GNURoot

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This page demonstrates an easy way to compile and run Linux console programs on ARM Android devices.

There are now lots of inexpensive Android tablets available.  I really want to load Debian on (some of) them and completely get rid of Android, but right now this isn't very easy (Ubuntu is probably a little easier).  LinuxOnAndroid is also interesting.  All of those options require rooting the device which I want to avoid as long as possible.  So GNURoot (which doesn't require rooting) is an interesting first step to try.

My main (first) goal in this is to be able to run a single program (for machine control) on an inexpensive tablet (with USB OTG).  A GUI is not required , so Free Vision may be good enough for the first programs.  I have a powered 4 port USB hub plugged into my tablet's OTG port, with a keyboard and mouse working now (I hope to add USB Ethernet and serial adapters later).

New! On 22 Oct. 2014 found interesting engineering programs using GNUroot to run CalculiX.

New! On 23 Dec. 2014 I received an email about the TW700 which is a 7" tablet with Windows 8.1 for only $60 (US) but you have to go into the store to pick it up.  Control Terminal works with the touchscreen without any changes.  This is easy and might help Wintel keep some of us in the fold!



New!  On 9 May 2014 I got an initial Control Terminal console program opening a socket to a web page and getting the header.

Install GNURoot and GNURoot Wheezy apps on your ARM Android device (x86 not presently supported), then follow the (short) instructions here, then follow the instructions below (as fake root):
  apt-get update
  apt-get upgrade (previous problem has been fixed: upgrade fails )
  apt-get install unzip
  apt-get install binutils
  apt-get install libc-dev
  wget http://ctrlterm.com/CtrlTermHead-fpc-2.6.2.arm-linux-050914.zip
  mkdir head
  unzip CtrlTermHead-fpc-2.6.2.arm-linux-050914.zip -d head
  cd head
  chmod 755 ppcarm
  sh ctrlterm.sh
  cd bin
  ./CtrlTerm

The 2.0 MB zip file above has the Free Pascal compiler and all source code needed to do something similar to this:
  apt-get install telnet
  telnet www.Google.com 80
  HEAD / HTTP/1.0  *** then two carriage returns!

A reason for doing this might be for using a simple Linux program to communicate with a wireless DAQ device.

New! On 26 May 2014 a new 5.0 MB --052614.zip file includes the Free Vision testapp and IDE programs.  The keyboard Alt-X  and the mouse fail to work, so F5 is used to quit the programs (more improvements are still needed).  In the IDE the keyboard Alt-F10 works to get to the local menu (which is nice).  The Control Terminal ports page has links to other platforms that might be useful.



These are the older instructions that should work (for a much simpler program).

Install GNURoot and GNURoot Wheezy apps on your ARM Android device (x86 not presently supported), then follow the (short) instructions here, then follow the instructions below (as fake root):
  apt-get update
  apt-get upgrade (previous problem has been fixed: upgrade fails )
  apt-get install unzip
  apt-get install binutils
  wget http://turbocontrol.com/HelloWorld-fpc-2.6.0.arm-linux-052412.zip
  mkdir hello
  unzip HelloWorld-fpc-2.6.0.arm-linux-052412.zip -d hello
  cd hello
  chmod 755 ppcarm
  ./ppcarm hello
  ./hello



New! (24 Mar 2014) GNURoot has been updated!  See this text: "WheezyX rootfs type added - it has Xterms working. After launching it, use a vncviewer on your Android device or you PC to connect to it."  I haven't found simple instructions yet for using this but I hope to test and document this option more in the future.


Please share your ideas, comments and suggestions. Thanks!
-- Paul Breneman

TurboControl.com
Contact information on home page