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Linux ultra portable tablet with pen input and hardware keyboard

Using Surface Go 2 with 4G/LTE, Debian GNU/Linux and i3wm

Sep. 28, 2020 -

Earlier this year I tried to create my own tablet operating system by installing Debian GNU/Linux on a Microsoft Surface Go tablet. I learned a great deal about what I like about tablets. But I still preferred my iPad Pro, mainly because of its polished user experience. This time I set out to refine my tablet software to replace my iPad.

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Thunar file explorer (left) and GIMP (right) in visual harmony - create a uniform look by matching colours, icons and fonts
Thunar file explorer (left) and GIMP (right) in visual harmony - create a uniform look by matching colours, icons and fonts
The systemd setting “AllowSuspendThenHibernate” in sleep.conf enables you to define a timeout between suspending to RAM and suspending to disk (hibernation)
The systemd setting “AllowSuspendThenHibernate” in sleep.conf enables you to define a timeout between suspending to RAM and suspending to disk (hibernation)
Debian GNU/Linux with i3wm (“aka WillemOS”) running on Surface Go 2
Debian GNU/Linux with i3wm (“aka WillemOS”) running on Surface Go 2
The Surface Go 2 is a serious tool, capable of powerful things when you connect to the cloud (using a terminal, MOSH and tmux)
The Surface Go 2 is a serious tool, capable of powerful things when you connect to the cloud (using a terminal, MOSH and tmux)
Microsoft Surface hardware is popular because it’s genuinely nice
Microsoft Surface hardware is popular because it’s genuinely nice
Configure the LidSwitch (in systemd’s login.conf) to automatically suspend and resume when you close the Surface type cover, I have configured it to suspend-then-hibernate using a timeout
Configure the LidSwitch (in systemd’s login.conf) to automatically suspend and resume when you close the Surface type cover, I have configured it to suspend-then-hibernate using a timeout

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CreatingDesignExperimentLinuxMinimalSSHTablet