If you have a 2013- or 2014-era iPad sitting around unused because it’s not getting updates from Apple anymore and has stopped running the apps you need, some developers are working on an alternative software solution for you. Developer Konrad Dybcio and a Linux enthusiast going by “quaack723” have collaborated to get Linux kernel version 5.18 booting on an old iPad Air 2, a major feat for a device that was designed to never run any operating system other than Apple’s.
This is an amazing achievement, and further goes to show that given enough time, someone will port Linux to it.
Good on them. Wouldn’t the tech world be a better place if we could run what we want on hardware we may actually own.
When we were handed out iPhone 3G by work in 2008 there was a Linux project able to boot on it back in those days. Power management and using the radio was not happening so it wasn’t very usable.
When it comes to device longevity and general purpose computing it was proven on multiple occasions in the past GNU/Linux is the best at it. Especially in combination with FOSS device drivers. Microsoft, Apple, Google … they don’t come close to it. They talk about it but their track record is bad. To lets say having 15 years of support and being able to run latest kernel and user space and majority of applications. On other mentioned platforms this is only possible if you result to using EOL-ed operating systems and software. In addition i don’t like on how you buy a device and must wait for an exploit for being able to gain root access. It’s your device hence you should get to choose if you will enable root or not. But all in all great news. Being able to run GNU/Linux on iPad.
Now i guess onto USB-C ports for iPhone, support for normal installation of applications, usage of other payment systems … Long overdue.
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