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Re: Installing Debian on Chuwi Hi12 Tablet

On Mon, 29 Jan 2018 13:08:46 -0500
Chris Dunn <chrisdunn214@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I'm contemplating installing Debian on my beloved Chuwi Hi12 tablet.
> The machine is cheap (circa $300) and while there are certain bits of
> the hardware that do not (yet) work under Linux there is nothing that
> troubles me, and the graphics are superb - 2160x1440 on a 12" screen.
> At present it is dual-booting Xubuntu and Windows (Android was removed).
> I installed Xubuntu because I could not at the time successfully burn a
> Debian live image to USB, so could not test it out before installing.
> Now I have a new live Debian USB and have tested it on the Chuwi.
> Everything works as expected. No wifi (rtl8723bs chip) but that was
> expected.

Actually there is a driver for that chip in recent kernels that works
reasonably well here, unfortunately it is not yet included in
distribution kernels, so one has to compile the kernel oneself.

> I'm ready to install debian-live-9.3.0-amd64-xfce from the live USB and
> would like to install it to the whole of the Chuwi solid state 64gb
> drive, binning Windows and Xubuntu in the process.
> But I'm nervous about the possibility of turning the tablet into a
> brick.
> It has a 32 bit UEFI system and while I've tried to research the UEFI
> complications find it difficult to grasp the full picture on UEFI
> (particularly 32 bit with a 64 bit Debian).
> As best I can make out I should have no problems as the Debian
> installer will detect and handle the 32 bit UEFI. However I've been
> unable to find full instructions for using the whole of the storage for
> Debian, only guides for dual installs alongside Windows.
> Does anyone have any comments or suggestions that might be useful to me
> in the installation? In particular do I need to preserve any existing
> Windows or EFI partition even though Windows will no longer be on the
> machine?

I don't know if the Debian Live system will handle the 32bit uefi issue
properly when installing, but this can , if necessary be fixed later.
I had the same problem with a similar machine. Of course I could remove
windows completely.
I am not sure if the installer's auto-partitioning works properly, I used
the manual partitioning. You must make sure that you have a small (I
think 100 MB or so is sufficient) FAT partition with the "Boot" flag set,
which will be mounted to /boot/efi . The rest of the disk can be used
as usual for "/" and swap.
If the installer actually fails to install the proper 32bit-efi-grub, that
does not mean that your device is bricked. This can be easyly fixed by
booting a live system again, doing a chroot into the installed system and
install the required grub packages manually (that's what I had to do ;)



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