Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10 point 1 and other LineageOS Tablets
Here's a story about making an old Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (GT2-10.1) still relevant today. Most of the thanks has to go to the folks at LineageOS and the other people that maintain repositories for Apps (AKA Programs) and are not Google, plus the people that created the TWRP (TeamWin Recovery Project, which has nothing directly to do with Microsoft Windows).
Test Subject - Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
Model Name: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 WiFi tablet
Model #: GT-P5113
- CPU / SoC (according to Wikipedia for the P5100 model): 1.0 GHz TIOMAP4430 dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 SoC processor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung_Galaxy_Tab_2_10.1)
- List of ARM CPU Architectures: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ARM_microarchitectures
- ARM Cortex-A9 Series: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_Cortex-A9
- ARM v7 Comparison: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_ARMv7-A_processors
NOTE: The entire A9 / v7 naming 'confusion' has to do with the fact that it isn't just a CPU, but rather a SoC (System on a Chip, IE, more than just a CPU)
- Additional CPU / SoC Information (from App / Program on device, CPU-X (slightly different than CPU-Z, in that "Z" is for Android, "X" is for Windows): 1.0 GHz ARM v7 rev 3 (v71) on OMAP4 Piranha / Espresso Board (EspressoWiFi)
- GPU: PowerVR SGX 540 (800px X 1280px or 1280px X 800px, depending on orientation)
- RAM (Memory): 1 GB
- Storage (Internal): 16 GB
- Storage (Micro SD / Secure Digital Card): Up to 32 GB
- OS (from LineageOS): Android 7.1.2 (Nougat)
Don't(s) - IE: Things You Should NOT Do
First some don't(s). Yes, it's as important what you don't do as what you do in this instance.
- Do NOT install Google Play Services (causes performance issues, 100% CPU usage on the GT2-10.1)
- Do NOT install Google Chrome (because it "requires" Google Play Services. And to be clear, the statement Google makes about "requiring" Google Play Services for Chrome to run is not accurate. They have chosen to make it such that Chrome will not run without Google Play Services, but could run without the service. Sort of like it does on Windows, Linux, etc.
- Do NOT install Magisk (this may be different for other models and nothing against the Magisk software, it causes 100% CPU usage on the GT2-10.1
- Do NOT install Firefox 92.x - 97.x (as of testing, 91.4 was the latest supported version that would function correctly on the GT2-10.1): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefox_version_history
Do(s) - IE: Things You SHOULD Do
If you've got your device just the way you want it and are considering doing something like 'rooting it', consider doing a backukp using TWRP
It's all laid out here (so won't be repetative): https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/espressowifi/install Most of these instructions have to do with installing utilities on Windows, connecting the device, etc.
TWRP: This is roughly equivalent to a modern UEFI on PCs. It's more than a BIOS setup utility in that it is like a mini-OS that has a lot of useful features. TWRP for the GT2-10.1 seems to only go up to version 184.108.40.206. However, there were indications that 220.127.116.11 would work on "EspressoWiFi" Devices, and it does. There isn't any explicit information on TWRP 3.5.X not being compatible with Android 7 devices, but the indications seem to be that 3.5.x is for newer devices with most of the work devoted to working with those devices rather than bug fixes.
If one already has TWRP installed, it's easy to update new images of LineageOS, except that there aren't any for the GT2-10.1. So it's just for backups and restoring backups really.
Apps and Programs
X-Plore: A really great Windows style File Utility that has LAN capability too (IE, easy file transferring with Windows (SMB, Samba, etc.). Plus it isn't all "Appled Up", so it has real functionality.
Firefox: As noted above, as of 02.2022, don't go past version 91.x
CPU-X: Lots of information, but has ads.
VNC Server: Yup, that's right, the tablet can be controlled from Windows. droidVNC-N The only down side is that it doesn't capture / or do keyboard input.
APKPure: And of course an easy way to install Apps / Programs without Google Play Store.
Task Manager by KSoft: Simple, powerful, doesn't take up a whole bunch of CPU cycles just to display CPU usage
Task Manager by Neon: Not as good as the above one, but does have a great utility for controlling and disabling Apps / Programs
SSH Server by XNano: Needs to have root capability to be useful.
In order to enter / run / start the TWRP, do the following;
- Make sure device is charged, hopefully to 100%
- Unplug device
- Press the "Volume Down" Button (see note below) and HOLD, then press the Power Button and HOLD. Keep holding until the Samsung displays, then release both buttons about 2 seconds after Samsung logo is displayed
- VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The "Volume Down" Button is closest to the Power Button. No it isn't, you say. Yes it is according to documentation labeling it as "Volume Down" OR something being mis-wired by Samsung OR holding the Tablet upside down.
- Another Important Note: If the device is plugged in (via USB cable), that seems to disable any and all functionality of the volume button, negating the ability to use is as a 'boot modifier'. IE, do NOT have it plugged in when attempting to boot into TWRP.
This method is mentioned on the LineageOS website, and they an "undo" that doesn't involve restoring a previous image: https://www.lineageosrom.com/2017/01/download-supersuzp-and-su-removalzip.html
But it doesn't work and causes that 100% CPU usage issue. So it appears there's no hope for rooting the GT2-10.1