Linux Desktop on Thinkpad Tablet

By default Lenovo completely forbids users who want to do their work in obtaining root rights through the Lenovo signed only booting on the ARM/Tegra based Thinkpad Tablet. The company does not provide any public means to it’s users, in order to circumvent the lock out of first class admin rights or to install alternative OSes. Fortunately a exploit including a tutorial was published end of January to workaround the signed booting. That way I obtained my basic user right back, that is to adapt the OS on my own device. People might argue that I could have bought a alternative device of a more customer friendly vendor. And I heard of a HTC tablet, which features a similar good display and stylus input. HTC enabled users for root access begin of this year. But I already obtained the Lenovo last year. The WeTab with it’s relatively open OS was interesting too. But as colour matters to me, I never came around it’s display.

Anyway, the little tablet is now running the XChat IRC client. And I am totally happy with it, as it serves it’s main purpose now as a well featured and productive communication client, which was not possible with Android alone. A patched tightVNCserver with Hacker’s Keyboard serves me well as interface to a chrooted Linux. Again I can enjoy side by side windows on a Linux desktop. The 10” device at the resolution of a desktop monitor provides enough space for that. A light wight and working web browser is Midori. For email I switch currently to K-9 Mail on Android. PDF and office documents are good readable in Android. gcc, gitk, terminal and so on work as expected. Oyranos builds fine.

It is nice to have practical two OSes on one device and use the advantages of both.

Update [March 22, 2012]: here is a ICC profile of the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet inbuild monitor.

4 thoughts on “Linux Desktop on Thinkpad Tablet

  1. Considering to buy one of those myself, but the encrypted bootloader is a deal-breaker. So I am excited to hear that an unlock mechanism is available that circumvents the encryption.
    Could you perhaps post a link to that tutorial? Would really appreciate it.

  2. Thanks for the pointer – from what I see the mod community is clearly interested in this piece of hardware. That’s encouraging.
    One last question for you, if I may: have you got Linux installed next to Android (dual-boot) or in some other configuration? I mean, can you still run the Lenovo apps on Android, and does switching between Android and Linux require a reboot?

    • The Linux is a chrooted one. On the market exists a Linux install APP, which is quite helpful. The Linux DE runs inside Android and I need a VNC server and viewer to see the Linux desktop output. The advantage of the combination is, that the Android status bar remains still visible while in the Linux DE.

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