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Re: Debian GNU/Linux on tablet hardware

Wysłane z iPhone'a

Dnia 28 paź 2011 o godz. 17:05 Jeremiah Foster <jeremiah@jeremiahfoster.com> napisał(a):

> On Oct 28, 2011, at 16:37, Phil Endecott wrote:
>>> Hardware that is not mass produced has some other issues,
>>> namely availability and vendor lock-in
>> You think that your tablet is going to have better availability and less lock-in
>> than a board from Freescale or TI?  That seems unlikely to me.  Look at the
>> BeagleBoard; it would be hard to find any smartphone or tablet device that has
>> been available for as long as that has.
> Absolutely. And in the near term future the Beagleboards main CPU (an OMAP 3) is going to continue to be used commercially in Nokia's phones likely ensuring that the OMAP 3 CPU is supported for a number of years. A beagleboard is a good investment with a healthy software and hardware ecosystem. And they're cheap ~$125 US.
>>> 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 do you think that?  I have personally never seen an "Android motherboard"
>> offered for sale at all, let alone for a low price.
> Android's Linux kernels are supported (maintained?) by Linaro.

With my Linaro hat on I must object. Depending on what you meant the statement above is either highly inaccurate or simply untrue.

Android kernel situation is complicated and varies per board/SoC. What Linaro does is try to upstream and unify the kernel for Linaro member companies SoCs. This is far from finished and uniform. The "BSP" kernel that hardware vendors provide is not supported by Linaro and in fact often contains code that cannot go upstream. Linaro has several trees, including a grand unification tree that tries to support all the member companies chips in one tree (and one binary, thanks to device trees) but this effort is years away (my personal estimate, I don't speak for the organization). In addition we have several trees for normal/androidized kernel for each board. In the latest 2011.10 release hardware was not supported in 100% on any board that I'm aware of.

Having said that the term "supported" seems inappropriate to me. We do work on those boards though.

> Anything that runs Android can run GNU/Linux.

This is a gross oversimplification IMHO. You usually get androidized BSP kernel from a few months/years ago with binary parts that have no corresponding source code. Good luck booting vanilla kernel there.

Best regards
Zygmunt Krynicki

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