What GNU/Linux distribution uses your tablets?

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What GNU/Linux distribution uses your tablets?

Postby kuser » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:10 am

Hi, I'm interested to buy a tablet. I really dislike Android and I see you as an opportunity to buy a true Open Source tablet with GNU/Linux only (I don't want dual-boot).

I have another question. Can I translate the system to Spanish?
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Re: What GNU/Linux distribution uses your tablets?

Postby npeacock » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:41 pm

The plan is to offer Linaro as the standard distribution, which is based on Ubuntu. I also plan to offer an openSUSE image for download for those that want to try Plasma or KDE.

I think both these systems offer Spanish language support but I haven't tried it. I'll run a test a little later.
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Re: What GNU/Linux distribution uses your tablets?

Postby JNMeiun » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:20 pm

will you be offering mer for those who choose to have linux in flash?
will there be a boot loader or tool down the line that allows for changing whats in flash?
when someone chooses to have linux in flash instead of android what goes in? just u-boot and kernel?
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Re: What GNU/Linux distribution uses your tablets?

Postby npeacock » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:46 am

First about mer. I have a test mer SD card image and so far I can't get X to come up. I can get a terminal so I built the mali drivers on the mer and I got to the point where everything looks good but I'm getting a segfault in libc when it tries to start. With everything going on I abandoned it for the moment.

If someone figures out the fixes I would be happy to make it a hosted image. I hadn't planned to support images another than Linaro just because of the time involved, our resources are still limited. However I will host the images created by the community and help provide a place to discuss and work on improvements. I don't know how big this will get in the future, hopefully we will be able to commit to more then.

We are going to make all our scripts and tools available. You should be able to modify them without too much difficulty to load other distros, I will provide a guide for this as well.

Pretty much, you replace the on u-boot environment, kernel and system image. You can replace u-boot as well but its not required. I'll have more info on this up soon.
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Re: What GNU/Linux distribution uses your tablets?

Postby JNMeiun » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:26 pm

npeacock wrote:I hadn't planned to support images another than Linaro just because of the time involved, our resources are still limited.


Why did you pick Linaro? Do not have much experience with it but have heard it called "linux-based" rather than just "linux".
Similarly hearing "ubuntu" sends up a lot of red flags as a debian + gentoo user.

Is it less bloated than ubuntu and at the same time more tailored for mobile use than sunxi debian?

So no debian or mer out of the box?
openSUSE is nice though, is it available on orders?
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Re: What GNU/Linux distribution uses your tablets?

Postby npeacock » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:18 am

The short answer is use what you like. I've posted some info about how to try out other distros in the development forum and it should be followable for any really ready to strike out on their own. Of course, when the time comes please post details of what you run into.

So now my opinions.

They are all Linux, they all use the Linux kernel. I consider the bloat in Ubuntu to be caused by Unity and before Gnome was pretty heavy too. Unity wont run at the moment because of the lack of 3D drivers, I think (good riddance). Gnome isn't installed by default.

I prefer Xfce myself and this leads to the main reason I'm sticking by Linaro.

Everything just worked.

LXDE will be the default and is very light weight. If you want Xfce, KDE, Gnome, a minimal terminal only setup, whatever, its all there in the repositories and an apt-get install will get you any of them. Also it seems to have the most packages available for Arm of any root file systems I have tried. Their root tar balls are very easy to grab and use and they are updated more often than any of the other distros. And finally most of the community members are developing on Linaro or Debian.

I tried Debian, it runs but all the packages are fairly behind what is available on Linaro. So when you try to build any new package you want for Arm that isn't available or need a feature from a newer version you are probably going to find yourself having to build a lot of dependencies to catch up. I'll probably put a Debian image up for download.

Mer as I said before, I couldn't get X working during my short trial window. I've heard a lot of great stuff about it but I really don't have the time to try and fix it. I'll be glad to share others images when available. I might put a copy of my last test image up if anyone wants it as a starting point.

openSUSE actually runs pretty well. It has most of what Linaro does and its builds are very recent. Its better than Linaro in the KDE/Plasma department with newer, better working builds. However I dont have any experience packaging for RPM files or using anything SUSE based. Time is short to meet our deadlines so I'm sticking with what I know. I plan to post an openSUSE image for those interested but we aren't going to be able to offer much customized for it for awhile.

Our schedule is pretty tight to ship what we have promised, so we aren't going to be able to offer more than one image initially. Hopefully over time we can branch out and offer more and again, community submissions will be hosted as they are available.
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Re: What GNU/Linux distribution uses your tablets?

Postby waterhead » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:04 pm

I installed openSUSE on a tablet with an Atom CPU. I had to tweak a few things to make it easier to use. You can read my thread about it here:

http://www.androidtablets.net/forum/viewpad-10/34658-installing-opensuse-linux-12-1-gnome.html

I also was able to get the screen rotation to work, but I don't think the same method would work on the PengPod:

http://www.androidtablets.net/forum/viewpad-10/33309-rotating-screen-touchpad-linux.html
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Re: What GNU/Linux distribution uses your tablets?

Postby npeacock » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:39 pm

Thanks for the info. Yeah, its xrandr which isnt cooperating on the rotation. The gsensor works fine. Rotating with a static option in the xorg.conf works and so that may be the option for rotating we end up going with until xrandr can be coerced into working.
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