Friday, February 25, 2011

WeTab Ubuntu Installation

So I've finally had the time to open up my WeTab again and start fiddling around with it. Actually I had sort of given up on the WeTab a bit, especially after the seeing the Bookman reader on IPad work so beautifully and then comparing that with the readers for WeTab...they don't compare unfortunately. Additionally the performance of the OS leaves a lot to be desired.

In any case, I've made my peace with the WeTab and started caring for it once more. So here without ado, I explain how I went about installing Ubuntu on it.

1- Download the NetBook Remix 10.10 iso (Maverick)
2- Download the Universal Ubuntu USB installer on a windows machine (You could also use Ubuntu to do it, refer to the link I provide below).
3- Download GParted Live (USB version)
4- Make available a USB flash drive, preferably with an LED light
5- USB Mouse and Keyboard (preferably wireless with one receiver to make things easier otherwise you will be doing quite a bit of plugging and inserting)
First off you will need to put GParted on the flash drive (

Now you should be ready to repartition your WeTab Flash Drive. To do this, connect your USB Flash to the USB port on your WeTab and boot from the USB drive.

To boot from the USB disk is kind of tricky, have a look at the developer page:
(HowTo – Install WeTab OS with Recovery USB Boot Stick)

Basically you turn on the Wetab and then as soon as you see the blue led in the top left corner light up, press both the power-button and the quicktouch button (top left corner) together for approximately 1 second. It takes a bit of practice to get that just right so don't give up if it doesn't work right away but what should happen then is that your GParted Live should boot up from the USB flash drive.

You can use the quicktouch button on the upper left corner of the WeTab to browse through the Boot menu for Gparted. One touch switches between the option, if you hold down on the quicktouch button, it selects the entry. I chose "other modes of Gparted" and then "Run from RAM or memory", this way you can pull out the USB flash drive once it is done loading up the OS.

Once you're in GParted you will want to started up the GParted application (if it doesn't automatically load up). Select the sda3 partition (the biggest one) and then Resize. My WeTab has 32GB, So I resized mine to allow 8 GB for Ubuntu.

It should take about 15 minutes to resize the partitions.

Once that is done you should create a USB Installer for Ubuntu, just follow the directions on where it says Create a USB Drive (click show me how).

Again now, just like we had booted up the GParted image off of our USB flash, you should boot up the Ubuntu Installer from the flash drive.

Once it loads up and asks you to Try or Install, choose Install Ubuntu. Follow along on the screens to come. When it asks you where you would like to Install the system, choose "Install along side another OS". At this point you can just let it go on and do it's thing however, the bootloader will be replaced and you will get Ubuntu's GRUB if you reboot. I chose instead the "Manual" option and basically clicked on the unallocated space, created an ext3 partition and marked it as / (root) for Ubuntu to install on it. On the bottom where it asks you where the Bootloader should go, I selected sda4 which is the new partition we created earlier.

Go ahead and Install Ubuntu and then once it is done, restart and go into your original WeTab Os.

You must now modify the extlinux.conf file under /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf in order to load up Ubuntu.

Add the following lines at the bottom of you extlinux.conf

label Ubuntu
menu label ^Ubuntu
KERNEL chain.c32
APPEND hd0 4

Notice the Append tells extlinux that the logical partition sought for booting is on harddrive 0 and partition 4 (/dev/sda4), where we installed Ubuntu along with it's own GRUB loader.

Next we need to modify the GRUB settings for our Ubuntu installation to enable the touchscreen. Restart the machine and go into your Ubuntu install from the bootup menu (use the quicktouch button to select the Ubuntu install).

Once you are inside Ubuntu, open up a terminal session (click the ubuntu button on the top left corner, type "terminal" in the search bar and then double click the icon when it shows up.

Now to enable the touchscreen we must follow Samiux's and W3C's directions ( and but follow along don't do what is on those pages, I'll cut and paste here).

First off you want to change the GRUB loading parameters as Samiux describes, but you need to follow W3C's advice regarding the correct hexadecimal value to add in. So first do an lsusb:

Bus 007 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 006 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 005 Device 002: ID 04d9:a015 Holtek Semiconductor, Inc.
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 0eef:72a1 D-WAV Scientific Co., Ltd
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 04f2:b213 Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 12d1:1404 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

note the ID value and place the same values as follows in your GRUB configuration file, Grub 2.o uses a cfg file so go to your /etc/default/grub and modify it to look like the following.

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash i8042.noloop=1 usbhid.quirks=0xeef:0x72a1:0x40"

Finally, you should copy the Xorg calibration files from the original WeTab Os to your Ubuntu install (actually I am not sure if this step is needed):

$>sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/
$> sudo mkdir /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d
$>sudo cp /mnt/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/99-calibration.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d

Now I will make note also that I had updated my utouch drivers as follows but I believe the above will work regardless, if you have any feedback please post it below. I suggest you try the above first and if it doesn't work, then do the below.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:utouch-team/utouch
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:utouch-team/unstable

sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get update

Finally, you should start the virtual keyboard onboard:


You will notice the "onboard" icon on the left toolbar. Right-click the icon and select "Keep in launcher", also open preferences and check "show keyboard when unlocking".


UPDATE 26 FEB 2011:
The above installation enables only single touch, to enable multitouch on Ubuntu on WeTab, please see:


  1. ThanX, Good job!
    I'm going to try this ASAP

  2. Best of luck, also I've found that the Ubuntu Netbook Edition interface is somewhat frustrating so if you want the traditional Ubuntu interface, logout, select your username and then on the bottom there will be a selection regarding the environment you would like, select Ubuntu Desktop Edition. It feels much lighter dealing with this environment, I believe it's because the compositing window manager Mutter is not enabled that way.

  3. Is the Ubuntu on the WeTab working better than the MeeGo?

  4. Tal, I found the number of packages available for ubuntu far more i've been using ubuntu for a few years now and have grown comfortable with it...meego just didn't cut it for me

  5. Hi Etheros, keep up the excellent work!!

    Is there any way to adjust the brightness settings from within ubuntu?

    Thanks in advance

  6. Hi Stefanos,
    Yes, if you rightclick on the panel and select Add To Panel, you will find a brightness applet. but the applet doesn't register mouse clicks properly so you will need twofing for that (click with one finger on the applet to open it and then use both fingers to scroll up and down). for the right-clicking, see my earlier post on using the quick touch button to right-click, it works just as well on Ubuntu. I will write a post on twofing soon, this link is in German but it should be easy to follow, just skip to step 6:

  7. Just one thing: I can't get Gparted to boot. Neither with recovery node (it opens a terminal and recovery options for wetab), nor with F11 key. Did you use some special options in making the bootable USB? (like FAT16, GUID partition table, etc..). Did you created under windows or Linux?


  8. Make sure you can boot that usb from any other machine you have.

    I basically plugged in the usb, pushed the on button and then held it down along with the quicktouch button on the top left corner of the wetab like it says here:

    let me know how that works out for you.

  9. Hi!

    I saw your post on installing linux, but I did not read it along, so I messed my MBR.

    I installed grub and now wetab starts in grub rescue> mode. I cannot boot from usb to repair it.

    Do you maybe know what to do?


  10. hmmm...I'm not sure why you have it booting into recovery mode, did the install complete correctly? It would probably be best to go back to the original WeTab Os image, and start over. Go to download the recovery image and follow the instructions to recovering the original image. That should basically rewrite the original MBR back into place. When you do the Ubuntu install just make sure you choose the manual method of configuring the disk for installing so that you don't blow away your wetabos image (if you still want it).

  11. Slavko,
    Also be sure that you are installing the netbook edition of Ubuntu, I don't think the desktop version is compiled for the atom processor...

  12. Desktop edition ubuntu 10.10 (32bit) works fine on my MSI u135 netbook. So, it is compiled for the atom processor.

  13. Hello, can you tell me more about the battery life with ubuntu ?

  14. I get about 4-5 hours I believe, I'll have to consciously follow the battery life, I have trip coming up soon, I'll let you know how it goes.

  15. Have you tried upgrading to the Ubuntu 11? Any problems with doing that? I tried to install it straight from usb image, but it just hangs with 'CPU1 Not Responding' error before the installer even starts. I will try your instructions and see how it goes.

    Thanks for the writeup!

  16. Well I went for the upgrade from 10.10, can't say I'm too happy having done that; seems like multitouch isn't working, just single touches...this also affects rotation, but I haven't had time to dig in though. I'm getting a lot more crashes than usual. I'll post any more findings later on.

  17. Hi, I tried to follow the entire manual but unfortunately I stopped immediately. I can not start gparted. I tried in every way. The creation of the usb I have done both Windows and Mac. If I create the image for use in the restoration of wetab everything ok but when I try with gparted does not work. I also tried to install Plop, which successfully launched the recovery program but is unable to launch gparted

  18. Hi Andrea,
    How did you create the GParted CD? Did you follow the directions in the link mentioned above:

  19. Hi, great tutorials, I successfully installed 10.10 using your help. But I accidentally copied over the whole HDD (found out later thaere is a known bug in 10.10, I DID select to install alongside another OS). So now I haven't got wetab OS. Anyway I persevered with ubuntu, and even tried the 11.04 upgrade. It's not bad, but multi touch doesn't work and I want the wetab back. Specifically I want to try YAWOS. I have tried following instructions for running gparted from USB stick so I can partition the drive, but I can't boot from USB for some reason. It always goes directly to ubuntu. I have managed to get a menu, but there are only different options for ubuntu or memory check. Any help appreciated!

  20. Hi Charles,
    Are you able to boot GParted from the USB on a PC or laptop? It's a little tricky getting the wetab to boot from USB but it should work, press the power button to start the wetab and then when the blue LED turns on press the powerbutton and the quicktouch button together and hold for 1-2 seconds- it should work, but it's not easy to get the timing right...
    let me know how you fair.

  21. Hi Etheros, I have already replied but there was a problem with this blog's page so i'm not sure if you received the reply.

    I have now succeeded in reinstalling WeTab OS so thanks for your reply. I have also tried out YAWOS, if anyone needs English instructions on how to do this please see my forum post at the WeTab Community website:

  22. Hi Charles,
    Yeah blogger was down for a day or so I believe. I'm glad things worked out. How was Yawos for you?

  23. trying this but in the boot menu i can only select wetab os? :-/
    Tried different usb sticks...

    Flashed them with Gparted image...

  24. not working for me...
    can only see wetab os in bootscreen with usb flash drive inserted.
    tried different usb flash drives...

  25. Hi Wout, You won't see the Gparted option on your GRUB menu in any of the cases described above. Really what you have to do is plug in your USB. Start the WeTab, and as soon as the blue LED light goes on, Hold down the Power Button and the Quicktouch button at the same time for about 1 second. The WeTab should then automatically boot up Gparted.

  26. Hi, I have got the same problem as Wout. It won't boot from USB...

  27. Could you try a different USB drive perhaps? I've done the steps above more than once and it's worked everytime for me...

  28. Hi Etheros, I used plop and got mine good, and actually one of my usb-drives was broken also. But I'm good now thanks a lot. Cheers!

  29. I've got the same problem too - no booting from USB stick when starting up.

    Am trying a different USB stick now, maybe that will resolve the problem.

    Etheros, thanks for your blogging: far better than only reading in German at the community ;-)

  30. I have one of the ExoPCs that got handed out at the S.F. Meego Conf, and I *really* want to run YAWOS on it. I've successfully build and booted a USB drive, selecting the "Install YAWOS" menu item in the bootloader. No install, though: nothing ever gets written to the internal drive. What's on there now is Ubuntu 11.04, and I'd like to over-write it entirely.

  31. You might get some hints from the Intel AppUP website's article about"

    How to create a multi-book ExoPC

  32. Hi Etheros,

    could you briefly comment on the performance of the Ubuntu installation on the Wetab? How is the responsiveness? I'm looking to install a LAMP application on it, do you think that might work out?

    also, in the xorg part, you mount /dev/sda1, I believe that should be /dev/sda3



  33. Hi Bart.
    i think lamp will be ok. i've done some light dev work with xampp installed and even run netbeans for an ide. but gdp is too heavy a desktop environment so now i have openbox window manager installed for any dev stuff i want to do. on my system i kept the old wetabos partition in tact and i dual boot with ubuntu. that might be why i have /dev/sda3 for that other post. have to find the time to go back and check...

  34. Hi. Great blog, Etheros. I have an ekoore perl (I think that ekoore perl, wetab and exopc are actually the same tablet) and I've installed ubuntu oneiric on it. I've made a lot of tweaks, I've written them on a blog (more a howto than a blog), I think you can like it:

    Your post about screen rotation helps me a lot, I comment in my link entry. Thanks!

  35. Gerd Hammer December 5, 2012
    Hi, I have a problem with grub. I installed Linux Mint alongside Meego on my Wetab (32 G , 3G). Now grub only gives me the possibility between Mint and Meego. Both of them work fine, but is there any chance to boot from USB or Sc card? It would be great if you could help.
    Thanks in advance, Gerd

    1. Gerd,
      I think the best way to get USB booting to work is to install Plop boot manager which is a small image that can be thrown into either partition and it makes life much easier when trying to boot form USB....sorry for taking so long to reply!!!