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Linux on my Asus T100TA

The love-hate I felt when I installed Linux on this laptop.

This entry is going to be my linux diary, so I can keep on records the stuff I’m doing on the tablet. Well, let’s start from the beginning:

Windows hates me

This change started with the new update of Microsoft OS, Windows 10. I wanted to test it on my tablet, an Asus Transformer T100 , to see how it was going. Even though I read a lot about its lack of privacy, I was also curious about all the changes like multi-desktop support (which both Linux and Macintosh have since ages) and Cortana , which offered a lot of features that seemed to be useful.

So… I installed it and, as you can imagine, it lasted about 5 days installed. I’ve found every new thing a waste of memory and CPU, and I had to reinstall some drivers like the touch-pad, because it wasn’t working correctly. Thankfully, Microsoft offered a downgrade to Windows 8.1 if you didn’t like Windows 10, so I tried it. Everything went perfect, except for a thing: That new driver which was installed during the time I was trying Windows 10 wasn’t downgraded or something like that, and the desktop kept flashing and restarting even if I restarted the OS. That was the moment I gathered strength to install Ubuntu on my tablet.

Why Ubuntu? Because it’s the only Linux well tweaked to have almost every single component working. There are some exceptions of parts which aren’t working, like the camera, the microphone and the hardware buttons (GPIO), but the rest is working in a really stable way.

The start of the journey

Taking this into account, I downloaded Asus T100-TA Magic Stick ISO, version 1.5, I booted up Ubuntu and I installed it with the included tool to do so. I overwrote the complete internal flash memory, included the UEFI partition. I still have a backup in my external HDD just in case I want to recover my system as it was a couple of months ago, so I’m not afraid to do so.

First thing I’ve done with the new OS is delete Unity. I hate that desktop environment, so I’ve installed XFCE. To do so, I’ve used a tool called tasksel. I’ve used the following commands to install it and execute it:

~ $ sudo apt-get install tasksel
~ $ sudo tasksel

After this, I’ve checked Xubuntu-desktop and I’ve unchecked Ubuntu-desktop. You have to wait a couple of minutes in order to download XFCE and uninstall Unity and other applications related, and then the OS reboots and you have Xubuntu totally compatible with your tablet.

Programs and more programs

Then, I’ve updated the OS and I’ve installed some useful programs:

~ $ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
~ $ sudo apt-get install libreoffice gdebi-core synaptic aptitude vlc xubuntu-restricted-extras libavcodec-extra rar wireshark

Also, I’ve installed Dropbox and Google Chrome (I don’t really like Chromium now, because Google has done a great advance in memory handling and Chromium is still a bit slower and bigger than Chrome).

To install Chrome I’ve used:

~ $ wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb
~ $ sudo gdebi google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb

In order to install Dropbox, I’ve gone to dropbox.com/install and I’ve downloaded the \*.deb file, and followed the instructions.

And that’s everything I’ve made today. I hope the touchpad support becomes better and it gives us multi-touch as Windows does. That’s the only thing I miss, the ability to scroll pages with the touchpad.

For further information, have a look at our Google+ Group: https://plus.google.com/communities/117853703024346186936

(June 2018 Update)

Even though I was really motivated with the change to Linux, I switched it back to Windows after 6 months using Linux for the following reasons:

  1. My feeling of the performance wasn’t the same as using Windows. Even in 2018, we don’t have complete support for this tablet, and we have to take some workarounds in order to have everything working. And there are some things that probably won’t work easily, like the camera.
  2. I wasn’t using Linux for anything I couldn’t do in Windows and I needed some Windows programs for my University courses.

However, I have a constant feeling that maybe I should give it a try again. Will I do it? How knows, but if I do it, I’ll keep you informed here ;)

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