05-25-2018 04:57 PM
I just wanted to share my experiences and see if I can find someone to help me to complete this project.
To start off with, I'm a relative newb. I run Ubuntu Linux on my desktop, but I have a Windows computer, as well. Because of that, I've seen how fast Xubuntu works and how...not fast...Windows works. After playing with the Insignia tablet for a while, I really grew sick of how slow and bloated it felt. (Let the Windows fan boys start their hating!) I couldn't turn off enough features to make the system feel responsive enough to want to use. Every time Windows updated, I got a "low disk space" error. So, I decided to replace it.
Let the journey begin...
To start out, I needed to get a USB drive to function. The Insignia Tablet has a 32-Bit UEFI, but a 64-Bit processor. What this means is that you can't just grab your favorite Linux distro and install it. Aftera bunch of attempts using some very good guides, I stumbled across the easiest thing ever:
Go here and download isorespin.sh. Then, grab your favorite Linux Distro - 64-Bit too! - and a flash drive. Follow the steps on the site and, when you run isorespin, choose the "Atom Processor" additions. When the program is done, you'll have a spiffy new drive ready to install your favorite distro without all the messing around that you have to do with Grub2.
I slapped in a 128 GB microSD card for my /home folder and booted up the new drive. After installing the distro, I rebooted and *poof* I was all set...mostly.
I am running Xubuntu 18.04 with the 4.15.0-22-generic kernel. At this point, almost everything I needed was running. The items I was missing included:
Please note that these were NOT critical, as far as I was concerned. I was just happy that everything else was working!
Today, I spent the day working on any or all of the above. I had encountered the sound card issue in the past, so I kind of knew where to start.
First, go to https://github.com/plbossart/UCM/tree/master/chtrt5645 and get the two files there. For this time, I only needed to copy the Hifi.con to /usr/share/alsa/ucm/chtrt5645/HiFi.conf After a reboot, it worked!
Now, I'm down to three things:
At this point, I really don't know what to do. I ran "System Profiler and Benchmark" and there are a couple of things I don't know/recognize:
PCI Devices: Intel Corporation Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series Imaging Unit (rev 36)
USB Devices: Speedy Industrial Supplies, Pte., Ltd.
Input: Intel HID events
Right now, the computer is fully functional as a mini laptop. Even after installing Libreoffice, Gimp, and a ton of other programs, the computer is fast, responsive, and I still have 16 GB of hard drive space on the primary drive! (Not counting the space on the external SD card.)
If'n any of you know how to get the touchscreen working, that would be great! (The others are more "optional" in my world!) If you do, please give me a link or a step-by-step, because I AM a newb. Otherwise, I'll keep you posted if I figure out anything else.
06-02-2018 11:35 PM
Update on life.
Okay, if you want to do this, it DOES work. But... (You knew there was a "but", right?) First things first, you need to know that I'm doing all of my "prep" work from an Ubuntu laptop. Not sure exactly how to do some of these things from Windows, so here's hoping you have access to a Linux - preferrably Ubuntu-based - box!
Now, the reason I haven't posted in a while i because I was experiementing with about 15 different distros. There IS a clear winner: Xubuntu 16.04.4 You can go grab the 64-bit ISO from: http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/16.04.4/release/ Be sure to do the checksum! (I've had some bad downloads which screwed up the installs!)
Next, you need a USB flash drive. Size doesn't matter - a 4 GB or bigger is fine. Format it to FAT32 using your favorite tool. (If you're in Linux, Gparted is great!)
Next you need to go and download a script called "isorespin.sh". You can get it from here: http://linuxiumcomau.blogspot.com/2017/06/customizing-ubuntu-isos-documentation.html Follow the directions to make a bootable USB stick. The ony thing that you really want to make sure you use is the add-ons for the Atom processors. (Basically, you'll have the first two boxes checked.)
I did NOT change the BIOS settings. (I played with them afterwards, but this is going on stock settings.) Insert the flash drive, boot the Insignia and start tapping the "Esc" key right away. Scroll to the last tab and click on your flash drive to boot directly from it. If you're ready to take the plunge, click the "install" option right away.
Hint: Go buy a 128 GB MicroSD card and install it before you get going! When you hit the format options, choose "Something Else" and install four partitions: (1) is 600 MB for EFI, (2) is 28000 MB for EXT4 and mount point is "/", (3) is whatever is left and it becomes a SWAP file. (Some of you are going to yell at me for a SWAP on an SSD, but I do think there is a performance boost in doing that.) Finally, (4) is the extenal drive and you are going to format the whole thing for EXT4 and mount point is "/home". Do this, and it becomes a powerful little computer!
After the install, boot the new system and log in. Do NOT do anything at this point! At this point, you have a system with sound, video, SD card, bluetooth, battery monitor, etc. It's functional, but not finished!
Open a terminal and type in the command: sudo apt-mark hold linux-image-generic and linux-headers-generic. If you don't, the first time the kernel updates, a lot of stuff stops working! This locks the kernel to prevent that.
Now, go get your favorite MP3 song, copy it to your desktop, and double-click on it. Parole will fire up and music will start playing. Now, open a terminal and type, "sudo apt-get update" and then "sudo apt-get upgrade". While it's running, keep your music going, even if you need to restart the song. Whatever you do, do NOT let the music end! Play with the slider bar. (It's fun!)
Now you have an updated system with most of the stuff working. Bluetooth does take a couple of times to connect, at times, with devices. Once connect, though, it does seem to retain the configuration. (It helps to turn off bluetooth totally, turn it back on, and then sync. Don't know why.)
The other thing I've noticed is that occasionally the system will freeze. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the Intel video driver and I will be working on that next to see if I can come up with a solution.
I've also figured out that the touchscreen is a Silead and I have found people who have gotten it working. So, I'll let you know if I can get it working, too.