HACKED! Toshiba AC100 – Ubuntu 10.10 is Running.

Posted on 01 October 2010 by

Firstly, thanks to these forums (I’m just putting the pieces together here and testing it all out)

The work of the uber-Linux and Tegra Lords of these three forums allowed me to do this today:

Ubuntu 10_10 on Tegra2 _Toshiba AC100_.jpg

Yes, you’re looking at Ubuntu 10.10 (RC) running on a Toshiba AC100 smart book.

This is the most exciting thing I’ve done in a long long time. It’s not quite there yet (the boot hangs at this point but the people-that-know are working on it) but apparently everything works apart from sound.

If I can fire up Firefox and get 7 hours battery life out of this 800gm slim-n-lite then I’ll be shouting “See. I told you the smart-book wasn’t dead.”

It took one Linux box, some Nvidia Tegra tools, a new bootloader (dangerous) and Ubuntu built for ARMv7 on an SD card. Clearly the doors are now open for other installations although if Ubuntu is fast enough it should be good enough for most people.


I’ll be doing more work on this when the new tarball arrives.

See this new post for more info, images, early test results.

How does the AC100 look to you now? Did we just boost sales?

Full AC100 specs, info and buy links for UK and Germany (!) are here.

Categorized | Hands On

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  • sipp11

    Interesting. Now wait and see if they have US keyboard layout version up for sale.

  • Simone

    You are my hero!!!! :) I can now buy one of these sweet smartbooks!

  • sorin7486

    been waiting for this for a while o/

  • aftermath

    This is a serious upgrade. You just switched this over from a “connected device” into a UMPC.

    I still believe that the GNU/Linux and greater open source communities are far better “ecosystems” than any combination of “app” store + “app” customer. It always will be because it will always be about innovating freedom rather than money. It’s not hard to understand why a system that gives you freedom might be preferable to one that takes your money (and your freedom). The popularity that Linux enjoys today hasn’t even emerged out of appreciation for its technological excellence or the underlying rights that users have. Rather, Linux is popular with ordinary users and other non-developers because it offers a direct alternative to “pay-for-play” and “vendor lock” software that “apps” in “app” stores represent.

    Even better than Ubuntu would be Debian (which is like the difference between buying a shirt and pants off the rack versus having a tailor custom make them for you by hand) or Angstrom (which is like the difference between using typical day wear for exercise versus putting on a highly engineered, form fitting suit designed to be lightweight and breathable and control moisture).

    You can now install real software. Moreover, instead of having to upgrade in lock-step with firmware in accordance to your vendor, and, perhaps worse, predicating the improvement, sustainability, and vitality of your software on unitary “app” developers, you can now evolve your operating system and applications on your own terms, and experience updates and upgrades supported by and enjoyed by thousands and thousands. You now get to call the shots when it comes to determining that your device is obsolete because you’re no longer dependent on the vendor for support, a vendor whose best interest it’s in to obsolesce your device through “incompatible upgrades” so that you have to re-purchase.

    • http://www.carrypad.com chippy

      Ah! MAybe I should be reporting this over at UMPCPortal. A lot of readers there are interested in full-fat distros on mobile devices. I’ll link-in somehow.

  • http://www.carrypad.com chippy

    Not clear in the article is the fact that this is currently a live-sd card/dual-boot system. Ubuntu running from SD card right now.

    I have a new version of the distro that i’m testing right now.
    Stay tuned for videos later. Maybe i’ll turn the cams on in the studio!

  • herny

    simply great…
    (from italy,thx)

  • animatio

    it is already said …. real, powerful software … same as on any other maschine already running with standard repositories and a proper os and software model underneath

  • http://www.carrypad.com chippy

    If you want to chat about Ubuntu on AC100, my advise is to check out http://tosh-ac100.wetpaint.com/
    They’re keeping it well up-to-date.

  • http://ARMdevices.net Charbax

    Awesome!! The best scenario would be an officially supported triple-boot:
    1. Ubuntu 10.10 for ARM fully hardware accelerated
    2. Chromium OS for ARM fully hardware accelerated
    3. Android with Chrome browser apk installed and hardware accelerations for high resolution browser added inside

    I interviewed a rep of Canonical about Ubuntu changing the world with ARM Cortex A9 a few months ago:
    http://armdevices.net/2010/07/05/canonical-explains-the-status-of-ubuntu-on-arm-powered-laptops/
    http://armdevices.net/2010/06/22/ubuntu-10-7-smartbook-edition-coming-for-arm/

  • http://www.jkkmobile.com/ jkk

    Could you explain me why this could be better than ubuntu on x86 netbook?

    .. and how is this better than android ( if not talk about productive stuff )

    • gio

      Can you get 7 hours of active battery life and 15 days standby on any 800 gram X86 machine? For 300 euros?

      • http://www.jkkmobile.com/ jkk

        nope.. but 10 hours on 1.2kg x86.. for 300..
        afaik active states don’t work under ubuntu so it’s not connected while sleeping etc ( advantages of arm vs x86 ) so I just dont see why.. other than having fun while hacking..

  • http://carrypad.com/members/chippy/ chippy
  • Speedyuk

    @Chippy, From a personal point of view I’d prefer you concentrate on using and testing the AC100 in standard product form running what ever Toshiba supplied / make available i.e. Android 2.1 right now and hopefully 2.2 before long. I think that will better serve any potential customers of the product. No doubt you have better routes back into Toshiba to report any issues you find also you will be more in tune with issues you see reported back by other AC100 users. Please…

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