Installing Linux on my Nexus 7 Tablet, Day One

I have tried to install Linux on my Macbook via VirtualBox, which was successful. I know there are phone specifically for Ubunta. Now the remaining question – how about my tablet?

Lo and behold, it is possible! Cause I have the Nexus 7 2013 WiFi version!!!

There are several tutorials online. Sure, I will have do backup on all my eBooks – no doubt a painful process since I am a bookworm. The installation will probably erase the Android in my tablet while still failing to complete the Linux installation. Alas, the tablet is 2 years old. I think it is a acceptable time for it to be a testing guinea pig.

Anyhow, most tutorials pointed to starting at Ubuntu’s developer documents, since it is the Linux that do have a tablet version. Let’s get started!!!

“Prepare your Desktop”
Ok, the first step is to install the ubuntu-device-flash package.
On the developer page, it says that it is “…published in the phablet-tools PPA.” and “…published in the Ubuntu universe archive.”
So… where is it published!?
Since this is a ubuntu package, I decided to go to Ubuntu universe archive. My first google search brings me to a subpage, but it got me to where I need to be – packages.ubuntu.com, with a navigation bar that shows I am under section Ubuntu >> packages >> trusty(14.04LTS) >> devel >> ubuntu-device-flash. I just need to go to its package main page to make sure I got the latest version for the right device! Ok, let’s click on “Packages”!

Um…

Why are there various name for each packages? They have edition-like number next to SOME of them, so are the names for different editions, or are they plain different packages? Will they all work for Nexus 7? There doesn’t seem to be any indication of compatibility issues. And why is there 3 variations of each name, where one has just the name, then another append by -update, then another append by -backports?
After some digging, they all seem to have the same stuff, so I guess they are just the editions? Nothing there says whether they work with Nexus 7 or not, so I will just use the latest, which is named “wily”.

Now I have another problem. Under “Development”, there is indeed the “ubuntu-device-flash” that I need, but there are TWO options – amd64 and i386.

What?

Turns out that is the processor architecture. amd64 is 64-bit processor from AMD, while i386 is 32-bit processor from Intel. Great! I know what the CPU for my Nexus 7 is! It’s Qualcomm’s Snapdragon… wait. Ok, that doesn’t help either, cause Qualcomm is neither AMD or Intel. I am still new at this!!!

After much search of amd64, i386, Snapdragon, I finally thought of searching whether Nexus is  32-bit or 64-bit. Among discussions on various forum, it seems to be 32-bit. Since this is a old and cracked tablet, I decided to bite the bullet and just go with i386.

That’s my progress for Day One. I can’t believe just downloading the package took so much digging work. Day Two hopefully will be quicker and I can finish the “Prepare your Desktop” section.

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