Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Fri 18th Jul 2008 21:24 UTC
Linux "Linux is a powerful and versatile operating system that can be utilized to hack just about any electronic hardware device. To prove it, I have here a list of popular gadgets that are already known to run Linux."
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but are they usable
by sukru on Sat 19th Jul 2008 00:21 UTC
sukru
Member since:
2006-11-19

Congrats to various teams that get linux runnable on all those architectures.

However the question is are they really useful on all those machines? For example, while my N800 is a really nice Linux machine, I could not use Linux effectively on my iPod (1st gen nano). Or having Fedora running on PS3 was nice, yet I could not do any actual work due to limited RAM (200MB).

Hacking is fun, but I believe we need more "practical" Linux machines (like N800, Eee), supported by bigger groups, on the market.

Edit: I've read (most) of the article, my examples were just the ones I actually used/tried.

Edited 2008-07-19 00:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: but are they usable
by Babi Asu on Sat 19th Jul 2008 03:05 UTC in reply to "but are they usable"
Babi Asu Member since:
2006-02-11

That was crossing in my mind. Ok, I've installed Linux on blablabla. Now what?

Reply Score: 1

RE: but are they usable
by Knuckles on Sat 19th Jul 2008 10:07 UTC in reply to "but are they usable"
Knuckles Member since:
2005-06-29

I agree.

Linux on the ps3 is very useful for people doing research and doing number-crunching, but I agree that cooler examples would be:
- most current NAS devices and routers that run linux and have very interesting features (usb ports, included print server, bittorrent client)
- things like the TomTom GPS's, and some motorola phones where you're using linux, and most users never even notice it
- the openmoko freerunner, a truly open linux phone

Reply Score: 2

RE: but are they usable
by Laurence on Sat 19th Jul 2008 12:30 UTC in reply to "but are they usable"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

However the question is are they really useful on all those machines? For example, while my N800 is a really nice Linux machine, I could not use Linux effectively on my iPod (1st gen nano). Or having Fedora running on PS3 was nice, yet I could not do any actual work due to limited RAM (200MB).

That's more down to Sony crippling the PS3 for Linux than Linuxes not being usful on said devices. Given time, some bright spark will find a hack to run Linux to the full potential of the PS3.

As for Linux on the XBox - I paid £20 for my pre-owned XBox original and now I have a fully functional media centre. The same PC equivelent would cost me greatly more in time and money.


Hacking is fun, but I believe we need more "practical" Linux machines (like N800, Eee), supported by bigger groups, on the market.


Two points there:
1/ Hacking is fun. Which is exactly why people port Linux to said devices. Everyone needs to have a little fun from the serious computing from time to time.
2/ While this hacking is fun, it's also beneficial in an indirect way:
2a/ Being open source, the code isn't lost so if someone does build a serious Linux device and is stuck, then these fun projects could offer them help either directly with the source code or indirectly with ideas of how to work around certain issues.
2b/ It raises Linuxes profiles with geeks who a voweled Microsoft Windows users (ie don't want to risk breaking their PC). If they see Linux on action on their (or a mates) games console then they might realise that Linux isn't just a command line. Or they might even be tempted to run a live CD on a games console where they wouldn't on their PC.

Reply Score: 4

RE: but are they usable
by Kyuss on Sat 19th Jul 2008 19:30 UTC in reply to "but are they usable"
Kyuss Member since:
2005-09-01

However the question is are they really useful on all those machines?

Good question!
Let's see:
Nintendo ds ---> No MMU so linux is almost useless. Only console application in a touch device....
Apple iPod ----> I've used this hack for many things like ebook reader and games, so linux here (if you have a compatible ipod) can fit nicely!
Microsoft Xbox ---> Useless! It can be a great addon to change a console in a little home server, but for other things better stick with xbmc or other things compiled with XDK ;)
Nintendo GameCube ---> Useless! Too slow for media center and emulators. I prefer GCOS and all the homebrews compiled with devkit
PS3 ---> For now is useless. Maybe in the future, with a proper video driver...

Reply Score: 2

A lot depends on one's definitions. :-)
by rcsteiner on Sun 20th Jul 2008 04:48 UTC in reply to "but are they usable"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

For example, the fact that your Nano runs Linux means it can also run Rockbox, and Rockbox is certainly a useful piece of software on that hardware.

www.rockbox.org

Reply Score: 5

Headless gadgets
by bzhou on Sat 19th Jul 2008 02:36 UTC
bzhou
Member since:
2006-01-30

Most NAS boxes run Linux. My favorite one is Linksys nslu2. See http://nslu2-linux.org and http://www.batbox.org/IsThataLampInYourPocket.pdf

Of course, there's also
http://wiki.openwrt.org/TableOfHardware

Reply Score: 2

A little bit disapointed
by Laurence on Sat 19th Jul 2008 12:18 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

Aside the iPod (which itself is also a widely publicised hack), all of those devices were games-systems which are obvious targets for Linux ports. And it's not even as if this article went into any great depth about Linux on said consoles (even wikipedia has a more detailed breakdown on each of those devices)

I guess I was hoping to read an article about the lesser known Linux ports (like has anyone ported Linux to their old Sony Erricson / Nokia? Or how about their sat-nav devices?) Or at least reveal some detail which wasn't already common knowlage to anyone with a passing interest in games consoles and Linux.

On a lighter note: I did once read a funny article about how to install Linux on a hedgehog. Can't find the URL to share though.

Reply Score: 3

RE: A little bit disapointed
by righard on Sat 19th Jul 2008 12:54 UTC in reply to "A little bit disapointed"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

5 Most Popular Linux-Hackable Gadgets,
the title kind of gives away that this is not about the lesser known gadgets ;) .

I think Linux on the Xbox the the most useful of them all. It makes for a good cheap pc/mediacentre.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A little bit disapointed
by Laurence on Sat 19th Jul 2008 13:17 UTC in reply to "RE: A little bit disapointed"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

5 Most Popular Linux-Hackable Gadgets,
the title kind of gives away that this is not about the lesser known gadgets ;) .

I think Linux on the Xbox the the most useful of them all. It makes for a good cheap pc/mediacentre.


Fair point. They still could have gone into more detail than a mere summary though.

Reply Score: 2

Satnav and PMPs?
by darrelljon on Sat 19th Jul 2008 19:21 UTC
darrelljon
Member since:
2008-05-29

The most useful devices like GPS/satnav and cheap Chinese phones/Mp4 players and PMPs seem to be totally neglected by the community. Let me know if I'm wrong and I'd like to look into this.

Reply Score: 1