Vintage laptop Asus x205ta supported?

The Asus x205ta laptop dates back to 2015. It still is a fine, small and lightweight machine. It is able to run 64-bit code, but it uses UEFI32 to start the OS. That is a problem if you want to run Lubuntu c.s.

Some distros still provide a 32-bit OS version, e.g. SparkyLinux (with LXQt). So, luckily I am able to use the laptop with a modern OS, but not with Lubuntu.

I’ve read a lot about the Asus x205ta. There is the ‘harry’-initiative (Asus X205TA hardware support in Ubuntu) which supports its weird combination of a UEFI32 boot loader with a 64-bit code OS, and addresses specific hardware issues if the device.

Anyone got experience with this?

Update: After reading a respons (from kc2bez), it may turn out that I’ve just generated a false alarm here. I will retry installing Lubuntu 22.04 using a different USB-stick, before diving into the realm of respun isos of e.g. harry or linuxium… (see a response below).

Did you try to install Lubuntu and not have success? I remember working in the early days on this with a tester that had a similar setup. The Lubuntu installer was able to use the 32bit EFI and still install the 64bit system. Is that not the case now?

Based on the following:

Looks like the developer who posted above has a special script for using 32-bit grub to install 64-bit Ubuntu. This implies the default Ubuntu isos do not work with 32-bit UEFI.

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@kc2bez I did try to install 22.04 (ofcourse). I got an error message somewhere. Speaking from memory, at 77% completion. I guess I am not the only one with this neat machine (x205ta), and I really love Lubuntu (although running SparkyLinux with LXQt is a good alternative). I will try it again (soon), and provide further details.

@thethick I was sitting in the garden while writing the first post. I was too lazy to go inside and find the link on my desktop pc to the blog which trails already many years questions and solutions with regard to the x205ta machine. I’ve updated the first post, and it now includes the link I’d referred to.

Thanks for the effort of providing the linixium-link. I have not yet tried neither of the proposed solutions, but will try each of them, if Lubuntu 22.04 indeed does not work on my x205ta machine (read my update above). Thanks for your response.

As follow-up to my earlier answer to @kc2bez: I did try to install L22.04 (ofcourse), but my mind boggled. The earlier reported progress-halt at about 77% was not Lubuntu (but some other distro I’d tried after that). As I recall it now, the x205ta was not able at all to boot Lubuntu from stick. At least, the boot mechanism continously fell back to the second option (the actual installed outdated OS). I still want to give it a second chance. If the situation differs, I’ll let you know.

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If you have a failure we might be able to see what went wrong if you can paste a log somewhere.

I think the issue is laid out pretty clear in the link I posted above. 22.04 Ubuntu and flavors are not built with 32-bit bootloaders. Either use an older version (not recommended) …not sure how far back but likely back when 32-bit was supported or apply the changes for 32-bit grub shown in the link I provided.

I have one these 32-bit UEFI Atom machines that supports 64-bit. Right now it has only dead HDD storage so it boots an old USB Live Puppy Linux. I can probably swap in an old HDD or SSD sometime next week and see if I can get Lubuntu with 32-bit grub to install.

This is a case where we don’t do things the same as the other flavors. We do a little check to see what firmware is in play and install the right grub-efi hopefully.


I appreciate all the comments so far. Since it is high summer in my part of the world, and the Asus x205ta is my primary system (a true laptop indeed), I’ll have to postpone any further action to get things up and running (Lubuntu that is). I don’t want to ruin my summer :smiley:

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While it is still high summer in the part of the world where I live, my summer was ruined anyhow (referring to my previous post). 'T was time to part from my old friend, the Asus x205ta laptop.

After reviving this 32-bit UEFI beast with 32-bit SparkyLinux (read above why), finally the day arrived to say goodbye to this “lap-top in the true sense”. I’ve replaced it with a system based on the Intel N4020 SoC (Asus m415xa). Again a budget machine, but full HD this time, with ‘normal’ RAM and SSD. An upgraded companion for my lap while I am sitting in the garden :slight_smile:

Having been getting used to Debian based SparkyLinux recently - more or less involuntary - on my previous laptop, it was my first choice to install. Everything works great out of the box, except for Wifi. Chicken-or-egg… after ‘borrowing’ a mainstream Wifi USB-stick I was able to use the internet on the new beast, search a bit on the net, and install the missing rtl8821ce kernel module quickly.

No, I am not fully parting from Lubuntu, and yes, this discourse is about Lubuntu and not SparkyLinux. I have not tested the new laptop with Lubuntu 22.04 yet. Maybe the Wifi-on-a-Soc is working without further ado. If not, I will gladly give hints how to add the driver.

I read that this was available for 16.04 but was discontinued sometime after.

This link is a bit old, maybe it still works with 22.04 (?)

Broadly speaking, you hack the installer usb to be able to boot
uefi 32. Then it installs the distro and you expect a grub
error. Then you reboot the usb but get it to load the OS instead.
Then you fix grub, and get it to fix your boot to uefi 32.

Essentially there are two extra things you need.

  1. The 32-bit efi loader EFI/boot/bootia32.efi
    which enables the 32-bit boot.
    (some people get this from debian iso’s but the link on the
    above site is still active.)

2) The package grub-efi-ia32-bin
which enables grub updates for a 32-bit boot.
(you’ll need this for future grub updates).

Thank you for your help. Appreciated very much. As you may have read, I’ve just recently moved on to new hardware. In the same tradition: same mark, not too expensive and not too performant, but “good enough” for browsing or even a little coding on the terrace in the shade.

My dearly beloved previous laptop, the beautiful and small Asus x205ta has a few problems, which until recently did not bother me too much. The battery is not charging any more (already since years), the flat-cable connection of the screen has some problems. Besides that, the little beast tends to stall when ambient temperature is above 32 degrees Celsius. After I’ve moved permanently to another part of the continent where the climate is more unforgiving, this is very annoying and finally the reason to move on.

I will keep the x205ta, and when winter comes I will find the time to put Lubuntu 22.04 on it. I will keep the community informed. Sure there are more people who love this tiny small-form-factored machine, and want to keep using it with a good OS for years to come.



Jun 29

I really love Lubuntu (although running SparkyLinux with LXQt is a good alternative).

I use SparkyLinux LXQT and I use Lubuntu 22.04.1 and both are excellent Linux distros.

SparkyLinux on my desktops use less system resources then Lubuntu although haven’t bothered to find out why as I don’t care why.

I understand sticking with a particular distro but if distro A works OOTB and distro B doesn’t work OOTB it’s a no brainier which I’m going to use.

My 2bits.

Cheers :smiley:

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