Windows to Linux: More Tablet Frustrations

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Since converting a Windows tablet directly to Android proved impossible, or at least so difficult as to not want to experience it again, I decided to pursue trying to convert the Windows tablet to Linux, and from Linux see what can be done to convert to Android. I stumbled onto Anbox as one possibility, so was interested in giving that a try. This plan does mean losing dual boot to Windows, but I really didn’t care about keeping Windows on the tablet, anyhow.

Anbox claims to run on any Linux distribution, so I chose the one I’m most familiar with for personal use, Ubuntu. Choosing version 18.04.3 LTS Desktop, I downloaded it and burned it to a thumb drive with Rufus.

However, to my dismay, no matter how I messed with the BIOS settings, I could not get the HP Stream 7 to boot to anything but the C: drive, completely eliminating this ability. What I needed was a Linux distribution that would install itself on the C: drive. If it meant blowing away Windows, that was fine.

I did try Unetbootin, but for some reason that failed. It looks like that tries to set up a boot menu to give you a choice of which OS to start, but the HP Stream 7 tablet seemed to ignore it.

So, I resorted to the only thing left–installing Linux from the Windows Store. I didn’t seem the best option, since it appears to run on top of Windows, but I wanted to get this to work.

This requires enabling the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Sounded simple enough, but in the “Add Features” of Programs add/change, it was missing. A Google search gave no explanation. I could only surmise that something about the tablet forced it to be missing. I found the Powershell command to install the WSL:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

Unfortunately, this failed with an error that the feature was unknown.

I don’t give up easy. The Android Studio emulator was out, as it didn’t allow using Bluetooth, which was required for the app I was building. I decided to try an emulator, starting with Bluestacks. I had tried this emulator a few years back, and it seemed to be pretty good.

Except that Bluestacks required 2GB RAM, and the Stream 7 only had 1 GB RAM.

I wish I weren’t so stubborn. This is really painful.

So I tried Droid4x. It looked really promising. At start up, a number increased from zero pretty quickly, got to 80%, then after a minute, slipped to 81%, and froze. I waited a good thirty minutes, hoping for something, but no joy.

Then Andy. I had to watch out for the extra software it wanted to install. It told me the install was successful, but it was nowhere to be found on the tablet. Likely something screwy about my tablet, with all the screwing around, but still…

The link to KoPlayer was broken, and MEmu brought the tablet to its knees. At this point, I’m going to surrender and say that the HP Stream 7 tablet should stay with Windows.