Plasma Active 4 for Nexus 7 (2012) and Archos G9

Some days ago, Plasma Active 4 was officially announced. Great thanks to all the people who worked so hard on this release. πŸ™‚

Today, I could squeeze in some time to create PA 4 rootfs tarballs for Nexus 7 (the 2012 version) and Archos G9. The rootfs tarballs and the .ks files can be downloaded from here.

Please note that I could only test the Nexus 7 version yet. I hope that the Archos G9 version works as well.

For convenience, here is a summary of the installation instructions for Nexus 7:

tar xf moslo-nexus7-
cd moslo-nexus7

# Reboot/turn on the Nexus 7 by keeping the power button pressed and
# keep the volume down button pressed at the same time.
# Wait until the screen shows "Start" and then connect the Nexus 7 to the computer via USB.

sudo fastboot -c "console=tty1" boot zImage-moslo initrd-moslo
# Wait until moslo has booted.
# Replace /dev/sdX with the respective device, e.g., /dev/sdb.
# You can check with, e.g., dmesg what the id of the newly conntected device is.
sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX
sudo mount /dev/sdX /mnt/foo
sudo tar xf plasma-active-4-armv7hl-google-nexus7.tar.gz -C /mnt/foo
cp /mnt/foo/boot/zImage /tmp/
sudo sync
sudo umount /mnt/foo

# Reboot the Nexus 7 by keeping the power button pressed and
# keep the volume down button pressed at the same time.
# Wait until the screen shows "Start".

# Please note: for the non 3G version replace /dev/mmcblk0p10 with /dev/mmcblk0p9
sudo fastboot -c "root=/dev/mmcblk0p10 ro console=tty1 rootwait rootfstype=ext4" flash:raw boot /tmp/zImage

# Disconnect the USB cable and press the power button.

Unfortunately, there is an issue related to some of the applets that prevents proper interactions with these. This also includes the Network Manager applet. In order to still connect to a WLAN it is possible to use the nmcli command line tool:

nmcli d wifi connect "SSID" password "PASSWORD"
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35 Responses to Plasma Active 4 for Nexus 7 (2012) and Archos G9

  1. xardas008 says:

    thanks for providing the image + the instructions. Everything instead of plasma media center works so far (I’ll try out media center later when I have the time, maybe it’s the video file which doesn’t work).


    • ruedigergad says:

      I’m afraid that media center won’t work, at least for hw-accelerated video playback. Bangarang, which is also installed, should work for playing video files.
      Background is that we need some tweaks to decode the video via the hw-accelerated gstreamer pipeline on tegra3. We already tweaked some libs but it seems like that the libs we tweaked so far are not the ones used by the media center, unfortunately.

      • I’m one of the pmc devs, to keep things simple we just use the QML video element to play the videos. I thought that would be enough as it’ll use gstreamer as the backend, but as you say it doesn’t, any idea what might be missing that we can take a look at?

      • ruedigergad says:

        Alright, that’s good information. If I recall correctly, the QML video element is contained in QtMobility? If yes, there is be a patch by Tuomas that should take care of this. Maybe the wrong QtMobility version was installed or there is another reason why this is not working but that’s good information to track the issue down, thanks. πŸ™‚

    • Sagar Kumar says:

      I want to install KDE plasma active 4 on my nexus 7 2012 , i had dowbloaded all tha required files , and i had flashed moslo-nexus7 from terminal (ubuntu) and rebooted. but after that i stuck . My nexus 7 does not boot into moslo , and i am not able to execute next command …that is for converting nexus 7 to ext4 format.
      I am getting error ( mkfs.ext4 …permission denied)
      Please help me
      I am new in ubuntu or Linux and its command.
      I am windows user. But i had installed ubuntu on my pc

      • ruedigergad says:

        You have to be root for most of these actions (mkfs.ext4 etc.).
        So, you can either do “sudo mkfs.ext4 …” (For the other commands, also just prefix them with “sudo “.) or you can become root and then execute these commands.
        If my memory serves me correctly you become root in Ubuntu via “sudo su -“.
        Please be aware that it may be dangerous to execute commands as root as nothing prevents you from doing bad things which may even destroy your system.
        So, you have to pay a lot attention.

  2. trevorg16 says:

    Running nmcli seems to require a root password which I cannot find anywhere. Does anyone know the root password on this device image?

  3. Georg Sassen says:

    It seems to start somehow on my good old Archos 80 G9 (no plus, no turbo) but not really work. Yesterday it reached the welcome screen but didn’t react on touches, today the screen stays black after the boot logo disappears. But just now it displayed a message that the battery is low (20%) and played a sound, so something seems to run. I’ll try to have a deeper look later.

    On my Nexus 7 it works better, I got a random reboot though and sometimes it didn’t react immediately.

    • ruedigergad says:

      Could you check the value of the “QT_DEFAULT_RUNTIME_SYSTEM” variable in “/etc/sysconfig/nemo-mobile-hw”? If it is set to “opengl” try changing it to “raster”.

      • Georg Sassen says:

        There was no such file, so I copied it from the nexus image, Now it works much better, the startup screen appears, but it complains about not finding in the big widget, Connect to WIFI using the command line works, playing video doesn’t (well, maybe the Q_GST_VIDEOSINK parameter should be changed for the OMAP), and I don’t hear audio even though the volume is set to the maximum. But much better than before, thanks!

      • ruedigergad says:

        Great to hear you got it working and thanks for the feedback. With respect to video playback, you could try to simply comment the Q_GST_VIDEOSINK variable.

  4. Nex7s says:

    can you provide a multirom image?

    • ruedigergad says:

      Sorry, I have no experience with multirom nor how to prepare images for it. In case someone has good links, how-tos etc. it’d be great if you could share them.

      • ltlo says:

        here you find how to pack correctly your image for multirom:

        but, what you just have to do is:
        -git clone
        -copy your rootfs image “plasma…nexus7.tar.gz” in plasma_multirom_packer/zip_root/rom as “root.tar.gz”.
        -zip everything in plasma_multirom_packer/zip_root as “Plasma4.mrom” (or whaterver, but no spaces in the filename, if i remember correctly).

        what multirom will do to install is to extract root.tar.gz in /data/media/0/multirom/roms/”Plasma4″/root/ and copy the ubuntu initramfs in boot/ (see post_install).
        to boot instead it calls kexex on (…)/boot/zImage + ubuntu’s initramfs with a special cmdline option rootsubdir=”(…)” which init reads and chroots into.

        I hope it helps. And I would upload it myself but my internet connection does not agree πŸ™‚

  5. Edgar says:

    Great job, thanks a lot!
    I would like to have some more programs in the repos, like apache or git. Are there any additional repositories I can add? How can I use the gyro sensor and the camera? Anyhow, I was amazed to find “python -m SimpleHTTPServer” working.

  6. Pier says:

    Great job!
    I would like to try it as soon as possible!
    I have a Nexus 7 3G: can you please confirm that it works?
    How can I revert to Android in case of problems?

    • ruedigergad says:

      Last time I checked, 3G worked. I have my SIM card in another device right now so I cannot test with this very tarball but it should work.
      I currently don’t have the links but it is possible to revert back to Android. There had been also an attempt on multibooting Android and other operating systems but I am not familiar with that one.

  7. Markus says:

    Is it possible to enable integration repositories as shown here ?

    • ruedigergad says:

      I’ve never tried this functionality in the GUI. However, you can always add repositories via zypper on the command line, including the testing and devel ones. In fact, I regularly used “zypper ar some_repo” while developing. But please be aware that you are entering uncharted territory if you add any unstable repository. Even in the “stable” version of Plasma Active on Archos G9 and Nexus 7 are already some issues.

  8. Juha says:

    Great work! The user experience on PA is much better than on Android.

    In your blog posts there are more bits and pieces for making the PA environment to utilize the Nexus hardware better (e.g. activating bluetooth), could you collect all this information into one post, so it would be easier to apply all the changes.

    Your build didn’t contain the Nemo apps that were mentioned in one of your earlier posts. Is there any list of apps available for PA on Nexus?

    • ruedigergad says:

      Thanks for your feedback. There are many people who work very hard on Plasma Active. I just contribute some work on the hardware adaptation and packaging.
      As Plasma Active 4 is now stable I might find the time to create such an aggregate post. Another option is to update the instructions on the kde or mer Wiki. I am sorry, but my time is currently very limited. All help is highly appreciated.
      Yes, the nemo-compatibility package is a little fragile with respect to against which Nemo version it is build. In the past this always needed some time to adapt; especially as the nemo:devel packages are moving very quickly. It’s nothing too complicated but needs to be done. However, as Plasma Active 4 builds against a fixed Nemo version I will try to include the nemo-compatibility packge and Nemo apps again.

      PS: You can use “zypper search foo” in a shell to search for available software.

  9. nex7s says:

    i created a multirom compatible image(.mrom).
    Does anyone know a place where i can upload it for free?

  10. gerclimb says:

    Hi, can you explain how to install Plasma Activ on the Archos G9. Its here only explained for the Nexus 7 … thanks.

  11. Hi, thanks for your hard work.

    I wonder what would happen if I attempt to install this on a Samsung galaxy tab 3 7″. Would it just break? Would work butl need some drivers? What can I expect?

    Also, can the install procedure your described be used to install other ARM distros and how this method can be generalized to any ARM device?


    • ruedigergad says:


      thanks for the reply. My contribution is actually just a very small part. Lots of work from many people went into all this.

      The keyword you are looking for with respect to Mer is “hardware adaptation”.
      Essentially, hardware adaptations provide everything that is needed to run Mer-based OSs on a specific hardware.
      Unfortunately, in the ARM-world it is still much more difficult to make an OS run on a specific device.



      • Ok, so how can help porting it to ARM?

      • ruedigergad says:

        Well, the problem is not actually porting something to ARM. It is about adapting things like the kernel, device drivers (kernel modules), etc. to the specific device. Unfortunately, in the ARM world the whole driver issue is little bit more complicated than what one is used to in good old x86 territory.
        You should have a look at the merproject wiki and look for “hardware adaptation”, iirc, there should be some explanation about this.
        The first step would probably be to check if the bootloader of a device is open enough, then identify the SoC and the used components, then check if there exists a Linux kernel configuration/build for that SoC and if the device drivers (kernel modules) can be build as well, etc.

  12. Ok, so I am going to give it a try. Thanks for the pointers.

  13. Silver Nicktail says:

    Thank you so much for the wireless fix! I’ve been trying to run Plasma Active on my tablet all year, and that blasted applet problem (plus not knowing my way around Mer) has stopped me in my tracks every time. My Nexus 7 is now happily downloading updates in Zypper. Very much obliged, sir.

  14. Pingback: Plasma Active 4: New Rootfs Tarballs for ArchosG9 and Nexus7 | ruedigergad

  15. chrish says:

    Plasma through multirom wont let me connect my internet could someone give me the correct konsole code to put inÉ

  16. pressnick says:

    In one of your upper comment answers you mentioned “zypper search” to look for further available software.
    Using that i do get a list, but installation of packages seems not to be possible (no provider of ‘package’ found)..
    Any idea what i am doing wrong?

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