finger. I’m not an expert so if you want to personalize your KDE you can see this guide.

I tink that up to now this is not a perfect solution. I do not resolve a big problem: I cannot see the satus of my power, I should turn it off and plug the charge to know the battery level. I think that soon I solve it (as soon as I have time).
Another nuisance, not a real problem, is the touch experience because the click on the screan corrispond to the left click of the mouse, so you can not do right click using touch (I think that this can fixed setting the long press as right click). No much application support touch.

In conclusion I think that in general linux are not mature for a full touch expearence but it can be enought. Also because you are not limitated by application power as android o ios device. And if you need some android app in your device you can have it easily with emulator, simulator or chrome plugins.

The thing to explore and develop a bit is a bluetoot touch pen for writeing. With a bluethoot touch pen we can avoid the problem of put your hand on the screen when you take notes because we can implement something that turn off the touch wen the pen is near the screen (like microsoft surface pen). This problem can be resolver with a two finger glove, but is a bit unconfortable. Finding the perfect one pen coupled with the better linux software we can sobstituite the paper!

Up to now e-ink as remarkable and onyx boox are not a solution for all you need. Also with e-ink reader c1 that have color the paper sobstitution is far. I use for some years my onyx boox, but i do not use it every day as my laptop.

If you have solution of something write there! Tanks for reading.

Linux user and Open Source fun. Deep learning PhD Student, Full stack web developer, Mobile developer