Google Nexus 7 2012 (asus-grouper)

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Google (ASUS) Nexus 7 (2012)
Google Nexus 7
Google Nexus 7
Manufacturer Google (ASUS)
Name Nexus 7 (2012)
Codename asus-grouper
Released 2012
Category testing
Original software Android 4.1.2 on Linux 3.0
Hardware
Chipset Nvidia Tegra 3 T30
CPU Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9
GPU ULP GeForce
Display 800x1280 IPS
Storage 8/16/32 GB
Memory 1 GB
Architecture armv7
Features
USB Networking
Works
Flashing
Works
Touchscreen
Works
Display
Works
WiFi
Works
Xwayland
Works
FDE
Mainline
Works
Battery
Works
3D Acceleration
Partial
Accelerometer
Works
Audio
Works
Bluetooth
Works
Camera
GPS
Partial
Mobile data
Unavailable
SMS
Unavailable
Calls
Unavailable
USB OTG


Maintainer(s)

  • okias

Contributors

  • antonok
  • pangelo

Users owning this device

  • 00p513 (Notes: Have new one!)
  • Antonok
  • Blitztide
  • BogdanTheGeek (Notes: E1565 no GSM)
  • Clamor (Notes: Running Unlegacy Android Project Nougat ROM -> tests available)
  • Eloy
  • Gull Code (Notes: OK,daily use with XFCE4)
  • Hilledkinged (Notes: Revived from corrupt bootloader)
  • Isot42 (Notes: OK PM269 version)
  • Maff (Notes: Multiple)
  • Nergzd723 (Notes: emmc dead, bct partition intact, possible to fusee-gelee)
  • Okias (Notes: OK, HW rev.E1565 (asus-tilapia))
  • Pangelo (Notes: original grouper (non-GSM) model)
  • Pojntfx
  • The Arjdroid (Notes: Impressive! Works with phosh & xfce4, but not daily driveable yet. It needs 3D acceleration for smoother UI, & firefox fix crashes. Great for running it as a no display server like a raspberry pi. Running with xfce4 can make it usable as a smart display like a calendar or something.)
  • Unah (Notes: grouper E1565 variant)


Variants

  • grouper rev. PM269 - without GSM (oldest)
  • grouper rev. E1565 - without GSM (modern revision)
  • tilapia rev. E1565 - with GSM


Do I have grouper or tilapia?

1 TWRP (adb shell) $ grep androidboot.baseband=unknown /proc/cmdline && echo grouper || echo tilapia

Which hardware revision of grouper do I have?

1 TWRP (adb shell) $ find /sys/devices/ | grep -c max776 && echo You have E1565
2 TWRP (adb shell) $ find /sys/devices/ | grep -c tps6591 && echo You have PM269

Flashing

How to enter flash mode

  • Connect a USB cable
  • Power the device off
  • Hold power + volume down
  • fastboot should work when the green android appears on the screen

Installation process

Preparing rootfs and flashing kernel:

1 $ pmbootstrap init
2 $ pmbootstrap install
3 $ pmbootstrap flasher flash_kernel

Flashing rootfs smaller than 650 MB

1 pmbootstrap flasher flash_rootfs

Flashing rootfs larger than 650 MB

NOTE: This may change size of your data partition. You can fix it by resizing partition in TWRP before flashing Android.

You should proceed very carefully here.

When rootfs is larger than 650 MB you can choose to flash it to the system partition or USERDATA partition (which is on Nexus always > 4 GB). This guide is intended will help you flash rootfs onto USERDATA partition.

Prerequisites: Official TWRP, at least version 3.3.1-0, binaries are here for grouper or tilapia.


First, start TWRP (hold power + volume up) and then continue with these instructions

1 (computer) $ pmbootstrap export
2 (computer) $ adb shell
3 (twrp) $ df # look for the data partition. should be something like /dev/block/mmcblk0p9 or p10 with /data next to it
4 (twrp) $ umount /dev/block/mmcblk0p__ <- fill partition number
5 (twrp) $ umount /dev/block/mmcblk0p__ <- fill partition number # again, it can be mounted as /sdcard and as /data
6 (computer again) $ adb push /tmp/postmarketOS-export/asus-grouper.img /dev/block/mmcblk0p__ <- fill partition number
  • grouper has likely data on /dev/block/mmcblk0p9 but make sure!
  • tilapia has likely data on /dev/block/mmcblk0p10 but make sure!

it's probably because tilapia has additional modem partition. If you're not sure, come to our Matrix channel and ask :)

Hardware status (mainline)

There is multiple hardware revisions, so this status may not apply to all of them. This status apply for tilapia (Bach revision).

Status Hardware Info
Y Booting ... but when is kernel larger than approx 4MB, initfs must be packed directly inside kernel (not into boot.img as usual), otherwise kernel won't boot. With downstream kernel it works.
Y Touchscreen Works.
Y USB Works.
Y SDHCI Works.
Y NFC wired, not tested yet. Please update if it'll work for you.
P GPS Pangelo works on it. Some progress been done. BCM4751
Y WiFi Wi-Fi works (best with IWD daemon: apk add iwd; rc-config del wpa_supplicant; rc-config add iwd; and HOWTO).
Y GPIO keys There is 3 keys on GPIO: Power, Volume up, Volume down.
Y Battery Driver works.
Y Charger Available since Linux 5.10
Y Bluetooth Works well, it has even BT 4.2, also BT 5.0 headphones works.
Y Sound sound also works, but require ALSA UCM configuration (for now you'll need to enable DACs and etc using alsamixer)

alsamixer -c 0 # and enable something like: "Speaker R" "Speaker L" "DAC MIXR INF1" "DAC MIXL INF1" "SPOL MIX DAC R1" "SPOL MIX DAC L1" "Stereo DAC MIXR DAC R1" "Stereo DAC MIXL DAC L1"

Y Temperature sensor temperature sensor works
Y Proximity sensor (tilapia only) Disabled, but works (boolean state, on/off). Would be nice to have this driver work with IIO framework (TODO)
Y Light sensor Driver Dyna-Image AL3010. Brightness regulation works, install iio-sensor-proxy . It's slightly oversensitive.
N Front camera
P 3D support See Nvidia_Tegra_2_(tegra20)#Graphics
N Modem (tilapia only) contribution welcome, no work done yet.

UI options

  • Phosh (mainline only): Purism Librem 5 compositor and GNOME based environment, needs performance optimization, but works.
  • Xfce4 (mainline only): Xfce4 is a GTK-based desktop environment aiming to be fast and lightweight. Needs performance optimization, but works. Follow the guide at https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/XFCE4 for adjustments.
  • Weston (on legacy): Boots on legacy kernel. Touchscreen is working.

Development Notes

Kernel

  • Up-to-date kernel, where tegra development ongoing.
  • Old Android kernels: LineageOS kernel sources Unlegacy kernel sources
  • Ubuntu Nexus 7 Kernel wiki (old, last updated 2012)
  • The default images for android provided by google have the bootloader broken, meaning it can't be flashed. It does not seem to affect the install process of PostMarketOS, but is something to take into account. If you need a working bootloader image version 4.23 can be found [here], or can be 4.18 can be grabbed from the factory images for KitKat

Graphics

  • The touchscreen input device is named elan-touchscreen.
  • (legacy) CONFIG_VT had to be enabled for graphics to work. In menuconfig this is located under Device Drivers -> Character devices -> Virtual terminal.
  • (legacy) /sys/class/graphics/fb0/mode is empty on boot, it must have U:800x1280p-0. This uses the same initfs hook as many other devices. Update: Seems to be correctly set now
  • (legacy) weston with fbdev-backend.so uses pixman-type=3 (PIXMAN_TYPE_ABGR), which now does not require configuration.

Wifi

  • There's a proper firmware subpackage now, wifi device should work out-of-the box.
  • "Desktop" Linux firmware are outdated. Check here for latest one.
  • To connect follow the instructions on this page.
  • (legacy)It is possible to manually get wifi working by manually copying fw_bcmdhd.bin and nvram.txt to their kernel-specified locations and configuring /etc/network/interfaces. At this point, running /etc/init.d/networking restart, gave an error about being unable to get a MAC address. After restarting the device to find that wifi Just Worked™, it was possible to successfully scan for wireless networks and establish a connection to secured wireless APs.

Pending Issues


Fun Fact

grouper was the first tablet to run postmarketOS!

See also

- dmesg logs from various tegra devices https://paste.sr.ht/%7Eokias