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Thread: Guide-Install ArchLinux

  1. #1
    Soundwave
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    Guide-Install ArchLinux

    So I am new to this forum because I really didn't know about it but I decided I want to share some information.

    I have spent the past month or so dealing with installing Archlinux (my favorite distro) on my t100ta. I have just about everything working (wifi, suspend, audio, touchscreen, battery stats, and I haven't tested Bluetooth but it is apparently supported)

    I have posted it on my site HERE but am sharing it here as well.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Information about archlinux
    Arch Linux is a Linux distro that is based on a Keep It Simple Stupid philosophy (KISS). It comes packaged as bare as you can imagine to still be able to provide basic functionality in order to build a system in which you have control over what is installed. It is the distro that I keep finding myself using because I love to keep everything simple and as small as I can. I will walk you through the basic installation steps that I used in order to get Arch installed on my Asus t100.

    A note of warning, if you have no understanding of Linux in general, you might want to look here. This is a good solution for Linux on the machine that does not require too much in terms of knowledge.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Installing the System

    First some background info. The t100 is a 32bit tablet that comes with a full version of Windows 8.1. It runs Windows pretty good as it contains the atom-based baytrail cpu. The battery is decent and overall use of this machine is a streamlined and remarkable experience.

    As you may know, the machine ships with UEFI instead of BIOS. Generally this is not a problem with Linux however, most ISOs you find for a distro that are UEFI compatible are 64bit (x86_64). The 32bit (x86) ISOs are usually not UEFI enabled because it is not the norm to see or use UEFI on 32 bit machines.

    In order to skip the building of a custom ArchLinux ISO, I decided to use the Ubuntu Magic-Stick from the guys at Asus T100 Ubuntu. All I needed was to boot into a live session, I could do the rest by the command line. You can alternatively choose to make an ArchLinux ISO but be sure to package it with grub-efi-i386. The tablet will not boot otherwise.

    Once you get all the secure boot and bitlocker disabled on windows, you should be able to boot the USB just like any other Linux ISO. You will be greeted with Ubuntu’s familiar Unity desktop and some default applications that might be needed like gparted. You can find info on disabling bitlocker and secure boot here

    What I did, since I didn’t have the need for Windows anymore, I erased the entire storage device and decided to install Arch singularly. If you want to do something else, that is okay. 10gb should be good enough to install arch and have plenty of space left over for testing. Here are the steps I did from this point.

    I used curl to download the arch-bootstrap image:

    Code:
     $ curl -O http://mirrors.kernel.org/archlinux/iso/2015.09.01/archlinux-bootstrap-2015.09.01-i686.tar.gz
    this will get you a basic setup environment so that you can do the rest from a chroot

    Mount the partition you want to install Arch onto somewhere and extract the tar archive.
    Code:
        $ sudo su
        # mount /dev/mmcblk0p4 /mnt/  ##of course, change the 0p4 to the partition you chose
        # cd /mnt/
        # tar -zxf <path/to/tar>.tar.gz
        # mv root.i686/* .
        # rm -r root.i686/
    Now that we got the everything extracted and moved around to a logical place, we need to edit a few files before we chroot into the installation because the chroot environment does not have a text editor installed.

    Code:
     # nano etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist
    We will need to uncomment a mirror closest to you in order to download packages and install the system.
    Its time to chroot and start installing your ArchLinux
    Code:
        # bin/arch-chroot .
    You will notice the bash prompt change, this means you are now in arch
    The next few commands will setup the pacman keys so that you can download and isntall packages
    Code:
        # pacman-key --init
        # pacman-key --populate archlinux
    Note: This step would not work with me even though the Archwiki advised to install haveged and try several times. I’m impatient so I exited the chroot and edited the etc/pacman.conf again to set the signature to “Never”. You can fix it once Arch is installed and booted.
    Now we can actually install the base packages and anything else you want.

    Code:
        # pacman -Syyu   #Sync and update packages
        # pacman -S base base-devel nano
    Everything else is basic for an archlinux install, install the packages, configure the system and install bootloader. You can find all of those directions here.
    Installing the bootloader is going to be a little different than usual. You will need to do it basically the same as the archwiki describes (including setting up ESP) however, for the actual command, use:

    Code:
        # grub-install --target=i386-efi --efi-directory=$esp --bootloader-id=grub --recheck
        # grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
    Once this is installed, you should be able to reboot to Archlinux
    Note: The first time I did this, I was greeted with a kernel panic and it fail to boot. I had to chroot back into the archlinux installation and rebuild the initfs with ‘# mkinitcpio -p linux’ and regenerate the grub.cfg with ‘# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg’ I did not have to do it the second time I installed it so I don’t know if was just a fluke or a necessary step.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Getting Wifi, Battery, and Sound to Work

    Apparently there is a kernel that was compiled by Luka Karinja that has support for Wifi, Battery, and Sound working. It does have battery and backlight working but I had no luck with wifi or sound. You can grab the kernel and test for your liking here: http://bazdara.com/arch (you could put this in your pacman.conf so that you can receive updates upon release)

    Wifi: The guys at T100 Ubuntu did some amazing work and got wifi nearly perfect in my experiences. I’ve seen some reports of signal drop which need a reboot to fix but I haven’t had any issues with it.

    Download the files from here
    Code:
            $ wget http://ftp2.halpanet.org/source/_dev/linux-firmware.git/brcm/brcmfmac43241b4-sdio.bin
    
            $ wget https://raw.github.com/jfwells/linux-asus-t100ta/master/nvram/lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac43241b4-sdio.txt
    Move the files into the proper directory
    Code:
            $ sudo cp brcmfmac43241b4-sdio.bin /lib/firmware/brcm/
    
            $ sudo cp brcmfmac43241b4-sdio.txt /lib/firmware/brcm/
    Open the .txt and remove all the characters before ‘#’ in the very fist line.

    Code:
    $ sudo nano /lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac43241b4-sdio.txt
    Rebuild the initfs

    Code:
    $ sudo mkinitcpio -p linux
    Rebuild grub config

    Code:
    $ sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
    Sound: One of the guys at Asus T100 Ubuntu, Kirill Belyaev, posted a sound fix that works exceptional for me. You can find the post here

    Download the firmware and the t100_B.state from the “new ####” folder here
    Extract the archive into the /lib/firmware/intel/ directory

    Code:
     $ sudo tar zxf linux-firmware-master-intel.tar.gz -C /lib/firmware/intel
    Move the .state into the /var/lib/alsa dir as asound.state

    Code:
     $ sudo cp t100_B.state /var/lib/alsa/asound.state
    Reload the alsa configuration

    Code:
      $ sudo alsactl --file /var/lib/alsa/asound.state restore
    Reboot and enjoy WiFi and sound working. It should be noted that even though everything should be good at this point, you may have to change some of the configuration for status information.

    The battery information is found at: /sys/class/power_supply/BATC
    The backlight (if using t100 kernel from bazdara) is at: /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight
    The volume is not the usual MASTER. Is is the ‘Speaker’ control.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Final Thoughts and Information


    While this installation is not perfect by any means, It is perfectly usable. There is a chance for a random freeze of the kernel however, since I have started to use the T100 kernel, I’ve not had any. So many thanks to the person that compiled it.

    I use awesomeWM on this install because I use mine as a laptop for school. I would recommend XFCE for anyone that wants a more robust desktop environment because it is light enough to work great on this tablet. It also detects the audio, battery, and backlight automatically. The choice is yours just be sure to configure it correctly.

    I would like to say thanks to a few communities and people for helping me get Archlinux on this machine in a mostly stable state.

    The Asus T100 Ubuntu community for the LiveUSB and configuration files: Google+ Page
    Linux North for information about all the test he had ran. Also information for disabling bitlocker and secureboot. LinuxNorth Page
    Archlinux Forum thread with a few tips and tricks like the T100 kernel. Thread
    User LambdaComplex in #archlinux and #manjaro on freenode for support and ideas.
    Last edited by dodgejcr; 10-06-2015 at 11:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Guide Guru & Forum Administrator
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    Welcome to the forum

    Looks like you've done a lot of work.

    Your link is fine, but it would help the forum if you would carry a tutorial here as well. Even if it was only a shortened version that linked out to your blog site.

    All the best

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

    Your opinion matters. But should you disagree - please try not to be disagreeable

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  3. #3
    Soundwave
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    Sounds good, Ill edit the OP with a copy/paste version of the tutorial. Thanks a bunch
    janner43 and pierro78 like this.

  4. #4
    Guide Guru & Forum Administrator
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    Great job. Thanks.

    Thread stickied.
    dodgejcr likes this.

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

    Your opinion matters. But should you disagree - please try not to be disagreeable

    Forum guide - here ~~ T100 FAQs - here ~~ Cold boot - here

    Adobe Flash Player & Browser Guide here

    Master Help Guide - here ~~ FAQ malware - here ~~ FAQ e-reading - here
    Mobile OS devices personal pantheon...
    ANDROID: Doogee DG310; SGS; Huawei Y300; Motoroloa Xoom 2ME; Razr; Defy Mini; CnM Touchpad II;
    Asus TF101; Lenovo A1; Samsung Tab 2 7.0
    APPLE: iPhone 4s; iPhone 5c; iPhone 6; iPhone 7; iPad 3; iPad Mini 2; iPad Air 2 64gb
    CHROMEBOOK: HP 14-Q010sa Celeron 14 Inch 4GB 16GB Chromebook - White.

  5. #5
    Soundwave
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    @dodgejcr: excellent work, congrats!

    Can you tell us how the overall feel of the system is? Is it fluid, snappy? Comparable to Win10 (or maybe even better)?
    Asus Transformer T100TAM-C1-GM, Atom Z3775, 2GB-RAM, 64GB eMMC, Windows 10 - 32bit

  6. #6
    Soundwave
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristof.petho View Post
    @dodgejcr: excellent work, congrats!

    Can you tell us how the overall feel of the system is? Is it fluid, snappy? Comparable to Win10 (or maybe even better)?
    Overall, archlinux feels very similar to the ubuntu that is available through the Ubuntu Magic Stick but perhaps a tiny bit faster. The only real issues that you will find are the same as ubuntu
    1. The Camera LED stays on (the camera itself does not work but the LED stays on all the time)
    2. Multi-touch in the touchpad does not work.
    I dont know about bluetooth as I dont use it and dont really have a need for it but theoretically the kernel supports it. If it doesnt work, I can try and fix that if there is a demand for it.

    As far as fluidity and snappyness compared to windows10, it is really about the same. For a little over a year I have been using windows 10 through developer previews just as I do all windows systems since vista. I would have to say that windows 10 on this tablet is pretty good but I did notice a few hangups especially returning from a suspended state or after idling for a period of time. I get the same on archlinux but it is nothing major, maybe a few second delay where it appears as unresponsive.

    Now, with all that being said, it is important to note that I am using an extremely light Window Manager (awesomeWM) instead of a full desktop environment like KDE or Gnome. I think with nothing open on awesomeWM my RAM usage is somewhere about 100mb. I think this weekend sometime I will try to install KDE Plasma 5 or Plasma active to see how it would act with a full desktop environment and I suspect that it will not be as nice as AwesomeWM is. I can almost guarantee that there will be sluggishness and delays all around.

    I use mine as a laptop for my college classes. In class I usually have VIM open to make notes, a large ebook pdf (150+ mb) and wps office running a powerpoint of the lecture. I sometimes have all those open and can still browse the web (using dwb or jumanji) and have no real issues. I would definitely say that this is stable for my usage but it is by no means 100% perfect.

    Hopefully this answers your questions, feel free to ask for any specifics and I will gladly test for you before you go through the installation process.
    pierro78 likes this.

  7. #7
    Soundwave
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    How to install Arch on the T100HA

    pierro78 likes this.

  8. #8
    Soundwave
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    Hello, i'm new here. (Sorry about my english)

    I'm trying to install Linux Mint & others, but I can't. Otherwise i've formated the SSD and HD drivers.

    I need help. The link about Magic Stick USB is offline. Can anyone upgrade on drive this?

 

 

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