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posted by n1 on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the liberating-hardware-from-the-evil-empires dept.

I am getting fed up with all those app stores that just sell apps, but never give the source code. I used to fix in the source code the things that annoyed me. In the case of app stores, I just get generic (and very kind) replies from authors. Apart from those replies they never improve their apps, just collect more money from people who purchased (and can't get money back if not satisfied).

I have decided to install Debian on a tablet but I need some really nice hardware first that I can use for that. I would prefer a bigger screen, but in fact if you know any tablet that will run nicely with Debian or Ubuntu please tell!

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by metamonkey on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:54PM

    by metamonkey (3174) on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:54PM (#25601)

    I have a Lenovo Yoga 11s [lenovo.com], which is a convertible ultrabook. You can flip the display completely around and use it as a tablet. I dual boot OpenSUSE 13.1 and Windows 8 on it.

    The problems are that there are not a lot of touch-aware linux apps nor have I hacked together something to use the rotation sensor to tell KDE to automatically rotate the screen. It works well as a Windows 8 tablet and a linux ultrabook, but not necessarily a linux tablet.

    To be honest, I don't really know what would work as a linux tablet due to the lack of touch-aware apps.

    --
    Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Thursday April 03 2014, @03:08PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Thursday April 03 2014, @03:08PM (#25615) Homepage Journal

      I have a Yoga Pro 2 myself, love the hardware (though mine has a faulty wireless card that has proven problematic to replace), and found that there's really not a lot of good ways to be touch friendly. I might try using Ubuntu for Tablets on it at some point, but I'm just not sure there's a good non-AOSP) solution. I'd love to hear feedback myself.

      --
      Still always moving
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Marneus68 on Thursday April 03 2014, @03:33PM

      by Marneus68 (3572) on Thursday April 03 2014, @03:33PM (#25635) Homepage

      >lack of touch-aware apps
      >apps
      That word...

      Anyway, Gnome 3 and Gnome Shell are really touch friendly these days, that's probably the only thing Gnome is doing right. There's even a usable virtual keyboard that pops up when you need it.

      • (Score: 2) by mmcmonster on Thursday April 03 2014, @08:13PM

        by mmcmonster (401) on Thursday April 03 2014, @08:13PM (#25813)

        The problem is the word 'apps'. Even if the OS is completely touch-aware or even can go between mouse to touch inputs seemlessly, you needs the apps to do likewise.

        Name some common open source apps that work well with a touch screen. They can't use traditional menus. They need larger widgets and be more forgiving of inputs to go along with inaccuracies in finger movement.

        Until the applications themselves are optimized for touch screen, or at least have touch-appropriate skins, there's no point in running a linux desktop environment on a touch screen.

        Just run Android.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by zizban on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:55PM

    by zizban (3765) on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:55PM (#25603)

    These folks sell tablets with Ubuntu pre-installed. Not quite what you want but close: http://emperorlinux.com/systems/tablet/ [emperorlinux.com]

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by gishzida on Thursday April 03 2014, @03:16PM

    by gishzida (2870) on Thursday April 03 2014, @03:16PM (#25624) Journal

    Not cheap but Bunnie Huang's new Novena [bunniestudios.com] comes with debian... not quite a tablet but it is fully hackable.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Marneus68 on Thursday April 03 2014, @03:22PM

    by Marneus68 (3572) on Thursday April 03 2014, @03:22PM (#25629) Homepage

    The ExoPC slate ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExoPC [wikipedia.org] ) is what you're after. It's an x86 tablet, with touch enable BIOS (no weird UEFI crap) that has several USB ports, an SD card slot and can be expanded too.

    I got this baby for free from Intel when they ware still working on MeeGo. Now it's mainly used by my dad who installed Fedora on it and uses it as a way to conveniently read his guitar tabs and controlling his backing tracks with a custom made USB footswitch.

  • (Score: 2) by akinliat on Thursday April 03 2014, @04:33PM

    by akinliat (1898) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {tailnika}> on Thursday April 03 2014, @04:33PM (#25672)

    I personally run Debian on an HP Touchpad that I picked up in the fire sale. It's old -- the default distro on the setup is squeeze rather than wheezy, and I haven't tried a dist-upgrade. Also, the X server is fairly primitive, and won't resize for the onscreen keyboard, so if you want to use the native keyboard, you have to give up some permanent screen real estate. Alternatively, you can use a software keyboard in the Debian install. I generally just use it with an external keyboard.

    Other than that, it works fairly well, and Touchpads are still pretty easy to find on ebay for reasonable prices.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by tizan on Thursday April 03 2014, @08:11PM

    by tizan (3245) on Thursday April 03 2014, @08:11PM (#25812)
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by AnythingGoes on Thursday April 03 2014, @09:20PM

    by AnythingGoes (3345) on Thursday April 03 2014, @09:20PM (#25868)
    If you don't mind using the Wacom based tablets - any old Tabletpc from 2003 onwards will be able to run debian with the Wacom drivers.

    Unfortunately, this means that you have to use the pen rather than fingers, which is ok for some people, but a big no-no for others.

    There is an old list here http://tuxmobil.org/tablet_unix.html [tuxmobil.org]
    • (Score: 1) by hendrikboom on Thursday April 03 2014, @10:13PM

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 03 2014, @10:13PM (#25895) Homepage Journal

      Using pen rather tha fingers is even *preferred* by some users!

    • (Score: 2) by cosurgi on Thursday April 03 2014, @10:14PM

      by cosurgi (272) on Thursday April 03 2014, @10:14PM (#25897) Journal

      Wow, thanks a lot. That link is very inspiring. If not one of those tablets listed then maybe something related to them. Like a newer model of one of those listed.

      Actually I was hoping for something with large resolution, like 2048x1536, and more than 10". I know there are not many apps that work well with fingers. But I suppose things are going to improve in time. Especially if there are more early adopters like me :) Well if I find something nice I will post here.

      My typical usage scenario is uncommon - this tablet is supposed to display .pdf papers, while lying on the table among books, printed out articles and notebooks (the "distracting" PC is on the other desk, this desk is for pen-and-paper research). This is why I need screen real estate, and I don't want keyboard.

      --
      #
      #\ @ ? [adom.de] Colonize Mars [kozicki.pl]
      #
  • (Score: 1) by EETech1 on Thursday April 03 2014, @10:42PM

    by EETech1 (957) on Thursday April 03 2014, @10:42PM (#25907)

    Has anyone tried to install any kind of Linux on a Microsoft Surface Pro yet?

    They had some (V1) on blow out at Best Buy a couple weeks ago by me, I wanted to get one to try and install Some kind of Linux on it. But didn't have the free $ to drop on it, or the time to try to install it. My Touchpad works pretty well for me too, I really like PalmOS, so hard to justify the $.

    Has anyone here had any success with Linux on a Surface Pro?

    It's sure nice hardware...

    Cheers

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by SlimmPickens on Friday April 04 2014, @12:39AM

    by SlimmPickens (1056) on Friday April 04 2014, @12:39AM (#25946)

    Dell XT3 [notebookcheck.net] makes a standout Ubuntu computer, the LTS is even certified for XT3. It's a convertible touchscreen notebook for long service life business applications, the manual [dell.com] (p58) actually has instructions for upgrading the CPU! Lot's of features including complete virtualization extensions (& other enterprise features), up to 32GB RAM, 4 actual cores plus hyperthreading, backlit+splashproof keyboard, daylight readable screen, 2x HDD bays, extensive battery options, upgradeable 3G WWAN. They're not available new any more but there's plenty on ebay

    It's heavy and only get's about 4 hours with maxed hardware but in my opinion it's an absolute standout ubuntu machine.

    • (Score: 1) by tomtomtom on Friday April 04 2014, @09:52AM

      by tomtomtom (340) on Friday April 04 2014, @09:52AM (#26116)

      I've been eyeing up the XPS 12 as a replacement for my current (2008-era) laptop and my iPad 1 (which I was given back in 2010) when I get around to it. All I use my iPad for is watching movies on planes and occasionally checking email (for ebooks I much much prefer an eink display and have a Kindle), and it seems like it would work well as a replacement for both (ie weight/bulk in the hand should not be a huge issue). As I'd put Linux on it I'd love to know how well it works for this type of set up/how well Linux (not Android) can run a touchscreen UI.

      I also looked at the Yoga 2 Pro and the Thinkpad Yoga range but a few things put me off those (the "Clickpad" on the Y2P, the keyboard doesn't get great reviews, having to pay for a pen digitizer I don't want in order to get a decent resolution on the Thinkpad variant, the keyboard being on the back when in tablet mode).

    • (Score: 2) by SlimmPickens on Tuesday April 08 2014, @01:53AM

      by SlimmPickens (1056) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @01:53AM (#27895)

      I just want it recorded here that when I started looking at upgrading my XT3 a week ago there was a smorgasbord of performance parts available on the ebays. Today anything to do with a pimped XT3 is gone, it's just fans and brackets as far as the eye can see! I think I was lucky to get a nice CPU in the end!