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Re: Debian GNU/Linux on tablet hardware

> > Recently i bought a very nice tablet with the following specifications:
> >
> > Chipset   : InfoTMIC IMAPX210 ARM11
> > Speed     : 1000 MHz
> > Memory    : 512 MB
> > Storage   : 4 GB.
> > Expansion : MicroSD™ expandable up to 64 GB total (2 x 32 GB)
> I may be wrong but iirc, imapx210 is yet an other cheap cinese arm SoC
> with *no* support in mainline kernel. This means that you may be able to
> use a chroot or you can try booting debian armel with the kernel
> provided on the system but not use a full debian armel (kernel+userspace
> and maybe uboot). Expect also some troubles if it requires proprietary
> drivers to work.
> I can't say more as the way to do it and troubles you'll get into are
> system specifics.

Hi Arnaud,

I'm new to the ARM and GNU/Linux world and would love to learn more
about the issues you mention. Any good links?

At the moment i'm working on a (my) FreedomBox, for this i have upgraded
my QNAP TS119 NAS with Debian GNU/Linux. Works like a charm!  

> > I think the hardware of this tablet can also be used as a server or
> > desktop computer. The tablet is mass produced and very cheap (i got mine
> > for 149 euro). Maybe we can order only the circuit board and build a
> > nice Debian GNU/Linux ARM computer around it? 
> For that price, to make a server, I would rather buy a loco board or any
> other development board rather than relying on hardware with a SoC
> without manual and support in mainline kernel. For desktop, things may
> be more complicated as most gpu on arm SoC are relying on proprietary
> drivers for 2d/3d.

These boards are not mass produced which makes them relatively
expensive. Hardware that is not mass produced has some other issues,
namely availability and vendor lock-in (At the moment the FreedomBox
Foundation is using hardware from GlobalScale Technologies for their
prototype development. Things are not going smooth...) 

I think it must be possible to buy an android motherboard for just a
fraction of the price that i paid for my tablet. Why is relying on
hardware with a SoC such a bad idea? If the SoC is popular it will not
go out of production for a long time. A motherboard without a SoC can
replace any IO chip with an undocumented chip for which there is no

B.T.W. I fully agree that a SoC for which there is no
manual/documentation or one that comes with an NDA is unacceptable.

Friendly greetings
Rob van der Hoeven


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