Install Linux On Arm Tablet

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Install Linux On Arm Tablet Rating: 6,3/10 3791 reviews

TableX is an inexpensive Allwinner A33 Arm Linux tablet running an. Now is to get an Android tablet and mess around to install Linux on it. This guide will show you how to install Linux (any distro) on your Android device. Before you continue, check the following: - Make sure your device is not a Samsung Galaxy S6 (tested and not working) - Make sure your device is rooted, you can download Root Checker from the play store.

This page is about tracking every initiative to fully or partially install the system on mobile platforms:


Debian is the universal operating system. Thus, it needs to run on mobile devices. This wiki page is a tool to help bring Debian to mobile platforms.

It would be great if Debian could run on many kinds of mobile devices: iPhones, Android capable HW, Windows Mobile HW, tablets, etc.

The software should allow dual booting, into both Debian and any software that came with the hardware.

Debian on mobile devices should have GUI capabilities, appropriate to the hardware capabilities.

It would also be great if Debian could run applications written to be native to the original OS for the hardware. This will enable Debian to serve the many people in society who want to easily use those applications.

Debian might benefit from having its own User Interface, or UIs, based on progression from the desktop Debian UIs - ex, GNOME or KDE. It would be great if the GNOME, KDE and other GUI communities could come to agreement on a common UI for Debian, to save unnecessary duplication of development effort, both of the Debian UI, and application software for Debian. Also to save the users from having to learn unnecessary extra UIs.

Origin and Purpose

To get this wiki page started, see the original message I sent suggesting this project. It includes some reference URLs, to help seed thinking on Debian on smartphones development.

Many people made useful replies to that email, and it would be great if they would add their suggestions of software components, foundations, and URLs thereof to this page. If we all take a few minutes to make contributions to this page when we have something valuable to add, this page will grow to be a great resource for us all. So, please take a moment to add something valuable to this page right now, or when you have the opportunity.

This page could use contributions like: Links to component software (embeded debian, GRUB, UIs, etc).

Software developers can write software for the many parts of this system and put links on this page to those components.

Writers can produce articles about Debian on smartphones in emails to the relevant Debian mailing lists, blogs, web pages and for the general media.

Artists can create the graphics and multimedia for Debian on smartphones.

Packagers can put it all together so people can download and install it on their smartphones.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for thinking. Thanks for all contributions you make. Let's all work together to enable Debian to fulfil its promise as 'The Universal Operating System'.

Use of the Debian bug tracking system

Bugs related to Debian on mobile devices may have usertags with the user [email protected]. These usertags are currently defined:

  • user-interface: mobile user interface related bugs, e.g. intents to package UI software or necessary changes of existing UI to improve user experience on small screens or styles input etc.

If you want to chat about Debian mobile user interfaces, please join the #debian-mobile IRC channel on or subscribe to the debian-mobile mailing list. If you are interested in kernel, bootloader or middleware related issues you might want to join the #debian-arm IRC channel instead. Other discussions will be appropriate to have on these lists instead: debian-embeddeddebian-armdebian-kerneldebian-cddebian-develandroid-tools-devel

  • DebConf18 BoF: agenda, notes

  • DebConf17 BoF: agenda, notes

  • DebConf12 BoF: notes, video

Here are some people interested in running Debian on mobile devices.


IRC nick

Hardware owned

Willing to



probably-dead Openmoko FreeRunner

Offer advice

Linux mainline support for the Neo900


Openmoko FreeRunner Fallout 3 dlc level.

Get paid to work towards Debian on Mobile devices :-p


Nokia N900, Motorola Droid 4

Help with testing and documentation

Working Debian on N900 and Droid 4 with UMTS/GPRS access and voice calls

Alishams Hassam


Openmoko FreeRunner, Google Nexus One

Help maintain wiki, file bugs, test new things

Mainline FR support, QtMoko in Debian, Debian on the Nexus One, SHR on a Debian base


GTA04, Nokia N9, Nokia N950, LG Nexus 4, Jolla

Maintain some of the FR stuff, maybe do something to put Debian on N9, etc.

More productized stuff via FSO, oFono etc. packaging to support more phones


Openmoko FreeRunner * 2, Nokia N900, GeeksPhone One, Samsung Galaxy S3

Improve ways to bootstrap, test

more stuff packaged in mainline Debian - with sensible defaults

Jonathan Michalon


Samsung Galaxy Note 1

test, learn stuff, help

Have Debian in dualboot with Android and be able to do all basic tasks from it.

Philipp Hug


Nokia N900, N9, various Android devices

Maintain mobile-related packages, test

Debian on Android


N900, GTA04


Debian being Pocket Computer (aka Smart Phone) friendly

Lukas Maerdian


GTA04, GTA02, Palm Pre

Develop FSO, bootstrap Debian for new devices

Nice UI based on FSO and Debian for GTA04.

Tomas Caram


Moto A1200r, Samsung Galaxy S (I9000b)

test, learn stuff, help, compile, make scripts


Eva Ramon


Nokia N9, Nokia N900, Galaxy Note 10.1

Package mobile software, test, help with the installer

chroot Debian on Android, dual boot

David Derby

dderby (freenode)

N900, N950, Droid 4, Nexus 5, ?PinePhone prototype shipping soon

Continue to improve DebiaN900 scripts Contribute to Maemo Leste

Mainline Linux running well on a variety of phones

W. Martin Borgert

no IRC, but xmpp:[email protected]

GPD Pocket, Librem 5 dev board, hopefully soon: Pyra

work on Debian for that devices

run unchanged Debian on that devices


Kamping_Kaiser (rarely on irc.debian, usually free node)

N900, 2x Openmoko FreeRunner, various android devices

Test things

An N900 experience on newer devices and newer Debian

Ida Boustead (?HezuKame)

No IRC, but [email protected]

Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SM-G955F) Exynos8895

Port Debian to my phone and maintain it.

To be able to fully replace Android with Debian as my main OS on my phone.

  • The people who work on various distributions

  • FSO: umbrella project for free software on smartphones, grew out of the OpenMoko community

  • Linaro: pushes upstream development on ARM, they work on Linux, GCC and related low-level stuff.

  • TinkerPhones (formerly OpenPhoenux): development of tinker-friendly phones that can run mainline linux and thus Debian.

  • XDA Developers forum: reverse engineering and developer discussion for Android and Windows devices

  • CE Workgroup: workgroup in the LF working on Linux mainlining

  • Debian Android tools team: working on packaging Android development tools (such as the SDK) for Debian

Learn software development. Port low-level stuff to a device. Package some middleware. Package a user experience. Package applications that can deal with small screens and touch input. Build images for users to flash onto the device. Get hardware to developers.


  • GNU on Smartphones

  • Debian on mobile devices

  • Freeing my tablet

  • How to run Debian or Ubuntu GNU/Linux on your Android

  • Installing and Running a GNU/Linux Environment on Any Android Device

  • Simple HowTo Debian in Android HTC G1 without chroot (Native)

  • Install debian on a smartphone and get the text console working


At various stages you will need to learn some of the following. This can be done at the same time as working on Debian for smartphones.

  • Languages:
    • ARM assembly: Linux, bootloaders
    • C: Linux, bootloaders, UIs
    • make: build systems
    • Python: middleware, applications
    • Vala: middleware, applications
  • Tools:
    • Version control:
      • git: Linux, middleware, applications
      • svn: UI, applications
      • bzr: applications
    • Compilers: GCC, LLVM, GCC cross-compilers
    • Build systems:
      • make: almost everything
      • autotools: middleware, UI, applications
      • cmake: some things
      • other: Linux and bootloaders might have custom build systems based on make


Pick a specific device. Get support for it into a bootloader (u-boot/etc), mainline Linux. Ask relevant teams to build linux/bootloader packages that work on your device. Port the debian installer to the device.

This is most of the work. It is important to get your changes into Linux/u-boot mainline otherwise Debian will not be able to support your device since the Linux kernel team for Debian will not add non-mainline drivers/patches to Debian kernels and therefore you won't be able to support Debian on the phone you care about. It will be made easier since the Android drivers probably already exist and can be ported to mainline Linux. Some hardware vendors will be violating the GPL and not releasing drivers/patches. You might be able to get the code by contacting them or getting the Software Freedom Conservancy or involved.


Pick some middleware, join the packaging group for it or package it for Debian and look for some sponsors.


Pick a UI or create a new one, create a team, start packaging it for Debian and look for sponsors.

There are numerous existing FLOSS UXen for mobile devices. As the universal OS, Debian should aim to support several of these.


Install Linux On Arm Tablet

Package some touch-friendly applications.


Talk to the Debian installer, live and CDs teams about building daily, weekly and release images that people can flash onto their phones. This could significantly change the way Debian images are built so it will require a fair bit of discussion first.

Other tips

If you can get hardware into the hands of kernel developers that would help a lot. You might find some hardware manufacturers who are willing to give out some free samples to developers.

Install howtos

  • Chroot on Android

  • Debian Squeeze dual-booting with Maemo 5

  • More links in the devices and installers sections.

Jailbreaking, Rooting, Unlocking, Exploits

  • OpenJailbreak, ipwndfu: jailbreaking iOS devices

  • android-rooting-tools: rooting Android devices

  • SunShine: (proprietary) bootloader unlock for HTC/Motorola devices (disclosures)

  • WP Internals: (proprietary) rooting Windows devices

  • See also the devices section and the exploits.


  • Lil Debi: Debian chroot manager for Android

  • Debian Kit by Sven-Ola, an easy chroot kit (uses Android kernel to run a Debian from a loop sdcard disc image).

  • More on the ChrootOnAndroid page.

Flashers and USB booting

  • 0xFFFF: flasher for Nokia Internet Tablets based on the NOLO bootloader

  • dfu-util: flasher for devices supporting the DFU 1.0 protocol. In practice this means the ?OpenMoko gta01 and gta02 and maybe other devices like the iPhone.

  • Fastboot: flasher and memory booter for devices based on Android

  • Heimdall: flasher for some Samsung phones

  • rkflashtool: flasher for Rockchip based devices

  • imx_usb_loader: flash devices using Freescale i.MX5/i.MX6 and Vybrid ?SoCs via the Serial Download Protocol (SDP)


  • OsmocomBB: free software for GSM baseband devices, currently only for the baseband on the Openmoko FreeRunner and related devices

  • firmwares_nonfree: script to download and install proprietary firmware for Android devices


  • Qi: supports gta01, gta02

  • u-boot: supports various devices, forks for: gta01/gta02


  • Linux: supports some devices, forks for specific devices in various distributions.


  • GPU drivers:
    • OpenFIMG: FIMG 3DSE core from Samsung SoCs (inc S3C6410, S5P6442 and S5PC100)

    • Lima: ARM Mali (inc Mali-200 and Mali-400)

      • experimental mesa/Linux drivers in progress

      • Chai: Mali T-series

    • freedreno: Qualcomm Adreno

    • PowerVR: Imagination PowerVR

      • OpenPVRSGX Linux Driver Group: An effort to lay common foundation to make PVR/SGX work without hacks on OMAP34xx, OMAP36xx, AM335x and potentially OMAP4, OMAP5. (Related ML thread)

    • cedarus: GPU from Allwinner A10 SoCs

    • videocoreiv: Broadcom VideoCore GPUs

    • Etnaviv: Vivante GCxxx GPUs

    • grate-driver: official nvidia Tegra open driver

    • tegra-re: nvidia Tegra reverse engineering project

    • DRI for the Freerunner: SMedia Glamo3362 from the OpenMoko FreeRunner

  • Other:
    • glshim: video acceleration for OpenGL 1.x software on mobile devices that use OpenGL ES. note that this isn't needed for GPUs with Free Software drivers because mesa supports both OpenGL 1.x and OpenGL ES on the same hardware.

    • TinyGLES: a software OpenGL ES driver, intended for use with glshim

    • SwiftShader: a high-performance CPU-based implementation of the OpenGL ES and Direct3D 9 graphics APIs12. Its goal is to provide hardware independence for advanced 3D graphics. (RFP)


  • FSO: packaged by the pkg-fso team

  • oFono

  • pyNeo

  • Ubuntu: some pieces like ofono, Qt libraries, could be synced relatively directly from Ubuntu

  • others in Android/MeeGo/Maemo/Tizen/FirefoxOS
  • CRAS: Chromium OS Audio Server. Looks like a good option for mobile devices. Further information. Source code.

  • Shashlik: a way to run Android apps on GNU/Linux distros.

  • Anbox: a way to run Android apps on GNU/Linux distros.

  • AndroidChroot: a way to run Android apps on webOS.

  • sfdroid: a way to run Android apps on Sailfish OS.

  • ARC: a way to run Android apps on Chrome OS. Further information. Source code.

  • ARChon: a way to run Android apps under the Chrome web browswer. Source code: 1, 2. Chromium for Debian.

  • ParallelDroid: a way to run Android apps on desktop Linux in an X11 window.

  • microG: libre replacements for Google’s proprietary Android user space apps and libraries.

  • Hybris/libhybris: allows the use of non-free binary blobs (for example Sailfish OS Hardware Adaptation Development Kit) that were compiled against the bionic Android libc on glibc based systems. Useful to avoid having to develop open source drivers and possibly for reverse engineering binary blobs.

User interface

  • KDE Plasma Mobile

  • KDE Kirigami UI: A framework oriented towards building mobile or convergent mobile/desktop applications using Qt.

  • Enlightenment: Provides 'Illume', which optimises the interface for mobile devices. Packaged by the pkg-e team. Previously packaged as E17 (stretch and earlier).

  • Moksha: E17 fork

  • Gaia: interface for FirefoxOS

  • Mer/Nemo Mobile: The open parts of Jolla

  • Hildon: Main website, Maemo CSSU repositories, Cordia (contains some stuff for GTK3) Latest GTK3 work (old Debian packages)

  • Ubuntu: many Qt/QML libraries, applications, the Unity 8 shell

  • Tizen UI: Based on Enlightenment and EFL, supports native and web applications. Source code: 12

  • Glacier: Replacement UI for Nemo. Source code.

  • fbkeyboard: Screen keyboard for linux text console. Useful on devices without hardware keyboard.

  • osk-sdl: On-Screen-Keyboard based on SDL2


  • GPE: removed from Debian, suitable for stylus-based devices

  • penguinphone


  • F-Droid: repository of FOSS Android-based applications

  • OpenMoko: applications from the OpenMoko development community

  • Ubuntu: core applications from Ubuntu Touch

  • Empathy supports voice calls and short messages via telepathy-ring


  • Debian

  • Emdebian: discontinued cut down version of Debian for small and embedded devices

  • Ubuntu: Ubuntu for touchscreen based mobile devices

  • UBports: community continuation of Ubuntu for mobile devices

  • SHR: distribution for smartphones based on OpenEmbedded and FSO software

  • QtMoko: distribution based on Debian

  • PyNeo: distribution based on Debian

  • DeforaOS: releases Debian packages

  • Qalee

  • QuantumSTEP

  • Maemo: mobile distribution based on Debian

  • Tizen: mobile distribution based on EFL, Debian/Ubuntu, backed by Samsung and others

  • Android

  • Replicant: aiming to remove all the blobs and non-free stuff from Android

  • OmniROM: a community Android derivative

  • ?CyanogenMod: a commercial Android derivative

  • LineageOS: renamed version of ?CyanogenMod community

  • AsteroidOS: open-source operating system for smartwatches

  • MaruOS: containers on Android

  • Halium: group maintenance of Android parts that cannot be added to normal GNU/Linux distributions, as well as compatibility shims. This includes proprietary blobs as well as Android forks of the Linux kernel.

  • GrapheneOS: successor of CopperheadOS, a hardened fork of AOSP

  • webOS: mobile distribution based on HTML/JS, OpenEmbedded, backed by HP

  • LuneOS: open source successor for webOS

  • webOS OSE: open source successor for webOS from LG

  • FirefoxOS: Mozilla project to create an web-based OS

  • Gentoo on Android: Gentoo project to run Gentoo in a prefix on Android

  • Mer: distribution aimed at re-use by device manufacturers

  • Nemo: mobile distribution based on Mer (RPM), MeeGo Handset UX, Qt

  • Cordia: discontinued mobile distribution based on Mer (RPM), Maemo Hildon stack ported to newer GTK+/etc

  • Seadot: mobile distribution based on Mer, successor for the WeTab OS

  • SailfishOS: commercial distro based on Mer

  • postmarketOS: Alpine Linux derivative aimed at 10 year life-cycle for smartphones

  • Maemo Leste: aims to provide a free Maemo experience on mobile phones and tablets, built on top of Devuan Ascii (Debian Stretch)

  • PureOS: is a derivative of Debian that will work on Librem5 the new device of Purism will be released at 2019

  • Devuan: a fork of Debian, optimised for use without systemd. Provides images for a variety of mobile and embedded devices built with the arm-sdk.

General hardware support pages for various groups/distros: FSOoFonoSHRReplicant(targets) OmniROM (unofficial ports) LineageOSMerwebOSUbuntu TouchFirefox OSGentoopostmarketOS(wishlist) AsteroidOS

Porting guides for various groups/distros: oFonoSHR(Android devices) Replicant (1, 2, 3) OmniROMLineageOSMerwebOSTizenSailfishOSUbuntu TouchFirefoxOS (2). postmarketOSAsteroidOS





Operating systems


Openmoko Neo 1973


Openmoko Neo FreeRunner


qi or forked u-boot

blobs in WiFi, GPS, GSM. GSM isolated, semi-supported by OsmocomBB. Emulated by forked qemu.

Golden Delicious Letux 2804


blob sent to WiFi


Being upstreamed 12

Samsung Galaxy S


blobs sent to WiFi, BT. modem not isolated. XDA info

Samsung Nexus S



blobs sent to WiFi, BT. modem not isolated.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1


Samsung Galaxy S3 / Note II

midas ( SHV-E210K/L/S / GT-I9300 / GT-I9305 / GT-N7100 / GT-N7105 )

Samsung Galaxy S5

aboot (Samsung eMMC unlock

Samsung Galaxy S8+

SM-G955F (Exynos8895)




Work in progress

Nokia 770


Nokia N800/N810


Nokia N900


DebianMaemo 5 (Fremantle)Maemo LesteSHRNITDroidMerDeforaOS (NetBSD) DevuanpostmarketOS

Nokia N9


Nokia N950


HTC Nexus One

Motorola Droid

Motorola Droid 4 XT894


Android, Linux, DebianDevuanMaemo LestepostmarketOS

Motorola Moto X (2nd generation)

aboot (unlock

Android kernel + GNU userland


ASUS Nexus 7

LG Nexus 4


Geeksphone Peak


Android kernel + GNU userland

Sailfish OS

Dragonbox Pyra

will run a custom Debian by default

Spectrasonics atmosphere vsti torrent. Download Torrent. For shorter DL time, uncheck ALL folders named “Windows” when adding this torrent to your preferred client. Mount ALL eight.ISO’s. Run the “Omnisphere 2 Installer.pkg”. Run “OmnisphereDataUpdater.pkg” NOTE: This next part requires an external drive (e.g. USB stick) formatted to “FAT-32”. Trilian’s Arpeggiator features the “Groove Lock” technology Spectrasonics pioneered in Omnisphere and Stylus RMX’s Time Designer – which means that with a simple drag and drop action, the feel of bass patterns created with Trilian’s Arpeggiator can be perfectly synchronized between all three of Spectrasonics instruments. When it was introduced in 2002, our Atmosphere - Dream Synth Module broke new ground as the world's first virtual instrument dedicated towards unique sound design, pads and Atmospheric textures, integrating a large library of unique sounds with a powerful, yet easy to understand user interface based on the UVI engine.

runs Raspbian by default

Debian and derivatives like PureOS

Will be released at 2019

Being upstreamed

Scheduled for release in 2019.

Arch Linux, AOSC, UBPorts, Maemo Leste, postmarketOS, Plasma Mobile

Scheduled for release in 2019.

Golden Delicious Pyra Phone



  • DebConf

  • embedded Linux events

  • Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE)

  • Linux Embedded Conference

  • Android Builders Summit

* - 'Lets start Debian for Android hw phones'






Generally any Linux distribution will work with some alteration. Very fewdistros currently work out of the box on this tablet due to the use of a 32bit firmware on an amd64 Atom CPU.

  • Debian (using mixed mode)

  • Ubuntu (using Linuxium's

  • Void (needs custom ISO)

    Need to create the custom ISO with Void's mklive andPR102

  • OpenBSD, not a Linux distro but includes support for bootia32.efi on theinstall media (install61.fs).

  • CPU: Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU Z3735F @ 1.33 GHz
  • Battery: axp288 (min/max: 0x??/0x??)
  • Wifi: Realtek RTL8723BS Wireless LAN 80211n SDIO Network Adapter
  • TBD

By default the RCA Cambio runs in portrait mode, but before booting you'll wantto add video=efifb fbcon=rotate:1 to your kernel command line.

Linux Kernel 4.11 and higher is needed for DRM video acceleration.