3.15.2012

Android x86 for Duo

I've had a Dell Inspiron Duo for a little over a year now, and have been using it as a netbook the whole time. I've found that I spend very little time with the screen flipped over in tablet mode. The only times I ever use it in tablet mode are occasionally when I'm surfing the web. The Windows 7 touch experience seems to be lacking what I expect and want from a tablet PC. Enter Android x86.

The team over at Android x86 has ported android to several x86 platforms including the Duo. So, I decided to give it a try. I downloaded the newest Sparta release, which was 2.2r2, installed the live CD to a spare USB drive that I had using Unetbootin. The installer was pretty straight forward, just pick an empty partition and let the installer do the rest.

The 2.2r2 Sparta release of Android x86 wouldn't allow me to use the touchscreen, it seems that the r2 release automatically disables the keyboard when a physical keyboard and mouse is plugged in. This would be okay if the keyboard and mouse on the Duo could be removed. So I had to find something else. I moved on to the non-Duo versions of Android.

After trying several different versions, I ended up using the Tegav2 4.0RC1 release. It had the least amount of problems with my Duo, the only major one was the physical keyboard wasn't working; however, I did end up finding a fix for this. First press CTRL-ALT-F1 to get to the console, then type:

su
cd /system/usr/keylayout

Then you'll need to rename the AT_Translated keyboard file to something else:

mv AT_Translated_Set_2_keyboard.kl AT.old

Then reboot and your physical keyboard will work, and so will the touch screen one.