Home > Linux > Android is the Linux Desktop Dream Come True Android is the Linux Desktop Dream Come True Submitted by suka 2011-07-12 Linux 34 Comments In an interview with the Austrian tech site derStandard.at/web Google’s Chris DiBona talks about the important role Open Source plays inside of Google. He also goes on to explain why “Android is the Linux desktop dream come true”. About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 34 Comments 2011-07-12 6:25 pm shmerl > Android is the dream come true. It’s your Linux > desktop, it’s the ultimate success story of Linux > that I’ve been working on personally since 1995. > And it’s so gratifying to see Linux hitting > literally hundreds of thousands of people every > day. I don’t agree. Android distanced from the rest of the Linux world with using incompatible graphical backend and UI system. This simply means – no luck for other Linux’es on Android devices, because there are no accelerated drivers for corresponding GPUs. Manufacturers are writing drivers for Android, but have no time / will to do that for X11 or Wayland. Therefore in practice, Google just caused a huge distraction for hw manufacturers, pushing them away from regular Linux (look for example at Nvidia stopping updating X11 drivers for Tegra, with explanation that they are busy working on Android drivers). Wayland for example claims to reuse X11 drivers, thus unifying the effort, not splitting it. So I’d say Android does not benefit Linux at large to a big degree because of that, if not for the contrary. For example Meego – does. So the claim that Android brings desktop Linux dream closer – is not fair. Edited 2011-07-12 18:33 UTC 2011-07-12 6:34 pm Oliver Weichhold Therefore in practice, Google just caused a huge distraction for hw manufacturers, pushing them away from regular Linux Actually its the other way around. There is no “regular” Linux. Just a bazillion of distros with huge variety of software stacks on the desktop front. By implementing desktop not relying on the aging X stuff, backed by one of the most important software vendors in the world, Google gave Linux exactly what is needed: some coherent desktop experience. 2011-07-12 7:24 pm shmerl No, it’s not true. There is a plenty of regular Linux with common graphical stack. As I said above, Wayland is a much better solution, because it allows to share the effort. Google just pushed manufacturers for their own needs. And those are not needs of Linux desktop. Edited 2011-07-12 19:26 UTC 2011-07-12 9:24 pm somebody Google gave Linux exactly what is needed: some coherent desktop experience. and as Linux user, i say “they can keep it, i’ll be just as happy without it”. – my software runs on any other linux, it doesn’t on android – i can’t use android apps on my desktop where the fsck do you see any coherence here? all i can see is one company pushing its own stack and not even caring about others btw, am i the only one that got a feeling like interviewer didn’t ask any serious question? whole thing reads like questions were asked by google to promote google. 2011-07-12 7:31 pm viton Android distanced from the rest of the Linux world with using incompatible graphical backend and UI system The solution is simple. Abandon X11 and ancient stuff =) 2011-07-12 7:38 pm shmerl Wayland tries to address that. While Google’s approach serves Google. 2011-07-12 8:18 pm bouhko Wayland was first released in a very early alpha stage in 2008. The first stable Android release was released in 2008 as well, but it had been in development for quite some time. So, at the time the Android dev started, Wayland was non-existing. But again, Android is (except some drivers and GSM blobs) open source, so nobody stops you if you want to fork their graphical stack. 2011-07-12 9:06 pm shmerl Yes, it’s open, but it distracts and multiplies effort. I’m not saying that Wayland was earlier, but Android’s graphical stack was not designed with universal Linux use in mind, it was designed for Android specifically. And it creates drivers duplication / competition which is critical as we see (it causes lack of drivers). Wayland has different approach, trying to avoid these issues. I.e. Wayland’s design cares about success of Linux at large, Android’s design doesn’t.That was the whole point of my original comment. Edited 2011-07-12 21:09 UTC 2011-07-14 7:25 am butters Isn’t Android’s SurfaceFlinger fairly similar to a Wayland compositor? The clients are expected to render to OpenGL, and the compositor takes care of multiplexing the framebuffer and routing input events. I could be wrong, but it seems like the only reason that the DRI drivers are different for SurfaceFlinger is that Wayland has a goal of backward compatibility with existing X11 DRI drivers, whereas Google is willing to ditch the X11 hooks completely for pure OpenGL. In this sense, SurfaceFlinger is like the logical conclusion of Wayland without the baggage. It seems to me like the important part is that OpenGL is the common rendering target for clients. Android applications are typically linked with the Skia library for rendering to OpenGL, but most Desktop Linux layout frameworks including GTK+ and Qt are also flying in that direction for Wayland. I don’t see why it should be difficult to bridge this compatibility dilemma, especially in terms of getting Android applications to run on Desktop Linux platforms if not also the other way around. It should be possible to treat Android apps as Wayland clients. As a development project, Android does predate Wayland somewhat, so one can’t exactly blame Google for developing their own solution. Because of the nature of mobile devices, it is highly desirable to have one application framework, so whatever they chose would alienate applications written to other libraries. Even MeeGo has a strongly preferred application framework. Android isn’t a GNU/Linux system. It’s Android/Linux. If X11/GNU/Linux systems like MeeGo want to play in the mobile space, then they better get their act together and compete, because Android, despite its from-scratch application ecosystem, is beating them to a pulp. 2011-07-14 8:15 am shmerl Simple fact, Android causes duplication of effort. One can’t blame them for being first, but it’s their fault they didn’t care about global Linux community. Android is a Android dream, not Linux desktop dream. That’s the point. 2011-07-14 4:26 pm plague I don’t see why it should be difficult to bridge this compatibility dilemma, especially in terms of getting Android applications to run on Desktop Linux platforms if not also the other way around. It should be possible to treat Android apps as Wayland clients. I’ve long wondered about this aswell. Wouldn’t it be possible to create some kind of compatibility-layer for Android drivers to work in Wayland/X11? 2011-07-12 7:33 pm WorknMan Therefore in practice, Google just caused a huge distraction for hw manufacturers, pushing them away from regular Linux You say that like it’s a bad thing The difference between Android and ‘classic’ Linux desktop is that for the most part, Android is not a pain in the ass to use. The stock version of Android is a beautiful OS and a joy to behold. Of course, many HW vendors are trying to f**k it up by adding layers and layers of crap on top of the vanilla experience, but that is a rant for another day. 2011-07-12 7:41 pm shmerl It is a bad thing, for developers, platform adopters, and etc. It’s not difficult to see. Simple example – porting Meego to some Tegra devices is limited by the lack of GPU drivers. Would Google use X11 or Wayland which is aimed for future Linux adoption – that wouldn’t be a problem. 2011-07-12 7:53 pm shmerl From Wayland FAQ: ———- Wayland is not really duplicating much work. Where possible Wayland reuses existing drivers and infrastructure. One of the reasons this project is feasible at all, is that I’m reusing the DRI drivers, the kernel side GEM scheduler and kernel mode setting. Wayland doesn’t have to compete with other projects for drivers and driver writers, it lives within the X.org, mesa and drm community and benefits from all the hardware enablement and driver development happening there. ———- Google is nowhere near this idea with Android. Edited 2011-07-12 19:53 UTC 2011-07-12 8:49 pm pgeorgi As KGI, GGI, Fresco, PicoGUI, Y-Windows and various other projects showed, improving GUI on Linux is more a matter of being part of the right club than of technical merit. I can fully understand the Android team not worrying much about upstreaming any of their GUI related work. 2011-07-12 9:04 pm shmerl I worry less about GUI, sorry for misleading comment above, but more about core graphical stack. 2011-07-12 7:02 pm SunOS Judge me not by my words but by my actions.. http://www.techdirt.com/blog/wireless/articles/20110711/17464515050… 2011-07-12 7:30 pm Neolander Wow, carriers CAN push updates to devices sometimes ? AMAZING !!! /completely_missing_the_point off 2011-07-12 7:33 pm bouhko Buy a non-simlocked rootable Nexus One ? 2011-07-12 7:31 pm TechGeek Android is not Linux. Linux is copyleft by design. Android has large parts under the Apache license which allows Google to not release the code if it doesn’t want to. There is also the issue about app design and X11. Sorry, but Android isn’t the end all, be all answer to desktop problems. Especially since most desktops won’t be running Scale procs. 2011-07-12 10:38 pm JAlexoid So… All Apache is not Linux. All Mozilla stuff is not Linux. OpenSSH is not Linux. Thanks for clarifying. And Holy mackerel Batman! X.org is also NOT Linux!(X11 License is not copyleft) 2011-07-13 8:26 am Laurence Android is not Linux. Linux is copyleft by design. Android has large parts under the Apache license which allows Google to not release the code if it doesn’t want to. There is also the issue about app design and X11. Sorry, but Android isn’t the end all, be all answer to desktop problems. Especially since most desktops won’t be running Scale procs. You’re missing the point. Android is technically Linux (or rather a Linux distribution). Linux is not a copyright license nor philosophy; it’s just a kernel, and Android uses a (customised) Linux kernel thus Android is “Android/Linux” (just as Debian -for example- is “GNU/Linux”). While I sympathise with using the term “Linux” to describe the entire OS (from kernel to user-space stack) for simplicity reasons, when having discussions about what “is” and “is not” a Linux OS, it’s important to first understand what exactly Linux is. So while Android might use a custom Linux kernel, it is still technically Linux – it’s just not GNU/Linux. Edited 2011-07-13 08:30 UTC 2011-07-12 7:35 pm WorknMan I wonder if this guy gives ChromeOS way too much credit out of the box, by assuming it’s always going to be secure. As we have seen with iOS, they actually have a website (forget the URL) where you can jailbreak the device just by visiting it. I assume that if a similar exploit exists for ChromeOS, crackers could set up a website to obtain elevated privileges on the OS, and install a software keylogger that runs in the background, or whatever else … 2011-07-13 2:32 am Luke McCarthy Is that a desktop in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me? 2011-07-13 2:37 am CodexAthena First of all Linux technically only refers to a kernel but more colloquially refers to an entire Operating System as is usually represented by distros. However, when talking about a ‘Linux Desktop’ it makes no sense to only use the term Linux as meaning the kernel only. Anyway so Android having a GPL kernel and an Apache 2.0 userland isn’t actually Linux in this sense. This is because the Apache 2.0 license is more closely related to the BSD licenses, ISC license, and MIT license. However, if someone managed to merge the FreeBSD userland (BSD licensed) with the Linux kernel would people still call it ‘Linux’ ? First of all no one would bother because they would just use one of the various *BSDs instead. Truth of the matter is the GPL is flawed and Linux is an inferior coded mess. The 451 Group’s Matt Aslett’s research on the rise of permissive licensing in open-source communities points out, GPL licensing has been in relative decline compared to Apache- and MIT-licensed projects. The reason for this is clear as Dirk Riehle writes: “Projects that don’t choose a permissive license are at a Darwinian disadvantage over those that do because the later can receive contributions from a broader set of enterprises than the former.” Not so surprisingly, this holds true even for source code repositories: GitHub has been beating SourceForge, Google Code, and other source code repositories by being even more open.” Openness matters. Even in the land of open-source software, where openness is the default http://blogs.the451group.com/opensource/2011/06/06/the-trend-toward… Linux and the GPL are Communist in nature. This is not a surprise since Richard Stallman is a leftist Jew. He is not a religious Jew but he is ethnically Jewish. The fact that he is atheist is not a surprise since that comes with the territory of being a Communist. “* Communism was an essentially Jewish phenomenon. Not merely did the Jew Karl Marx develop the ideas, but the founders of the seminal Russian variety were practically all Jews (this is amply documented by Britton (nd)), as were most of the major figures in communism everywhere in the West. Furthermore, the Russian revolution was financed primarily by Jewish bankers in New York, and specifically by Kuhn Loeb & Co, one of whose partners, Jacob Schiff, was said by his son to have spent the then- inconceivable-sum of $20 million for this purpose (see Sutton (1974)). Schiff was apparently acting out of enmity to the tsar, an antisemite, whom he had also attempted to overthrow by financing the Japanese in the Russo- Japanese war of 1906; and from this it is no surprise that the very first law passed by the Bolsheviks when they took power was a law against “antisemitism”. Bolshevism was responsible for more than 50 million deaths, many of them caused by the most fiendish tortures. Worldwide, Jewish-inspired communism has been responsible for the deaths of more than 100 million people. “Jewish bolshevism”, as it was frequently called in its early days, came close to achieving world hegemony, and — in its more subtle forms of liberalism and socialism — may still do so. * Most Jews are liberals, and Jews have been prime movers in all of the major liberal social phenomena in America (Dershowitz (1997: 269), MacDonald (1998)). For example, Jews were founders of the NAACP and have served almost continuously as its principal directors and legal counsel; Jews founded and dominate the ACLU; most of the major feminists have been Jewish women (eg, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem); the civil rights movement — including SNCC and Martin Luther King — was dominated by Jews and/or communists; Jews comprise more than 50% of all appointed positions in the flamingly-liberal Clinton administration; Jewish senators and representatives have been the major forces behind gun control legislation (Schumer, Metzenbaum, Feinstein, etc), and so on virtually ad infinitum. What goes unstated in all this Jewish liberal activity, however, is that, as early as the late 1920s the (Jewish) leaders of international communism seized on the race issue as a means of tearing apart the world center of individual liberty — and thus their mortal enemy — America; and the subsequent Jewish/communist promotion of “civil rights” — a notion which has now spilled over into feminism, gay rights, children’s rights and all sorts of other Balkanization schemes to set groups against one another — has been so successful that many Americans are now talking openly of racial warfare and the breakup of the country (America)” http://www.thebirdman.org/Index/Jews/Jews-CaseJews.html The founders of Google are also Jewish. I’d say the founders of Google originally chose to use Linux on their servers and stuff for the reasons stated above. However, their practical Jewish financial Capitalist acumen finally triumphed over Communist GPL idealism so they chose the Apache 2.0 license instead which is a smart move. Desktop Linux is a joke and always has been. the *BSDs are superior to Linux and the *BSDs have already defeated Linux on the Desktop with MacOSX (the core of MacOSX is Darwin which is significantly base of off FreeBSD). *BSD code quality is of a higher quality than Linux. It is not hard to understand why. Communism (the GPL etc..) doesn’t work. The reason why Communism doesn’t work is because Communism tries to repeal a law of nature namely that people work for reward and the more reward they get the harder they work. Getting added code folded back into your project via the GPL isn’t a tangible enough reward compared to money for instance. This is because financial currency is happiness in the abstract that can get you pretty much anything you want if you have enough of it. Forced added code folded back into the tree is to ethereal and is also not a good incentive. It is obvious that the Communist slogan “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs)” has more to do with the GPL than does ‘working for reward and working harder the more one is rewarded’. I am aware that some Linux (referring to the userland and kernel) coders are paid to code for Linux but they are in the minority and it is obvious that companies who pay employees to code under the GPL are stupid as pointed out by Dirk Riehle and supported by Aslett’s research. There is nothing magical about Linux. Google’s success isn’t based on Linux. I mean Yahoo uses FreeBSD. Google as successful today or even more so if they chose NetBSD as Android and ChromeOS’s base and if they chose FreeBSD for their servers and OpenBSD for their firewalls and routers etc.. The vast majority of people who use the google search engine probably don’t even know or care that the servers run Linux. Google’s founders chose Linux because they are Jews who are sympathetic to their fellow Communist Jew Richard Stallman and Communism and liberalism in general. I also have no idea why the Linuxtards here are celebrating Android as the representative Linux Desktop either. Google is just as evil as Microsoft it not more in their own way : WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says Facebook, Google, and Yahoo (partially owned by Microsoft) are actually tools for the U.S. intelligence community. In otherwords they are all spy machines who care nothing for your privacy. Microsoft isn’t anti-opensource. For instance Microsoft has no ill will towards the *BSD community at all. Also I might add that Julian Assange used to be part of the *BSD community (at least NetBSD) not the Linux community. That is because only losers use Linux since it is an operating system with inferior insecure code. *BSD is the way so pick one : FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD or MacOSX etc.. Linux is is for Bitches and dumb ones at that. 2011-07-13 2:59 am CodexAthena “…Google’s success isn’t based on Linux. I mean Yahoo uses FreeBSD. Google as successful today or even more so if they chose NetBSD as Android and ChromeOS’s base and if they chose FreeBSD for their servers and OpenBSD for their firewalls and routers etc.. The vast majority of people who use the google search engine probably don’t even know or care that the servers run Linux. ” This above should have been this instead : ..Google’s success isn’t based on Linux. I mean Yahoo uses FreeBSD. Google could be just as successful today or even more so if they chose NetBSD as Android and ChromeOS’s base and if they chose FreeBSD for their servers and OpenBSD for their firewalls and routers etc.. The vast majority of people who use the google search engine probably don’t even know or care that the servers run Linux. Sorry for the mistake. Anyway I’m done posting on the internet today. Goodbye ! 2011-07-13 4:48 am shmerl All this blah blah about all communists being Jews is just rubbish. You have also mistaken communism with anarchism (Stallman is rather technological anarchist, than communist), but it’s an off-topic to a big degree in this thread. Go and learn the subject and stop trolling. Edited 2011-07-13 04:52 UTC 2011-07-13 6:36 am Christian Paratschek I’ve actually read the whole comment because from time to time, I just want to know how the brains of these dipshits really work. The funniest thing about it: as an Austrian, I hear the exact same story about jews from our right-wing extremists too. But they connect the Jews with CAPITALISM instead of communism! They talk about Jews dominating the World Economy trying to destroy hard-working Germans. As you can see, you can spin the story however you want. Man, it seems to be so easy to live in a bubble where you just blame someone else for failing in your own life. You’re a loser, man. You can’t compete with other people on merit. And deep inside you KNOW that. But you just can’t admit it and try to work harder and be a better person. So all you’ve left is pointer fingers at others. You’re a loser. You take the blue pill every day and stay in your little fantasy. You wouldn’t dare touching the red pill – because you could not persevere the consequences. 2011-07-13 7:36 am Neolander For a long time, I hesitated : troll, off-topic, or inaccurate, which one should I choose in that case ? The intervention of jews, communism, and fake laws of nature (money has been proven by several psychology studies not to work as a reward for intellectual jobs) helped me decide, though. Edited 2011-07-13 07:36 UTC 2011-07-13 8:18 am PhilPotter I’m sorry, but this is absolute nonsense. You make yourself look ridiculous with your Jewish conspiracy theories, and frankly they disgust me (I might add I’m not Jewish before you claim I am, as per typical right-wing tactics). Various companies choosing Linux or *BSD or whatever else has many reasons behind it, but the religions/ethnic backgrounds and political ideals of developers…really?? I mean come on – read what you’ve written – it’s just laughable. You really think Larry Page and Sergey Brin sat there and thought “Nowww, what OS shall we use to start our global search empire? It’s gotta be by someone Jewish or it’s no good!”? Do me a favour and go get a clue. 2011-07-13 2:02 pm olefiver Thank you for the most fun read I’ve had all day. I especially liked how you equated communism and liberalism as two sides of the same evil Jewish coin. And keep on blaming the Jews; seeing how long and by how many the Jews have been prosecuted throughout history, they must have done something bad, right? I hope that you’ll write a follow up post though, as I don’t see any real evidence or sensible argument in favor of your claim that “the GPL is flawed and Linux is an inferior coded mess”. Until then, I’ll continue to be a dumb bitch and use Linux. 2011-07-13 7:21 am crhylove However, Linux Mint version 10 AND 11 IS in fact the year of Linux on the desktop. Android is just increased corporate branding and patent warfare gouging of the customers. Barely better than Apple. Well, a lot better than apple, but still pretty evil. Where’s the source code for gingerbread? Don’t delude yourselves. Android is a walled garden wearing sheep’s clothes. 2011-07-13 11:56 am Darkmage personally I would like to fork the linux graphics stack anyway. X should be treated like it is on OSX, as an application implemented on top of OpenGL. It’s old, crufty and frankly doesn’t do enough anymore. GNUStep + Opal should develop a complete gui solution like OSX has, and eventually transition from running on top of X to being standalone on OpenGL. 2011-07-13 12:19 pm vivainio personally I would like to fork the linux graphics stack anyway. X should be treated like it is on OSX, as an application implemented on top of OpenGL. Get with the program and read up on Wayland.