Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

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rchase
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Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

Post#1 by rchase » 23 Nov 2016, 01:54

Does anyone have any insights into whether and how Porteus might be flashed to (e.g.) an Prestige Elite 8QI tablet (http://www.visual-land.com/index.php?ro ... duct_id=91, http://www.kmart.com/visual-land-presti ... ckType=G19)? It has an Intel Atom x3 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 16GB eMMC, and a 1280x800 display. Can the Porteus 3.2rc5 iso be turned into a suitable .img file capable of booting and running Porteus on this device? Would the touchscreen work if it did? There are more of these low-end devices hitting the market all the time and taking 2-3 GB away from Android (or replacing it altogether) in favor of Porteus makes a lot of sense to me.

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Re: Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

Post#2 by Bogomips » 23 Nov 2016, 12:48

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Re: Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

Post#3 by rchase » 23 Nov 2016, 18:38

Thanks. From an Intel-based tablet with Windows, I am confident that the tools would be available to install Porteus and that it would (mostly) work; the question is whether the Porteus .iso can be converted into an .img suitable for flashing or whether there are tools in Android which would permit the eMMC to be repartitioned and the Porteus .iso installed.

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Re: Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

Post#4 by Ed_P » 23 Nov 2016, 20:38

Rather than install Porteus to the eMMC why not try installing it to a small flash drive and booting it from the tablet?

https://forum.porteus.org/viewtopic.php ... 638#p33604
Ed

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Re: Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

Post#5 by rchase » 23 Nov 2016, 23:22

Ed_P wrote:Rather than install Porteus to the eMMC why not try installing it to a small flash drive and booting it from the tablet?

https://forum.porteus.org/viewtopic.php ... 638#p33604
a) Don't want to; the eMMC is faster and that's where the tablet's primary OS should reside.

b) These Android tablets have a micro USB for connecting them to other computers so that updates can be flashed. I don't believe they are OTG, so they can't be used even to read from a flash drive, much less boot from one. On my old Kindle Fire (second generation), the internal flash is visible as a media device, but I don't believe I have any access to the boot or recovery partitions without using adb.

I'm afraid that individual differences between brands and models make flashing a uniform image file impossible, but I'd like someone with definite knowledge to confirm it.
Last edited by rchase on 24 Nov 2016, 16:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

Post#6 by Ed_P » 24 Nov 2016, 00:12

rchase wrote:a) Don't want to; the eMMC is faster and that's where the tablet's primary OS should reside.
I was recommending the USB approach as an easy way to allow you to test that Porteus would indeed run on the tablet.
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Re: Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

Post#7 by rchase » 24 Nov 2016, 01:12

Ed_P wrote:
rchase wrote:a) Don't want to; the eMMC is faster and that's where the tablet's primary OS should reside.
I was recommending the USB approach as an easy way to allow you to test that Porteus would indeed run on the tablet.
Yes, and I just responded that I don't believe that this (or possibly any Android) tablet can boot from USB. Most cannot even use their micro USB port to connect to storage devices. The tablet boasts an Atom processor, so it should be able to run Porteus, but other than flashing to the tablet's boot and data partitions or using root access to chainload Porteus, I don't know how it could be loaded.

What I would like to know is whether a standard procedure could be developed to get Porteus (with touchscreen support if possible) running on Atom-based Android tablets generally, which would require reflashing them -- the manufacturers all support flashing their tablets and it provides a means of reverting to the original OS. Dual-booting Android and Porteus should be possible on 16+GB tablets, but for simplicity's sake, restrict consideration to model-appropriate images containing only Porteus -- can it be done without reverse-engineering or deep research, or not?

There are $40 Intel Compute sticks with only an 8GB eMMC and 1GB RAM on eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-BOXSTCK1A ... Swn1RXIkjQ) which come loaded with Ubuntu -- these would certainly benefit by the substitution of Porteus. Porteus would make a good substitute for Android on Atom-based tablets -- even the cheapest compute stick can store a Porteus fully loaded with a browser, LibreOffice, and Kodi in ~2.25GB, leaving plenty of room to spare for other Slackware -- as opposed to Play Store -- applications. Check out the specs of that Visual Land tablet above; Porteus may offer no overwhelming superiority when it comes to efficiency in using such meager resources, but it seems to me that its light weight and capability gives it an advantage over Android and Ubuntu which might make a material difference in such a device's useability. Wouldn't you love to see something like that advertised as coming with powerful Porteus, pre-configured with Kodi and the LibreOffice suite?
Last edited by rchase on 24 Nov 2016, 16:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

Post#8 by francois » 24 Nov 2016, 14:34

@rchase:

This is an interesting proposition. I suspect that brokenman the developper might be interested in your suggestion. But I suspect too that he is trying to tidy the house after the production of porteus 3.2 version. You might have to wait, unless, you yourself develop this type of option meanwhile. :wink:
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Re: Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

Post#9 by rchase » 24 Nov 2016, 16:00

francois wrote:@rchase:

This is an interesting proposition. I suspect that brokenman the developper might be interested in your suggestion. But I suspect too that he is trying to tidy the house after the production of porteus 3.2 version. You might have to wait, unless, you yourself develop this type of option meanwhile. :wink:
I can not. I suppose that minor variations in partition layout, size of image, validity checking, etc. might make flashing problematic and that lack of documentation might make it worse, but I don't know enough about Android tablets in general to do more than speculate. I am very pleased by how 3.2 runs on my Kangaroo; if any OS can deliver acceptable performance with the substantially weaker Intel Z3735F CPU in many of the cheapest devices, it would be Porteus.

Couldn't a short script in Android boot a Porteus .iso?

P.S. I tried sending brokenman a PM, but the app wouldn't work. I used it to send an e-mail but I don't know whether he's seen it (or will).

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Re: Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

Post#10 by francois » 25 Nov 2016, 16:11

From what I know, on tablets you would need an arm version.

Atom based tablet definition:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom_(system_on_chip)

Linux and atom or SOC (system on a chip):
https://www.linux.com/news/linux-41-spe ... -atom-socs
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Re: Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

Post#11 by Bogomips » 26 Nov 2016, 13:20

francois, thanks for eventually coming up with the link. The less well informed of us now know that the Atom is a System on a Chip SOC, which is x86 based used in Tablet PCs and in Compute Sticks. Not able to see the link before. :D
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Re: Can Porteus be ported to Atom-based tablets?

Post#12 by rchase » 27 Nov 2016, 17:38

Thanks, François. Am I not wrong then? The cheap tablet makers of the world should be clamoring for Porteus 3.2!

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