Debian and the X102

At the time of writing, both Debian Stable (wheezy) and Testing (jessie) would boot easily on the X102.

In both cases, you can simply download one of the install ISOs, dd’ it on to a USB flash device, and boot in to the installer. Either will work.

Jessie appears at a quick glance to have almost complete hardware support. The wifi, wired ethernet, camera, sound hardware, touchpad, and touchscreen(!) all work out-of-the-box.

There’s no hardware acceleration for the AMD/ATI Radeon so the desktop is extremely slow. It does, however, launch correctly at the right resolution and run stably. It’s likely that the latest ‘fglrx’ (binary-only) driver from AMD might fix this.

Wheezy installs easily, and likewise lacks driver support for the display – but produces a usable desktop nevertheless. It also appears to lack out-of-the-box support for the touchscreen, and possibly also for the camera. Both wired and wireless ethernet work as expected.

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8 thoughts on “Debian and the X102

  1. Does the free graphics driver give you working brightness control in either of those versions? I installed Mint on my x102, but I can’t get it to work.

    At least the update to kernel 3.14 got the touchpad working properly (it wasn’t being recognized with 3.11).

    I’ve also gotten a few weird random wifi shutdowns which even persist through a reboot and a boot to usb. Don’t know what that was about, but it seemed to fix itself.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I didn’t get working brightness control using any of the free graphics drivers.

      I did manage to get brightness control using a recent fglrx, but that has issues all of its own (eg Debian have removed it, and suspend/resume is broken with it).

      It’s probably possible to get everything working at once, but I’m afraid I gave up.

  2. I am looking at the F102BA (Fry’s 4GB RAM version w/o Bluetooth available at NewEgg.com, Amazon and Fry’s) and I would like to know if things are fixed in the most recent builds of Jessie with fglrx as I planned on running Debian on them and use them as work machines. I will need them to sleep/suspend resume/awake when closing/opening the lid. I don’t care much about brightness.

    • Hi,

      Thank you for the comment.

      Sorry but I don’t know – I actually returned my X102. I guess there aren’t many people interested in Linux on these very low-end systems. I considered re-purchasing (especially now the price has dropped) but it’s extremely frustrating trying to work out what the open-source Radeon driver does, and does not, have support for from the changelog if you’re not intimately familiar with graphics chipset.

      I’m also not 100% sure whether brightness issues are Radeon driver related or BIOS ACPI related.

      Cheers

      • Thanks for your reply. I am looking at the 4GB version which is VERY hard to find in Canada and most US stores that have them won’t ship to Canada 😦 I think this might be the ultimate sysadmin machine with HP Touchsmart 10 (if there is a 4gb version)

  3. Hi,

    It’s easy to find here in the UK, but that doesn’t help you at all. The price here is £280 which is CAD520 – that’s from a major high-street retail chain with a very customer-friendly returns policy (Argos). It’s a £20 cut from 3 months ago, but it appears you no longer get a full edition of MS Office included.

    At a quick look, the HP Pavilion 10 Touchsmart is £300, and only available here with 2GB of RAM. It’s the same CPU and Radeon HD 8180 so *probably* has the same issues. Seems to also have soldered RAM so no scope to upgrade.

    Best of luck! Please report back on what you do and how you get on.

    Cheers

    • I saw my Jessie install upgrade to 3.13 kernel earlier today. It might be something cool for us to try regarding x102ba/f102ba users

  4. I end up buying an X200MA for work (11,6″, 4gb RAM, N3520 quad-core) and I finally found an X102BA with 4GB RAM+Bluetooth for personnal use, open box on eBay for a not so bad price once shipped home in Canada. Since it’s an openbox I do not expect to get the Office licence included as it is an open box unit. I expect I will be using this unit as a personnal laptop, mostly for Facebook/Youtube/Skype/web browsing (basic usage… I have a desktop usage but often use the netbook in my bedroom which I know is a really bad habit)

    I also ordered another Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB SSD for the newcomer (already had one in my Acer AO532h that I currently use for work that I’ll put in the X200) and my current personnal netbook (Acer D270) is equipped with a 9.5mm Crucial M4 128GB which I do not wish to modify and even though someone said it was fine with 9.5mm after removing foams, I prefer my installations to look as close as possible to OEM.

    I wish to run Debian Jessie on both units with maybe an instance of Windows in a Virtual Box VM (hence the 4GB RAM) as both the A4 and N3520 supports VT extensions…

    Anyway will update here on how things are going with both units ! 🙂

    I am now a full Asus laptops user 🙂

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