How To Install Ubuntu Linux on your HP TouchPad?

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Article by Raj Chowdary Posted: August 24, 2011

in Gadgets, How To

With the demise of webOS, all HP TouchPad owners are looking at various options to make their devices worthwhile. Work is already on way to root Android to the TouchPad. If your unwilling to wait till then and also a Linux fan, you could very well install Ubuntu Linux on your HP TouchPad.

Ubuntu Linux How To Install Ubuntu Linux on your HP TouchPad?

Ubuntu is an Open Source Operating System and the advantage with installing Ubuntu on your TouchPad is that you could dual-boot both webOS and Ubuntu Linux on your TouchPad.

Also Check: Android to port on HP TouchPad soon!

Also Check: HP TouchPad Android Installation Guide

Follow the steps below to install Ubuntu Linux on your HP TouchPad:

1. Install Preware

Preware is a collection of free homebrew applications, patches, themes and kernels for your webOS devices. With Preware you could install any of the open standard package repositories on preware.org. The current version of Preware is 1.6.3.

You can use any of the following methods to install Preware on your HP TouchPad:

  1. Installing Preware using the Official HP/Palm SDK

  2. Installing Preware with WebOS Quick Install

  3. Installing Preware with the Standalone Installer

  4. Installing Preware from the Commandline

Detailed instructions of the various methods to install Preware on your HP TouchPad can be found here.

2. Install ext3fs with Meta-Doctor

You will need to create a 2 GB partition to install Ubuntu Linux on your TouchPad. To do this you will need to install ext3fs with Meta-Doctor. For more information on Meta-Doctor and its installation go here.

You can use Meta-Doctor to create a ext3fs partition by using the following command:

EXT3FS_PARTITION_SIZE = 2GB
(Note: It is 2 GB in this case, you could specify any size depending on your requirements)

Now, your partition will be found at /media/ext3fs on device.

3. Mount ext3fs partition at device boot

You need to have the ext3fs partition mounted at device boot. To do this:

Create folder at /media/ext3fs using:

mount -o remount,rw /
mkdir -p /media/ext3fs

Use only /media/ext3fs as the location because only then Ubuntu 11.04 Chroot will be able to find it.

Edit the fstab file to set it up to mount at bootup using:

mount -o remount,rw /
echo "/dev/mapper/store-ext3fs /media/ext3fs ext3 noatime,data=writeback 0 0" >> /etc/fstab

Now to mount ext3fs at bootup use:

mount -a

4. Install Xecutah, XServer and Ubuntu 11.04 Chroot

Enable WebOS Internals Testing Feeds.

From Preware install Xecutah, XServer and Ubuntu 11.04 Chroot.

Run XServer and this will open a XServer window. Now, return to Xecutah and tap Ubuntu 11.04 Chroot. Return to XServer window and you will see a Ubuntu command prompt. Use “apt-get install” to install apps from Ubuntu.

This is it and now, you are ready to run Ubuntu on your HP TouchPad.

Note: Amazon still has HP TouchPad 16 GB and HP TouchPad 32 GB in stock.

Check: XAMPP for Ubuntu Download

Do tell us about your experiences on installing and running Ubuntu Linux on your HP TouchPad.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Siddu August 29, 2011 at 4:00 am

Hi

Thanks for the post. I am stuck at the 4th step to install xecutah using preware. I am not able to find xecutah in preware. I would really appreciate if someone can help me.

Thanks,
Sid

Reply

mark August 29, 2011 at 11:13 am

goto precentral.com, register for the forums and seek out rod_whitby. looking at the names of those programs , he wrote them. also you might need to add repositories for the programs to show up in preware app catalog to begin with. hope this helped

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mark August 29, 2011 at 11:14 am

correction… precentral.net sorry

Reply

Siddu August 29, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the help. I figured out that i need to add repo and finally installed but still unable to run Xserver after installation.

Thanks,
Sid

Reply

Andrew0002 August 31, 2011 at 6:08 am

I’m not sure if this is your problem, but this confused me at first – You can’t run X server directly. Tap the Xecutah icon (if you don’t have it installed, make sure you followed all the instructions…). In Xecutah, tap the Start XServer menu item. This will start an X session in another window. Swipe up on your device’s screen or use the hardware button on your device to switch applications and go back to Xecutah (don’t close XServer, just switch windows). Once you’re back in Xecutah, tap Start Ubuntu 11.04 Chroot. Now switch back to the XServer window, and you’ll see that you now have a terminal session open. At this point you have a blank slate, and you can apt-get to your hear’s content! You can see the process I just described in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=159h_t0hHPQ

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Andrew0002 August 31, 2011 at 6:15 am

For anyone needing the repo, go here to find the one for your device: http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/Testing_Feeds

Then go to Preware on your device, tap the Preware menu in the top left, tap Manage Feeds, scroll down to New Feed and enter the details found on the previously mentioned link. If you’re on a touchpad, it is http://ipkg.preware.org/feeds/webos-internals/testing/armv7/

Reply

kitkat September 1, 2011 at 8:23 am

Seriously, how many touchpad users have the skillset to upgrade to Ubuntu? Most end users have no idea what Ubuntu or Linux is for that matter. I have a feeling there will be a lot of bricked touchpads up for sale soon, lol.

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josh September 3, 2011 at 6:02 am

im no linux guru, but i managed to do this fairly easily: the hardest part is really setting up the meta doctor- after that its just be sure you can type commands as shown in this tutorial.

when you run your meta-doctor, be sure to set it so you have access to the testing feeds, this makes your life much easier- i suspect some of you are having troubles finding what you need in preware because your feeds are not set correctly.

Reply

josh September 3, 2011 at 10:20 am

hey, me again. I am leaving this comment (question) from lxde running chromium on my touchpad. pretty cool. thats my comment. my question is this: i use a bluetooth keyboard and thus do not need the onscreen keyboard: so having all that dead space on the screen cramps my style. anyway to set xecutah so it loads full screen?

thanks for all your hard work! now i can go mock my ipad wielding friends.

Reply

Ram September 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm

You can download tweaks from Preware to disable the on screen keyboard. Tools-> Tweaks

Reply

josh September 5, 2011 at 9:13 pm

thanks- works. and unlike the webos browser, chromium actually works more than 50% of the time. so i can leave this reply.

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Natsu September 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Hello,
Weird, when I doctored the touchpad, it ended up deleting all my data. It did create that partition, but now I have no preware installed anymore… Guess Ill be installing it again. What’s weird is that when I am in root I keep getting errors every time I press a character on the keyboard; the error asks me to enable JIT debugging and something about arithmetic operation fail… I still entered all the commands clicking c ontinue after each character, but there was no confirmation so I am not even sure if it worked… sigh :(

Reply

Natsu September 5, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Ok so it seems like it didn’t actually mount anything, because now when I run XServer and ubuntu i just get black or white screens or screens with weird patters :( . Could someone please help me get that issue about errors fixed. When I get into root using novaterm on windows, it gives me JIT debugging erros each time I press a character, but there is no config file I can use. Also I’ve tried installing SDK in ubuntu, but somehow the last command line on the sdk install instruction page doesn’t work. It can’t seem to find the directory so I can’t launch it :( . Windows I got a lot closer but this stupid error !!
If someone knows how to solver it please share :D
thanks!

Reply

Natsu September 5, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Hello again,
Actually I got my CHROOT running and it looks like terminal on Ubuntu… Is that how it’s supposed to look on the touchpad or am I doing something wrong? What should I do now? I am very new to linux and I thought on the touchpad I would just get the same interface as on the desktop O_o

Reply

Natsu September 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Well k scratch that, I actually had it all done properly, but I just didn’t have any programs installed. I found a link that might be helpful. To learn how to install packages once you’ve gotten to the chroot go to
http://forum.webosroundup.com/index.php?threads/word-processing-and-more-on-the-touchpad.593/
anyways thanks for the tutorial :D !

Reply

Ram September 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Good that you were able to install Ubuntu on your TouchPad successfully!!

Reply

Natsu September 6, 2011 at 7:11 am

Hi me again
It seems that installing either preware or chroot is making preader not work :( .
I tried it on my friend’s touchpad and it recognizes all the books, but on mine it doesn’t recognize any books at all. I’ve tried using the alpha native preader from preware, but unfortunately it’s very very buggy and totally unusable.
Anyone find a solution for this? thanks

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Dan September 19, 2011 at 4:48 am

I’ve been trying to do this all weekend.. so far I’ve gotten to the point where I run meta-doctor, it finds the device, the touchpad screen turns into a big usb icon and meta-doctor shows “Batter Charger Mode, Booting into Recovery Mode, Waiting for Device to come back” and then waits for a few minutes before telling me “the device is most likely unplugged” while the big usb logo is still on the touchpad.

Any ideas??

Thanks in advance.

Reply

Stephen September 19, 2011 at 8:29 am

I can’t find Ubuntu Chroot on Preware using the webos-interals repo. Has it been removed?

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jim October 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm

so if installed this will everything work? marketplace and all the other stuff?

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joshthegeek October 13, 2011 at 1:44 am

It appears that I have done everything correctly, but apparently I have not.

My TouchPad will not boot into Ubuntu. The first icon that appears when I restart my TouchPad is the Linux penguin then after a couple moments that goes away and the HP logo appears and WebOS then boots.

The last line of my /etc/fstab reads:

/dev/mapper/store-ext3fs /media/ext3fs ext3 noatime,data=writeback 0 0

When I select the Downloads tab in WebOS I see Ubuntu 11.04 Chroot, Xecutah, XTerm, and XServer. Selecting thos icons only gives me a description and changelog.

Any assistance with getting the device to actually boot into Ubuntu would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Reply

joshthegeek October 13, 2011 at 1:46 am

The last two characters in my etc/fstab are zero zero, it is just that the text on this forum makes them look like lower case O’s.

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Raj October 13, 2011 at 11:21 am

Thanks for notifying us.. we will update it in the post..

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Bluewater October 13, 2011 at 6:22 am

If linux is installed in HP TouchPad, will the soft key board work in the linux OS?

Reply

Feroz October 15, 2011 at 10:43 am

Hello All,

I have followed the steps and was able to create and copy the .jar file to /host/webosdoctorp302hstnhwifi.jar

Now do I logoff linux and go to windows or what.

I would appreciate if someone can help me install and see ubuntu on my hp touchpad. :)

Thanks
Feroz

Reply

NathanP October 17, 2011 at 10:10 am

@joshthegeek
Ubuntu does not install like it would on a computer where you can choose between webos and ubuntu on boot. Instead, we are able to run ubuntu like an application. In order to start the “application”, start xechuta and click the start ubuntu chroot. this will pull up a terminal from which you can install various desktop enviroments such as LXDE.

Reply

Mills November 24, 2011 at 5:18 am

What is the difference of having Ubuntu on webOS vs. running xterm on webOS? I know that you can install Ubuntu apps with the Ubuntu partition, but what apps are there that you cannot already get for webOS, either in preware or the general app catalog? I’m already able to get OpenSSH and a bunch of other apps running from webOS.
Can someone clue me in to what I’m missing if I don’t install Ubuntu? Also, we all know webOS is a linux base so why partition off space for another linux distro? It just seems unnecessary to me.

Reply

Parth Tak December 19, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Hey. I just wanted to know if I can get ubuntu along with cyanogenmod installed?

Reply

carol adrian January 12, 2012 at 10:31 pm

i don’t think i have created the partition. pretty sure i did everything else correctly. when exactly in the sequence of events should the touchpad be connected? help!!

Reply

jeremiah February 2, 2012 at 4:24 am

someone should post a video of how to install this
the instuctions confuse meeeeeeeeeeee

Reply

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