Message: previous - next
Month: November 2017

Re: [trinity-users] Latest on Linux on tablets with (please Lord) Trinity?

From: Thierry de Coulon <tcoulon@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2017 07:08:15 +0100
On Saturday 11 November 2017 03.25:28 dep wrote:
> Greets, folks . . .
> I once loved my iPad, but Apple has made me hate and despise it, with
> constant unwanted terrible updates that remove functionality and have
> reduced battery life from <12 hours to >3 hours. (IoS 11 sucks so badly
> that it pulls the branches off nearby trees.) I have had it with the iPad.
> But I have need of a tablet.
> It's been awhile since I heard anything involving Linux being put on a
> tablet; for a time I had a version of Linux running on an H-P Touchpad,
> which has long since died. The X support was semi-decent -- I had either
> or Libre Office running (very slowly) on it.
> That was probably six years ago. I kind of hope that some sort of Linux/X
> development has taken place, but haven't been able to learn much. Anybody
> know if there has been?
> And the important question: would it be possible to put TDE on it and if I
> did, would it work?
> Thanks!

Well, I've been trying this for some time now and the the answer is no easy 
one. Let's try.

a) If you are looking for an iPad replacement, then I am afraid the answer is 
*no*: iOS, for all it can suck, is made for touch. Linux is not.

b) Your first problem is to find working hardware, and it depends on what you 
want to do. Basic touch works for example on my Thinkpad X220t which has an 
integrated Wacom digitizer. I've been trying to use it to annotate pdfs and 
it kind of works, but there are no sublimities like not registering finger 
touch when you're using the pen.

I've managed to make a Chuwi Tablet work under Linux after recompiling the 
goodix module. The tablet has a (good) Atom chip and it does work with Gnome 
3, albeit not as snappy as Windows 10. I've installed trinity yesterday and I 
am now playing with the possibilities to make it "touchable" but KDE 3 was 
clearly not created for that. I'll post more when I find out.

So you have to find a tablet that has enough power to run a GUI *and* will 
boot Linux *and* has a supported digitizer.

There are not so bad Chinese tablets around (Chuwi, Teclast and others). Chuwi 
claims "Ubuntu support", which is right as there is a BIOS setting to boot 
Linux. However they changed the digitizer during production which is why the 
kernel does not find it (you must change the model number in the goodix.o 
source and recompile). Digitizer support seems to stop sometimes (maybe 
compiling the module in the kernel would help?)

c) When the digitizer works, multi-touch support seems less developed than 
under Windows or Android (I never really used iOS but I understand it should 
work). Auto-rotation is another thing that does not work.

When it comes to writing, Goodix is just unusable (not only with Linux). If 
you want to *write* you need a much better (and expensive) digitizer. With 
Linux I would look for a Wacom.

I have bought a second hand Sony Tap11 (waiting for it) that is supposed to 
run Linux and have a Wacom device. More about that around the end of the 
month I hope.

I am also looking for a second hand Microsoft Surface Pro. Version 2 seems 
likely to run Linux and have Wacom hardware.

d) Last thing: some recent devices (my Chuwi Hi13 for instance) have 3K 
screens (3000x2000) that look gorgeous but require UI scaling. Windows 10 
does this without asking, Gnome 3 is relatively easy. Trinity has options but 
I am testing what works. Basically the UI should be vectorial to be able to 
scale easily and Trinity had bitmap elements, so it gets quite ugly (128 
pixel icons on a HiD screen...)

I would say that for light use (I mostly need a tablet to control a 
presentation tool), unfortunately, for the moment, Windows 10 is the best. 
You get itchy every time you have to work with the OS, but the GUI is 
actually not so bad.

I hope I have better news in the next weeks but I fail to see anyone really 
trying to bring Linux on tablets for the moment (Ubuntu seems to have 
abandoned, KDE is way too heavy, Gnome is barely usable, the lighter DE's 
don't care (or can't).