Linux for Surface RT

Here you will find everything related to Linux on Surface RT

The 2 ways of booting

EFI Boot

EFI booting is the recommended and easier way of booting linux. Advantages is support of all 2 GB. Disadvantage is worse performance because of L2 cache, CPU Idle and missing Dynamic voltage & frequency scaling (DVFS).

You will need an USB drive to boot Linux. (SD card; not strictly required)

APX Boot

Using APX mode to boot Linux is harder. But you have a decent performace boost with it. The features that make the performance boost are CPU Idle, L2 cache and Dynamic voltage & Frequency scaling (DVFS). Disadvantages is the missing 1 GB memory.

You will need a USB A-to-A cable and an SD card.


  • Screen (LVDS encoder, backlight)

  • UART A

  • SD Card (+UHS-I mode)

  • USB

  • 2 GB DDR3 RAM (only 1 GB for APX)

  • eMMC

  • HDMI

  • Vol+/-, PWR, Windows Buttons

  • Touch-/Type-/Powercover (EFI only) (+ hotplug detection, suicide detector sensor hall effect lid sensor)

  • CPU temperatur sensors.

  • Wifi

  • Audio

  • Battery

What's Missing?

  • Hardware Acceleration

  • Bluetooth

  • Camera

  • Some sensors (e.g. rotation sensor)