I have recently purchased a bq Aquaris m10 FHD, and I am looking to install the desktop version of dropbox, as well as the latest scrivener beta. The whole point of this tablet, was to have a tablet that could run normal desktop apps, but there seems to be no way to install .deb files.

The system doesn't seem to recognize them natively, and when I try to install through bash, I get errors telling me that the files or system are "read only" (even in root).

I've tried installing the ubuntu software center through bash to help, everything seemed to go ok, but it was no where to be found after installation, and the system still didn't recognize .deb files, even after restart.

Any suggestions would help.

Update (May 5): From what I have learned so far, I can't... Although the dpkg command does work in the command line (provided root has been remounted as rewritable), the packages I was trying to install rely on x84 architecture, and the bq Aquaris is arm. With that said, I have learned of an "emulator" called qemu that runs in the command line, and should be able to install and run the applications. But how to install it? that's another question.

If anyone can direct me in the right direction, it would be appreciated.

also the command to remount root is: sudo mount -o remount,rw /

You will have to re-enter this command any time you open a terminal, but doing so has allowed me to add repositories (that don't work), and run apt-get, and apt-get update... Whether or not it's wise to do so... I've been warned against it, but so far, I haven't done any harm. In any case, this is what I've learned so far on my own, and I think I'm heading in the right direction... or possibly not? Again any help is appreciated.

Update (July 15): I recently found out that Ubuntu's OTA-13 update will include an "experimental amd64 enablement". If this means what I think it means, then Ubuntu might finally be bringing full .deb package install support to the Aquaris m10, regardless of architecture. If anyone knows for certain, please let me know.

Update (August 18): The bad news is that I was way off base about the "amd64 enablement". Turns out that it was "arm64", which would allow 64 bit applications to run on 32 bit hardware. I guess I just read what I wanted to see.

The good news is that I am closing in on a real solution. The problem is not the arm hardware, but the operating system itself. .deb packages use root user permissions to install, and alter files into various system folders. In Ubuntu Touch, and Unity 8, many of these files, and folders are read only. As such the .deb package cannot write the necessary files to install the app. There is a way around this however.

Anyone who updated to OTA-11, or 12, probably noticed that their tablet, and desktop apps have been separated into two different scopes, libertine, or Desktop Apps (as it has recently been renamed). Libertine (as I understand it) is an application that allows X-11 applications to be installed into "containers" containing a minimal Ubuntu installation, which in turn allows the apps to run on Ubuntu Touch. This is how the default desktop applications like LibreOffice, GIMP, FireFox, and others were installed on the m10.

To install new apps, you have to create a new "container" using the command line tool libertine-container-manager. Note, this cannot be done from the terminal app on the m10 itself (assuming you installed it), as that app doesn't appear to have the ability to create or alter folders on the system. Rather, you will have to attach your m10 to an Ubuntu desktop using a USB cable. Then open a terminal window on your desktop, and use phablet-tools (assuming you installed them) to connect to your m10. Then you can use libertine-container-manager to create a new "container". Once that's done, use the command line again to install the .deb package into the "container". Refresh your Desktop Apps scope, and your new app should be there ready to use.

Sounds real simple, right! That's because I've left out all the technical jargon, and actual bash commands needed to make this work. I am far from a Linux guru, and am still working out the details for myself. The last thing I want is for somebody to read this, enter the wrong commands, and brick their tablet as I did mine (it took bq two months to undo my mess). If anyone has successfully tested this installation, I beg you to share. There are several applications I would love to install, and would deeply appreciate a detailed guide on how to do it.

In the interim, I've already read that Ubuntu is in the process of making all this more user friendly, and there are even plans to make the Software Center available to Ubuntu Touch (don't worry, I reread it to be sure). Until then, I will continue to look into this on my own, and when I'm sure that I know enough not to destroy my tablet, I will give it a try. I look forward to reporting my success, or dismal failure. Whichever.

  • There is a similar question there: askubuntu.com/questions/760142/… Maybe it helps a little: – JOnathanJOnes Apr 24 '16 at 9:03
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    I believe this tablet's OS is using ARM architecture. I suspect normal x86 deb files wouldn't work. – Lonnie Best Apr 24 '16 at 9:29
  • I have deleted both of your answers since they're information that should be in the question and are not actually answering it. So, please edit your question and incorporate the extra detail given in your answer. Don't mark it as "edit" or anything else, just write the question as you would have written it today so that if someone reads your post for the first time, they can understand the situation clearly. – terdon Aug 19 '16 at 10:43

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