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-   -   Why no Linux on tablets ? (https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-general-1/why-no-linux-on-tablets-4175557135/)

pdurao 10-25-2015 04:35 PM

Why no Linux on tablets ?
 
Why is there not an effort to put Linux distributions on tablets and phones ?
And android is not Linux, it's not open its proprietary and they had to rip out gpl
The code is not published as it should be under gpl

yooy 10-25-2015 04:50 PM

Cyanogen mod? isn't that linux? it is pretty widely used and now a lot of chinese phones comes with CM pre installed.

TobiSGD 10-25-2015 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pdurao (Post 5440111)
And android is not Linux, it's not open its proprietary and they had to rip out gpl
The code is not published as it should be under gpl

You mean like here: http://source.android.com/

pdurao 10-25-2015 05:10 PM

Once again android is not Linux glib is missing
It's not open as you can't put android on tablets as they are proprietary
Third android is not Linux
The kernel is not the same, pieces of Linux are missing, the drivers are not the same
You can't take the so called open android and put it on a tablet as they are proprietary, also Linux components are missing
Without open drivers you can't take android and put it on any thing
Also it's not Linux compatible
The question was why not Linux on tablets, android is not Linux
Also it's not open, you can't take it and put it on any tablet like you can with Linux and a PC

273 10-25-2015 06:02 PM

Because Linux tablets don't sell.
And
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdurao (Post 5440125)
You can't take the so called open android and put it on a tablet as they are proprietary...

There's a bigger debate about what is a phone, etc. but that just ends up in an argument about which input devices and "metaphors" for displaying information are more efficient but there isn't a thread long enough to start that particular discussion...

Sylvester Ink 10-25-2015 06:11 PM

Android is indeed Linux, but it is pared down to have only the essential elements that are used by the devices it runs on. This means that glib is missing because Google implemented their own library that's smaller and leaner in order to optimize for portable devices. Various build libraries and kernel modules are also excluded, since you generally won't be building stuff on the device, and you won't need kernel modules for hardware that isn't available for the device.
So yes, you are right in that certain parts of the kernel/drivers are missing, but these things don't make it any less Linux. (Many limited Linux distros do the same, from the various Raspberry Pi distros, to embedded distros, like OpenEmbedded.)

The drivers that are available for Android are indeed closed, mainly for competitive purposes (the telecom market is ridiculously competitive), but while it doesn't fulfill Richard Stallman's definition of a FOSS OS, that doesn't make it any different from the version of Linux you are running on your desktop. (Especially if you're using an NVidia videocard.)

As was pointed out, the source is available, and projects like Cyanogenmod do use it as a foundation, but they do need to use the proprietary hardware drivers to ensure that it works on the specified hardware.

That said, Android is available on many, MANY tablets, and those without can often run it with some tweaking (assuming the drivers exist). And there are many people that have been able to hack Android to run on PCs, laptops, netbooks, etc. (Although at that point, it's generally better to run some other Linux distro.)

What it all boils down to is the drivers that are available. As I mentioned, the telecom industry is super-competitive, so nearly all the hardware out there is closely guarded, and that includes the drivers. Any phone OS will need to use these closed drivers in order to work, or at least work up to industry standard. If you can't get those drivers, then no, your particular version of Android won't work on just any device. This goes for ANY distro of Linux, not just Android, hence the sparse number of choices.

rokytnji 10-25-2015 07:03 PM

Quote:

Why no Linux on tablets ?
I can think of one reason

Quote:

Product Description

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berndbausch 10-25-2015 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pdurao (Post 5440125)
You can't take the so called open android and put it on a tablet as they are proprietary

This is the answer I would think - tablets are proprietary. To create software that drives hardware, hardware must be documented.

LinuxUser42 10-25-2015 10:28 PM

I agree with the generally don't sell well. Tablets are something that there is a newer model pretty quick with more storage, so the central source for features (android), helps control some of that, as well as having a desktop/window manager that allows one to point and click options (verses typing at a console).
Besides Nokia's that was mentioned, Zareason did one once (came with Android but was open, hoping someone would develop a distro for it), and there are others that always seem in the works or something happens:
http://www.ubuntu.com/tablet Ubuntu touch on a tablet.
There was the Crunchpad thing that became the JooJoo tablet and lawsuit. (wished it would have happened)
Sailfish recently released one called the Jolla tablet.
There are other attempts for specific tools (things like a Kali Tablet or phone).

Enough Linux users, still like the command line, that a laptop/netbook makes more sense.

TobiSGD 10-26-2015 04:30 AM

Anything that runs on the Linux kernel is by definition a Linux distribution. It might not be GNU/Linux, but that doesn't make it less Linux.
Having a Glibc is not an indicator at all, since there are Linux distributions that use alternative libraries, like musl, dietlibc, uClibc, ..., and even those that don't have a Libc at all (you can easily create Linux systems just with a kernel and Busybox).
Regarding the drivers, that no free drivers exist for a given hardware on a tablet or phone doesn't make the OS less Linux, not to mention that there are tablets out there that have hardware that is supported by free drivers and that can run Gnu/Linux.
The only indicator for an OS being Linux is in fact the Linux kernel, nothing else.

273 10-26-2015 04:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TobiSGD (Post 5440316)
Anything that runs on the Linux kernel is by definition a Linux distribution. It might not be GNU/Linux, but that doesn't make it less Linux.
Having a Glibc is not an indicator at all, since there are Linux distributions that use alternative libraries, like musl, dietlibc, uClibc, ..., and even those that don't have a Libc at all (you can easily create Linux systems just with a kernel and Busybox).
Regarding the drivers, that no free drivers exist for a given hardware on a tablet or phone doesn't make the OS less Linux, not to mention that there are tablets out there that have hardware that is supported by free drivers and that can run Gnu/Linux.
The only indicator for an OS being Linux is in fact the Linux kernel, nothing else.

Absolutely true. However, I think answering that "Android is Linux" is unhelpful and pedantic. In most threads where somebody is asking about running Linux on most things they are using it as a shortcut for GNU+Linux. Of course it is worth pointing out, as you have done, that the question could be phrased better but I don't think pointing out that Android is Linux helps anybody.

pdurao 10-26-2015 08:24 PM

I would argue android is not Linux, but that's not the important question
 
Android is in no way Linux compatible, not in drivers, not in posix, not in X11
You can't take a Linux programme and run it on android

The important question is why can't you run gnu Linux on android

It's an important question

Why is it this way

And what should be done about it

It's a legitimate question

We are having a similar question on the desktop, less severe, Linux is mostly confined to servers, and not really a success in the desktops

Now we have a worse situation on the tablets and phones, it really has no presence, how should this be addressed ?

Again I think this is an important question for many reasons

sgosnell 10-26-2015 08:34 PM

If it's that important to you, do it yourself. No one else seems to be very concerned, so it's up to you.

notKlaatu 10-26-2015 08:45 PM

I think what is really being asked is
"why can't I buy a tablet and have the same experience on it as the one I have on my desktop or laptop?"

I enjoy, to this day, my Nokia N800, which was closer to the computer experience than anything I have experienced since, although the embedded nature of the OS did complicate things.

The reason, I think, is not unique to Linux; after all, you don't really see iPhones with OS X apps on them. So the full-blown "PC" Experience is not on tablets partly because the form factor is different; touch screens are bad for input, and much of the Linux Experience is input-driven: you type a lot, you use various mouse buttons, it's a dynamic environment. I don't believe tablets are ready for that yet. Maybe some things could be emulated with gestures and multi-touch input, but I have yet to see this ability.

Another reason is that MANY of the must-have desktop applications are not written with really limited screen space in mind. Try using GIMP or Libre Office on a 6x8 tablet. It is less than ideal. If all applications were structured with HTML and CSS, maybe it would work out, but as is, I think the interface is unwieldy.

I'm sure there are several marketplace and economic reasons in addition. The mobile platform carries with it a certain expectation; I think a pure Linux tablet would violate a lot of those. Would that be a problem? not for me, but a lot of people would panic.

I think Gnome is working toward a tablet-able interface, which could be good for a Linux Experience on Tablets eventually, and obviously Ubuntu is working toward their convergence model. So it might be on its way, but trust me: a bad Linux experience (as on the N800; no root access, a UI that they forgot to mod for the small screen or for a touch interface) does start to wear you down. Would I take it over nothing? yeah, probably. But I don't know if it's what we really want. I think a good one might be worth waiting for.

Thank you and good night.

pdurao 10-26-2015 10:52 PM

X11 already has touch and compiz
 
The building elements for a touch OS are already there, it would be a great opportunity to experiment and convert linux apps to work on both desktop and touch
Apple for example has learnt from this and improved both the desktop and touch apps, as both converge
Because linux is on neither the desktop or tablet in great numbers there is no progress in the user interface
There was some progress with compiz and touch but without moving to tablets the advantage was lost
Is nobody else interested in seeing a linux ios like OS that can both improve desktop and tablet experience ?


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