Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 on Motion Computing M1400 Tablet PC

So, a friend of mine donated a few M1400 Motion Computing tablets to my collection a few months ago and I've finally got around to playing with them. I think they're more of a boutique item (Pen tablet PCs), rather than "really" something useful, but playing with them may prove interesting.

First off, these things are a bear to boot anything off USB cdrom or USB hard/flash drive. After a minimal search via Google, the consensus looks to be that booting off a firewire drive to be the easiest, so I dug out my old-trusted FW CD drive and plopped an Ubuntu 10.04 Live CD into it.

It booted fine and selected the Try option, rather than install. After a few moments, video blanked out and no more CDROM activity. Lol.

Guessing it's a video driver fubar, I Googled some more and found the following boot option will get you going: i915.modeset=1
by the way, if you are using other video chipsets, here's a brief common list of what you can use:
* Older Intel video card: i915.modeset=1 or i915.modeset=0
* nVidia: nomodeset
* Generic: xforcevesa

Just add this to your list of boot options at the end and you'll get the lovely Gnome Desktop (Or KDE for those running Kubuntu - Which I prefer, myself).

After install, I'll add it to my /etc/default/grub and will run: update-grub

I let you know my mileage on this laptop, after installation is complete and I've played with it, a bit.

By the way: The pen actually worked while booted on the live cd, without any modification or manual loading of Wacom drivers. Sweet.


Benjamin said...

Thank you so much for this post! I just got a M1400 tablet myself and your post helped me get Ubuntu loaded and installed onto it. Super excited to jump back into the world of Linux, since I left it behind circa Red Hat 8.

Wrex's World said...

Hey Benjamin!

So glad it worked for you! Yeah, a friend gave me an M1400 and was like: there's no OS and I said "I bet I can get Linux on it". lol. Took a bit, but I finally got it.

Good luck with it.


Patrick said...

Any ideas how to get 10.10 on the M1200? I get a flash of the Ubuntu splash screen for about half a second then it's all blackness for three, then it flashes again and so on. Also, safe graphics mode doesn't seem to work. I've had to boot it through Wubi, so where do I put extra boot options?

Anonymous said...

The M1400 CAN be easily booted from a USB device! Here's how:

1. Plug in you bootable USB flash drive. I used Ubuntu 11

2. Plug in a keyboard
Boot into setup (circle+triangle button)
3. Go to the BOOT tab.
4. look at your HDD harddrive option there should be a "+" here because the M1400 sees the USB drive as another harddrive.
5. Use SHIFT+1 to rearrange the USB harddrive (flash, CD, etc) to boot before the HD
6. Save and boot. Everything seems to be up fine in cluding pen and wifi.

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