Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Aug 2013 17:27 UTC
Linux Steve Cheney:

There's more to the platform wars than mobile - Android is starting to take off in non-mobile markets in a massive way - Internet of Things, Television (Chromecast), etc. To date Linux has been the dominant OS but Android is now taking some embedded designs which would have run Linux. The effective decoupling of Android from carriers for non-mobile markets + the richness of tools and the existing developer ecosystem will likely cement Android as the definitive open source OS of the next decade. This will have pluses for Google but also unintended consequences.

A common misconception among people who don't really understand what Linux is - one that I'm seeing pop up more and more now that people are trying to paint Android in a negative light - i.e., as competition to not just iOS, but also the noble and open source Linux.

Repeat after me: Android is just as much 'Linux' as Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, or anything else that uses the Linux kernel. Technically, a better term would be 'Linux distribution', since Linux in and of itself is just a kernel. Wikipedia defines 'Linux distribution' quite well:

A Linux distribution (often called distro for short) is a member of the family of Unix-like operating systems built on top of the Linux kernel. Such distributions are operating systems including a large collection of software applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, media players, and database applications. These operating systems consist of the Linux kernel and, usually, a set of libraries and utilities from the GNU Project, with graphics support from the X Window System. Distributions optimized for size may not contain X and tend to use more compact alternatives to the GNU utilities, such as BusyBox, uClibc, or dietlibc.

Android is a Linux distribution, and is an addition to the Linux ecosystem - not a challenger. Painting it as such is just a sign of ignorance.

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ichi
Member since:
2007-03-06

I love linux for what it is, all open-source, free, and messy. You can build rock-solid servers, media players, etc. on linux without being tied to a 3rd party and their policies.

Android is not that, it's a fork of linux, a runtime, controlled by Google, just like iOS is built on BSD and owned by Apple.


So linux on embedded devices (like, say, TiVo) isn't linux either?
What would make any linux-based embedded OS more linux than Android?

Reply Parent Score: 3

ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Anytime I see an android phone with a huge front touch panel, rounded edges, no keys, all black or white/black, and rows of icons I think iPhone, then I see the plastic and the lesser build quality (and the oversized & usually poor screen) and realize it's a knock off.



Well, there we are getting into plain opinions.

If I didn't consider that Android stood on it's own merits I would be using an iPhone.

Reply Parent Score: 4

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

In my opinion Linux was never a knock off, it competed against windows and Unix with stability, price, and community. It was not a for-profit venture, which is part of it's beauty.


It is an UNIX knockoff which only got as far as it did, thanks to companies like Intel and IBM deciding to put money on it. Or other companies deciding to invest into something that would allow them not to buy UNIX stations.

Linux kernel and distributions wouldn't have come so far if it was a plain hobby project.

Reply Parent Score: 4