More Troublesome x86 Android Tablets Being Fixed Up By New Linux Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 4 January 2022 at 05:28 AM EST. 12 Comments
HARDWARE --
Last week I called attention to the new "x86-android-tablets" driver being prepared for introduction in Linux 5.17. That driver aims to fix up the mess of various x86 Android-focused tablets failing to run off the mainline Linux kernel or having various device issues in doing so. Since that prior article, more patches have been posted to address additional tablet issues.

The forthcoming x86-android-tablets driver is focused on the issue of many x86 tablets having invalid entries within their ACPI DSDT tables. Due to these Android tablets relying on custom, device-specific kernel builds there is often hard-coded data within their kernel image rather than jiving properly with ACPI specifications and having valid tables, etc. This driver aims to carry as many of the device-specific quirks/workarounds as possible in order to allow more of these aging tablets to work fine on a mainline Linux kernel build.

The Chuwi Hi8 and Xiaomi tablets were among the initial devices benefiting from this new driver currently queued up as part of the x86 platform driver's "for-next" branch for Linux 5.17. Sent out in patch form by Hans de Goede of Red Hat who started this driver is now 12 more patches to further improve the x86 Android tablet support.

Hans explained in the latest patch series, "As a small(ish) hoppy project over the holidays I've been looking into getting some (somewhat older) x86 tablets which ship with Android as the only OS on their factory image working with the mainline kernel. These typically have pretty broken DSDTs since the Android image kernel just has everything hardcoded. This patch-series makes most things on 3 of these tablets work with the mainline kernel and lays the groundwork for adding support for similar tablets."


The ASUS MeMO Pad 7 is one of the tablets being fixed up in 2022 for mainline kernel support. This Android tablet is nearly eight years old from the Android 4.4 KitKat days with an Intel Atom processor.


Those three latest tablets he focused on for improving their mainline support include the ASUS TF103C, ASUS MeMO Pad 7 (ME176C), and NuVision TM800A550L. The new patches are for fixing bogus and missing I2C devices for these tablets that aren't present in the ACPI information.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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