My tweaks to get Kali Linux running well on the GPD Pocket

Mostly notes to myself, but hey, maybe it helps you too!

Get Kali for the GPD Pocket

I installed using re4son’s modified image from here.

Removing the GRUB splash screen (it’s sideways anyway, which looks horrible, and I’m not multibooting)

/etc/default/grub

GRUB_TIMEOUT=0
GRUB_BACKGROUND=""

Speeding up WiFi so it doesn’t lag if you SSH into the machine, and other power management tweaks

By default, Kali on the GPD Pocket will have some weird WiFi power saving mode enabled, which means that an incoming SSH session will feel very laggy unless the GPD is constantly sending data. The result is that an SSH session feels much smoother if you’re transferring a huge file at the same time, which is rather silly. A tool called “tlp” can disable the WiFi power saving.

apt-get install -y tlp
vim /etc/default/tlp

Firstly, disable WiFi power saving:
--------------
WIFI_PWR_ON_AC=off
WIFI_PWR_ON_BAT=off
--------------

Speed up the disk:
--------------
DISK_DEVICES="mmcblk0"
DISK_IOSCHED="deadline"
--------------

Less problems with USB devices that don't take well to being suspended:
--------------
USB_AUTOSUSPEND=0
--------------

I like to have the machine run cool even while on AC power:
--------------
CPU_HWP_ON_AC=balance_power
SCHED_POWERSAVE_ON_AC=1
SCHED_POWERSAVE_ON_BAT=1
ENERGY_PERF_POLICY_ON_AC=power
--------------

Making sure the screen turns properly off and back on again when closing and opening the lid

If the laptop is not set to sleep, the screen on mine didn’t shut off when closing the lid, and if I shut it off with a script, it would randomly turn back on due to magnetic interference from the magnets on the case, or on my bag, or on whatever else. I wrote a script to take care of this, with an autostart file to go along with it:

/root/bin/gpd-screen-watcher
/root/.config/autostart/gpd-screen-watcher.desktop

This is public domain.
gpd-screen-watcher needs to be executable 🙂

Some additional xorg config

This is from the page about running Arch Linux on the GPD Pocket:

/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/30-monitor.conf

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "DSI-1"
    Option "Rotate" "right"
EndSection

/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-trackpoint.conf

Section "InputClass"
    Identifier "GPD trackpoint"
    MatchProduct "SINO WEALTH Gaming Keyboard"
    MatchIsPointer "on"
    Driver "libinput"
EndSection

Done!

Have fun with Kali 😀

2 Comments

  • Nickelby says:

    Hi,

    Awesome tips. I am just wondering whether you noticed occasional slowdowns with gnome shell? E.g. when logging in just after starting up your GPD (after putting in root/password at the GDM login screen), a few seconds later you will see that it’s like the screen freezes however things are still working.

    Using top, htop or conky, I have noticed that gnome shell is the main culprit so would just like to ask if you have also noticed this and whether you have found a solution to it.

    FYI, I have another respun non-Kali Linux running on another GPD also running GNOME but it does not show such behaviour. And yes, I have reinstalled Kali Pocket a few times 🙂

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