Linux on ARM
Ever since the news broke last weekend that a fully open tablet is on the way, the excitement has been tangible in the Linux community. I wrote about the tablet on Monday, but since then KDE developer Aaron Seigo has revealed a number of new details. There's plenty of good news to share, including the fact that you can preorder one as early as next week; the main bad news as far as I can see is that you'll have to wait until May to actually get the thing.
Last week I delivered benchmarks showing how Ubuntu 12.04 is ARM-ing up for better performance with ARM-based hardware and detailed some of the plans Canonical has for this architecture going forward.
The Spark is a 7 inch tablet with an open source Linux-based operating system and an open platform for apps, eBooks, and other digital content. One of the developers of the Spark project introduced the tablet last week, and now he’s posted a Q&A with far more details – including launch details.
Open-source software and Linux, thanks to Android, is well represented on tablets. But, if you didn’t want to deal with proprietary firmware and software, you were out of luck… until now. Aaron Seigo, one of the KDE’s lead developers, and his team are just about ready to roll-out the first tablet based entirely on Linux and free software: The Spark.
Many were talking yesterday about why the forthcoming $25/$35 Raspberry Pi system won't ship in kit form, but of more interest to Phoronix readers out of that blog post would be the details concerning their Linux graphics driver stack and what they will be supporting.
Hardware and software development is going full-steam ahead for ARM servers. After Calxeda and AppliedMicro server SoCs – based respectively on Cortex A9 and ARMv8 architecture – have been announced and Ubuntu focusing further ARM development on Servers (Calxeda, Marvell and ARMv8), Oracle has released the Java SE server compiler – a throughput optimizing JIT compiler - for ARMv7. The ARMv7 server compiler is part of Java SE for Embedded 7 Update 2.
NOOK Tablet hackers have added a few new tools to their arsenal this weekend. Developer Cobroto has put together one of the first custom ROMs for the tablet, while developer AdamOutler has put together a rather impressive tool based on Ubuntu Linux which you can use to reformat the NOOK Tablet and roll back from OS 1.4.1 or later to NOOK Tablet OS 1.4.0.
Running computer operating systems on a phone is always an interesting experience. For most phones, booting into Linux is hard enough and Windows isn’t even an option. The HTC EVO 3D is not one of those phones.
A new tablet called the Spark is on the way. At first glance it looks like most of the cheap Chinese tablets we’ve seen in the past few years, but the Spark won’t run Google Android. Instead it will run an open source Linux-based operating system with the KDE Plasma Active interface running on top.
There's still one week until the work will be officially announced, but the open-source "Lima" open-source graphics driver project has surfaced. The Lima driver? This is going to be the open-source driver built for ARM's Mali graphics processors. Lima is what the project's being called for the story Phoronix exclusively broke last week, An Open-Source, Reverse-Engineered Mali GPU Driver.
PHYTEC’s production-ready phyCORE-OMAP4430 and Linux BSP provide a core foundation so that developers do not have to design an OMAP4 based embedded application from the ground up.
As shared on Phoronix in many articles already, Canonical has big plans for Ubuntu in the ARM-space. They are looking forward to making Ubuntu Linux be the first operating system to support the forthcoming ARM Cortex A15, but before that and the other achievements they have planned, they must first ship Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
The OpenPandora project is an open source project to create a handheld gaming console using open source designs and open source software. The Pandora has an ARM-based processor, Linux-based operating system, and support for a wide range of game console emulators along with a QWERTY thumb keyboard and dual analog game controllers.
Being a tablet, it makes a lot more sense to run Ubuntu on the ASUS Tranformer Prime than on a smartphone. Of course, that hasn’t stopped people from porting the popular Linux distro to the HTC Desire, for example, and for the old Windows Mobile devices, getting Ubuntu to work was a stepping stone for Android ports – a process probably best illustrated with the HTC HD2.
David Mandala of Canonical talked last week at Linux.Conf.Au 2012 about the history of Ubuntu Linux supporting the ARM architecture, what's coming up for Ubuntu ARM in the 12.04 LTS release, and even what's expected from Ubuntu on ARM as far out as 2015.