Linked by fran on Sat 24th Dec 2011 10:09 UTC
Linux "Android drivers are returning to the Linux kernel. Kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman has retrieved the Android drivers removed from the staging area of Linux 2.6.33 in the spring of 2010 andput them back into his development branch for version 3.3 of the Linux kernel. [...] The plan is for a Linux 3.3 kernel to be able to boot on an Android device without further patches."
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great news
by kristoph on Sat 24th Dec 2011 20:16 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

Making Android devices first class Linux citizens should really help the Linux ecosystem overall.

I like the idea of being able to use an Android devices as specific based Linux 'appliances. I already do that with servers and this will be a great extension.

Reply Score: 2

RE: great news
by shmerl on Mon 26th Dec 2011 05:01 UTC in reply to "great news"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Very slightly. Overall Linux ecosystem has no use for Android drivers, especially for architectural components which are "Android only" (like GPU drivers).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: great news
by TemporalBeing on Tue 27th Dec 2011 18:23 UTC in reply to "RE: great news"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Very slightly. Overall Linux ecosystem has no use for Android drivers, especially for architectural components which are "Android only" (like GPU drivers).


However, some things (like camera, modem, etc.) may really help the Linux ecosystem, and expand out support as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: great news
by shmerl on Wed 28th Dec 2011 19:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: great news"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

May be, but GPU is one of the most critical obstacles for porting, and Android's GPU drivers incompatibility with anything else renders the whole effort pretty meaningless.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Sun 25th Dec 2011 02:32 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Unlocked Phones + All drivers in kernel + Android from Google = WIN!

That is the one thing that would move me from my iPhone to an Android device - the knowledge that I can get the latest version of Android 'Vanilla' whether my phone is 6 months old or 3 years old. The issue I've had in the past with Android has never been missing out on the latest and greatest features but the lack of updates and upgrades when it comes to the security fixes addressed in newer version of Android but updates never made available for older phones.

Imagine a whole community making nightly builds and stable builds for a variety of phones - buy a phone, rip off the OEM version to load on a nice and clean vanilla version knowing you're going to have years of updates in front of you rather than the current situation of Samsung users left high and drive with Samsung's refusal to provide ICS for Galaxy S users.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by WorknMan on Sun 25th Dec 2011 03:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Imagine a whole community making nightly builds and stable builds for a variety of phones - buy a phone, rip off the OEM version to load on a nice and clean vanilla version knowing you're going to have years of updates in front of you rather than the current situation of Samsung users left high and drive with Samsung's refusal to provide ICS for Galaxy S users.


Kind of the way it works now, except:

1. It's really a crapshoot whether the custom rom you're trying out is going to be stable or not.

2. The shelf life of an Android phone is probably going to be artificially limited by the hardware, and whether or not it can handle the latest version of Android.

I'm not real sure how this change is going to affect either one of the above.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by Seaborgium on Sun 25th Dec 2011 05:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
Seaborgium Member since:
2011-09-17

That is the exact experience I had with the Samsung Captivate. For the first few months after its release, there were only methods to root the phone and a few Eclair builds, which all generally worked well, but were all based from a few leaked Samsung builds. The first Froyo build was also a leaked Samsung build (which supposedly was released in Canada), and all of the proceeding builds were also of good quality. When 2.3 was released, there was a period of pseudo-Gingerbread builds (Froyo core with Gingerbread applications and themes) followed by a sole Gingerbread port from the Nexus S. There was a Cyanogenmod 6 experimental build released around this time, and the Captivate gained official Cyanogenmod status with version seven. I must say that this rom was impeccable by the stable release, and it has had comparison in neither features nor customization. I am currently testing an Ice Cream Sandwhich beta, which is somewhat slower than previous roms, whether it be the system itself or the quality of the rom, but it is still excellent for everyday use. It would not surprise me if this phone is completely up-to-date after two years.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Mon 26th Dec 2011 01:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Kind of the way it works now, except:

1. It's really a crapshoot whether the custom rom you're trying out is going to be stable or not.

2. The shelf life of an Android phone is probably going to be artificially limited by the hardware, and whether or not it can handle the latest version of Android.

I'm not real sure how this change is going to affect either one of the above.


It is a crapshoot these days because the current situation rests on leaked builds and trying to put together the various custom patches that OEM's make but never merge with the mainline kernel - thus provide the patches but all hell breaks loose later on when a particular patch is based on kernel xyz and a newer version has been released.

Regarding the hardware shelf life - I doubt it greatly. The changes made in recent version have made Android more efficient (memory and CPU) with any addition features being centred around new hardware being added thus disable if not present. It really is a game that these phone vendors play where they sucker end users in as the 'anti-iPhone' only for the end user to find after 2 years of neglectful non-existent update that their phone is a ticking privacy time bomb waiting to explode. I mean, take the iPhone 3GS, over 2 years of support and still counting, something you'll never see when it comes to Android handset vendors.

There is a reason also why handset vendors are luke warm to Windows Phone 7 - because like the iPhone, Microsoft maintains as much control over the OS as possible thus they cannot do their shifty-dodgy behaviour by refusing to provide updates. End of the day carriers don't care if you don't have the latest phone because it means milking more profits off you as the consumer by signing you up on another contract. The biggest losers are the handset vendors building in planned obsoleteness as part of their over all business plan - why create a compelling product that people will buy when you can literally force them off their existing device by removing all support from them the moment the customer leaves the store.

Edited 2011-12-26 01:43 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by Laurence on Mon 26th Dec 2011 12:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Unlocked Phones + All drivers in kernel + Android from Google = WIN!

That is the one thing that would move me from my iPhone to an Android device - the knowledge that I can get the latest version of Android 'Vanilla' whether my phone is 6 months old or 3 years old. The issue I've had in the past with Android has never been missing out on the latest and greatest features but the lack of updates and upgrades when it comes to the security fixes addressed in newer version of Android but updates never made available for older phones.

Imagine a whole community making nightly builds and stable builds for a variety of phones - buy a phone, rip off the OEM version to load on a nice and clean vanilla version knowing you're going to have years of updates in front of you rather than the current situation of Samsung users left high and drive with Samsung's refusal to provide ICS for Galaxy S users.

This already happens. The aforementioned article wouldnt change a thing in that respect.

What it would change is the ability to put Debian / whatever onto your phone and tablet as well as your PC.

In fact, this must be great news for Shuttleworth as he currently pushing for Ubuntu on tablets.

Reply Score: 3

I'd rather see tablet drivers
by RawMustard on Sun 25th Dec 2011 04:19 UTC
RawMustard
Member since:
2005-10-10

Nuff said!

Reply Score: 3

RE: I'd rather see tablet drivers
by Laurence on Mon 26th Dec 2011 13:01 UTC in reply to "I'd rather see tablet drivers"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

It will though. With Android running on many tablets, vanilla Linux in turn will.

In fact, I'd wager that was be point of this development rather than pushing vanilla Linux on smart phones.

Edited 2011-12-26 13:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

v Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Mon 26th Dec 2011 08:18 UTC
RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Laurence on Mon 26th Dec 2011 12:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I see no tremendous advantage to loading Linux on a cell phone. For that matter, there is a lot about Linux that isn't well-suited/tailored towards a cell phone...

*shrug*

Android, webOS prove you wrong.

In fact, *nix OSs rule the mobile space: what with QNX (which Blackberries are moving to), iOS and the aforementioned Linux builds.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter that much what Kernel is running on the phone, just so long as the GUI is intuitive and it plays Angry Birds.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Mon 26th Dec 2011 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Android, webOS prove you wrong.

In fact, *nix OSs rule the mobile space: what with QNX (which Blackberries are moving to), iOS and the aforementioned Linux builds.

There's a big difference between Linux and Linux-based offspring which has been tailored for specific usage. That being the case, I'm not wrong. Don't expect the same result whether you've installed Android or Debian for example.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter that much what Kernel is running on the phone, just so long as the GUI is intuitive and it plays Angry Birds.

Indeed. The average user doesn't give a damn what kernel his/her cell phone is running. I'd be willing to bet at least wouldn't even know what you're talking about if you brought it up. But they sure as hell know what Angry Birds is! ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 27th Dec 2011 17:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14


There's a big difference between Linux and Linux-based offspring which has been tailored for specific usage.


Yeah, but after 3.3, the difference won't be linux. Remember boy's and girls, linux is a kernel, not an operating system. If it runs the same kernel, then its just as much linux as a multi node linux cluster.

As a side note, yes there are some changes in the android linux kernel that are not a part of this integration, because they aren't properly written at this time. Sadly, they are also the power saving magic bits. They will be integrated as soon as they are more completely thought out and implemented. So yeah, debian will work on a generic phone, but it'll suck the life out of your battery.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Laurence on Tue 27th Dec 2011 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


There's a big difference between Linux and Linux-based offspring which has been tailored for specific usage.

Not when the topic is kernels, as this topic is.


That being the case, I'm not wrong.

If you say it's true then it must be...


Don't expect the same result whether you've installed Android or Debian for example.

Nobody is talking about user experience. This topic is about kernels, nothing more.

Edited 2011-12-27 20:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2