How to install Native Ubuntu Linux on ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700

Posted on Jan 18 2013 - 11:39am by Harold Hisona

One good thing about open source is that millions of people can share ideas to create better outcome. Google Android’s ever-growing community is the perfect example; almost every day new custom ROMs are being released for people who are willing to take the risk to make their devices even better.

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Majority of the developers stick to developing ROMs and mods with better features but some of them deviate to develop some things we haven’t seen before; one developer successfully ported the Native Ubuntu Linux operating system to ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700.

Features

You might ask why you would bother yourself to undertake a very risky process to install Ubuntu on a device built to run Android OS. For geeks, it’s an accomplishment and for those who are seeking to do something different with their Infinity TF700, it’s the features they go after. Now, here are some of the features you can enjoy when you decide to flash Ubuntu into your device.

  • Dual-boot function. It’s cool to think you have options which operating system you want your device to run.
  • 2-finger scrolling. Owners can use two fingers to scroll. The 2-finger tap functions like the third button in a typical mouse.
  • ZIP boot image installer. Installer is made simpler because owners don’t need a USB cable or use fastboot to install apps, mods and ROMs.
  • WiFi. At least, it is good to know you can still browse the web after installing Ubuntu on Infinity.
  • OpenGL ES. This makes Chromium browsing faster and better plus you can enjoy watching 3D clips or play 3D games.
  • Audio/Video enhancement. Developers say there are noticeable improvements to audio and video qualities.

Pre-requisites

  1. All your important data should be backed up prior to taking the first step of the tutorial below. This is necessary to make sure all your SMS messages, videos, files, etc. can be restored if things go bad during the process.
  2. Your device should be rooted and that the ClockworkMod Recovery is installed.
  3. Your tablet should have sufficient battery left to complete the flashing. There is a greater possibility it would be bricked if the process is interrupted.
  4. Make sure all necessary drivers were installed in your computer so your device can be detected properly. You will need to copy files into your tablet and you can’t do so if your machine cannot detect it.

Disclaimer: This is a very risky process and only experienced users are advised to continue. The Droid Guy cannot be held responsible if your device would end up being bricked after the flashing. There is no guarantee everything will work smoothly during the installation, so, it’s on you if you want to continue.

Step-by-step Guide

Step 1: Download these files and save them into your computer: tf700-rootfs-0.7.1.tar.lzma (667Mb) and boot_installer-0.7.1.1.zip (11 Mb). Just put them in a directory you can easily find and access; there’s no need to extract them.

Step 2: Connect your device to your computer using the USB cable and copy the packages into the root directory of the device’s internal memory. After that disconnect your device and turn it off.

Step 3: Boot it into recovery mode and flash boot_installer-0.7.1.1.zip . You need to choose a kernel at this point. While all of them are supposed to work, the most recommended is 1.3-1.8.

Step 4: Once the installation is complete, wipe cache/dalvik.

Step 5: Turn your device off again but this time connect the keyboard dock and boot it into recovery mode. Since you have just installed a new boot loader, you must be seeing penguins while the device loads. After a short while, you will see four options: Android, Linux, Install and Shell.

Step 6: You still need to install so choose press “I” on your keyboard. The device automatically searches for tf700-rootfs-0.7.1.tar.lzma. You need to choose the Ubuntu image size and press “Yes” to confirm.

Step 7: It will take several minutes to complete the installation process. Refrain from touching anything on your device until everything is done to avoid messing up the process.

Step 8: Once the installation is complete, press any key on your keyboard to return to boot options. Press “1” to boot Ubuntu 12.10; the default password is “ubuntu” but you have to change it to your own password for security reason.

This is just one of the ways to install Ubuntu on Pad Infinity TF700. We advise you to visit XDA devs forums to learn other ways to flash this custom OS.

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About the Author

Harold is a tech blogger and reviewer. He's been with The Droid Guy for more than 3 years writing news, updates, tutorials, how tos and troubleshooting articles. Feel free to email him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter or join the community he created to help smartphone owners.