Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 18th Feb 2010 01:08 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu With the flood of ARM-based netbooks and tablets upon us (keep watch outside, the flood can come any day now, promise!), Linux distributions are trying to be ready for The Great Coming of ARM. A problem with ARM hardware, according to Jamie Bennett, an Ubuntu Mobile Developer working for Canonical, is that many 3D drivers are non-Free; this poses problems for Ubuntu's Netbook Remix UI.
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Uh oh
by darknexus on Thu 18th Feb 2010 02:13 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I'd better be able to get a non-Netbook UI installed with Ubuntu ARM then, i.e. standard GNOME. EFL have no support for at-spi and therefore zero accessibility at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Uh oh
by boomn on Fri 19th Feb 2010 18:19 UTC in reply to "Uh oh"
boomn Member since:
2010-02-11

I've seen references in launchpad to gnome packages for arm, so I'm guessing it will be as simple as "apt-get install gnome-desktop-environment"

Reply Score: 1

non-free video
by spikeb on Thu 18th Feb 2010 03:58 UTC
spikeb
Member since:
2006-01-18

well, looks like ARM suddenly lost MY interest. (most) Intel netbooks have open video, I am not about to buy one that does not.

Reply Score: 3

RE: non-free video
by darknexus on Thu 18th Feb 2010 04:31 UTC in reply to "non-free video"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Especially if the Atom N450-based netbooks really can get up to 14 hours of battery as they claim. I'm not sure if that's true or just advertising figures, but I might have to get me an Asus 1005PE (nice and Linux compatible) to find out.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: non-free video
by kragil on Thu 18th Feb 2010 07:58 UTC in reply to "RE: non-free video"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

It may get 14 hours, but will still be a very big device.
If you want slim and small ARM is a way better solution than Intel.

BIG PROBLEM: ALL of the ARM 3D solutions need proprietary drivers ..

... 2002 called and wants its state of Linux 3D drivers back ;)

I hope Intel being a fairly good FOSS citizen will pressure one of ARM guys to open up their docs. If that doesn't happen then we might need another reverse engineering effort. Thanks to Gallium3D things got a lot simpler, but it would still take years.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: non-free video
by darknexus on Thu 18th Feb 2010 08:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: non-free video"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It may get 14 hours, but will still be a very big device.
If you want slim and small ARM is a way better solution than Intel.


Actually, it's not that big and I'm looking for a netbook form factor anyway (i.e. real keyboard, flip-open screen). Tablets don't interest me all that much.

... 2002 called and wants its state of Linux 3D drivers back ;)


Good god, those have got to be the most annoying lines on the internet. Whoever came up with those year xxxx called lines should be taken out back and shot. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: non-free video
by lemur2 on Fri 19th Feb 2010 11:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: non-free video"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

BIG PROBLEM: ALL of the ARM 3D solutions need proprietary drivers ..

... 2002 called and wants its state of Linux 3D drivers back ;)


Are you sure about that?

This ARM nice-spec device uses nvidia's Tegra 2 chipset.
http://www.osnews.com/story/22885/Notion_Ink_s_Adam_Tablet_with_Pix...

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=nouveau_gallium3...

Should work, shouldn't it?

By the time it comes out, the nouveau driver will have stabilised somewhat by then. I'm expecting to be able to run KDE 4.5 (with plasma version for netbooks/tablets) on it. Either that or MeeGo.

There is also, I believe, some ARM netbooks/smartbooks/tablets coming with ARM SoC and ATI mobile graphics. Those devices too should work with FOSS 3D graphics drivers.

Edited 2010-02-19 11:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: non-free video
by kaiwai on Thu 18th Feb 2010 11:45 UTC in reply to "RE: non-free video"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Especially if the Atom N450-based netbooks really can get up to 14 hours of battery as they claim. I'm not sure if that's true or just advertising figures, but I might have to get me an Asus 1005PE (nice and Linux compatible) to find out.


I've just had a look online and the unfortunate thing is that one is unable to find a reseller where I reside; but with that being said it is interesting that Windows 7 is bundled and from the reports so far the performance apparently is pretty good when one considers the constrained environment.

The big problem with ARM, even if you take away the need for proprietary graphics drivers, there is still the issue about the lack of software, specifically software optimised for ARM. Sure, one can slap Linux on there but so much of the software out there isn't optimised for ARM or unavailable; Flash plugin, ffmpeg, OpenOffice.org is very heavy for such a device (unsure what KOffice would be like though).

As great as a CPU maybe, if the software isn't optimised for it, unfortunately it'll be undesirable to the end user who simply wants a computer to work, and work well out of the box with minimal fuss and bother.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: non-free video
by darknexus on Thu 18th Feb 2010 16:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: non-free video"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You do know they bundle Starter with those right? It's a constrained os designed for a constrained environment... trouble is, it forces you to remain constrained. If I got one of these I wouldn't even boot the starter os. Even if I needed Windows, which I don't, I wouldn't boot starter for a second.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: non-free video
by kaiwai on Thu 18th Feb 2010 21:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: non-free video"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

You do know they bundle Starter with those right? It's a constrained os designed for a constrained environment... trouble is, it forces you to remain constrained. If I got one of these I wouldn't even boot the starter os. Even if I needed Windows, which I don't, I wouldn't boot starter for a second.


And did you know that you can upgrade it using Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade - which works out cheaper than going out to buy a whole new copy of Windows 7? Spend a few extra dollars, upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium and you're on your way.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: non-free video
by darknexus on Thu 18th Feb 2010 22:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: non-free video"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well I already said I wouldn't be loading Windows on it. Even so however, though this probably depends on your country of residence (not sure how this works out in New Zealand) an OEM disk of Home premium is cheaper than anytime upgrade at Microsoft's prices in the US. This assumes, of course, that you aren't buying the OEM disk from Microsoft or at a retail outlet. In either case, to me it's irrelevant and I'm disinclined to pay extra to Microsoft just so I can make use of another gig of ram I'd put into the thing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: non-free video
by kaiwai on Thu 18th Feb 2010 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: non-free video"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Well I already said I wouldn't be loading Windows on it.


So you dismiss it even before trying it?

Even so however, though this probably depends on your country of residence (not sure how this works out in New Zealand) an OEM disk of Home premium is cheaper than anytime upgrade at Microsoft's prices in the US. This assumes, of course, that you aren't buying the OEM disk from Microsoft or at a retail outlet. In either case, to me it's irrelevant and I'm disinclined to pay extra to Microsoft just so I can make use of another gig of ram I'd put into the thing.


OEM pricing in New Zealand has always been a rip off. NZ$152 incl GST for Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.

As for the alternatives; having run Linux on netbook's in the past; downloads being corrupted due to a crappy ath5k wireless drive, buggy suspend and resume, poor battery life and so on. I understand things are improving but why wait for things to 'improve' when there is already an improved operating system out there - and its called Windows 7?

Edited 2010-02-18 23:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: non-free video
by pgeorgi on Thu 18th Feb 2010 11:16 UTC in reply to "non-free video"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

well, looks like ARM suddenly lost MY interest. (most) Intel netbooks have open video, I am not about to buy one that does not.

The ARM SoC I'm working on (by Samsung) has open specs for all components, incl. 3D acceleration.

The only closed bit is the video codec coprocessor's firmware - it's not ARM code, so it's not linked into the system, it's just data.
Without a development environment for that coprocessor, the source would be useless anyway, but the ability to add theora support surely would be nice ;-)
Some features might be reusable for that, but I didn't look into that yet.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: non-free video
by spikeb on Thu 18th Feb 2010 12:21 UTC in reply to "RE: non-free video"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

"well, looks like ARM suddenly lost MY interest. (most) Intel netbooks have open video, I am not about to buy one that does not.

The ARM SoC I'm working on (by Samsung) has open specs for all components, incl. 3D acceleration.

The only closed bit is the video codec coprocessor's firmware - it's not ARM code, so it's not linked into the system, it's just data.
Without a development environment for that coprocessor, the source would be useless anyway, but the ability to add theora support surely would be nice ;-)
Some features might be reusable for that, but I didn't look into that yet.
"
Good, at least there are SOME that'll be open. Will keep my eye open.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: non-free video
by Wes Felter on Thu 18th Feb 2010 20:24 UTC in reply to "RE: non-free video"
Wes Felter Member since:
2005-11-15

The ARM SoC I'm working on (by Samsung) has open specs for all components, incl. 3D acceleration.


Then you can provide links to those specs, right? What 3D does it use? Obviously not PowerVR, not Mali, not Imageon...

Reply Score: 4

Well...
by Tuishimi on Thu 18th Feb 2010 07:12 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

It is sort of a win for Enlightenment.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by twitterfire
by twitterfire on Thu 18th Feb 2010 09:36 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Now we will have an arm distro but no actual hardware to run it on. That's kind of ironic.

Reply Score: 2

even if 3D is not there..
by fithisux on Thu 18th Feb 2010 09:41 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

XGI has already an embedded solution for 2D with active support (latest xf86-xgi) but it is acceptable for me. It can be coupled with Broadcom Chrystal HD for media acceleration or an ARM solution. Proprietary 3D on a smartbook? I DON'T NEED IT. A bad driver could kneel the device and I do not like closed speced components. Marvel has already a solution with XGI.

Reply Score: 3

RE: even if 3D is not there..
by bnolsen on Thu 18th Feb 2010 14:35 UTC in reply to "even if 3D is not there.."
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

"I" don't need it. Nice to see your opinion. If I buy something I want access to its potential. Having good 3d will only help these go more mainstream. Maybe gallium will help, I can't say. These arm parts aren't that complex, you would think the specs would be pretty straightforward.

Reply Score: 2

The real question is....
by truckweb on Thu 18th Feb 2010 11:49 UTC
truckweb
Member since:
2005-07-06

Where are all those ARM Netbook and Tablet?

Is it going to be the year of ARM? I read about ARM since early last year and I'm still waiting. At this rate, Apple iPad will be the first ARM based (Apple A4) tablet to be sold.

Enough with the talk, show me some real working hardware that we can buy now!

Reply Score: 4

RE: The real question is....
by spikeb on Thu 18th Feb 2010 12:22 UTC in reply to "The real question is...."
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

Where are all those ARM Netbook and Tablet?

Is it going to be the year of ARM? I read about ARM since early last year and I'm still waiting. At this rate, Apple iPad will be the first ARM based (Apple A4) tablet to be sold.

Enough with the talk, show me some real working hardware that we can buy now!



amen

Reply Score: 2

RE: The real question is....
by talaf on Thu 18th Feb 2010 12:42 UTC in reply to "The real question is...."
talaf Member since:
2008-11-19

http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/home/index.htm

There you go. And it defaults a Linux install too!

Edited 2010-02-18 12:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The real question is....
by twitterfire on Thu 18th Feb 2010 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE: The real question is...."
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

That Arm junk is 399 USD and Asus Eee PC 1005PE (which is much better) is 380 USD.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The real question is....
by nt_jerkface on Thu 18th Feb 2010 20:30 UTC in reply to "The real question is...."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It's a twofold problem.

ARM has't gotten cheap enough to really compete with Intel's atom. Intel has made it clear that they aren't going to give up the low-end that easily.

OEMs are hesitant to sell netbooks without Windows. Even though netbooks are supposed to be for surfing the web the typical consumer sees a keyboard and expects Windows. This leads to higher than average return rates which cuts into already low profit margins.

ARM may just act as a disruptive technology in the near term, forcing Intel to keep the price of Atom low. Mobile devices will continue to push ARM development so there may be a switch at some point.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The real question is....
by lemur2 on Fri 19th Feb 2010 11:45 UTC in reply to "RE: The real question is...."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

OEMs are hesitant to sell netbooks without Windows. Even though netbooks are supposed to be for surfing the web the typical consumer sees a keyboard and expects Windows.


Utter myth, thoroughly debunked.

33% of netbooks are Linux machines.

http://www.osnews.com/story/22587/One_Third_of_Netbooks_Ship_with_L...

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9140343/Linux_s_share_of_net...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: The real question is....
by darknexus on Fri 19th Feb 2010 12:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The real question is...."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You know, even though Dell claims that 33% figure, they make it damn hard to find a Linux netbook on their web site and that's here in the US. In some countries they don't offer it at all. So, I'd take Dell's statement with a liberal dose of salt if I were you.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: The real question is....
by lemur2 on Fri 19th Feb 2010 12:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The real question is...."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

You know, even though Dell claims that 33% figure, they make it damn hard to find a Linux netbook on their web site and that's here in the US. In some countries they don't offer it at all. So, I'd take Dell's statement with a liberal dose of salt if I were you.


Read it again:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9140343/Linux_s_share_of_net...

Nearly one-third of the 35 million netbooks on track to ship this year will come with some variant of the free, open-source operating system, ABI Research said. The exact split is 32% Linux versus 68% Windows, said Jeff Orr, an analyst at ABI, which works out to about 11 million Linux netbooks this year.


That is not just Dell.

As netbooks running the ARM processor become a major factor, Orr predicted Linux will overtake Windows on netbooks by 2013. That will be driven by consumers in less-developed countries buying Linux netbooks as their primary PCs, rather than North American consumers buying netbooks as secondary machines as predominates today.


Certainly more than just Dell.

The world is more than just the US.

Then you get something like this announcement:
http://www.osnews.com/story/22875/Nokia_Intel_Merge_Moblin_Maemo_In...
http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/16/lg-gw990-to-be-among-first-meego...
http://www.linux.com/news/embedded-mobile/netbooks/287100-is-meego-...

There are a lot of devices that aren't netbooks, but they are starting to get similar capabilities.

Now Nokia (and LG for that matter) might not be that big in the US, but elsewhere (EU and Asia/Pacific for example) they are HUGE.

Edited 2010-02-19 12:53 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: The real question is....
by cycoj on Fri 19th Feb 2010 00:56 UTC in reply to "The real question is...."
cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

Quite a few were announced at CES. Lenovo is releasing two even IIRC, one of them a quite nifty combination of tablet which runs ARM and base unit (Atom + W7)

Reply Score: 1

I'm left wondering....
by dotnick on Thu 18th Feb 2010 13:10 UTC
dotnick
Member since:
2009-07-28

why Ubuntu developed their netbook interface that required 3D to begin with. If the EFL libraries offer the same features and are much faster even in 2D, why on earth would Ubuntu use something dependent on 3D drivers?

Reply Score: 7

RE: I'm left wondering....
by nt_jerkface on Thu 18th Feb 2010 21:18 UTC in reply to "I'm left wondering...."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I'm wondering why they went with Gnome in the first place if it is supposed to be for devices where battery life is a priority.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if Windows 7 starter gets better battery life.

Canonical seems to be good at wasting everyone's time. Even though Meego has an awful name it is looking a lot better at this point.

What they should have done is built on Fluxbox from the start to give it a real advantage when it comes to battery life. Shuttleworth is too fixated on Gnome and the color brown.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: I'm left wondering....
by spikeb on Thu 18th Feb 2010 22:45 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm left wondering...."
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

meego is currently gnome mobile plus QT for app development.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I'm left wondering....
by darknexus on Thu 18th Feb 2010 22:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm left wondering...."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

meego is currently gnome mobile plus QT for app development.


Which is kind of an oddball combination isn't it?

Reply Score: 3

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

"meego is currently gnome mobile plus QT for app development.


Which is kind of an oddball combination isn't it?
"
No, because once you'll leave out GTK, there no longer is much actual "GNOME" tech left. GStreamer, SQLite, DBUS, etc. are also used by KDE SC. The only GNOME technologies left are EDS, GVFS, and GConf.
GVFS won't be used. It's already deprecated in favor of GIO (based on pure glib and not GNOME tech). Same for GConf -- DBUS-based dconf makes more sense.
Maybe MeeGo will use EDS instead of Akonadi for PIM storage, maybe MeeGo will use something entirely different.

Reply Score: 1

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

meego is currently gnome mobile plus QT for app development.

Do you even know what "GNOME Mobile" is? If you leave out GTK, "GNOME Mobile" pretty much consists of back-end tools that are used by pretty much every Linux DE -- either because they are FreeDesktop.org programs or other cross-platform tools, e.g. BlueZ, GStreamer, Telepathy, PulseAudio, SQLite.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I'm left wondering....
by darknexus on Thu 18th Feb 2010 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm left wondering...."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Actually, now that hal is gone GNOME's battery consumption has gone way down.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I'm left wondering....
by darknexus on Fri 19th Feb 2010 01:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm left wondering...."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Yes, I'm dismissing Starter. I've used Win 7 in various flavors already, and an even more crippled version of it isn't even worth considering. Let's not turn this into a Windows v. Linux debate, there're enough of those everywhere you turn anymore. I'll just say this, I've not had the bad experiences you have. I don't use ath5k, I knew about that going in so was careful to buy a netbook that doesn't use that buggy chipset (currently have an Asus 1000HE). Just remember though, your experiences are not the same as mine and no more or less valid outside of your own mind. For me, for my needs and my workflow, Windows 7 is a pain not a help and, what's more, it's a rip-off (having to pay an extra hundred bucks just to use 2 gb of memory that only cost 20 bucks?). Obviously, it's different for you and that's fine. Who uses what os is much less important than whether those people can still get work done, communicate, and exchange information. I really couldn't care what os someone else uses, I use what I like and what works for me. I feel no need to influence others' platform choice, what I'm very pashionate about is open standards and open data formats. The importance of the operating system, by comparison, is less than zero.

Wow, I got off topic big time didn't I?

Reply Score: 2

RE: I'm left wondering....
by Fettarme H-Milch on Fri 19th Feb 2010 01:24 UTC in reply to "I'm left wondering...."
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

why Ubuntu developed their netbook interface that required 3D to begin with. If the EFL libraries offer the same features and are much faster even in 2D, why on earth would Ubuntu use something dependent on 3D drivers?

It's not only about 3D drivers. Currently Canonical is developing the exact same thing twice: Based on GTK/Clutter and on EFL.
If the EFL one works better anyway, why keep developing the GTK/Clutter implementation?

Reply Score: 1

ARM Problem
by jboss1995 on Thu 18th Feb 2010 21:28 UTC
jboss1995
Member since:
2007-05-02

No wine, no windows base program. Most of use have some windows based program that we really need. And from what I understand it would take years coding to get wine to run on the ARM arch.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ARM Problem
by nt_jerkface on Thu 18th Feb 2010 21:36 UTC in reply to "ARM Problem"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

There is a market for secondary browsing devices. A lot of people would buy a browser-only netbook if the price was low enough.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ARM Problem
by cycoj on Fri 19th Feb 2010 00:54 UTC in reply to "ARM Problem"
cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

On a netbook? So what windows software you really need on a netbook?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ARM Problem
by Fettarme H-Milch on Fri 19th Feb 2010 01:20 UTC in reply to "RE: ARM Problem"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

On a netbook? So what windows software you really need on a netbook?

Crysis :p

Reply Score: 1

RE: ARM Problem
by Fettarme H-Milch on Fri 19th Feb 2010 01:25 UTC in reply to "ARM Problem"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

So you'll buy no cellphone unless it has a x86 CPU inside?

Reply Score: 1