Linux Mint on Chuwi Hi10 & Hi12 Tablets

Linux Mint on Chuwi Hi10 & Hi12 Tablets

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  • #23520
    • Posts: 53

    In this posting I will describe step by step how you can use the latest version of the Linux Mint OS 17.3 on the Chuwi Hi10 Tablet

    (Check the edit at the bottom of this post and the report here about Chuwi Hi12 and Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon)

    In general there are few different scenarios for using the Linux Mint on the Chuwi H10 tablet:

    1. You can boot the Linux Mint from a USB flash drive an test it – this will be described in the second post.
    2.  You can install easily Linux Mint on a separate partition on the main flash drive of the Chuwi Hi10 tablet and to use the tablet with dual boot OS: Win 10 and Linux Mint – this process will be described step by step in the third post.
    3. You can install Linux Mint on a separate USB flash drive (USB disk) but the Linux OS will be slower then the main flash drive installation method.
    4. You can install the Linux Mint on the Micro SD card BUT the Chuwi Hi10 UEFI firmware (BIOS) don’t have access to the SD Card and you are NOT able to boot from the Micro SD card directly. You probably could fix this problem if you make a small partition (around 50-100 MB) on the main flash drive and mount this partition on  /boot  directory during the Linux Mint setup process.

    All scenarios are working pretty well and you can use almost very well the power of the Linux Mint OS on this fast tablet hardware. The Linux OS is working much faster than Windows on this hardware if Linux Mint have been installed on a separate partition on the main Chuwi Hi10 flash drive.

    What hardware have been tested and is working OK:

    What is NOT working … yet:

    • the sound card is not working, but you can purchase a external USB sound card, it’s working perfectly this way.
    • the touch screen isn’t working.
    • the battery is not detected by the Linux OS.

    Whay I’m using Linux on Chuwi Hi10 Tablet? 🙂

    • Well, I’m using mostly (98-99% of my time) Linux OS for the last 17 years …
    • I’m not OK with the fact that Windblows 10 OS send many parts of my personal data from my tablet to the M$ servers when M$ decide so.
    • I’m not happy with the fact that in Win 10 i CAN’T switch off the windows update service.
    • I have full access to such a grate software like: Darktable software for RAW Images editing and the Kdenlive video editing software
    • Have such a Powerful and Secure OS like Linux on my small and light weight but powerful Chuwi Hi10 tablet 🙂

    I’ll record and publish here also a short video demo of both types of set up.

    EDIT 03.07.2016

    Today I installed Linux Mint Cinnamon 18 full release on the HI12 Dual Boot with no installation issues. Did a complete disk wipe and install. Got wifi working. Still working on sound and touch screen. Resolution: 2160×1440 @ 59.95hz What was strange was 2 weeks ago when I used live usb of Cinnamon 18 beta, touch screen worked. That was before I wiped the drive though..

    • Posts: 53

    Test Linux Mint from a USB flash drive:

    1. Activate the Boot from USB option in the Chuwi firmware (BIOS): in order to get access to the setup switch on the tablet with Volume up pressed for few seconds.
    2. Go to Boot option and place the USB key on the first position, Save the setup and reboot
    3. Download the latest 64 bit Linux Mint ISO image – I highly recommend the Linux Mint KDE version, which is much more user friendly 🙂
    4. Install the ISO with a software like Unetbootin
    5. If you would like to be able to customize this USB Linux Mint installation (to be able to make changes on it, which will be available on the next USB boot), then use this HOWTO: Live USB Creator
    6. Reboot the tablet with USB flash on it, when the GRUB boot loader menu appears pres the “e” keyboard key (remove the “”) and change the boot options replacing          quiet splash             parameters with         nomodeset
    7. Press F10 in order to activate the changes, boot and test the latest Linux Mint 17.3 version on your Chuwi Hi10 tablet


    P.S. Thanks to Luis from this posting  – he gave me a hint about how to fix the black screen problem after booting in to Linux Mint with the default GRUB boot loader  parameters.


    • Posts: 53

    Linux Mint Installation on a separate partition on the main flash drive on Chuwi Hi10 tablet

    1. Install the latest version of the Linux Mint OS on a USB stick – instructions here
    2. Shrink your Windows partition in order to make space for the Linux Mint instalation. You can do it by right clicking on the start menu / Disk Management. Free at least 10-15 G space and create a new partition on the freed space. You can foinf instructions on the HOWTO here
    3. Restart the tablet and boot from the USB stick.
    4. On the Grub boot loader change Linux kernel boot parameters to nomodeset as described here and press F10 to boot.
    5. Click Install Linux Mint.
    6. On the second installation menu “Installation type” select Manual – be carefull here, it’s Important or you can damage your Win instalation
    7. On the “Prepare partitions” click on the new partition (10-15G) which you have just created and click “Change” and select this settings:
      1. Use as:                               Ext4 journaling file system
      2. Format the partition:  select it
      3. Mount point:                  /
    8. Install the Linux Mint OS. It will detect that the Chuwi Hi10 tablet uses UEFI boot method and will install the UEFI ubuntu boot loader on the UEFI partition.
    9. After the installation ends, do not restart but SHUTDOWN the tablet – from the start menu / Leave / Shut down
    10. Go to the Chuwi setup (BIOS) menu by switching on the tablet with Volume up pressed
    11. In Boot menu make this changes:
      1. Quiet Boot      Disabled
      2. Fast Boot        Disabled – this way you will have the ability to go easily to the BIOS setup menu by pressing Del key when the tablet starts.
      3. At the bottom of this Menu go to: UEFI Hard Disk Drive BBS Prioritis (Enter) and  select there as first option to be ubuntu and second option Windows Boot Manager
      4. Escape from this sub menu, Save and exit
    12. Change again the default Grub boot options from quiet splash to nomodeset as described in paragraph 6 and 7 here
    13. In order to make the quiet splash to nomodeset parameters permanent change in your new Linux Mint this file /etc/default/grub
      1. from GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash”
      2. to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”nomodeset”


    Thanks for reading this HowTo! 🙂


    Thijs S.
    • Posts: 63


    Looking forard to more of your great guides!

    • Posts: 11

    Thank you! Please, let us know when and how you fix all the current issues (WiFi, touch-screen, G-Sensor, audio, …)


    • Posts: 53

    The Linux Mint installation guide is also ready.

    Milen Yanachkov
    • Posts: 10

    Thanks for the great tutorial! Do you have any idea if it would be possible to create a bootable USB drive with Android x-86? I already tried making one with a UEFI compatible image but all I get after selecting “Android 5.1.1 live” is a black screen (the backlight is working) but nothing else. Any ideas?

    • Posts: 53

    You mean Remix OS or something else?

    I have tested the Remix OS few days ago but I also have got the black screen problem … haven’t spend much time testing.

    But if you change the default Android boot parameters and place there the nomodeset option, there is a chance for the black screen to be fixed.

    Android use a Linux kernel and all this kernel GRUB loader parameters will work.

    Milen Yanachkov
    • Posts: 10

    I’m talking about Android-x86 (just Android 5.1.1 basically). Sorry, I’m new to this, I should brobably do some more reading . I just thought that, since you figured this out, it might be possible to create a bootable UEFI Android x-86 image as well. I’ll have to carefully read your tutorial again when I have the time.

    • Posts: 53

    There are many Android UEFI instalation tutorials.

    I personally have tested this tutorial and it’s working but with the black screen on my Chuwi Hi10.

    There are few more Android UEFI tutorials in the Remix OS Google group

    Milen Yanachkov
    • Posts: 10

    Thanks for the quick response! I guess the touch screen won’t be working in Remix OS though?

    • Posts: 53

    I don’t know … probably not 🙁


    • Posts: 10

    Thanks for this. Will look into doing this myself!

    • Posts: 4

    tried manjaro but freezes on grub, tried ubuntu and there were some problems, tried linux mint ok its functional but you have no wifi, no sound, no bluetooth, no graphics card detected so you have the tablet in portrait mode(default setting by chuwi i guess since bios is in portrait mode) and 800×600, dont bother trying this ill wait some weeks or months for some updated kernels, hope this chipset gets popular and some developers do their work.

    • Posts: 53

    check what it’s working and what’s not in Linux mint … with chuwi hi10 Linux Mint have the default resolution of 1200×1920 and there is no any way to change it to 800×600 …

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