Tony's ramblings on Open Source Software, Life and Photography

Installing Ubuntu on the Archos 9 Tablet

Why bother with a locked-in iPad if you're a true technohead, when you can install Ubuntu on the Archos 9 Internet Tablet? The Archos 9 has several flaws, mostly surrounding the installed software. People say it's slow, but really with something other than "Windows Starter" it's actually pretty peppy. The internal hard drive is a bit slow, so I replaced mine with an SSD so I don't have to worry about a physically spinning drive anymore in my hands, and I get better performance.

Installing Ubuntu on it isn't for the weak kneed, but it's not that tough either. Here's a step by step to get you up and running.

Get Ubuntu

First, you'll need a working Ubuntu desktop, and the the ISO file to the Ubuntu Lucid Netbook Edition. No, it's not called "Remix" anymore.

Use the "Startup Disk Creator" under the administration tools on your desktop to install that ISO on a USB stick making it a bootable USB device.

Attach a USB hub to the Archos 9, along with a keyboard and mouse. Some tutorials may tell you to install a Linux-friendly USB wireless card, but that's not necessary - I'll show you how to install the wireless drivers from the USB stick later.

At first the touchscreen won't work, which is why we'll want the keyboard and mouse. Plug your new Ubuntu Netbook Edition USB stick into the usb hub as well and boot up your Archos.

Install Ubuntu just like you would on any other device. Be sure to tell it to automatically log you in at boot.

After install, remove the USB stick temporarily and boot into your new install. Your screen will be a bit stretched at first, but we'll get to video drivers in a minute.

Installing Wireless Drivers (the easy way)

After booting, plug the USB stick back into the hub. On the Archos, pick "System" then scroll down to "Synaptic Package Manager." Yes, the scroll bar seems backwards because it's designed for a touch screen.

After Synaptic opens, go to "Settings" and "Software Sources." On the "Ubuntu Software" tab, uncheck everything. On the "Other Software" tab add the following repository:

deb file:///media/Ubuntu lucid main restricted

Close the "Software Sources" dialog and click "Reload".

Search for the following package and install it:


Afterwards, remove the USB stick and reboot. Now the wireless will work.

Installing Video Drivers

After rebooting go back into Synaptic, on the "Ubuntu Software" tab check "main", "universe", "restricted" and "multiverse". On the "Other Software" tab uncheck the "file" line we just added and now add this repository:


Close and click "Reload".

Search for "poulsbo" and install the following packages:


While in there, let's install a couple of other accessibility apps we will likely want such as:


Preventing xorg Crashes

Now it gets a bit tougher. We want to open a console under "Accessories".

We need to set a few options in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Make yours include the following:
Section "Device"
     Identifier    "Configured Video Device"
     Driver        "psb"
     Option        "ShadowFB"  "True"
     Option        "DRI"       "off"

Also, edit your grub startup line:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

Make sure the "GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT" line looks like this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash mem=980mb i8042.nomux=1"

The last bit of that may or may not be needed. I also set "GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=5" so I can easily pull up the recovery boot menu if I completely toast xorg. You may want to do that as well, but it will make your Archos boot slower.

Now do:

sudo update-grub

Installing Touchscreen Drivers

In the console enter the following:

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

Arrow down to just before the "exit 0" line and add the following line:

echo -n "serio_raw" > /sys/bus/serio/devices/serio1/drvctl

Press "ctrl-x" and hit "Y" to save your changes.

Continuing in the console enter the following to install the touchscreen driver:

tar -zxvf eGalaxTouch*
cd eGalaxTouch32

Select PS/2 by pressing 2 when asked.

Calibrating the Touchscreen

Now, restart, and after booting open a console and enter:

sudo eGalaxTouch
This will let you calibrate the touchscreen. On the "Tool" tab click "Linearization" and pick 25 points. It will then step you through calibrating the screen.

You can now use the "Keyboard Shortcuts" application in the System menu to define your hardware buttons.

There you go, you should now be able to remove the USB hub, keyboard and mouse and boot your new tablet. Most of this could probably be placed into a script, but at this point the Poulsbo driver is unstable enough I think that unleashing it on the average joe without enough experience to go through this list would be dangerous.


The eGalaxyTouch drivers cause xorg to crash when you connect any new keyboard devices after booting. If anyone has any information on how to fix this, please post it in the comments!

Knut's picture

Poulsbo working 3D & touchpad

Hey, thanks for this nice tutorial! I'm wondering about 2 things:
1) Do you have *full* Poulsbo acceleration, also 3D? I installed the yvesdm3000 way, and now I seem to have semi-acceleration (2D is a lot faster than in VESA, but 3D, glxgears etc is slow as hell!). Also loaded and compiled pretty much everything VA-API, but mplayer with -vo vaapi just returns a -1 error and does not seem to recognize the Poulsbo as valid VAAPI GPU... I'm wondering if installing it via PPA like you did fully works (and circumvents the xorg 1.7.6 bug that yvesdm3000 posted in the archosfans-thread!)

2) the micro-touchpad won't work. and it seems I'm not the only one with that problem. Does it work for you?

tony's picture

1) - Nope - 2D only. I even

1) - Nope - 2D only. I even tried the "fix" PPA to no avail. I wasn't that interested in video and 3D though, so I haven't stressed over it.

2) - That's correct, it does not work. It appears that the touchscreen and micro-touchpad are sharing the same device interface, and since we are having to force it to be a PS/2 device in Linux it's dumping the touchpad portion. The mouse buttons on the left edge don't work either, and they don't report any input at all that I can detect anywhere. I've emailed the touch screen creators with a few bug reports / questions regarding their Linux drivers and haven't heard back yet.

Knut's picture


That explains it all, both devices on the same interface, ofcourse, thx! ;-) Gonna shoot off a mail to the eGalax guys myself to show them there's demand for this! I think that micro-touchpad is really neat, i prefer it to the touchscreen actually in most usage scenarios, so I really want this to work! Btw: did you notice it actually works in GRUB? ;-) Select your option with the micro-touchpad, confirm with mousebuttons!

btw: yvesdm3000 elaborates a bit more on the whole FullGL/Xorg bug issue over on the archosfans forum...

tony's picture

Didn't try it in Grub, but

Didn't try it in Grub, but doesn't surprise me. Until the rc.local runs and sets the driver type to serial, the micro-touchpad works like a mouse.

I've sent them my crash logs and a video of how you can crash Xorg by plugging in a USB mouse or keyboard. Hopefully I'll hear back something in a few days on that.

yvesdm3000's picture

Nice howto! If you want

Nice howto!

If you want opengl working, you can go for the gma500/fix repository. It now has the driver that overcomes the xorg bug.

In a couple of days I'll start doing some quality tests as I seem to notice a lot of people are having issues with the OpenGL part and it is working pretty well here. Don't forget to replace the netbook-launcher with the EFL version, works much better and is a nice launcher for touchpads (nice big icons to tap). There is also a stability reason why you should do that!

For the little mouse at the right, you are right it is not yet working. As soon as all the poulsbo stuff is tackled, I'll start working on that. I want to make an evdev driver instead of all those module stuff and kernel parameters...


someonenone's picture

Ubuntu ARM Install

Nice walkthrough on installing Ubuntu on Archos 9 Tablet. Do you know if Ubuntu can be installed on Archos 5 Internet Tablet? If so how, and would you post a walkthrough? Thank you!

s3a's picture

I would like to know that

I would like to know that too!

Cynthia's picture


Jolicloud wifi works out of the box. I'm following the touchscreen directions now to see if it will work. I don't see much of a difference with jolicloud and lucid for using terminal to tweak them.

jolicloud 2's picture

i have jolicloud as well sng

i have jolicloud as well sng my video works out of the box so i only followed ur instructions on installing the touch screen driver now egalax is trying to run the calibration but it freezes and my terminal keeps saying bad window and bad drawable

any ideas?

Cynthia's picture

Jolicloud FAIL

Not a fan of jolicloud. I've got everything working on Linux Mint 9 EXCEPT touchscreen. (Again). I got as far as calibration. I rebooted opened terminal again and when i type in sudo eGalaxTouch it says sudo: eGalaxTouch: command not found
Any idea what that is all about?

tony's picture

Well you'd have to install

Well you'd have to install the eGalax driver first - and if you've done that perhaps the executable it installs isn't in your default path. You'll need to find the eGalaxTouch executable file and call it with full path.

Anonymous n00b's picture

On screen keyboard

How do you get an on screen keyboad that appears when you need it and dissapears when you exit a textbox?

Anonymous n00b's picture

What about this note that

What about this note that comes with the touch drivers:

If the kernel module "usbhid" , "touchkitusb" or "usbtouchscreen" is loaded for USB touch device, the user has to modify the mouse setting in the file "xorg.conf" as well to prevent from the mouse driver read the data from the specified device node.
For details, please see the driver guide in the driver package.

Anonymous n00b's picture

performance improvement

Before I take the jump, I'd like to know if there is a noticeable performance improvement. Thanks!

tony's picture

Noticeable over Windows?

Noticeable over Windows? Absolutely in my opinion - but this is NOT for the faint of heart. It requires some pretty geeky knowledge to get working at this point.

chris's picture

Archos, networking problem

Hello, I just install Ubuntu 10.10, as you describe, but in my first boot I dont have wired internet connections (ethernet) to follow the next steps. I think that the problem must be in driver card. Thank you!

tony's picture

10.10 isn't going to work

10.10 will work with networking, but the touchscreen drivers available today won't work. You'll need 10.04.

And yes, on your first boot you won't have internet - that's why you must mount the USB stick as a repository and use it to install the broadcom wireless driver.

Anonymous n00b's picture

If your USB boot drive isn't

If your USB boot drive isn't named Ubuntu, you'll need to replace that part of the following code snippet with the name of the drive, or the wireless driver install won't work.

So, if your drive is something like: E430-1567 your other software string will be:

deb file:///media/E430-1567 lucid main restricted

instead of:

deb file:///media/Ubuntu lucid main restricted

Anonymous n00b's picture

eGalaxTouch - No Touch Controller Found

I have everything else up and running with no problem on 10.10 netbook edition....

The problem is, no matter what I do, i cannot get the touchscreen drivers to work, all I get is No Touch Controller Found.

Any Ideas? I don't want to have to go back to windoze to get anything done.

tony's picture

I tried 10.10 and found that

I tried 10.10 and found that their driver didn't support the newer Xorg in that version of Ubuntu. If you roll back to 10.04 you should be successful.

Anonymous n00b's picture

I have email to eGalax_eMPIA

I have email to eGalax_eMPIA Technology Inc. And he give me the answer:"Dear Sir,

The attached is beta version X module for X server 1.9.

After install driver, please replace it on /usr/lib/xorg/module/input.

If you have any problem about our product, you can contact us again."
Now my archos9 can run ubuntu10.10 with touchscreen!Rock it! His email is

Anonymous n00b's picture

The touchscreen can run now

They have new beta version X module for X server 1.9 now.After I install it.The touchscreen can run !You can just mail to eGalax_eMPIA Technology Inc.They will give you a surprise!
And I want to know how to have Unity UI in archos9?

Piero Lourenco's picture

Touch archos 9

No touch controller found error too!!

Any ideas ?


leijae's picture


i'm getting this

100%[=====================================================================================================>] 9,547,263 27.5K/s in 2m 58s

2010-11-19 12:04:58 (52.4 KB/s) - `eGalaxTouch-3.01.4001-32b-k26.tar.gz.2' saved [9547263/9547263]

root@dorothy-jolicloud:/home/dorothy# tar -zxvf eGalaxTouch*
tar: eGalaxTouch-3.01.4001-32b-k26.tar.gz.1: Not found in archive
tar: eGalaxTouch-3.01.4001-32b-k26.tar.gz.2: Not found in archive
tar: Exiting with failure status due to previous errors
root@dorothy-jolicloud:/home/dorothy# cd eGalaxTouch32
bash: cd: eGalaxTouch32: No such file or directory
root@dorothy-jolicloud:/home/dorothy# ./

any thoughts?

tony's picture

Try typing out the full name

Try typing out the full name of the .tar.gz file. Sounds like you have multiple files existing that start with "eGalaxTouch".

So do something like:

tar -zxvf eGalaxTouch-3.01.4001-32b-k26.tar.gz.2

(you might need to rename it to remove the .2 that your browser added)

leijae's picture

video playback

tony, great walkthrough.

could you help me fix this video problem? skip to 4:35.

tony's picture

I installed the mplayer from

I installed the mplayer from the poulsbo PPA and get very nice video playback for about 95% of the files I have. Certain formats still sucked though due to whatever they were transcoded as.

But I'll admit - I never planned on using this device for video. It's a substitute laptop when I travel.

Ryan's picture

Trouble configuring wireless networking

I recently downloaded Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 from Ubuntu's website.

Then I used the USB bootdisk creator software from Ubuntu's website in Windows 7 Starter (which comes on the Archos 9 OOTB) to create a bootable USB key. Note that the software named the USB drive "PENDRIVE".

After the initial install of Ubuntu, I get to the section in your blog about mounting the USB drive as a local repository in order to install the wireless networking. I entered the following information:

deb file:///media/PENDRIVE lucid main restricted

Unfortunately, that did not work as the location could not be found. So I browsed the USB key and tt appears that there is no folder named "lucid", but there is one named "maverick". So, I changed the name from lucid to maverick and tried again. This produced a different error about some sources tar file missing. Again, I browsed the USB key and the referenced sources folder was in-fact empty. (Sorry for being vague, the Archos 9 is not in-front of me right now)

Even after that error, the add repository task appeared to complete, but the bcmwl-kernel-source was nowhere to be found.

Anyone else have any ideas? Thanks.

bmullan's picture

re - no folder named "lucid" fyi Ubuntu 10.10 is named "meerkat"

you said you were using the Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10.

10.04 was called Lucid

10.10 is called Meerkat

Check for "meerkat" but I would assume you will need to change the line to:

deb file:///media/PENDRIVE meerkat main restricted

Anonymous n00b's picture

I found a message in the

I found a message in the dmesg on 10.10 saying to go to a page and ended up at

I followed that and it worked.

Anonymous n00b's picture

Keyboard device after booting ?

The eGalaxyTouch drivers cause xorg to crash when you connect any new keyboard devices after booting. ?

This looks like Gnome-issue and not the driver issue, because this happens with gnome but not with xfce.

Anonymous n00b's picture


Any one have any luck with the WEBCAM. I can get it to take pics, but it does not dsiplay what it is pointing at.

Anonymous n00b's picture

the link for eGalaxTouch is

the link for eGalaxTouch is out off date may this works
may somebody can check this?
have fun

very nice tutorial

TJ Smith's picture

New Link for eGalaxTouch (as at 08/10/2011)

Just trying to install Ubuntu on my Archos and noticed the drivers link for eGalaxTouch is out of date and the command wont work.

The new link for the command is below:

Thanks Tim

Duong Dang's picture

Works with ubuntu 10.10

Thanks for the tutorial, it works with Maverick, to calibrate the touch panel you'll have to download the experimental ".so" here:
or just mail eeti.

Yves De Muyter's picture

You should now find a

You should now find a PSB-driver with Xv-support so your webcam should work better now.


Donny Algieri's picture

Touchscreen Problems

ok im having trouble installing the touchscreen drivers i get up to the step were you have to install the driver while continuing in the console first off im confused on how to continue in console? and second when i enter the code it gives me a error message is there a different way to do this or can somone walk me threw step by step thanks alot!!!

paul's picture

Archos 9 Hard Drive

What model SSD hard drive did you replace it with?

tony's picture

I don't recall right off the

I don't recall right off the top of my head - I do know I had to search around though because it has a special interface port instead of the SATA that most devices use now.

Anonymous n00b's picture

10.04 Touch Controller Not Found

Did everything for 10.04. Tried to calibrate and got a "Touch Controller Not Found" -- any thoughts?

Mehdi's picture

When i try to install the

When i try to install the Touchscreen Drivers ihave this error

(Q) Which interface controller do you use ?
(I) [1] RS232 [2] PS/2 [3] USB : 2
(I) Using interface : PS/2
(I) Configure PS/2 aux driver.
(I) Removed eGalaxTouch driver archive from /usr/local/eGalaxTouch32.
(I) Removed eGalaxTouch utility shortcut.
(I) Removed TKCal tool shortcut.
(I) Removed X module.
(E) No PS2 mouse driver found.

How can i fix that? thanks