Tablets running Linux

Ive installed linux for my clients across their businesses for years now but Im getting a lot of push since the first of this year about tablet use. Anyone using a tablet with a version of linux right now they can share pro’s and con’s?

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Can’t think of why a tablet loaded with Linux would be preferable to a decent Android tablet. Android is designed for tablets; any Linux distro would fall short.

That’s not correct in every scenario. If you want a full-fledged LInux OS with all its power under the hood, you will never be satisfied with android, as much as you could be with a real Linux alternative.

And its not what the client asked for. There is a lot of problems with Android including its base code creator.

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I know there was an article by @abhishek on its Foss on this subject - don’t know if it will help you at all, but it might be a good starting point for you to look at. I don’t have any experience on this as I don’t own either a mobile phone or tablet so can’t give any personal experience other than saying when I looked at getting a tablet they seemed fairly limited in size and capability. Here is the link:

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I ran Ubuntu (Unity versions) on a couple of Tablet “hybrids” from Lenovo - Thinkpad X41 and X201…

X41 is pen input only.
X201 was touch and stylus - but even with Windows on there - or Linux - touch didn’t work so well… So - I can’t really compare it… but it was “usable”… Ubuntu was easier to install and get touch/wacom working - “out of the box” - with Windows it was nightmare of finding the right drivers from Lenovo and plugging and praying…

Personally - I’d 10,000x rather run Linux as a touch OS than Windows - for a while, at one job, I had to use a Surface Pro 3 - and Windows is really crap at “touch” IMHO… basically I used the Surface as a laptop - external keyboard - external monitors etc…

I wouldn’t mind trying out Linux on a Surface device if I had access to one (I’d put Linux stickers all over the MS logos!)


Ive seen video of Surface running kubuntu - but the cost of a surface… MS is proud of that. I read about a ipad running linux but there was no video or article on the specifics so - wishful thinking on that part :wink: HAHAH

I was thinking about the Thinkpads. Was the touch issue the screen or the software (either OS)?

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These Thinkpads I ran it on are pretty old… the X41 came with Vista :smiley: - wiped it straight away… the X201 had Win7 I think?

The X41 (or is it an X61 - I can’t remember) is stylus only - no touch… Ubuntu recognized the Wacom tech without intervention (Win7 involves hours of locating the right drivers from Lenovo)…

The X201 - “touch” it’s a circa 2012 model - and - the touch is like 2-3 points or whatever it’s called? Unlike modern touch screens with 10 points? I’m not sure what it’s called. Anyway - Ubuntu identifies the touch screen AND the Wacom digitiser “out of the box”…

I’ve got one of my iPads jailbroken (IPAD 3) and I can access the BSD *nix shell on it… it’s not Linux though (although it does support “apt” for installing packages I think).

Probably won’t jailbreak my iPad pro 12.9" - no need for it - mostly use it with an iPencil for drawing (my hobby - hence my earlier interest in the Lenovo X series tablet hybrids). Also got a few neat apps on the iPad pro - for Mosh and SSH to NIX boxes - along with the “ubiquitous” but exhorbitantly overpriced iPad pro keyboard cover… Sheeze I with Apple would let you use a mouse with an iPad!!! That’s one thing Android tablets have over Apple…

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I wouldn’t mind trying out Linux on a Surface device if I had access to one (I’d put Linux stickers all over the MS logos!)

Surely someone has tried loading some form of Linux on a Surface computer–time to report, folks!


Between this and other groups what Ive seen is a serious lack of tablet interest.
I lost this battle with my client. They have a specific need and use for a tablet
and will be going with a MS based product. I wish Canonical had gotten their
pc/tablet/phone environment all working.

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