Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 31st Aug 2018 23:38 UTC

For some reason I like small laptops and the constraints they place on me (as long as they're still usable). I used a Dell Mini 9 for a long time back in the netbook days and was recently using an 11" MacBook Air as my primary development machine for many years. Recently Microsoft announced a smaller, cheaper version of its Surface tablets called Surface Go which piqued my interest.

Quite a few things don't yet work on OpenBSD, but these first few people who try things like OpenBSD on new Surface devices pave the way for support to improve.

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Nice hack!
by uridium on Sat 1st Sep 2018 03:55 UTC
Member since:

I love it, though I'd be trying NetBSD rather than TheoLinux first but still wonderful work!

I used a Lenovo S10 original for years with a mix of NetBSD and OSeX10.5 so this is quite appealing.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Nice hack!
by laffer1 on Sun 2nd Sep 2018 16:00 UTC in reply to "Nice hack!"
laffer1 Member since:

TheoLinux seems harsh. Theo also cofounded NetBSD after all.

Is it how the project is run that turns you off? OpenBSD isn't the only dictatorship in the BSD world. In fact, more BSD projects are run that way than not.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Sat 1st Sep 2018 08:27 UTC
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There are apparently front, rear, and IR cameras, none of which are supported (nor desired). Can be disabled in the BIOS.

Why is camera support not desire? That seems absurd that something that would be a very common use case for a tablet is not desirable.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Sidux on Sat 1st Sep 2018 09:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Sidux Member since:

Since Mark appeared with it taped on, many people followed suit in fear of being spied on.
There are also moments when camera is activated by default when you enter a conference call. Can be avoided these days with software config but it's still easier to just disable it or tape it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by joekiser on Sun 2nd Sep 2018 02:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
joekiser Member since:

The linked website is his personal blog; it's not meant to be representative of the general computing population.

He's merely stating that he does not desire to use the camera, and therefore, he can't be expected to write an OpenBSD driver for it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Morgan on Sun 2nd Sep 2018 13:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Morgan Member since:

Just a guess, but I'm sure many folks keen on running OpenBSD on a laptop or tablet are also highly security-aware and have no desire to ever use a camera on a portable device.

My netbook, Asus 1015E that originally shipped with Ubuntu, runs OpenBSD 6.3 and I physically disconnected the camera when I took the device apart to swap in a BSD compatible WiFi card. I don't mind having cameras on my iPhone because it's locked down well and I don't run just any app on it, but I have no use for a camera on a netbook and even with the extra security from running OpenBSD, it's extra insurance to physically disable it.

Edited 2018-09-02 13:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by stormcrow on Sun 2nd Sep 2018 23:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
stormcrow Member since:

It would be a personal choice, not reflecting the larger computing public nor even the rest of the OpenBSD developer team (USB video is supported in general on OpenBSD).

Many OpenBSD users are concerned over physical security intrusions through computers and built in cameras and mics would naturally be considered potential security problems. This is why some camera devices come with physical covers and switches to help alleviate the problem of surreptitious remote activation. This has long been a concern and conflict between the more security conscious computing public who favor physical disconnects and price oriented OEMs who favor cheap software activated devices.

It's been shown repeatedly that software activated devices can be remotely activated without their users being aware with indicator lights being remotely disabled. Not even having drivers to access those cameras would make risks of remote accessing them negligible.

One of the more egregious examples of such intrusion:

Edit to add: Bigger tablets like the Go generally aren't used for general photography anyway (unlike phones). Their main purpose with cameras is teleconferencing. If you don't care about teleconferences then there's no reason to care if the cameras have drivers.

Edited 2018-09-03 00:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

v Miro
by 0_Nit_Y on Sat 1st Sep 2018 12:11 UTC
v Well, if you wan touch disease, ⦠:-/
by rener on Sun 2nd Sep 2018 09:58 UTC
Ubuntu 18.10 runs on a surface pro 4
by gfx1 on Wed 5th Sep 2018 10:35 UTC
Member since:

Slightly bigger tablet. Most things work with ubuntu except the touchscreen, don't know about the camera.

But for a small laptop the surface isn't the ideal design, being a tablet it has large bezels the kickstand does work but it is a bit of a kludge.

My ideal laptop would have this screen with very small bezels, decent keyboard (the surface pro is good enough)
and some ports, I do like a USB-A one.

Reply Score: 2