Plasma Active for Nexus 7: Running the touch-optimized Plasma Active Linux Distribution on Nexus 7

We are very happy to announce the first testing release of Plasma Active for Nexus 7. Plasma Active, in a nutshell, is a Linux distribution (based on Mer as a core) that is specifically optimized for tablet computers.

Tuomas Kulve and me had been working on the Mer “hardware-adaptation” for Nexus 7 that enables to run Mer-based distributions like Plasma Active on the Nexus 7. Based on this hardware-adaptation and the work from Plasma Active we created an installable “image” that can be used to “flash” the current Plasma Active 3 on the Nexus 7.

Event though very much already works reasonably well, there are still some glitches. So, please don’t expect a 100% working system. We released this as testing version in order to get more feedback and with the hope that others may also contribute to the Mer Nexus 7 hardware-adaptation as well.

Here are two photos of Plasma Active running on the Nexus 7:

12120059 12120058

To see the installation instructions read on.


Please be warned that, by following the instructions stated here, you will lose the warranty on your Nexus 7. Furthermore, you might damage or destroy your Nexus 7 or even worse. You do all the things described here on your own responsibility.

You can get the current version of Plasma Active for Nexus 7 including the MOSLO here. You will need the “plasma-active-*.tar.bz2” as well as the “moslo-nexus7-*.tar.gz” files. The “*.ks” file is the file that was used to create the rootfs tarball (“*.tar.bz2”).

In order to install Plasma Active on the Nexus 7 you need to first unlock the boot loader. How this is done is, e.g., explained here. Note that you need the fastboot tool that is mentioned in that link also at least for flashing the MOSLO to the Nexus 7. We assume that you know how to get the required tools for your desktop operating system.

After you unlocked the bootloader you need to reboot and keep the volume down key pressed. You should see the Nexus 7 bootloader showing “Start”.

Connect the Nexus 7 to your PC with the USB cable. Make sure that no other USB devices are plugged-in. Flash the MOSLO using fastboot as follows:

fastboot -c "ro console=tty1 rootwait rootfstype=ext4" flash:raw boot zImage-moslo initrd-moslo

We assume that you already extracted the”moslo-nexus7-*.tar.gz” and know where the relevant files are. Furthermore, note that this is an exemplary kernel command line. You could also specify options like “fbcon=rotate:1” for rotating the kernel output into landscape or “quiet” for suppressing kernel output. For the first tests it is strongly suggested to keep the kernel command line as-is.

When flashing of the MOSLO succeeded keep the Nexus 7 connected to your computer and press the power button in order to boot into MOSLO. With the Nexus 7 connected to your computer via USB, MOSLO should automatically export the userdata partition as USB storage device. You can check, e.g., via “dmesg” that a new USB device showed up.

In this short guide we will use the entire userdata partition and don’t set up multiboot. At first we format the userdata partition as ext4 file system:

mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX
# /dev/sdX is where the exported userdata partition showed up.

Next, we mount the userdata partition and extract the rootfs tarball to it:

mount /dev/sdX /mnt/foo
cd /mnt/foo
tar xvf /plasma-active-nexus7-*.tar.bz2
cd -
umount /mnt/foo

That’s it. Next is to reboot into your Plasma Active installation.

In order to boot into Plasma Active simply detach the Nexus 7 from your computer by pulling the USB cable. MOSLO should detect this and initiate the kexec hardboot procedure. You should see a notice that the device will reboot in 5 seconds. Do not press any key during reboot.

The device then reboots and the same bootloader “Start” screen should appear as at the beginning. This time simply press the power key. Your Nexus 7 should now boot into Plasma Active. Please note that I could successfully test this procedure with the 8GB model. However, it failed with the 3G 32GB model.

If there are problems booting into Plasma Active this way you can try to restart the device holding down the volume down key. When the bootloader screen appears you can then try to directly boot into Plasma Active with the MOSLO kernel as follows:

fastboot -c "root=/dev/mmcblk0pX ro console=tty1 rootwait rootfstype=ext4" boot zImage-moslo
# For the non-3G models X is 9.
# For the 3G model X is 10.

Note that when you reboot Plasma Active your device will reboot twice. At first the MOSLO will be booted which then performs a kexec hardboot and reboots into the actual Plasma Active.

If you don’t need the MOSLO and want to boot directly into Plasma Active on reboot you can do this permanently by flashing the MOSLO kernel as follows:

fastboot -c "root=/dev/mmcblk0pX ro console=tty1 rootwait rootfstype=ext4" flash:raw boot zImage-moslo
# For the non-3G models X is 9.
# For the 3G model X is 10.

You can re-install the MOSLO at any time later without any problem. You can also temporarily boot into MOSLO by following the MOSLO installation instructions above and leaving out “flash:raw”.

We hope that you like our “small Christmas present”. 😉 We had very much fun hacking on the hardware-adaptation and will continue our work to make Plasma Active run even better on Nexus 7. 🙂 We will also update the Mer Wiki with more detailed instructions for running Plasma Active on Nexus 7.

This entry was posted in Announcements, Misc., Snippets and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

130 Responses to Plasma Active for Nexus 7: Running the touch-optimized Plasma Active Linux Distribution on Nexus 7

  1. Squarex says:

    Is it possible to make it work with current Nexus 7 mutlibooting solution – It would be nice to have an option to switch between Plasma Active, Android and (K)Ubuntu.

    • ruedigergad says:

      This should be possible. I am actually using the kexec hardboot patches from Tassadar (He is the multiboot developer afaik.). The only thing you would need to do is load the correct kernel and pass the correct kernel command line options.

      • jansuchomel42 says:

        Sorry, I accidently posted this two times as I thought the first wasn’t sent, thank you for answer. Also thank you for yout work.

      • ruedigergad says:

        Ah, yes, don’t worry. I think the default setting for the blog is that I need to manually approve posts before they appear. So, if someone else writes a post that does not appear straight away, this is most likely because the post is held back by wordpress and I need to approve it first.

      • will you (and Tassadar) make a method available, so that Plasma Active can be installed as easily as Ubuntu 13.04? 🙂

      • Luis says:

        how do you do this? pass the correct kernel and command line options?

  2. jansuchomel42 says:

    Is it possible to make it work with this Nexus 7 multibooting solution: It would be great to have an option to have Plasma Active, Android and (K)Ubuntu on the same time.

  3. Dmitrijs ledkovs says:

    With make_ext4fs tool from android-tools-fsutils package one can create a user data tarball that can be flashed onto userdata. The ability to override kernel parameters is interesting. Did you use stock Nexus7 kernel? is that available for download somewhere?

    • ruedigergad says:

      The problem with “directly” flashing images generated with make_ext4fs via fastboot is that, afaik, you are limited to ~700MB in size. You can actually create bigger file systems by using sparse images but the “payload” contained in the image is limited in size. Another problem is that you cannot read from the userdata partition that way (e.g., to read a log when X did not start properly etc.). Furthermore, in order to modify just one file (e.g., a config file beneath /etc) you would need to reflash the entire partition.
      The nice thing about the Nexus 7 MOSLO is that it provides “raw” access to the userdata partition. You can even format the partition that way. Also hacking and development can be pretty much sped up by having direct access to the userdata partition without needing a “full” OS.
      Furthermore, MOSLO allows to login via telnet so you can do much more things. The same warnings about warranty loss, destroying your device or even worse apply here as well.

  4. Jorge says:

    This is just amazing.

    Thank you guys!!

  5. Paolo says:

    you are great!
    Now I can buy the nexus 7!

  6. e8hffff says:

    Does the GPS get picked up in Plasma Active?

  7. e8hffff says:

    What’s the password for ssh session?

    • e8hffff says:


    • e8hffff says:

      Ok figured it out.

      ssh mer@ip-of-device

      password = mer

      • e8hffff says:

        Same goes for ssh root@ip-of-device

        password = mer

        If you want to do a system update you need to use ‘zypper update’ command

      • For some reason, I get a connection reset with PuTTY on Windows after I enter my password. I had the same issue with Ubuntu. Anyone know what’s going on?

  8. oy says:

    Great to see Plasma Active on a tablet. Where come the packages from for the image?

  9. e8hffff says:

    My Opinion.

    * Keyboard input fails many field entries. No way to enter text. It looks like it loses selection and you type into the null (MAJOR PROBLEM)
    * No GFX acceleration, or it’s slow
    * No sound. Device is a dummy
    * Keyboard is really small, and or lame. No cntrl button or buttons for coders
    * No GPS or it’s not automated to set the system location
    * Tegra 3 has draw glitches on the activity window list
    * Repository is lacking and uses zypper as package manager. Example repo doesn’t even have firefox. Probably a great way to promote default webkit based browser
    * System settings only has three options, Screen Power, Web, and Time.
    * Can’t work out how to remove widgets on an activity screen. No trash icon etc. (MAJOR PROBLEM)
    * Screen brightness is locked at 100% but does dim on non-use
    * No widget container to hold non Plasma Active apps. Example install KCalc and it opened without a window around to, so no means to move it. I could add the link to a general widget though to kick starting it even though they fail
    * Some apps wont kick start from Activity Screen wigit. It loads up KWrite.

    * Pinch zoom and it’s fairly fast
    * Wifi
    * UI looks nice
    * Plasma-Active really has got potential if it kicks into gear quickly
    * Browser seems fast enough. Much better than Android offerings

    I really want to stay with Plasma Active, but it’s problems on the Nexus really need resolving fast. Very impressed with the Plasma Active concept.

    • e8hffff says:

      Added FAILS:
      * There is not GFX package manager, so try to install one with zypper
      * Plasma Active ignores your power settings, and turns off the screen in minutes. Suspends ssh session in the process.
      * Holding a key on the software keyboard does not repeat

      * To add GFX Package Manager. Use ssh to get root access. Then ‘zypper install apper’

      • hi e8hffff,
        please try to contact the plasma active team with your suggestions and issues, just drop an email on the mailinglist you might also fill out some bugreports on
        Cheers G.

    • e8hffff says:

      Added FAILS:
      * USB recharging seems to be bad (MAJOR PROBLEM)

      * No screen rotation
      * Slow to start up
      * Side rotary region interferes with widget container box resizing if near
      * Some default installed images wont display
      * Videos don’t seem to play
      * Samba doesn’t seem to work. Needs ‘hostname’? No Network option in Dolphin
      * Some PackageKit selections don’t have install scripts set to suit OS. Fail with insufficient space due trying to install to ‘/’
      * No Kamera app to test camera
      * Dolphin really lacking. No settings.
      * Most apps/widgets don’t have settings.

  10. Shmerl says:

    Thanks for your porting efforts, I’m going to give this a try soon. Where should one report bugs for this adaptation by the way? KDE or Mer bugzilla?

    • ruedigergad says:

      That’s a good question and sometimes not so easy to determine. As a rule of thumb: everything that’s specific to Plasma Active should go to the KDE bugzilla and everything related to the hardware-adaptation should go to Mer bugzilla. IIrc there is an “active” (or something similar) component in the KDE bugzilla, specifically intended for bugs in Plasma Active.

  11. e8hffff says:

    Günther Meinet said: “hi e8hffff,please try to contact the plasma active team with your suggestions and issues, just drop an email on the mailinglist you might also fill out some bugreports on G.”

    I think most of of the problems are related to this project not the Plasma-Active one in general as when you observe the Plasma Active 3 demo it works as it should. Other points are gripes or wish list.

  12. Marcus Moeller says:

    Could you please point out what a MOSLO is?
    Never heard of that before.

  13. Tuomas says:

    Very good points. I thought that maybe google docs (Drive?) could be a better place for tracking than a blog, until actual bug reports are filed:

    I tried to roughly categorise them to HA vs. PA. Feel free to comment and edit. Also on clear issues bug reports should be filed against PA or the HA.

    For discussions #mer and #active @ freenode are good places.

  14. Andy says:

    I know the multiboot topic has been brought up, but I am sure more would be able to test and bug hunt if it were made capable of being installed (or just booted) through multiboot to a usb storage device. Alot easier to test when not having to give up a functional system. Personally, I multiboot from an external hdd already formatted to ext4, in addition to the normal internal memory. Currently, the hdd holds 1 android and ubuntu. Others are doing the same, but from a high speed pen drive. If there were a way to install this to the hdd or pen drive (even if from the pc) without needing fastboot as not to use the internal memory, I would be all over it. I can manually drop the root fs on the drive and multiboot sees it there, but of course wont allow boot due to not knowing how to flash the boot to it without fastboot. Any way that could be worked out? The ability of multiboot to boot roms from usb devices could be a huge help in advancing this rom at a much quicker pace. Thanks for listening.

  15. Andy says:

    Disregard my above statement. I think it wise that poeple like me are better to wait until this progresses enough to have something a little more practical, such as ubuntu’s simpler “userdata.img” flashable, without the additional complications and kernel already bundled. Thanks for your work, at any rate.

  16. leftycrupps says:

    Wow this is super exciting! We’re talking about this, right?

    I’m hoping to get one of these for the holidays; voiding my warranty sounds about right. I hope the mentioned bugs get some attention and everything gets working tip-top soon! Well done devs.

    Mer, huh. I can’t find much about it’s package management, just the convoluted history of mobile OSes that merge and fork. Does Mer use deb packages and aptitude? or are we stuck on rpms still? is there a GUI package manager?

    • ruedigergad says:

      Yes, Mer (and all derivatives of it that I am aware of) uses rpms. You can find more information about this in the Mer wiki, e.g., here:
      Personally, I was also sceptic having to learn a new way for packaging things but as it turns out the way rpms are created for Mer is really convenient and very much straight forward once you got used to it. Especially the “spectacle” tool (“specify”) can help a lot in the daily tasks of creating and maintaining packages.

  17. e8hffff says:

    Is there any other repositories?

  18. Pingback: Plasma Active for Nexus 7 | Land of Technology

  19. e8hffff says:

    What’s the time line for repair? The system isn’t far off from full compatibility with Plasma Active 3.expectations. Sound and Video codecs are probably the hard stage.

    There’s no updates in the repository. Are you actively working on this or should we go back to Android till there’s a working image?

    I really want to use Plasma Active but this release is very broken.

    * Software Keyboard is faulty and wont pipe into some fields
    * No context menu when holding touch on field say as to paste content in
    * Many files in apps complain about filex:// path to file ‘could not open’ so you can’t view pdf’s or use other files in apps
    * No network folder in Dolphin
    * No sound
    * No video play. Codecs?
    * Links for apps on the desktop fail and load in Kwrite instead

    If pdf’s loaded I probably could use this whilst waiting for patches.

    • shmerl says:

      For me the boot failed altogether on Nexus 32 GB (regular WiFi edition, no 3G). What kind of Nexus do you have?

      • e8hffff says:

        Original 8G basic.

      • ruedigergad says:

        Does the MOSLO boot?
        Did extracting the rootfs work?
        If both of the above succeeded could you try booting as follows:
        Turn the device on with “volume down” key pressed.
        Wait for the bootloader to show “Start”.
        Connect the nexus to a PC via USB.
        Boot using the kernel that came with the MOSLO as follows (Execute this as root on your PC.):

        fastboot -c "root=/dev/mmcblk0p9 ro console=tty1 rootwait rootfstype=ext4" boot zImage-moslo

        Note that partition number “9” should be specific to the non-3g models. For the 3g models it should be “10”.

    • ruedigergad says:

      With respect to the keyboard problem: could you give the custom keyboard I made some time ago a try?
      You can install it as follows (Executed as root on the Nexus 7.):

      zypper ar -G
      zypper up maliit-active libmaliit-quick
      killall -9 maliit-server
      • Rutger Putter says:

        Your new keyboard works much better! 🙂

      • e8hffff says:

        Yeah the Keyboard dis now fixed!!!!

        Also patched and sound is now working, but audio files fail in player. This maybe caused by the references to the default installed media files being broken.

        Keep up the fixes!!! I can see myself using Plasma Active as main tablet OS if it’s all working.

  20. lachlan-00 says:

    boots fine but after i get to the plasma desktop it goes black and stays black. (16gb original release)

    • ruedigergad says:

      Could you try to touch the display a few times while the UI (with the gray patterned background and the progress indicator) starts up?

      • lachlan-00 says:

        That seems to work. I used it for about an hr. Some black screen locks during use, things seem to get slow after a while but it works.

        Install process was easy enough so I’ll keep flashing the new builds. (moslo is great!) Typing in settings windows is very hit and miss.

    • e8hffff says:

      I find if the screen goes black when booting, it comes to life if you plug the usb power in.

      Note you aren’t supposed to have the usb connected on boot, else MOSLO will stick, or you maybe taken to a recovery level, like CWMR.

  21. kollin says:

    Is Vivaldi initiative completely dead?

  22. e8hffff says:

    Sound is now working !!!

    • shmerl says:

      Yes, I just noticed that sound started to work (I’m not sure what was updated, I run zypper refresh && zypper update in between).

      Here is how to test a video with sound:

      • e8hffff says:

        There some problem with file permissions or the process accessing sample files stored in /usr/share/sample-media/

      • e8hffff says:

        The link don’t work for me.

    • shmerl says:

      I just put some video files in the home directory.

      • e8hffff says:

        Same but nothing works. Tried installing dragon player to see if alternative player would work but no luck.

    • shmerl says:

      > The link don’t work for me.
      It should. What exactly do you see there? Here is what I did:

      DISPLAY=:0 gst-launch-0.10 filesrc location=$HOME/sintel_trailer-720p.mp4 ! qtdemux name=demuxer \ demuxer. ! nv_omx_aacdec ! queue ! audioconvert ! audioresample ! autoaudiosink \ demuxer. ! queue ! nv_omx_h264dec ! nvxvimagesink

      • ruedigergad says:

        Or in short:
        DISPLAY=:0 gst-launch-0.10 filesrc location=/home/mer/sintel_trailer-1080p.mp4 ! decodebin2 ! nvxvimagesink
        “DISPLAY=:0” is only needed when you run this via an SSH session btw.

        Yesterday, I already got hardware-accelerated playback for mp4 videos working with the integrated media player (bangarang). Hopefully, I can publish another update today that adds this functionality.

        Edit: I just saw, shmerls version should work with sound while the shortcut I posted above just displays video. The fix for the internal player I mentioned will of course show videos with sound.

      • ruedigergad says:

        I pushed the patched phonon version to the repositories. If you update via

        zypper ref && zypper up

        you should get hw-accelerated video playback with bangarang. I tested this yesterday for at least mp4 and divx (with the sintel trailers).

  23. ruedigergad says:

    By the way, for those who want to have some nice 3D graphics, you can also test 3D-acceleration with glmark2. Simply install glmark2 as follows (as root of course):

    zypper in glmark2

    And then run it as mer user:

    DISPLAY=:0 glmark2-es2

    Thanks again to Tuomas for packaging and the heads up. 🙂

  24. ruedigergad says:

    As another side note: you can now also use the nemo-compatibility package with Plasma Active on Nexus 7. The very quick installation steps are as follows (run as root):

    zypper ar -G wonko-pa-testing
    zypper in nemo-compatibility install
    killall -9 Xorg

    With this you can run Nemo apps on Plasma Active. This gives you access to much more nice, touch-optimized apps. See also my other posts about this.
    Examples of apps you could install are Twimgo (Twitter Client), Kasvopus (Facebook Client), Q To-Do (todo list app), or MeePasswords (a password safe):

    zypper in com.substanceofcode.twimgo com.substanceofcode.kasvopus qtodo meepasswords

    And before I forget it: Merry Christmas all! 🙂

  25. It would be nice to get this working with MultiROM ( Right now it’s very hard-coded for the way Ubuntu and Android do things, so it doesn’t work with this.

    The main idea of MultiROM booting from internal storage is using something like /data/media/0/multirom/roms/plasma/root as the root filesystem instead of just /data.
    This is accomplished in Ubuntu by modifying it’s initramfs scripts to look for a “rootsubdir” parameter in the kernel command line. If found, it will be used as a chroot after mounting /.

    There’s other things like booting from USB (including .img files on NTFS and FAT partitions) that require other tools (like ntfs3g) in Ubuntu’s initramfs.

    As far as I can tell, there’s no real standard way of doing initramfs on mer?

  26. lachlan-00 says:

    Using usb charger immediately makes the nexus suspend. Locks the screen over and over trying to sleep until you take it out.

    I have to charge by shutting down first.

    • shmerl says:

      I found it somewhat random. At times you can have a charger plugged in and still being able to work with the tablet. But it does randomly attempt to lock and put it to sleep indeed in such case.

      What I found strange is, that even with the plugged in charger, the energy level goes down when you work (though probably slower). It only goes up when the screen is off. Is it normal?

      • lachlan-00 says:

        The screen has always been the biggest source of power drain for me with android or plasma active. Maybe power management is forcing the sleep as I can’t use any of my chargers while started.

    • ruedigergad says:

      I always charge with the device being on. After plugging the charger in the lock-screen is displayed. The display turns off after some time. Also note that after unplugging and un-locking the screen, the battery indicator may still show the old state for a while, i.e., the indicator may report the battery as empty while it is actually full. This works pretty well for me. But I don’t use the device while charging.

  27. Anders Lund says:

    What is the status of booting a 32G device?
    Does anyone know what GPS the device has (ie, is there a possible gpsd/qtmobility driver)?

    • shmerl says:

      32 GB device WiFi only (no 3G) version has some issue with booting from Moslo (it reboots extra time), but if you use the direct method removing Moslo (as described above) – it boots well. I didn’t test the 3G version of the device though.

  28. How is wifi working? My understanding is you have to use a proprietary driver for this which comes from I believe either bcom or qcom and they have to license it to you?

  29. Anders Lund says:

    Did anyone try to find out what sort of gps device the nexus 7 has, and if a driver exists? I can’t seem to find any information about it being supported :\

  30. alberto pajuelo says:

    I’ve got Mer/Plasma Active dual boot with Android/Cyanogenmod 10.1 on my nexus7 , simply flash the MOSLO kernel to recovery instead to boot and ready .


  31. Steve Riley says:

    Just tried this on a 32GB Nexus 7 (no 3G). It installed exactly as described. A few oddities that I’ve noticed:

    * The list of running programs exhibits odd display artifacts. See Closed applications leave their “X” and some text garbage.

    * Even with “Lock screen” off, “Turn off the screen” set to 60 minutes, and “Sleep” set to 60 minutes, the display goes dark after a couple minutes. If I wait a bit longer, I hear th KDE tune that’s associated with unplugging the AC adapter from a laptop. One time, after waking the tablet, it emitted a very high pitch squeal from the speaker. I had to launch Phonon to make it stop.

    * The Maliit keyboard seems more responsive, but the alignment is off — the middle row needs moved over to the right a bit; the “A” shouldn’t be left of the “Q.” Backspace should be in the top row.

    * When I boot the device, MOSLO starts (if I’m interpreting the sequence correctly — Mer is unfamiliar to me). Then the device reboots, and rather than Plasma booting, the device boots into recovery (I use TWRP). I have to exit recovery into the bootloader, then press the power button. Plasma boots after this. How can I skip the boot-into-recovery step?

  32. e8hffff says:

    Ruedi can you do blog entries telling people what’s new in your Plasma active image works? Like give a run down of change each update.

  33. mike says:

    thanks for doing this!

    i had to replace the adaptation repos by

    i think that putting this installation guide on the mer and/or kde wiki would be usefull.
    do i get your permission to copy parts of your blogpost for that?

    • Tuomas says:

      I guess this is a good place for installation instructions:

      And I’m sure you can copy paste the instructions from this blog to the wiki 🙂

    • ruedigergad says:

      I second what Tuomas said. It’s always good to have some better maintained documentation than just a single blog post. 🙂 Feel free to copy&paste the instructions etc. found here to the wiki.

      PS: I was a little busy with other things lately so I didn’t have the time to respond to all requests. Hence, some requests might have slipped my attention.

  34. mike says:
    I hope to find some time this weekend to make this a little more useful.

  35. BrianXP7 says:

    Looks like Tassadar (the author of MultiROM) created a flashable ZIP of Plasma Active for MultiROM. This should be interesting:

  36. Havard says:

    Small review here:

    Feel free to contact me if I should try out something else on my device.

  37. g0b1in5486 says:

    Is development of the project still active??

  38. g0b1in5486 says:

    Is this project still in active development??

    • ruedigergad says:

      Plasma Active itself of course is in active development. As is the Nexus 7 hardware adaptation as well. If you look, e.g., at the posts tagges with “Google Nexus 7” here you will see that there is quite some progress with respect to the hardware adaptation. For more information about Plasma Active please have a look in the respective official websites.

  39. Urban says:

    Things are not going well for me. There were no problems to unlock the bootloader and no problems to flash MOSLO using fastboot. No problems to create a ext4 file system and extract the moslo-nexus7-*.tar.gz either. After these steps, things are not going my way however and I don’t know if I am doing something wrong or what is going on.
    When I disconnect the USB cable from the computer, it is supposed to reboot according to the instructions on this page but it doesn’t work. This is what it shows:
    Mounting /dev/mmcblk09 to /mnt/userdata.
    Mount: mounting /dev/mmcblk09 on /mnt/userdata failed: invalid argument
    Everything should be mounted now.
    Free space is as follows:

    Content of /mnt/userdata is:
    Looking for rootfs image: /mnt/userdata/rootfs.tar.bz2
    No rootfs image found. Doing nothing.
    Looking for rootfs image: /mnt/userdata/rootfs.tar.gz
    No rootfs image found. Doing nothing.
    kexec_load failed: zImage not found
    Unable to load AlternateOS kernel.

    I have tried the other alternatives too but the process just stops at this line and does not continue any further:
    Waiting for root device /dev/mmbclk09…

    I also have another problem. After I flashed MOSLO onto the unit, it is impossible to power it off. It will restart regardless. This has drained my battery and it is now empty. The battery seems to charge when the unit is completely dead and then it starts up automatically and runs for about 5 minutes until it runs out of battery again and shuts down. This is repeating in an endless loop.
    How can I get out of this loop so I can properly charge the battery?

    My Nexus7 is a 16GB one (no 3G).

    Thank you VERY much for any help!

    • Urban says:

      I finally found out how to power off the tablet so now I am charging it. The first problem remains though.
      Thank you!

      • linux_tom says:

        boot into the MOSLO kernel as described above. I experienced the same problem with the 32 GB version, booted into moslo and it worked.

      • Urban says:

        I have tried to boot into the MOSLO kernel like it is described above but I can still not get it to work. I guess I am doing something wrong. I just wish I knew what…
        If I run the: fastboot -c “root=/dev/mmcblk0p9 ro console=tty1 rootwait rootfstype=ext4” boot zImage-moslo, it says that it wants to reboot after a while. If I keep the USB cable in it, then it just makes the partition available on my computer after the reboot and stops there. If I unplug the USB cable after it wants to reboot but before it has done it, then I just run into the same problem as I originally wrote in my post.
        I am grateful for any help.

  40. e8hffff says:

    Ok I’ve returned and installed the latest image as of 17th Feb 2013, “plasma-active-nexus7-testing-mer-latest-2013-01-07”.

    I must say things have vastly improved. I will write a list of problems, and hope someone can take them to the appropriate area for fixing.

    Currently patching. Doing this before I make any real complaints.

    • Shmerl says:

      I’ll have to switch to that image as well. After manually switching to devel branch (it’s newer than testing) my system constantly produces core dumps.

  41. e8hffff says:

    Problems Noticed as of 17-Feb-2013 and fully patched;

    * ‘Settings’ brightness not being saved properly
    * ‘Settings’ are minimal, only 3 areas of change with small option list
    * Most apps have no settings
    * Some text entry fields lose focus when touching the keyboard. Affects;
    > renaming activities screens
    > activity search on main screen
    > Apper search field
    * Current processes menu has redraw problem when shifting across processes icons in swipe gesture
    * PA lacks zoom and swiping functionality in lists, and areas where zoom is appropriate
    * Media player doesn’t stream video off network, it wants to download the whole movie before play
    * Software keyboard has level issue when pull down menu is fully down. Keyboard becomes over drawn with process icons
    * Zooming in pdf reader crashes. Tested with default install Berlin_Routes.pdf
    * File browser directory profile icons pathetically small
    * File browser seriously lacking features. No networking choice, no settings
    * Notification sections don’t close properly or fast enough or are troubled
    * Audio pull down menu slider is back to front regarding natural expectations
    * Repositories pathetically small. Example, no firefox, no gnash, no lightspark, no icedtea, no krusader, etc, etc,… Project crew should add bigger repos from other teams
    * Apper wont let you install software. The ‘Apply’ just refreshes repository in all contextual pages
    * No way to delete apps in widget app container
    * No Screen rotation
    * No busy icon
    * Location pull down wont allow change button to work
    * Most dialogue boxes are full screen. No need to be full screen
    * Wifi/wired should have its own inactivity timer, not solely based on screen modes
    * Welcome video doesn’t play
    * Pull down menu disappears once choice made. Should stay open while user picks apps to kill

    PA lack intuitive navigation for going ‘back’ to last app or last page. Pinch zoom is rarely used. Icons are too small with no settings options for appearance or themes. The on-screen keyboard is has no copy/paste feature and no buttons for coders, like Cntrl or Esc. Text fields don’t have context menus for cut/copy/paste The keys are small on keyboard. Bugs and problems cripple the want to use this platform.

    Out of 10, Score 5. Comment: Lots of promise if it can be included quickly.

  42. e8hffff says:

    I fathom the File Browser is a file-type based browser so having a network option maybe troublesome as the files would need to be hashed or examined.

    Maybe merge the File Browser with Dolphin so one can do conventional file manipulation and also display file-types. That way you can make dolphin an defacto install.

  43. shmerl says:

    I just tried the latest image and I can’t add a wifi connection – it gives insufficient privileges. Also su – doesn’t work with mer password anymore.

  44. feenfleisch says:

    I tried on a nexus 7 3g 32 gb. its works, but my nexus start, resrart then in recovery mode, then after reboot to plasma. How can u fix this?

  45. SharkWipf says:

    I installed it on my old, broken Nexus 7 16G. Though MOSLO booted CWM Recovery rather than Plasma Active, “force-loading” it worked fine. Unfortunately it won’t be of much use for me atm, because the touchscreen is unresponsive for 90% (hardware issue, not a software issue), and connecting a mouse over OTG doesn’t seem to work.
    Ahwell, it was fun installing Plasma Active, and watching it boot.

  46. SSV says:

    After “zypper up” the metworkmanager not started. How to solve this problem? Thanks.

  47. Graham Berridge says:

    This is a brilliant effort. I updated today and find I have lost all keyboards! This makes it difficult to use. Although the maliit-active and libmaliit-quick are up to date (zypper claims latest version) there is no maliit-server process, or anything with that name …

    Fortunately the update enable usb0 networking so I can ssh into the device still. Are there any other virtual keyboards that can be installed?

  48. Konrad says:

    Did not really work for me with my Nexus 7 / 32GB / 3G
    – Bluetooth device was not recognized
    – Keyboard buggy (Unable to anything in Network Manager)
    So I was unable to connect a BT keyboard and I was unable to get the network up and running.
    Maybe I buy an adapter and try a usb keyboard but for now I simply switch back to android.

    • Konrad says:

      It seems that I was simply unlucky yesterday. I tried it again this morning and this time I was able to enter the password of my wifi connection.
      Also one possibility that I didn’t see yesterday: There is a network connection through the usb cable. I could have configured that to grant the device network access.
      Now I simply stop writing more replies. I am instaling >500 updates right now and i should stop this whining 🙂
      So far it looks good and I cannot wait to test it fully.

    • ruedigergad says:

      With respect to bluetooth: try to install the nexus7-fw-installer package via zypper and follow the instructions.

  49. Nex7s says:

    The virtual keyboard is still buggy here, cant type in anything in the network manager.

    BTW: Is developement still alive?

  50. wartburgritter says:

    Will there be a version KDE Plasma 4 for nexus 7 ???

    • wartburgritter says:

      It sould better be, Will there be a realese using Plasma Active 4 for nexus 7 ?

  51. Max says:

    PLEASE continue your work on adapting the Nexus tablet(s) to Plasma Active! I have been waiting for more than 3 years for a Linux tablet that runs KDE, and your work looks like the most promising BY FAR. THANK YOU very, very much for your effort and time adapting the Nexus tablet(s) to Plasma Active! If you have a mailing list that can keep me updated on your progress adapting the Nexus tablet(s) to Plasma Active, please sign me up.

    • ruedigergad says:

      Thanks for the feedback. My contribution is just a very small part in the whole ensemble. Plasma Active as well as the hardware adaptations are the joint work of many people who contribute to the overall project. 🙂
      If you are looking for a mailing list, you might want to check at or for more information. There is, e.g., the mailing list but there are also other communication channels such as IRC (#active @freenode).

  52. Stefan says:

    Großartig! Nach so etwas habe ich sehr sehr lange gesucht! Vielen Dank dafür und bitte sehr gerne weitermachen!

    Drei Fragen bleiben für mich noch offen:
    Funktioniert das auch bei dem 2013 Nexus 7 – Model?
    Funktioniert nur WLAN oder gibt es auch die Möglichkeit sich über UMTS/LTE zu verbinden?
    Gibt es Neuerungen bezüglich der 32 GB Version? Funktioniert es jetzt mit dieser auch?

    Besten Dank schon mal!

  53. Max says:

    Translation of Stefan’s comment:
    “Great! After something I’ve searched for a very long time! Thank you and please carry on very much!

    Three questions remain unanswered for me:
    Does this also work with the Nexus 7 2013 – Model?
    Works only wireless or is there the possibility to connect via UMTS / LTE?
    Are there innovations with respect to the 32 GB version? Does it work now with this also?

    Thanks in advance!”

  54. pressnick says:

    Hi and thank you for all the efforts!
    I am new to nexus/mer/plasma active etc. but I like to explore a bit. And yes, I know, i am sort of late to the show, but i followed the general steps here and I pretty much encountered most of the issues mentioned above. One question to the MakePlayLive and add on management: this service is down, right?
    What would be the best way to find suitable addons and, a new/ bigger keyboard?


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