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oldcpu's meandering thoughts on Computers, GNU/Linux and openSUSE

Experiences - Asus Transformer Tablet with openSUSE

Rating: 10 votes, 5.00 average.
I successfully connected my Asus Transformer Tablet PC via a USB connection to my 64-bit openSUSE-11.4 PC (running KDE-4.6.0) to copy files to/from. The Asus Transformer is running Android 3.2.1 and my openSUSE-11.4 is running KDE-4.6.0.

To interface the Transformer to my desktop PC, I used the USB/power cable that comes with the Transformer, which is a cable that plugs into the Transformer's Tablet section output-jack for the 'Dockingstation/keyboard' on one end, and it has a male USB jack on the other end.

This male 'USB' end of the cable nominally plugs into the AC power adapter, and instead I plugged the USB end into my Desktop PC.

Before connecting any cables thou, on my openSUSE-11.4 PC's operating system I installed mtpfs that is packaged by Packman Packagers. According to the mtpfs web site MTPfs is a FUSE filesystem that supports reading and writing from any MTP device (as supported by libmtp). I've read this works as the Asus Transformer can be treated as an MTP device when connecting via this USB cable.

After mtpfs was installed, I followed the method which is posted on many blogs and forum threads for other GNU/Linux distributions, which is to create the directory:
Code:
mkdir /media/transformer
followed by modifying its permissions:
Code:
chmod 777 /media/transformer
its quite possible 'chmod 775' is superior (as that is what I have nominally read), but I wanted to give all 'users' write access, and not just a specific user from my nominal desktop login.

I then switched ON my transformer, and I plugged in the USB cable. It took me a while to succeed, and as I attempted this multiple times, I had mixed results here, with the device being recognized as either
Code:
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0b05:4e1f ASUSTek Computer, Inc.
or
Code:
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0b05:4e3f ASUSTek Computer, Inc.
The time it was recognized as 4e3f was a surprise, and I had no access to the Asus from my openSUSE on that occasion. I noted these lines with the 4e3f in the dmesg:
Code:
[  181.331646] usb 1-4: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 3
[  181.476876] usb 1-4: New USB device found, idVendor=0b05, idProduct=4e1f
[  181.476880] usb 1-4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[  181.476883] usb 1-4: Product: EeePad
[  181.476885] usb 1-4: Manufacturer: ASUS
[  181.476887] usb 1-4: SerialNumber: 37c7043415f42d7
[  190.880979] usb 1-4: USB disconnect, address 3
[  191.156091] usb 1-4: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 4
[  191.301317] usb 1-4: New USB device found, idVendor=0b05, idProduct=4e3f
[  191.301320] usb 1-4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[  191.301323] usb 1-4: Product: EeePad
[  191.301325] usb 1-4: Manufacturer: ASUS
[  191.301327] usb 1-4: SerialNumber: 37c7043415f42d7
[  191.347501] usbcore: registered new interface driver cdc_ether
[  191.365560] rndis_host 1-4:1.0: usb0: register 'rndis_host' at usb-0000:00:1a.7-4, RNDIS device, ee:6c:c8:e7:7f:c9
[  191.365587] usbcore: registered new interface driver rndis_host
[  191.400635] cfg80211: Calling CRDA to update world regulatory domain
[  191.420383] usbcore: registered new interface driver rndis_wlan
[  191.456744] cfg80211: World regulatory domain updated:
[  191.456746]     (start_freq - end_freq @ bandwidth), (max_antenna_gain, max_eirp)
[  191.456748]     (2402000 KHz - 2472000 KHz @ 40000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
[  191.456750]     (2457000 KHz - 2482000 KHz @ 20000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
[  191.456751]     (2474000 KHz - 2494000 KHz @ 20000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
[  191.456753]     (5170000 KHz - 5250000 KHz @ 40000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
[  191.456754]     (5735000 KHz - 5835000 KHz @ 40000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
which puzzled me ... I was not able to mount the acer with the mtpfs command with the 4e3f recognition.

around 5 minutes later when I could not get the interface to work, I unplugged the USB cable and plugged it back in again. This time I obtained this from the dmesg:
Code:
[  709.197436] usb 1-4: USB disconnect, address 4
[  709.197473] rndis_host 1-4:1.0: usb0: unregister 'rndis_host' usb-0000:00:1a.7-4, RNDIS device
[  724.043010] usb 1-4: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 5
[  724.188228] usb 1-4: New USB device found, idVendor=0b05, idProduct=4e1f
[  724.188232] usb 1-4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[  724.188234] usb 1-4: Product: EeePad
[  724.188236] usb 1-4: Manufacturer: ASUS
[  724.188238] usb 1-4: SerialNumber: 37c7043415f42d7
...
I then sent the command (which I had read about in blogs and on other distribution's forums):
Code:
mtpfs -o allow_other /media/transformer
after which I obtained the error:
Code:
Device 0 (VID=0b05 and PID=4e1f) is UNKNOWN.
Please report this VID/PID and the device model to the libmtp development team
and despite this error I was then on my openSUSE-11.4 PC able to navigate to /media/transformer with dolphin in KDE and copy and paste files into/from the transformer's directories.

I don't have this mount methodologyreliably figured out yet, but this success is good.

To unmount the Transformer, the command is:
Code:
umount mtpfs
I have also read it may be necessary to tune UDEV to recognize the transformer, creating the file /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules with the content of that file something like:
Code:
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb",ATTRS{idVendor}=="0b05",ATTRS{idProduct}=="4e3f",MODE="0666",GROUP="users" #Asus Transformer
or
Code:
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb",ATTRS{idVendor}=="0b05",ATTRS{idProduct}=="4e1f",MODE="0666",GROUP="users" #Asus Transformer
...
Note I probably would try: GROUP="users" ... although on other blogs I have read the suggestion to use: OWNER="<your user name>" instead of GROUP="users" .

To reload the UDEV rules, instead of restarting one can purportedly send the command:
Code:
udevadm control --reload-rules

... and some information:
Code:
oldcpu@corei7:~> df -Th
Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs      rootfs     29G  6.5G   22G  24% /
devtmpfs  devtmpfs    3.0G  280K  3.0G   1% /dev
tmpfs        tmpfs    3.0G  1.9M  3.0G   1% /dev/shm
/dev/sda2     ext4     29G  6.5G   22G  24% /
/dev/sda7     ext4    1.2T  970G  166G  86% /home
/dev/sda1  fuseblk     98G   29G   69G  30% /windows/C
/dev/sda6     ext4     34G  4.0G   29G  13% /home/oldcpu/sandboxhome
mtpfs   fuse.mtpfs     27G  3.5G   24G  14% /media/transformer
I found the mounting is not always reliable, and sometimes after a failed mount attempt I need to send the umount command to the Transformer, disconnect the cable, plug the cable back in and remount. So I am still trying to sort better the 'cause and effect' behaviour, so as to improve my reliable repeatability of this interfacing.

Still, I guess the bottom line is SUCCESS as I was able to copy files back and forth using this USB connection.

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  1. oldcpu's Avatar
    I successfully ssh'd from the Asus Transformer to my openSUSE PC over our home LAN.

    First let me note that previous on the same day in which I obtained my Asus Transformer TF-101 B1 'gift', I failed in attempts to ssh into the unit using different applications (with Android 3.1).

    I then had an update to Android-3.2.1 a few days later and it still failed with same applications.

    I had been in correspondence with caf4926 who noted AndFTP worked for him (for copying files to/from his openSUSE-PC via ssh), so it was a bit puzzling to me why this AndFTP application did not work for me !

    Then yesterday I had an update to the Transformer from Asus and then today I had an update to the application AndFTP. After the AndFTP update, I decided to test ssh with AndFTP. And indeed this time ssh worked, ... so it apears that either the Asus update or the AndFTP update fixed the problem that I had encountered.

    So the summary is SUCCESS in using ssh to transfer files to/from an openSUSE PC and I'm glad to say this works with the Asus Transformer.
  2. oldcpu's Avatar
    This post in the same Blog 'thread' is intended to be a bit more general about using the Asus Tranformer (as opposed to above where I posted only about openSUSE interfacing to the Asus Transformer TF-101 B1).

    The Asus Transformer has these specifications
    • CPU NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 (dual core)
    • 10.1” LED Backlit screen with IPS (1280 x 800) 10 point multi-touch input
    • 32 GB SD card storage
    • Android-3.2.1 (as of today after Asus pushed updates are incorporated)
    • 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
    • Cameras: 1.2MP (front), 5MP Auto focus (rear)
    • 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Head Phone / Mic-in), 1x mini HDMI 1.3a port, 1 x Micro SD Card Reader, 1 x Internal Microphone, 1 x Stereo Speaker
    • 9.5 hours; 24.4Wh Li-polymer Battery(4) 16 hours with Eee Station


    Here is a labeled pix of same unit.

    [click on above image for a larger view]

    In the shops here in the city I live in here in Germany, I note a 16GB SD memory unit (TF-101 B1) costs 389 euros, while a TF-101 G (ie the 3G model) with same amount of RAM costs 444 euros. My unit is the TF-101 B1 (no 3G) but I do have 32GB of SD memory (which acts as the hard drive). I was VERY FORTUNATE to receive this unit (Tablet portion only) for free as a gift for my openSUSE contributions. Many thanks to Kim !
  3. oldcpu's Avatar
    The Asus Transformer's dockingstation/keyboard can be procured here in Germany for about 150 euros and it is very useful, offering the following:
    • 2 x USB ports (The two 2 USB connections which are good for a number of USB devices, such as a mouse, camera, usb memory stick, etc ...)
    • additional battery for another 8 hours charge
    • MMD/SD/SDHC slot
    • slot for charging keyboard/tablet batteries


    Click on above image for larger view

    I instead ordered one from Amazon in the USA for about the same price (about AFTER paying for shipping and also paying the 19% VAT). The exception being I obtained a US Keyboard by ordering the keyboard from the USA, instead of a German keyboard (since I am a native English language speaker (Canadian) I wanted a US Keyboard).

    Here is an image with the keyboard attached:

    and I like this image as it illustrates better how the keyboard and transformer mate:
  4. oldcpu's Avatar
    Below is an image of the nominal power adapter that plugs into the transformer.

    I note the cable that goes from the Transformer to the Asus AC Power adapter can be disconnected from the AC power adapter and used to connect to one's computer.
    I described in my blog post above how I used that to connect to my openSUSE-11.4 desktop PC (for tranfering files).
  5. oldcpu's Avatar
    I also ordered the HDMI to VGA adapter and I have used it since in a couple of business meetings.
    I tried the Transformer with this adaptor on an old office projector (which was limited to 1024x768) and the projection was cut off at the left side and bottom as the transformer defaulted to its 1280x800 resolution. I later tried the Transformer with this adaptor on an office projector that supports a higher resolution, and the Transformer's screen projection worked well ! Note audio is DISABLED in the Transformer when the HDMI to VGA cable is connected.

    I also ordered the USB adapter for the Transformer's Tablet portion.

    This plugs in to the keyboard/dockingstation port. It works well with a USB memory stick, and with my ancient Canon Ixus 800 IS digital camera.

    This is quite handly for occasions where one does NOT have the keyboard/dockingstation with them, but one wants some USB port functionality.

    For example, using this USB adapter I copied pix from my Canon Ixus 800IS digital camera to my Asus Transformer. I have tested USB stick connection as well.
  6. oldcpu's Avatar
    The applications for the Transformer are quite good. Better than what I anticipated ! I think I had let the Apple vs Android comparisons to lower my expectations too much (where the Apple iPad2 purportedly is significantly superior in available applications).

    Possibly the main restriction would be that most applications require Internet, and this model of the Transformer is NOT 3G. Hence I need a wireless connection to get an Internet connection to get the most out of this Transformer.

    Some examples of applications I have used:
    • browser - it works great with Flash videos and many different web sites that have multimedia
    • Go to Inbox - an Email program where I have setup multiple smtp email accounts
    • Polaris Office - it works good with MS-Word, MS-Excel, and MS-Power point documents. Possibly my one criticism is it does not handle 'rich text format' (rtf) where we use that extensively where I work
    • Skype - I have used this to have a video conference with my mother who lives overseas. I was able to give her a tour of our appartment in Euro by just carrying the tablet around, pointing it at the different rooms in our appartment.
    • Stock Quote - This gives me quick stock quotes on a number of different exchanges
    • Exchange Rate - This gives me quick quotes on the current exchange rate
    • FS File Explorer - This file manager is superior to the 'stock' one that comes with the Transformer
    • AndFTP - this provides me FTP to my wife's FTP account, and also ssh into our LAN's desktop PCs
    • Weather applications (I use AccuWeather.com and wetter.com for Germany)
    • Google maps
    • Tablet Keyboard - the split thumb keyboard is much faster to use to type
    • DB Navigator - good for obtaining train schedules in Germany
    • OffiStations - good for obtain bus schedules in Germany where I live. One click on the icon and I can see when the next buses come at my local bus stop (I don't own a car)
    • iTirage - good for medical information
    • Traveler by FlightStats - this allows me to check aircraft departures and arrivals at selected airports. Its quite handy for this
    • Tourist language - this supports many different languages, providing key translation phrases with audio pronunciation examples
    • Merriam-WebsterDictionary - an english language dictionary
    • Real Calc - basic calculator
    • Fing - Network - very useful for examining the PCs on one's home LAN
    • PrintBot - allows me to print to my wireless HP printer from the Tablet
    • Camera - appliction for taking pictures
    • Mobo Player and MX Video Player - they point to different codec packages and are great for playing back videos


    I am constantly revising the above list.
    Updated 20-Nov-2011 at 07:38 by oldcpu
  7. oldcpu's Avatar
    I used my openSUSE-11.4 PC to create Video files to play on the Asus Transformer TF-101 B1.

    The key constraint here in this process is a suitable 'bit rate selection. The transformer struggles with 720p, and indeed even struggles with 480p if the bit rate is too high.

    I found a bit rate of 1000 Kb/sec on an h264 encoded video of 852x480 resolution works fine, but 1400 Kb/sec bit rate is too high (even for 852x480), and it causes a problem in the video and audio playback.

    Even though 852x480 is less than the resolution of the Transformer, it works sufficiently well and I believe I will use the program/script h264enc to reduce the videos that I wish to play on this device to 852x480 at 1000 KBit/sec bit rate.

    So I am quite happy with my capability to tune videos to play on the Asus Transformer (with openSUSE) and to copy the videos back/forth to/from the Transformer via a variety of transfer methods (ssh, USB stick, direct USB connection between PC and transformer, micro-sd-card).

    This is my 'last' in a series of comment posts on this Asus Transformer Blog entry (at least, last entry for now).
  8. malcolmlewis's Avatar
    Hi
    The latest version of libmtp (1.1.0) has the newer ID 0b05:4e3f and it seems to change if ASUS sync is running, also when in 'Recovery' mode it's ID is 0x18d1:4e3f
  9. Arac's Avatar
    To mount a device run:

    mtpfs <mount_point>

    To unmount do:

    fusermount -u <mount_point>

    Note that you may need to be root to do all this if permissions on the
    MTP device are not correct
  10. agt499's Avatar
    [QUOTE=malcolmlewis;bt246]
    The latest version of libmtp (1.1.0) has the newer ID 0b05:4e3f
    and it seems to change if ASUS sync is running, also when in
    'Recovery' mode it's ID is 0x18d1:4e3f [/QUOTE]

    Not sure whether this is as good a spot as any to query?
    I've had my transformer about 5 months, and early on when on the 3.1 firmware it came with, could use mtp-folders etc. from OS 11.4x64 happily.
    Since then I've been a total loss with these, and mtpfs, which is where I'd like to go to make it wife-friendly.

    I've tried the stuff above and a few other suggestions, with little luck. I'm happily getting stuff on and off via microSD or FTP, but a nice MTP connection from my favorite OS would be perfect -especially as I'm planning to get the wife to discard her iphone for something with ICS in the near term!
    Updated 04-Dec-2011 at 07:34 by oldcpu (attempted to, but failed to fix buggy quote formatting)
  11. oldcpu's Avatar
    As noted above, I have a 'B70' TF-101 which was purchased in USA, but I use this in Germany.

    Earlier yesterday, I was advised of a firmware update had been downloaded, and I selected to postpone the install.

    This evening I elected to install the update. I did NOT do a factory default restore before (which is suggested on an Asus Transformer forum as one way to possible reduce the probability of problems that may occur after the update).

    Timeline (HH:MM:SS):
    • 21:35:30 - integrity check - checking the integrity of your Firmware file
    • 21:36:50 - Power off (shutting down), followed by restart with a green Android outline, with gears turning, and a progress bar on the bottom moving from left to right
    • 21:41:30 - progress bar stopped at end, but green Android outline remained, with gears turning
    • 21:42:00 - restart, saw EE Pad menu
    • 21:42:16 - restart again, this time saw progress bar under EE pad menu
    • 21:42:30 - restart again, this time a very LONG reboot
    • 21:44:15 - obtained reboot message: Android is Updating, optimizing application 1 of 153 ... which then cycled slowly to application 153
    • 21:46:30 - Asus Update Service - Update Complete - 100% - 100/100
      I pressed on this, and i obtained the Android-4.0.3 desktop.


    I noted most apps worked. I had to re-install Google Maps. Skype had a problem with mic recording levels. I re-installed Skype and it worked better. I also had to re-install the accuweather app, which only partially helped. It turns out that app now works with Fahrenheit but not with degrees Centigrade.

    The update is to Android-4.0.3, kernel version 2.6.39.4, IML74K.us_epad-9.2.1.17-20120312.

    I have not yet seen the annoying behavour that a number of Asus Transformer users who updated to Ice Cream Sandwich have reported. I confess I tend to believe that applications that do not work well with Android-4.0.3 may be the cause of a number of the reported problems with the Transformer, as opposed to only the Asus Ice Cream Sandwich operating system implementation. But I guess time will tell as to where my opinion evolves.

    I still have not tested the apps that interface with my openSUSE desktop.
  12. oldcpu's Avatar
    A further note to this old blog entry ... its over a year later since I first started this blog ... and I note this Transformer Tablet is still working well.

    Currently for transferring files to/from openSUSE to this Tablet, I use wireless with the application AirDroid which IMHO has to be one of the better Android utility applications.

    AirDroid, to copy files, requires both Android Tablet and one's openSUSE PC be on the same WLAN. Then one launches AirDroid and it provides the user an IP address and password to access the Android Tablet. One types that IP address and Tablet into one's favoured openSUSE browser (Konqueror, Firefox, Opera, Chrome ... etc .. ) and one has a very intuitive user friend display in the browser, which provides a super file transfer utility.

    AirDroid is also available from Googleplay for an easy installation on one's Asus Transformer Tablet. I also have AirDroid installed on my Android Smart phone, and it works well with that device also.
    Updated 11-Nov-2012 at 00:13 by oldcpu
  13. agt499's Avatar
    Hi there.
    I note my Transformer is also working well, and can put another plug in for Airdroid as where I've settled for casual transfers.
    -Airdroid is very slick, and friendly enough to put a non-techie in front of. Extra points when using with my phone for being able to reply to text messages from my PC keyboard.
    -I still find transfers a bit slow, and as well executed as the interface is, it's not quite as nice as having a mount point you can use in Dolphin or from a command line. -I still tend to use SwiFTP (FTP server on Transformer) or plug the sdCard into PC when I have lots of music or video to move.
    -I hadn't actually tried mtpfs since putting a fresh 12.2 install on; just did and still no luck here.

    [QUOTE=oldcpu;bt599]A further note to this old blog entry ... its over a year later since I first started this blog ... and I note this Transformer Tablet is still working well.

    Currently for transferring files to/from openSUSE to this Tablet, I use wireless with the application [URL="http://airdroid.com/"]AirDroid[/URL] which IMHO has to be one of the better Android utility applications.

    [URL="http://airdroid.com/"]AirDroid[/URL], to copy files, requires both Android Tablet and one's openSUSE PC be on the same WLAN. Then one launches [URL="http://airdroid.com/"]AirDroid[/URL] and it provides the user an IP address and password to access the Android Tablet. One types that IP address and Tablet into one's favoured openSUSE browser (Konqueror, Firefox, Opera, Chrome ... etc .. ) and one has a very intuitive user friend display in the browser, which provides a super file transfer utility.

    [URL="http://airdroid.com/"]AirDroid[/URL] is also available from [URL="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sand.airdroid"]Googleplay[/URL] for an easy installation on one's Asus Transformer Tablet. I also have [URL="http://airdroid.com/"]AirDroid[/URL] installed on my [URL="http://www.zopomobileshop.com/en/51-zopo-500-libero-plus-mtk6577-dual-core-ics-smartphone.html"]Android Smart phone[/URL], and it works well with that device also.[/QUOTE]
  14. manuel_songokuh's Avatar
    hello
    i have asus tf101 with opensuse 12.2 and kde 4.9
    but your method is not sure and hard for new opensuse, but i find easy to use:
    kio-mtp for dolphin kde, i installed kio-mtp:
    http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/Unstable:/Playground/openSUSE_12.2/
    and plug in usb asus and start dolphin there is "mtp:/Transformer TF101/"
    this is clear and easy but kio-mtp is under develop and factory ok?
    this is good info and tested with mu asus is very worked 100% thank you