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Installing Ubuntu 17.04 on CHUWI LapBook 14.1 Apollo Lake Laptop

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emily|Post time:3-19-2017 19:22:59 View:2363|Reply:13

Edited by emily at 2-9-2017 22:22



Since I've completed the review of CHUWI LapBook 14.1 with Windows 10 last week-end, I've decided to give it a try with a Linux distribution, and I chose to go with a daily build of Ubuntu 17.04 since we've seen Apollo Lake platforms need a recent Linux kernel. While Ubuntu 17.04 will be officially release in April 2017, likely with Linux 4.10, the current (alpha) build comes with Linux 4.9. I had already quickly booted Ubuntu 17.04 on the Laptop from a USB drive flashed using Rufus right after the review, but today I've just decided to wipe out Windows 10, and replace it with the Linux distributions and check what works, what does not.



The first thing you'll have to do is to press Esc while starting the laptop to enter the BIOS / UEFI “Aptio Setup Utility”, go to the Boot menu, and change from “Windows” to “Linux” for “OS Slelect” (sic.) option.



If you don't do that, you'll only have a cursor on the top left of the display when you boot Linux from the USB flash drive. Save to apply the options, and at next boot your bootable USB flash drive should boot into Ubuntu. If not, press F7 at boot time to access the boot menu shown below.



In my case the flash drive was the first boot device so it started automatically, and after a few seconds, you'll be asked to try or install Ubuntu.



I'd recommend to just try the first time, and if you can login and connect to WiFi, you can do the actual installation, which I did, and after a few second I got to the graphical installation program asking me to select the language.



So I carried on, connecting to my wireless access point in the process, and selecting US keyboard. I also checked “Download updates while installing Ubuntu” and “Install third-party software…”



I was stuck in the installation in the next screen “Installation Type”, after after selecting Erase disk and install Ubuntu, the Install Now button was grayed out. I tried to select other option, but no luck the button was still unusable.



I went back a few times, and I tried again, and after several attempt, I could finally click on Install Now.



At this stage it warns me it will destroy all data on selected partitions, meaning here that it will completely wipe out Windows 10, and I have not yet a recovery method. I have asked CHUWI for a recovery firmware image or Windows 10 drivers, but I have yet to get an answer. Nevertheless I clicked on Continue, and the installation proceeded. (Official Download: http://forum.chuwi.com/thread-3572-1-1.html)



Then remove the USB flash drive, rebooted the laptop, and within half a minute or so, I could browse the web and watching YouTube videos in Ubuntu immediately.



Details app still shows “Ubuntu 16.10”, but checking parameters in the command line shows it's definitely Ubuntu 17.04:

123.png

All specifications are correctly detected with an Intel Celeron N3450 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC flash. I also tested all hardware ports and features to check which drivers may be missing.

456.png

So everything works, except Bluetooth which can pair with my phone, but I could not transfer files in any direction. So the driver might be OK, with some other issues in Ubuntu? If you've read the Windows 10 review you know that I had three USB flash drive, and only one would work in both USB 2.0 & 3.0 ports. In Ubuntu, I still have one that is not recognized at all (and nothing in dmesg), so I guess it might be a contact issue, but the other two work with both USB ports. When I connected the mini HDMI port to my TV, the laptop switches automatically to extended desktop mode.

There may be some issues that I missed, but so far CHUWI LapBook 14.1 looks like a perfectly usable $250 Ubuntu laptop if you use a distribution with a recent Linux kernel. If you are interested you can pre-order it on GearBest or Banggood.

The article source:
http://www.cnx-software.com/2017/02/07/installing-ubuntu-17-04-on-chuwi-lapbook-14-1-apollo-lake-laptop/

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sheldoncooper| Post time 2-9-2017 22:44:56 | Show all posts
I saw this article and was excited about getting Ubuntu working on this fantastic laptop. But to my surprise, I found out that my UEFI is a little outdated, just the previous version than the one from the article, he  has "A2W6_NA14.012" and mine is "A2W6_NA14.011", and the "OS Select" option is missing. So my question is, is there a procedure to update the UEFI to the latest version son I can have this option in order to boot linux OS's? Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks!!
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Hackerjac| Post time 2-10-2017 18:23:09 | Show all posts
sheldoncooper replied at 2-10-2017 07:44
I saw this article and was excited about getting Ubuntu working on this fantastic laptop. But to my  ...

Have you installed the bios update emily have postet a couple of days ago ?
I do NOT work for Chuwi. Please DO NOT pm or email me with problems you may have!
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sheldoncooper| Post time 2-12-2017 23:32:43 | Show all posts
Yes! Now I have this option in my UEFI  and finally could try some Linux distros. Thanks!
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marrowmonkey| Post time 2-27-2017 17:59:15 | Show all posts
I'm curious as to why one needs a 4.10 kernel? I've tried booting from a USB-stick with Ubuntu 16.04.2 which supposedly has kernel 4.4 and everything appeared to work fine. Before I install it would be nice to know if there is something in particular that won't work on kernels before 4.10? I would much rather stay on an LTS (long term support) version of Ubuntu, assuming I don't run into problems because of broken or missing drivers! (Highly recommend anyone who want's to try Linux to stick with the stable/LTS versions if possible).

Grateful for any insights!
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emily| Post time 2-28-2017 00:33:08 | Show all posts
marrowmonkey replied at 2-27-2017 17:59
I'm curious as to why one needs a 4.10 kernel? I've tried booting from a USB-stick with Ubuntu 16.04 ...

@marrowmonkey
If you would like to share your more experience, it will be helpful!
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marrowmonkey| Post time 2-28-2017 17:29:39 | Show all posts
emily replied at 2-28-2017 00:33
@marrowmonkey
If you would like to share your more experience, it will be helpful!

Well, all I've tried so far is updating the BIOS and then booting from an USB-stick with the Ubuntu installer for Ubuntu 16.04.2 on it. I tested everything I could think of and it seemed to work but was only for a short while. I'm waiting for a m.2 SSD card to arrive before I try installing it, it will probably take a few weeks, but once I've tested it and know more I will.

For those new to Ubuntu here is how to create a bootable usb-stick:

Latest Ubuntu version (16.04.2 LTS is best if it works) can be downloaded from here:
https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

And on the same page, if one scroll down to the section "Easy ways to switch to Ubuntu" there are several guides how to create a bootable USB-stick depending on your current operating system.

Then you insert the stick, reboot the lapbook, press F7 during start and select the USB stick with Ubuntu from the menu. Booting from an USB stick can be slow, but it will eventually boot. Then I think you get a boot menu where you can choose "Try Ubuntu without installing". Choose that and it will load the desktop environment.

That's my experience so far.
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emily| Post time 3-1-2017 00:32:56 | Show all posts
marrowmonkey replied at 2-28-2017 17:29
Well, all I've tried so far is updating the BIOS and then booting from an USB-stick with the Ubunt ...

Thanks for your share.
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marrowmonkey| Post time 3-4-2017 08:51:55 | Show all posts
Edited by marrowmonkey at 3-5-2017 07:06

TL;DR: Ubuntu 16.04.02 LTS appears to work just fine, no need for beta.

OK, so I got the M.2 SSD faster than expected. What I've done so far is update the bios, install the m.2 ssd, and then install ubuntu on the ssd side by side with windows 10. I pretty much followed the guide emily posted, but using the latest stable Ubuntu (16.04.02) instead. And so far everything works perfectly, but I've only had it running for a day or so, mostly been installing programs and configuring things etc. Haven't tested the hdmi out, but the rest seems to work at least as well as in windows. Not noticed any difference in battery usage. VLC seems to be the video player that works best.

I'll try to remember to report back after a while or if I discover something that doesn't work so well. But so far it seems like a very good laptop for installing Linux on.
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brad| Post time 3-19-2017 19:22:59 | Show all posts
marrowmonkey replied at 2-28-2017 17:29
Well, all I've tried so far is updating the BIOS and then booting from an USB-stick with the Ubunt ...

This will be running Live-USB without data persistence.  If you want to run a fast version of Linux on USB in data persistence mode install Manjaro Linux Xfce 17.0 onto a USB 3.0 drive.
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