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Ubuntu Ports To ARM

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the arm-y-of-warmth dept.

Operating Systems 279

nerdyH writes "Canonical will port Ubuntu Desktop Linux to the ARMv7 architecture. The announcement sets the stage for Intel to lose the traditional 'software advantage' that has enabled x86 to shrug off attacks from other architectures for the last 30 years. How long can it be before Microsoft responds with a Windows 7 port? I mean, x86 just can't do 'idle power' like ARM ... Nokia's N810 tablets can standby for several weeks, just like a cell phone, keeping you 'present' on IM, behind IPv4 NAT the whole time. The first Atom MIDs are standing by for 6-7 hours."

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sounds to me... (5, Funny)

Smelly Jeffrey (583520) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749549)

This sounds to me like a RISC-y proposition.

Re:sounds to me... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25749587)

More like (Score:3, Punny)!

Boo to both of us.

Re:sounds to me... (2, Funny)

MooUK (905450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750679)

At the time of posting, the parent was appropriately rated 3, Funny.

Re:sounds to me... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750721)

I just want to know, can you run Linux on it?

Re:sounds to me... (3, Funny)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749591)

I think Canonical will go through with it, but probably keep it at ARM's length.

Re:sounds to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25749851)

I MIPS that architecture so much!

sounds to me...Up in ARMs. (5, Funny)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749959)

Well by ARMing Ubuntu, they'll be prepared to wage war on other OSs.

Re:sounds to me...Up in ARMs. (5, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750007)

They're sure well ARMed, NATurally.

Re:sounds to me... (1)

armer (533337) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750005)

Man, I wish I hadn't used up all my moderator points...

Re:sounds to me... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750365)

Kidding aside, it's not even a little out of the ordinary. Not only has Linux been running on ARM for ages and ages, Debian already supports the architecture. The Ubuntu devs would have zero work to do if they ever bothered to contribute upstream...

Is the OP serious? (4, Insightful)

Excelcia (906188) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749571)

Is the OP serious about Ubuntu's port to ARM causing Intel to worry and Microsoft to follow suit? As much as it is a popular Linux distro, and as much as I personally like Ubuntu and wish this were true, I really don't think Intel is going to lose sleep over Ubuntu on ARM.

Perhaps I'm misreading the tone of the summary. I honestly can't tell if it's is tongue-in-cheek or serious. The absurdity of it makes me think it's poking a little fun, but it reads to me like the guy was serious.

Re:Is the OP serious? (2, Interesting)

pipatron (966506) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749625)

I think it's "hey, one can only hope". I know I do.

However, I think more important is that someone can now make a "netbook" without having to stick with intel, and still get a complete and modern desktop OS. An extra bonus would be the difficulties to switch to Windows XP.

Re:Is the OP serious? (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749735)

I second these thoughts fully - I _WANT_ to see Ubuntu on ARM as a hobbyist.

Pandora (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749933)

I second these thoughts fully - I _WANT_ to see Ubuntu on ARM as a hobbyist.

Downside: It might make the next batch of Pandora [openpandora.org] preorders sell out that much faster.

Re:Is the OP serious? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749789)

I know I kept looking to make sure the foot icon wasn't really there, hiding somewhere.

Re:Is the OP serious? (5, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749883)

If anything, this is pretty cool for the Pandora [openpandora.org] project.

Re:Is the OP serious? (5, Interesting)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749889)

You have a point. However many companies (VIA, AMD) are developing a chip like Intel's atom. As these chips are to be put into lower cost computers (MID sub notebooks, netbooks) there is an advantage (in terms of cost) to linux in being able to run on other platforms other than x86.
If for instance I produced a POS till system based on Linux it would be advantageous if I could run this on an ARM processor.
As Linux can run on many different platforms it also frees device manufactures to think differently about what computers can be in the future, and how they will be used in society (later versions of the OLPC set for 2010 are ebooks for example).

Re:Is the OP serious? (2, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750101)

AMD had the Geode out first, which prompted Intel to counter with Atom and VIA to follow suit.

Re:Is the OP serious? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750935)

Actually NatSemi had the Geode processors out first, they sold the line to AMD. Of course, NatSemi had gotten the technology in the first place when they merged with Cyrix.

Re:Is the OP serious? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750749)

If for instance I produced a POS till system based on Linux it would be advantageous if I could run this on an ARM processor.

How? Via C7 processor will give you light power useage and you dont have to do anything special or recompile.

Plus why not simply use one of the 6 linux distros already made for that processor?

Re:Is the OP serious? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25749905)

Well, since Debian supports ARM for a long time now, I can't even see how Intel would bat an eye to Ubuntu porting to ARM. As far as I can see, Canonical will be just getting all the work Debian already did, tweaking 1% of it, and issuing press-releases.

You guys do know that at least as far as the Linux kernel goes, Ubuntu is regarded as a bunch of parasites by way too many developers, don't you?

Now, that attitute it is going to bleed to userspace. Too many people in Debian are already somewhat hostile to Ubuntu... the RedHat/Fedora developers are getting pissed at Ubuntu for the same reasons (they are too good at stealing the credit from whomever did the REAL work)...

If Canonical now manages to "steal the credits" for an entire Debian port, they may soon find out it became persona non-grata with the people who really does the hard work. And you BET Ubuntu users will get the flak over it.

I sure hope they will start writing on these press releases WHERE the real work came from. THEN, we might even believe Canonical will be doing anything of real value the next time we read one...

Re:Is the OP serious? (-1, Offtopic)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749995)

How do you use the features of an ARM processor with debian? I mean cmon, the CPU will never, ever go idle, it will always be compiling!

Re:Is the OP serious? (3, Insightful)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750191)

Debian is a binary distribution, thus no end-user compilation is necessary. You're thinking of Gentoo.

Mod AC Up (2, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750909)

Though the comments are a bit inflammatory, they are pretty close to the truth.

Debian has been on ARM forever. I've got a NSLU2 from a couple of years ago running Debian with zero issues and fantastic performance. http://www.cyrius.com/debian/nslu2/ [cyrius.com]

I fail to see where this improves Canonical's chances of turning a profit. Dell's deal sure doesn't seem to have helped them very much.

Re:Is the OP serious? (3, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749971)

Its proof the OP has about 0 idea what he is talking about. ARM CPUs are not meant to compete with the Desktop/Laptop CPUs, they often lack a lot of the features that those CPUs have. You won't see a whole ton of ARM based desktops anytime soon. ARM does compete(and is already light years ahead in terms of volume) with Intel in the embedded market. Having a version of ubuntu you can customize for a large # of devices does open up a lot of opportunities, but thinking that somehow this will combat Intel's dominance in the PC CPU industry is just well....stupid.

Re:Is the OP serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750351)

What are you talking about? The whole thing is about *embedded* stuff, thus the summary's mention of the Nokia tablet and the Intel Atom. You do know that "netbooks" are taking off in the marketplace right? These devices run shrunken desktops, be they Linux or Windows CE or what have you, but nobody is talking about full-blown PCs here.

Re:Is the OP serious? (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750397)

"Its proof the OP has about 0 idea what he is talking about. ARM CPUs are not meant to compete with the Desktop/Laptop CPUs, they often lack a lot of the features that those CPUs have. You won't see a whole ton of ARM based desktops anytime soon"

Where were desktops mentioned?

MIDS and netbooks are the target. But with netbooks being so popular, and high battery life being an issue, ARM could make inroads to intel's current netbook dominance. And even stop it entering the MID market.

Re:Is the OP serious? (4, Interesting)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750429)

What features does ARM lack for it to be a desktop or laptop processor? Iyonix make the RiscPC, which is a very capable desktop machines built around an ARM processor. While I don't own a RiscPC myself, I do own a two DEC Sharks that have an ARM processor, and compared to the contemporary x86 PC of the same era (1998-1999), the Shark was more powerful (233MHz, which is roughly equivalent to a 466MHz x86 processor). There is nothing in the ARM instruction set that makes it unsuitable for a desktop computer, and for a laptop it is far more suitable than an x86 chip thanks to greater efficiency. Even the Thumb instruction set (which reduces most instructions to 16bits), can be exploited by the kind of operating system that can run on a desktop machine despite being aimed primarily at small devices where code density and cheap (8bit) memory is advantageous. Frankly, it sounds to me like you simply don't know what you're talking about.

Re:Is the OP serious? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750435)

Having a version of ubuntu you can customize for a large # of devices does open up a lot of opportunities

I wonder, what opportunities does it open up that Debian on ARM doesn't? As you rightly point out, ARM platforms tend to be embedded, and in the embedded space the end user doesn't care about what distribution the developer used to build their system, since the distribution is usually completely hidden. In fact, there usually isn't a real distribution, since there's usually no way to provide updates or install new software.

I can only imagine that Ubuntu are thinking that the current crop of Android cell phones and ARM based PDAs are going to need (or it will be desirable to have) a proper Linux distribution, targetted at end users rather than developers, as Debian would be.

Something like Ubuntu running on an Openmoko phone, with the Dalvik VM, classes and Google app store would probably be the ultimate PDA/phone convergence device at the moment.

Re:Is the OP serious? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751041)

I wonder, what opportunities does it open up that Debian on ARM doesn't?

Corporate support?

Re:Is the OP serious? (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751009)

I wouldn't be so sure about that - an ARM based netbook running Ubuntu (ow Windows CE) might make sense.

Re:Is the OP serious? (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750125)

If having a popular linux distribution support a processor was all it took to migrate "the droves" off x86 processors, we'd all be running PowerPC processors a long time ago.

Re:Is the OP serious? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750599)

I don't see this displacing x86 on the desktop anytime soon (x86 and x86-64 might outlive everyone here), but it could give x86 (and windows) some stiff competition in netbooks, MIDs, and other small stuff where keeping power consumption low (and thus battery life long while keeping weight and size low) is important.

Re:Is the OP serious? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750401)

Maybe, maybe so.

Maybe the OP didn't know that Intel also makes ARM processors (the StrongARM arch).

Personally, I think this is just Canonical saying "let's get some small/low power ARM-based desktops out there, already!" - which is, IMO, a step in the right direction. ARM is more-or-less fast enough for most of what everyone does, especially with the arch's ability to have sub-processors for specific tasks.

No, this isn't an attack at Intel, so much as it is an attack at MS and a little something to encourage vendors to start making HPCs and low-end desktops using ARM hardware instead of Atom, I think.

Re:Is the OP serious? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750659)

Didn't Intel sell their ARM/Xscale division to Marvell back in 2006?

Re:Is the OP serious? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751017)

You're not misreading anything, and the author is quite serious. Enthusiasts for a particular technology tend to read too much into proposals like this. Nothing new about that.

There's also an official Ubuntu port for SPARC [ubuntu.com] . This has been around for a while now, but there's been no talk of reviving the Windows on SPARC [lanet.lv] project.

Perhaps the submitter was mislead by the marketing BS in the annoucement. The "software advantage" of x86 is not going to go away because people start buying ARM-based netbooks instead of x86-based netbooks. Most computers are not netbooks!

Ubuntu Alone (3, Insightful)

prestomation (583502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749599)

Ubuntu alone is not going to "set the stage for Intel to lose the "software advantage"", or anyone else for that matter, by switching to ARM.
Sure, a few thousand people will be able to switch to an ARM device without blinking, but the rest of the 99.9% of the worlds computer users won't give a flying piece of monkey poo.

Re:Ubuntu Alone (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750341)

Ubuntu alone is not going to "set the stage for Intel to lose the "software advantage"", or anyone else for that matter, by switching to ARM.
Sure, a few thousand people will be able to switch to an ARM device without blinking, but the rest of the 99.9% of the worlds computer users won't give a flying piece of monkey poo.

Really? All it took was a a tiny company in Cupertino, CA, a rogue division in Boca Raton, FL, and a tiny company in Albuquerque, NM, to change IBM's world.

Re:Ubuntu Alone (1)

Sheltem The Guardian (940038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750567)

It's not about hobbysts. It's all about huge embedded market and the next generation of lighter, cooler and greener linux netbooks.

Re:Ubuntu Alone (4, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750653)

> Ubuntu alone is not going to "set the stage for Intel to lose the "software advantage"",
> or anyone else for that matter, by switching to ARM.

You are missing the big picture. Go look at lilliputing.com's similar story. This is about netbooks. If Canonical is investing in a full port this tells us somebody bigger than the generic Chinese outfit we already know about is planning to introduce an ARM based netbook, which also is isn't news to we who have been paying attention because ARM themselves said as much weeks ago. We still don't know WHO this mystery major vendor is though.

> Sure, a few thousand people will be able to switch to an ARM device without blinking, but
> the rest of the 99.9% of the worlds computer users won't give a flying piece of monkey poo.

Have you used an EEEPC running their customized Xandros? It 'just works' and in the last month they have added a full repository where you can just click to add from a quickly growing list of additional apps. I haven't seen Ubuntu Netbook Remix yet but I'm confident that if they put their minds to it thay can produce a similarly seamless experience on a preloaded machine. And the end user won't even realize the machine isn't x86 compatible and won't care as long as it 'just works.'

The big change will be these new ARM netbooks won't have an option for XP. Some might get roughed up enough by Redmond to offer a WinCE option but who in their right mind would pick Pocket IE and Office viewers over a full Firefox and full version of OO.o?

WTF? If AMD64 can't do it with a full x86 core... (4, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749601)

The announcement sets the stage for Intel to lose the traditional 'software advantage' that has enabled x86 to shrug off attacks from other architectures for the last 30 years.

I am reading this summary as a complete joke.

We are having problems moving to AMD64, and those processors include a full speed x86 compatibility mode. Until there is an ARM7 core that has a full x86 mode I don't think it is going to go anywhere on eliminating the "software advantage" of x86.

We can't even get such smallish things as flash to be offered in 64-bit mode, so what happens to larger Windows only stuff?

Plus Wine wouldn't work, since it isn't an emulator.

Re:WTF? If AMD64 can't do it with a full x86 core. (4, Interesting)

jdowland (764773) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749829)

there are flash plugins for ARM, mind :)

Wine CE (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749983)

Plus Wine wouldn't work, since it isn't an emulator.

Some sort of "Wine CE" would probably work. Windows Mobile runs on ARM CPUs.

Re:WTF? If AMD64 can't do it with a full x86 core. (2, Informative)

nxtw (866177) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750267)

We are having problems moving to AMD64, and those processors include a full speed x86 compatibility mode. Until there is an ARM7 core that has a full x86 mode I don't think it is going to go anywhere on eliminating the "software advantage" of x86.

You might have problems running x86 software on x86-64 operating systems on x86-64 CPUs. But many issues are specific to certain operating systems. Missing 64-bit browser plug-ins can be solved by running a 32-bit browser and 32-bit plugins. It's also possible to support 64-bit software on a 32-bit kernel (which could have prevented driver availability issues for those who insist on using 64-bit software when they don't need to use more than ~3 GB of RAM), but only OS X Leopard takes this approach.

Some operating systems don't have x86-64 implementations that make this easy. I like the approach used in Solaris and OS X; there are no separate x86-64 and x86 versions of either operating system. Solaris includes the x86 and x86-64 kernels and OS X Leopard uses a 32-bit kernel which can run 64-bit processes. They ship with 32- and 64-bit libraries, but most of the userland executables are 32-bit.

Re:WTF? If AMD64 can't do it with a full x86 core. (1)

doti (966971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750475)

We are having problems moving to AMD64

ORLY?

I run 64 for years now, and the _only_ problem I encountered was the lack of a Flash plugin, and I hope this will be rendered obsolete soon (theora, svg+js,)

Re:WTF? If AMD64 can't do it with a full x86 core. (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750487)

Gnuflash will come along. Flash is already available for some non-x86 architectures.

Who cares about windows-only stuff on a mobile internet device or a netbook?

As for the rest of Linux stuff, there are already arm ports of a hell of a lot of thing, debian runs fine on arm.

Re:WTF? If AMD64 can't do it with a full x86 core. (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750505)

The only reason x86 has a software advantage is that it runs Windows (and DOS). Linux and others have been made to run on anything from bicycle shoe strings to galactic overlords, but if you want to run (desktop) Windows, x86 is pretty much your only choice.

Re:WTF? If AMD64 can't do it with a full x86 core. (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750739)

The only reason x86 has a software advantage is that it runs Windows (and DOS). Linux and others have been made to run on anything from bicycle shoe strings to galactic overlords, but if you want to run (desktop) Windows, x86 is pretty much your only choice.

True, which is why, aside from a very small set of closed-source applications for Linux (Adobe Flash and EVE being the main ones that I use), the premise of the summary that Ubuntu being available for ARM is going to change anything on the desktop is quite silly.

Re:WTF? If AMD64 can't do it with a full x86 core. (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750547)

We are having problems moving to AMD64,

The only problems with AMD64 at the moment are related to legacy software and closed source software. Whilst the kernel and compiler obviously needed to be adapted, in user space land the changes weren't so great (an int is still 32 bits, etc.) Obviously sloppy pointer code also needed updating. But mainstream Linux distributions have supported AMD64 for years now.

Plus Wine wouldn't work, since it isn't an emulator.

You could probably run Wine under QEMU if you really want. But I doubt this is a showstopper - someone considering an ARM based system probably isn't that bothered about running legacy Windows applications.

Re:WTF? If AMD64 can't do it with a full x86 core. (1)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750993)

What problems with 64 bit? 64 bit OS can run 32 bit applications. Yes, I do use "Flash", but I haven't had the urge to run it as a 64 bit application (why would I want to?)

"Windows only stuff" -- but, we have QEMU. Now, I must confess, I use QEMU to run ARM on x86, and x86 on SPARC, but you can use it to run x86 on ARM. Now, I could be mistaken (not needing Windows(tm)), but I thought QEMU x86 translation was good enough to boot Window(tm) XP.

If QEMU isn't suitable (performance), I would assume that another binary translator will be produced. (its just that QEMU is the -arguably- most popular binary translator in use). For performance, the WINE libraries could be deployed to make the "under-the-cover" APIs work at full native speed.

Actually, I would think that most Windows(tm) software does not use self-modifying code (for security reasons), and, as a result, could be statically recompiled, and re-linked against alternate (WINE-like) libraries. The technique is currently being deployed on old MS software (see /. for the story on deploying CBM BASIC, which is a statically recompiled 6502 BASIC).
I probably wouldn't use "C" as my intermediate language for this (SCHEME strikes me as a better choice), but it is well within the capabilities of "amateur" developers to do this.

The largest impediment is the copyright of the original work. It may take quite a while to recompile such an application, and the results would be a "derivative work". In other words, not legal to distribute. The recompiler itself would be legal. You probably won't be sued for distributing a recompilation of CBM BASIC, but MS Word of recent vintage?

Windows? (1)

rcallan (1256716) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749617)

Has any desktop version of windows been ported to any other architecture? Methinks not, it would seem porting something as complex as windows to a completely different architecture would be an insurmountable task. I'm not knowledgable of their tools, but I think they'd have to write a new backend for their compilers, and that's just the tip of the iceberg...

Re:Windows? (2, Informative)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749699)

Windows NT ran on Alpha Processors so yes versions of windows have been ported to other architectures. DEC_Alpha [wikipedia.org]

Re:Windows? (4, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749703)

Windows NT [wikipedia.org] has had versions on "IA-32, AMD64, MIPS R4000, Alpha, PowerPC, and Itanium", but mostly the earlier versions, like 3.1 and 3.51, with XP on Itanium.

Re:Windows? (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749799)

Back in the stone age, NT 3.x and 4 ran on a couple of architectures, MIPS and Alpha.

I never saw anyone use it, anyone remember how well it worked?

Re:Windows? (2, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750211)

NT 4.0 on a 128MB, 533MHz DEC Alpha workstation was actually solid and effortless.

I just hated that NT 4 removed video DMA, it broke a few of my other software programs but that got fixed with the release of 2000, by which time DEC was alreday going down and thus wasn't supported in the new NT iteration.

Re:Windows? (1)

Snowblindeye (1085701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749915)

Has any desktop version of windows been ported to any other architecture? Methinks not, it would seem porting something as complex as windows to a completely different architecture would be an insurmountable task.

Actually Windows NT was developed on other platforms, then ported to x86. It was originally released with support for x86, MIPS and Dec Alpha. NT 3.5 added support for PowerPC.

IIRC the MIPS and PowerPC ports were dropped fast, the Alpha port was supported thru all the service packs for NT4. It's only since Win2K that they've dropped the other platforms.

Though according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] the Win2k Alpha port was almost finished.

Re:Windows? (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750037)

Yes. Windows NT was originally developed with portability in mind [wikipedia.org] . It has been ported to (at least) MIPS, Alpha, PowerPC, x86, x86-64, and Itanium. However, only x86, x86-64, and Itanium versions have been released since Windows 2000. The Alpha port was planned/developed for Windows 2000 but never released, and I've read rumors of Xbox 360 demos/development running on PowerPC chips running some port of Windows NT.

Microsoft already has compilers for (at least) x86, x86_64, Itanium, MIPS, ARM, PPC, SH3, although some of those are for Windows CE or Xbox development.

Microsoft didn't start offering Windows NT as the consumer "desktop" version until XP was released in 2001, but they've since released x86, x86_64, and Itanium versions of Windows NT.

Re:Windows? (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750053)

Windows (server editions) currently run on X86/64, and Itanium, which is a completely different architecture. I'm not sure if they have a Vista or XP for Itanium, but I know the servers run.

Year of Linux on the Desktop? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25749621)

Now that Ubuntu has finally ported to the ever-popular ARM architecture, maybe 2009 will be the year of Linux on the desktop!

Re:Year of Linux on the Desktop? (2, Interesting)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750333)

A mere 10 bn processors shipped - yes, only 1e10. Wusses.

http://electronicdesign.com/Articles/ArticleID/18043/18043.html

Netbooks (1)

iVasto (829426) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749643)

With netbooks becoming increasingly powerful, perhaps it will finally become the year for linux.

Re:Netbooks (4, Funny)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749857)

That was 2008, now it's the Year After The Year For Linux, which is incidentally The Year That Microsoft Still Doesn't Care, which is also the year before The Year Microsoft Got Knocked Out Because They Weren't Paying Attention To Open Source. This is all part of the Decade Of Users Realizing Software Can't Always Be Spoon Fed To Them If They Want To Like What They Taste.

Re:Netbooks (1)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749913)

Netbooks do not run on ARM, and they are already supported by Ubuntu...

Debian did it first (5, Informative)

paroneayea (642895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749647)

Uhm... so Ubuntu is a derivative of Debian, and Debian has supported ARM for like... forever. Ubuntu just hasn't followed suit until now.

Not to say this isn't significant. Just give Debian some credit.

Re:Debian did it first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25749825)

NO! They don't have to! The GPL says share the code, not share the credit. Life isn't fair and all that jazz...

Re:Debian did it first (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750139)

The GPL says share the code, not share the credit.

The GPL [gnu.org] has a few requirements to "keep intact all notices".

Re:Debian did it first (5, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749955)

Debian also has had SPARC, SPARC64, Itanium, Alpha, MIPS, etc. for years. What's the big deal?

Re:Debian did it first (2, Funny)

f0dder (570496) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750907)

shhh.. those are next weeks headlines.

Re:Debian did it first (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750193)

Might as well give credit to the Linux kernel, which runs on dozens of architectures, and other upstream software providers.

I've been hoping that free software would be the way out of the x86 mess, but with all the x86 netbooks and Apple's Intel switch, things look even worse than a few years ago. Netbooks in particular seemed exciting at first, being a niche where Linux is especially strong, but most of them are still based on x86 just so that you can still run bad old Windows.

Also, it seems to me that .NET would be Microsoft's way out of x86, but with their usual pace it will probably take at least another decade.

Re:Debian did it first (2, Insightful)

doti (966971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750503)

Might as well give credit to GCC, that compiles to all those platforms which Linux is ported to, and some more.

It's GNU/Linux for a reason.

Re:Debian did it first (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750315)

Well being that Ubuntu is a derivative distribution. But with more of a focus on Desktop use and Less on Server use. I would suspect there is still a fare amount of work to be done. Being a slower processor (and sorry Ubentu is not a super speed OS on low end systems, it is actually quite slow) So many of the default apps may need to be changed as well work in some apps to work better with the ARM platform, that Debien doesn't put in high priority. Just because you can port an App from one Architecture to an Other and have it run. Doesn't really mean it will run as best it can for the architecture.

Re:Debian did it first (2, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750917)

I run Linux on my ARM-based slug [nslu2-linux.org] , which I use as a music player. I'm happy with the result (a cheap, always-on, low-energy music server), but it was kind of a pain to do the install, and the resulting system is broken in enough ways that I wouldn't want to use it very often as a general-purpose computer. Ubuntu is known as an easy-to-install, easy-to-use, full-featured desktop system that Just Works. If they can extend that to ARM-based subnotebooks, etc., then IMO it really is a big deal. Most people who own an x86 or x64 desktop machine really don't need one. All they need is a computer for word-processing, web browsing, and email. A lot of people really are finding out that they're just as happy with a cheap eeePC or whatever. If I could have Linux on an ARM-based notebook computer, and the battery would last for weeks in sleep mode, that would really be something I'd consider buying. But no way would I consider it if I didn't get the same freedom from hassles that I get with Ubuntu.

Intel builds XScale (1)

Beached (52204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749761)

Xscale uses the ARM architecture and is built by Intel. So, either way Intel makes money.

Re:Intel builds XScale (3, Informative)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749897)

Not anymore. Intel sold the XScale division to Marvell in 2006. Since then, Intel has been without a good low-power processor. None of their x86 designs has come close to what a fully static ARM core can achieve in terms of battery life.

Re:Intel builds XScale (2, Informative)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750089)

Correction: Intel didn't sell all of their ARM business, just the product lines relevant to PDAs, netbooks, etc. (And Intel is still doing the manufaturing on behalf of Marvell, so they will make some money.)

Why would Microsoft respond with a Windows 7 port? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25749763)

Who the heck wants to run Windows 7 on a Nokia tablet? Nobody. Microsoft already has Windows Mobile, which works fine on ARM as well as other architectures. Windows 7 is designed for the PC/laptop where it stays on x86 solely to provide that Windows feature that Linux enthusiasts always seem to miss, namely that *all the apps anyone has written for Windows will continue working*. Don't count on x86 to be more power-hungry than ARM forever either; it's been improving in leaps and bounds.

Re:Why would Microsoft respond with a Windows 7 po (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25749861)

Who the heck wants to run Windows 7 on a Nokia tablet?

Who the heck wants to run Windows 7?

Who the heck wants to run Windows?

And..

*all the apps anyone has written for Windows will continue working*

Yeah, this is true, since _no_ apps works in Windows - they'll just keep not working.

Re:Why would Microsoft respond with a Windows 7 po (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750051)

Who the heck wants to run Windows?

People who have clients or suppliers that use (the advanced features of) Microsoft Office. People who play indie video games or game mods (because consoles don't have mods). People who live in areas where the only banks use ActiveX for individual accounts (I've heard this is the case in parts of the Republic of Korea).

Re:Why would Microsoft respond with a Windows 7 po (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750665)

There's no reason indie videogames can't move to linux.

Hell, pcsx2, the ps2 emulator, does both.

Re:Why would Microsoft respond with a Windows 7 po (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750685)

WRT office: are there advanced features of Office that only work in windows and not on their Mac version or through Codeweavers?

Re:Why would Microsoft respond with a Windows 7 po (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25749965)

*all the apps anyone has written for Windows will continue working*

One slight problem with that.
Whilst the software may indeed run, will it be comfortably usable on a small handheld touch device?

can you see yourself being comfortable clicking a 10pixel OK button on a 225dpi screen?

I see the benefit of this because having a stable backend to build a whole new set of applications is extremely important.

Dialog boxes in em, not px (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750289)

can you see yourself being comfortable clicking a 10pixel OK button on a 225dpi screen?

Windows dialog box elements aren't specified in screen pixels. Instead, they're specified in "dialog units", which are effectively a fraction of an em. If I set the monitor to 192 dpi, which is twice the common DPI on Windows, the OK button will be bigger.

Debian has been available for ARM for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25749953)

FWIW:

http://www.debian.org/ports/arm/

Really. (3, Funny)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750067)

How long can it be before Microsoft responds with a Windows 7 port?

I see them doing this on the 7th of never.

Re:Really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750929)

Precisely at 4pm

Don't get so excited (0)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750069)

Think Flash sucks on AMD64? Just wait for Ubuntu on the ARM, where you can't run Flash at all.

Seriously, netbooks are useful for a small subset of tasks, and crippling web browsing doesn't exactly make them very appealing.

Re:Don't get so excited (3, Informative)

Majix (139279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750233)

Nokia's N810, which is an ARM device, comes with Flash 9. Not some stripped down mobile version either, but the full thing.

Re:Don't get so excited (2, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750293)

Yet another reason not to use proprietary plugins. If non-x86 netbooks catch on I think we'll see sites like youtube offering alternative streaming methods, like via HTML5's tag. Flash is great for vector animation, but it doesn't offer any advantages when it comes to web video.

Re:Don't get so excited (1)

marsu_k (701360) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750371)

Flash 9 exists for ARM/Linux, at least on the Maemo platform (N800/N810 only). But I think Nokia has paid something for it, whether it'll be available in Ubuntu remains to be seen.

Re:Don't get so excited (2, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750557)

It would appear to me that Flash is crippling web browsing, as it stands. Its slow, very bloated, and doesn't handle well on older hardware. The lack of Flash ability hardly cripples the web, either - not unless your "web use" is centered around Flash games, email, and IM.

Re:Don't get so excited (1)

dino2gnt (1072530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750815)

> crippling web browsing doesn't exactly make them very appealing.

Blame the websites you frequent for buying into the Adobe-owned proprietary platform, then. Flash is, and always has been, an abomination.

N810 is AWESOME (3, Interesting)

itomato (91092) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750259)

My Nokia n810 is everything I wanted my Newton 2100 to be several years ago:

- smaller
- color
- built-in board
- integrated wireless lan

However, it lacks much of what made the Newton lovable. Perhaps a full Ubuntu port will let me push the limits. Multi-touch X and an alternative window manager would do a lot.

We can run Android, but it's less than optimized for the n810.

We can also run Einstein (http://www.oreillynet.com/mac/blog/2007/07/if_iphone_is_too_closed_try_ne.html) for the full Newton experience.

What we need is the same level of hardware attention being paid to Atom, as in more specialized vendors producing high-performance ARM hardware. Someone please build an ARM device with HIGH Performance video, better clock speeds, more RAM and storage, and more expansion options (USB, Mini-PCI, etc..).

If I have to link it with a pocket-sized projector or external LCD panel, so be it.

Re:N810 is AWESOME (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750325)

Someone please build an ARM device with HIGH Performance video, better clock speeds, more RAM and storage, and more expansion options (USB, Mini-PCI, etc..).

Then you'll have to wait for next year to order one of the second batch of the Pandora PDA [wikipedia.org] : 600 MHz ARM CPU, PowerVR GPU, 256 MB RAM, two USB 2.0 ports, two SDHC/SDIO slots, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.

Mobile devices (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750451)

I never bought into the hype for all these years that we'd give up desktops and do most of our computing on mobile devices. The screens were too small, they all had unique software, didn't operate with another, and couldn't perform the tasks I need.

However I can take a Nokia i810 tablet, install KDE 4 and have a modern, fully function OS on it that can do anything my desktop can do, and interoperate with my desktop.

Seriously, now we're talking. Give me a slightly better tablet with 1 gig of memory and then I'm not sure I'd look at a laptop again.

Ubuntu on ARM7 -- now that would be something! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750691)

Stupid ARM numbering scheme. I thought the article was about Ubuntu on an ARM7. It took me quite a while to notice it was ARMv7 not ARM7. (Yes, they're very different things.)

OP should be shot; N800 idle time (3, Informative)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750769)

Nokia's N810 tablets can standby for several weeks, just like a cell phone, keeping you 'present' on IM, behind IPv4 NAT the whole time.

I own an N810 and this is such an exaggeration as to be patently false. Not even Nokia claims you can get that kind of battery life out of these.

An N810 can only go about 48 hours between each charge. And that's if the bluetooth and wifi radios are turned off and all programs are exited. If the battery is new, you might get up to three days.

If you have the wifi radio on and are idling on IM, I'd expect that you could maybe get 12 hours of infrequent use and even that might be pushing it.

When actively using the device (browsing the web, listening to a stream, etc), the CPU kicks in and you'll get between 4 and 6 hours of use depending on what you're doing.

As a EEE student and hobiest (1)

kipman725 (1248126) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750799)

This would be awesome ARM is simple enough that I can actually build the computer myself. A little board I can put inside my monitor with a few usb ethernet all consuming a few watts (posibly with an FPGA for reconfigurable computing) would be so perfect and so fun for me.

Why ARM7 anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750973)

Why not the more recent ARM9 and Cortex8?

No point in Windows on ARM7 (2, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751005)

How long can it be before Microsoft responds with a Windows 7 port?

There's no point in doing this. The reason people install Windows on their x86-based netbooks is so they can make use of the existing selection of Windows software titles. In the non-x86 world, there is no such thing, so the advantage goes to Linux.

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