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Ask Slashdot: Best Tablet For Running a Real GNU/Linux Distribution?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the bring-out-the-tuxpad dept.

Debian 277

bmsleight writes "Android is nice, but I do not want to pay to print or be beholden to the cloud to do everything or chroot. I just want a tablet that can run a MythTv-client, OpenOffice.org and good old apt-get instead of an app market. I have a Joggler — which costs £60 — I'd like something similar but with a battery, a bigger screen, and other modern tablet features. So, what's the best tablet for running a real GNU/Linux distribution (ideally Debian)? Bonus points for the best apt-get-able distribution that works with a tablet."

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Nothing to say (-1, Offtopic)

wdef (1050680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333514)

I have absolutely no information on this, however I did feel like getting the first post for once.

Unity (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333518)

You want to try Unity.

Tablet owners are the only people remaining i haven't heard complaining about it.

Tyrone the Tablet Nigger (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333550)

Yeah, nigga.

I be usin' Ubuntu because it be African 'n' sheeit. Dey try to be batty wit' dat purpa shit, Ubuntu be purpa like purpa drank HOLLA.

Sheeit! Whoo-wee! Dat indo weed be hittin! Gawd dayum, nicca! HA! Dat purpa drank and dat indo weed got me seein' some weird sheeot on my muthafuckin' Samson Galaxy tablet. Ha HAAA! Dey be a little elfs 'n' shit singin' and dancin' and drinkin' malt LICKA and puffin onnat indo weed.

Hey, you know how to oda pizza in Italian? Like dis: Fucka youa, sucka my dicka!

Re:Unity (4, Informative)

SausageOfDoom (930370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333658)

He was asking what hardware is best suited, not which distro.

This is something I've been interested in for a while, but haven't found any reasonably-priced tablet (eg same price as a comparative netbook).

I mostly want mine for myth-frontend and a web browser - although like the OP I'd prefer to run debian/ubuntu, if I find a decent cheap android-only tablet, there is mythdroid:
http://code.google.com/p/mythdroid/ [google.com]

It's not a one-click install, and requires MDD on the myth backend, but I'm using it on my android mobile at the moment, and seems to work pretty well (apart from the lack of a menu button when operating as a remote)

Re:Unity (5, Informative)

bmullan (1425023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333732)

I have an ExoPC which is ATOM N450 based. Being Atom cpu Ubuntu 11.10 installed easily and required NO chroot.

I've looked for quite a while and as far as my searching has found there are no ARM based linux for tablets out there "yet".

Ubuntu 12.04 (april 2012) is going to support OMAP4 ARM devices. Tegra2 cpu included so alot of the current flock of ARM Tegra 2 Tablets should be able to run it and any derivatives (mint etc) when that is released next spring.

There's also been alot of work by Canonical/Ubuntu and others that you can find at www.linaro.org

Re:Unity (-1, Flamebait)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334132)

If you want a tablet then buy a tablet. the simple fact is without a keyboard it is useless for 99% of standard linux software you are much better off buying a netbook. that way you can use the command line to reconfigure X.org every time you turn the screen 90 degrees.

yes I know there are supposed to be automatic settings and stuff. but they never work. therefore either get an android device which has those bugs sorted out, or get a netbook and not deal with them.

Re:Unity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38334548)

But the transformer does have a keyboard...

Gnome 3 (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334588)

You want to try Unity.

Tablet owners are the only people remaining i haven't heard complaining about it.

Why not Gnome 3, for the same reason?

More seriously, I think that KDE Netbook version would be a good UI for this. But back to the original question - aside from Apple, can't any tablet have its OS replaced with Debian? Also, since Windows tablets too would be ARM based, I'd think they'd be ideal for this - especially if there are any coming out of Nokia. Another suggestion - HP, since nobody has any idea of what sort of support WebOS will be getting going forward, so this would be a good tablet to plant this combination.

Asus Transformer (5, Informative)

Jeagoss (661909) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333546)

The Asus Transformer isn't exactly cheap, but you can run full blown Linux distros on it. I've read of people running Ubuntu on it. I've had Arch Linux running on mine. I went back to Android after a bit just because my OS choices were more for the "cause I could" factor.

Re:Asus Transformer (1)

bmullan (1425023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333700)

are you saying you had replaced android with linux... or you created a chroot environment that the linux installed into

Re:Asus Transformer (3, Informative)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333778)

You *can* install Ubuntu on it, but it doesn't exactly run well.


Re:Asus Transformer (5, Funny)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334300)

Of course, there are lots of Linux users who might say that Ubuntu doesn't run well on any platform. ;-D


Re:Asus Transformer (3, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334280)

I went back to Android after a bit just because my OS choices were more for the "cause I could" factor.

Fair enough, but since you mention it, I'm curious as to what you found worked, and what doesn't. I assume that since you went back to Android, Open/LibreOffice isn't high on your scale of must-haves, but did it work at all under Arch on that box? And I presume it's too much to ask for the GIMP to work?

HP Touchpad (4, Interesting)

Framboise (521772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333558)

Linux based WebOS is going to be free, as HP announced yesterday, and Ubuntu has been installed on the Touchpad already. In the US Touchpads can be purchased for low price, like $99 on eBay. Outside the US some (for example me) got one for low price through Amazon.

Re:HP Touchpad (4, Informative)

Sipper (462582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333976)

I've been looking around for something very similar, and I found that you can run "UbuntuChroot" on the HP TouchPad:

      http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/UbuntuChroot [webos-internals.org]

This isn't exactly what you're looking for, but it's close. I've specifically been looking at solutions for the HP TouchPad for this since I was given one as a gift. I also would greatly prefer Debian over Ubuntu, and would rather have straight Debian rather than a Chroot, but this is as close as I've gotten so far.

Re:HP Touchpad (1)

Sipper (462582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334156)

Oh -- and I should add that you can Print directly from WebOS on the HP Touchpad (via wireless LAN).

The interesting part about the printing from WebOS is that the GUI allows you to enter in an IP address for the printer, but does not give you the option of choosing the printer driver. However, so far everything I've printed from the Touchpad (which has mainly been driving directions and maps) has printed correctly. So whatever auto-dectection they're doing, it seems to work. This must be part of the reasons why HP wants to continue to use WebOS for their printers and why they've wanted to hold onto that ability in the licensing discussions that had ocurred with prospective purchasers of the WebOS platform.

x86 or ARM? (1)

Laser Lemming (2021428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333590)

Debian can run on both x86 and ARM architecture I believe. With some skill you might be able to get a normal android tablet to fulfill your needs.

Re:x86 or ARM? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334322)

With some skill you might be able to get a normal android tablet to fulfill your needs.

You could certainly use it to run console apps, but running any of the major desktop environments (maybe with the exception of twm) might be a challenge that would occupy weeks (at least) of free time.

Archos (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333592)

has dev firmware that is gnu/debian

Thinkpad X201T (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333626)

Ok, a tablet PC is not exactly the same thing as a plain tablet, but if you are serious about Linux, then you can't beat a proper laptop that can also be used as a tablet with the keyboard folded down.

Re:Thinkpad X201T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38334236)

I have been using my X60T for years. It is a great machine, and will last many years more. However I did go out and buy an IPAD, almost exclusively as a reader. It is a more comfortable reader (from the couch) than a proper convertible laptop.

Well, Iconia Tab A500, maybe? (3, Informative)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333632)

I have a 10" Iconia Tab A500 and I know one can run Ubuntu on it, though I do not know how easy it is to install as I haven't tried it. A500 may not be the best tablet out there, but it sports a pretty good, strong aluminum construction which makes it plenty sturdy, and more importantly it sports a full-size USB-host port meaning that you can plug in all kinds of regular USB-devices. In an emergency you can even charge your cellphone from it.

A500 has bluetooth, 802.11n support and does have a MicroSDHC slot for expanding storage, but it isn't exactly cheap. And it doesn't come with 3G. If you want 3G then you can use a USB-dongle under Ubuntu or buy A501 which is otherwise the same as A500 but does include a built-in 3G modem (though I don't know if it is supported under Ubuntu, you better google that)

Other than that I really do not have much to offer though, sorry.

Re:Well, Iconia Tab A500, maybe? (4, Informative)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333670)

Ah, in a reply to myself: apparently you cannot run plain Ubuntu on A500. You can run Ubuntu under Android with e.g. https://market.android.com/details?id=com.appbuilder.u14410p30729 [android.com] but I don't know if that is useful for anyone else or not, but I feel somewhat tempted to try it myself.

Re:Well, Iconia Tab A500, maybe? (5, Informative)

grusapa (756151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333870)

Re:Well, Iconia Tab A500, maybe? (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333892)

Thanks. Must keep an eye on this. Maybe it can qualify next to the Archos G9s as post-christmas discount/"eBay" purchases for a reasonably priced GNU/Linux tablet...

Re:Well, Iconia Tab A500, maybe? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334042)

I too wish to thank for that link. That's quite a lot of stuff that seems to be working, now we just have to hope they get the rest going, too; I know many people will want to use HDMI and while I personally have no use for GPS on a 10" tablet it could still be plenty useful for doing field research or such in combination with full Linux applications. Oh, and of course video cameras for sex cha... err, philosophical conversations on the meaning of life.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye on that.

Re:Well, Iconia Tab A500, maybe? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334050)

Going with the W series may be easier, if one do not mind paying Microsoft for the accompanying Windows license.

Re:Well, Iconia Tab A500, maybe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38334356)

I have Ubuntu and Win8 dev prev on the w500 and both run nicely.

You can get them refurb'd at Cheetah Deals. http://www.cheetahdeals.com/refurbished-tablets-s/655.htm

You do not have to pay to print on Android (5, Informative)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333654)

You do not have to pay to print on Android, and nor do you need to rely on Cloud Print to print either.

You just need to install the Android app from the printer manufacturer that makes your printer. That's all. And those apps are all free (with no ads and no paid apps equivalents). You can just think of them as drivers. They'll work through the usb to your computer, through bluetooth, or through wifi.

Re:You do not have to pay to print on Android (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333794)

Wrong. Canon only offers a way to print pictures, not documents, for example.

Re:You do not have to pay to print on Android (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334134)

Looks like you should have got an Epson, which allegedly offers many of the same benefits vis-a-vis ink and hackability, and also offers a printing toolkit for both iOS and Android.

Re:You do not have to pay to print on Android (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334186)

You just need to install the Android app from the printer manufacturer that makes your printer. That's all.

Except my less-than-a-year-old brother colour laser isn't supported by the official brother android app. Now what? (Also, as far as I can tell, it only prints jpgs and pdfs.)

Lifebook T900 (4, Interesting)

meburke (736645) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333672)

I love my Lifebook T900 from Fujitsu. I run either Windows 7 or Debian Mint. I like having the power, the screen is a Wacom Tablet, and I can do powerful shit on it. Max RAM is only 8GB at this point, and getting Linux to address all the functions of the Wacom was a challenge (and not quite finished yet), but overall it is a great convertible tablet. My younger brother calls it my $5000 chess board, but the i7 processor gives me some great math and graphics possibilities.

My second choice would have been a similar tablet from Lenovo. I've used Lenovo tablets before and always found them dependable and very usable with Linux installed. I picked the Fujitsu because it seemed to have more durability features.

Price (1)

mattventura (1408229) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333676)

I think its going to be a bit above the price range you want. Tablets aren't cheap. You might not need an iPad, but whatever you get is still probably going to cost around $300.

find some better sw for your joggler.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333680)

and stick a big ass battery at it's back. what you're going to do otherwise is to pay 600bucks for something that doesn't do much more, tbh(transformer prime). or 1200+ for a tablet pc. with tablet pc's(x86) you'll have more freedom and better luck with drivers, while you can install debian on some arm tablets now.

Time is money (-1, Redundant)

thoughtspace (1444717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333682)

Even if you are lucky and Linux installs with no hitches, you will waste a day. If things don't go smoothly, which is far more common than the Linux community admits, expect to waste 3 days to a week.

How much is you time worth? After a week you should have just bought something that does what you want.

But we have all done this for the fun and challenge ...

Re:Time is money (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333690)

By your reasoning, thinking for oneself takes time, and there are plenty of people offering pre-made opinions (religious leaders, journalists, politicians), so why the fuck would you even consider thinking for yourself? It's just a waste of time.

Re:Time is money (5, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333774)

There are far too many idiots on /. lately.

The point of Linux, and of Open Source in general, is that the vast majority of time one spends on a computer is not the day (or few days even) it takes to install an OS. The vast majority of time is spent developing that OS into something useable in day-to-day work. And the most time-efficient way of doing that is to get a freely-modifiable operating system into the hands of as many people as possible, give them the means to collaborate, and enable them build the most effective tools and programs possible.

Do you see the step in that process that requires the OS to be used by as many people as possible? That's what we're discussing. An OS that only runs on expensive hardware doesn't meet that requirement.

Linux is a community OS. Members of a community voluntarily act in ways which tend to subsidize the group, even when it may not appear to outsiders to be in their individual interests, because it is in their best interests in the long run.

Re:Time is money (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333862)

Time is money

It sure would be great if I was paid 24 hours a day. But I'm not. I do such things in my free time, and it's something that will waste my time now (unless it's fun for me to do), but give me enjoyment in the future.

Re:Time is money (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333906)

Fine, where can I *buy* a tablet that will allow me to compile programs for it in almost any language (c/c++, python, perl, etc) and allow me to add CUSTOM repositories? The only devices I can think of are the nokia n800/n810/n900, but those are much smaller than a tablet.

Re:Time is money (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333930)

You are going to LIVE with pcs for the rest of your life, you prefer to switch every three years because the hardware makers and the os maker needs to sell stuff?

Every time you have to change hardware or OS version, not FOSS systems are a royal pain. My scanners are gifts from people with driver issues.
I use linux to SAVE time, and when I lose time to learn how to do things, what I learn stays valuable for longer time.
Config files and docs can more easily migrate across architectures.

Look at the last netbook in my house. Win 7 something preinstalled (always booting into linux, now), old powerpoints screwed up because some script fonts (which have been there since win98 i think) are not shipped anymore. Bah.

Re:Time is money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333952)

Hey! If I'm to be paid for *everything* I do, then /. owes me... let me see... [grabs a calculator] click, click, click.... Hey! Do you know the story about the guy who invented chess and wanted to be paid putting wheat grains on the board, with each square doubling the quantity of the previous one? Well, similar amount...

You could always try ........ (4, Informative)

rust627 (1072296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333692)

You could try the Smart Book from Always Innovating


This is the tablet/netbook convertible that seems to have been the inspiration for the Asus Transformer

Comes preloaded with AIOS (their own customised flavour of linux), Android, Ubuntu, and ChromiumOS

I'm hoping to have one soon myself to try.

Re:You could always try ........ (0)

marsu_k (701360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334440)

I was very interested when I first heard of it. Some years ago. Have they still managed to ship any units?

Re:You could always try ........ (2)

rust627 (1072296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334528)

As far as I am aware they have shipped quite a few units of both the current smart book model and the earlier touch book series.

Working on it (5, Insightful)

lkcl (517947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333694)

Here's the thread on debian-arm: http://lists.debian.org/debian-arm/2011/12/msg00008.html [debian.org] and the corresponding one on arm-netbook: http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipermail/arm-netbook/2011-December/thread.html [phcomp.co.uk]

The problem that's been made clear time and time again is that if you want low-cost mass-produced hardware, you normally have to go with GPL-violating products (see list here http://www.codon.org.uk/~mjg59/android_tablets/ [codon.org.uk]) and that means that you will spend the majority of your time reverse-engineering the product for anything between two weeks and two years, depending on luck and skill, before getting something useful. By the time you're done, the product is usually end-of-lifed: thus if it breaks, you're back to square one.

The reason for the GPL violations is that the low-cost China-based Factories simply have zero software skills: they're provided with binary-only firmware from an ODM who themselves usually had to sign an NDA from the SoC manufacturer, itself in direct violation of the GPL, in order to get access to the source code. Normally there's a chain of at least *five* companies with whom you have to negotiate with for several days or weeks - each - in order to explain the situation to them, against a precarious balance of them basically not giving a stuff because there's no financial incentive for them to give you anything at all: they're already making money, selling product, so why should they care?

thus, we logically concluded that the only way to get non-GPL-violating product out there is to go directly to the factories and be the supplier of their software.

so for the past two years i've been contacting and vetting China-based factories, directly, to find at least one which is prepared to work with us (RH Technology - http://www.rh-technology.com./ [www.rh-technology.com] the basis of the deal is, "we won't charge you for software expertise if you won't charge us for hardware design costs", and after two years we finally found _one_ factory willing to do a deal, and are looking for more.

we've also found an absolutely great CPU, called the Allwinner A10, which in mass-volume quantities is only about $7: that means that a PCB similar to the raspberrypi with similar features can be made for about $15 (not $25) and, because the Allwinner CPU is an ARM Cortex A8 not an ARM11 it is at least three times quicker than the raspberrypi's CPU.

now we have at least 15 Debian Developers who are willing to support the project by buying beta hardware samples, and we're looking for more people to help support this effort, by committing to buy product (just like with the OpenPandora http://openpandora.org./ [openpandora.org.] we have set up a CIC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_interest_company) because it's a better vehicle than a non-profit, charity or profit-maximising company. the CIC is called Rhombus Tech - http://rhombus-tech.net./ [rhombus-tech.net.]

we also have the full support of the Board of Directors of the Allwinner CPU: they released full source code to us in advance. we've made it available and found it to compile successfully.

in-advance GPL-compliant hardware really is very very unusual. even USA-based companies typically release GPL source code on or after the day that a product is announced. Archos for example made a tablet that used the Telechips TCC8900 series of CPUs, and complied with the GPL (in direct violation of the standard NDA available at the time from the SoC manufacturer!).

other than that: about the only existing product on the market that i can really recommend to you is the alwaysinnovating touchbook: http://alwaysinnovating.com/ [alwaysinnovating.com] - it's about $300.

Re:Working on it (4, Insightful)

lkcl (517947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333720)

ah, sorry, correction: if you want libreoffice then you can't use the alwaysinnovating tablet - it has a maximum of 512mb of RAM. actually, you'd be hard pushed to find anything! even the CPU we've found maxes out at 1gb of RAM, and libreoffice requires an absolute minimum of 1.5gb of RAM. yes you can use NAND Flash as swap-space but you then risk destroying the NAND flash. yes you could use external USB memory sticks but they're typically slow as a dog. yes you could look for an x86-based tablet with 2gb of RAM but you'll have to shell out at least $500 retail to get one. you're caught between a rock and a hard place, basically! if you can bring your expecations down, such as by using the non-free docs.google.com online service, or perhaps abiword and gnumeric, you'll be ok.

Re:Working on it (2)

lindi (634828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334168)

Where do you get this 1.5 GB requirement? 3.4.4 seems to have an RSS of 80 MB immediately after startup.

Re:Working on it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333850)

How much will devs have to plunk down for the dev hardware, etc? Is there a ML post which answers any such questions?

Re:Working on it (5, Informative)

lkcl (517947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334022)

ok there are two answer. the first is for the EOMA-compliant module *only*.

1) we'd like to keep it somewhere between $75 and $100 for the very early runs, and it looks like we're set to achieve that. it seriously depends on the quantities, and on how much profit people would like the CIC company to make (yes, CICs can work that way whereas Ltd Companies cannot be trusted with that kind of strategy).

the NREs (non-recurring expenses) by the factory will be about $2,000, and that excludes hardware engineer's time because we've done this "you don't charge us for hardware engineering time and we won't charge you for software engineering time" deal.

we have people committed to buying about 17 units so far: if that gets to 30 then the costs are down to $75 per unit (just for those initial 30). after that, there are no more NREs, and the unit cost can, assuming large volume, approach the mass-volume price of $15.

of course... that's excluding other parts which is answer 2:

2) it's best to go on mass-volume retail cost, unless you'd like to help dominic (debian developer, see debian-arm mailing list) make one using the EOMA-compliant CPU card which is where most of the difficult work (CPU-to-DDR RAM etc.) will already have been done.

mass-volume retail cost for something that even includes a capacitive touch panel can be as low as $130, but i know from experience that there's at least a 60% markup on the BOM, possibly even more. here's a link to a discussion: http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipermail/arm-netbook/2011-December/001136.html [phcomp.co.uk] and please note that the example product will be yet _another_ GPL-violating tablet, absolutely guaranteed.

to work out the BOM you have to factor in the following costs, assuming mass-volume pricing: EOMA-PCMCIA-compliant CPU module about $15, 2000mAh battery $8, 7in 800x600 LCD $15, resistive touchpanel $5, main motherboard including WIFI module about $8, case (excluding *massive* NREs) about $3 - comes to a total of $39. yes, really - $39.

if you want a capacitive touchpanel instead, add an extra $15 because capacitive touchpanels, being also made of glass and having to be thicker than LCDs, are at least 25% more expensive than the LCD underneath them! but you can see, even with a capacitive touchpanel the BOM only comes to about $55.

so basically, you can see that a mass-volume retail cost of about $80 for a 7in tablet with the Allwinner A10 and a resistive touchpanel would be quite reasonable, and about $130 for one with a capacitive touchpanel would also be quite reasonable.

apologies for answering in a rather indirect and roundabout way, which i'm sure you would appreciate given that this is slashdot, and that i'm not working for a profit-maximising company that is primarily motivated to do anything including lie to you in order to get your money.

Re:Working on it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334122)

I appreciate the fullness of the answer.

What will it cost to do something with the dev module? At least through the network?

Your price targets sound delightful. Might as well mark it up another $20 so you can fund the next version too. Or if the money could be spent on making it more rugged, that would be well-spent.

If the CPU is as fast as you say then there might be more interest in the dev module than you'd think.

Re:Working on it (4, Interesting)

lkcl (517947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334436)

I appreciate the fullness of the answer.

no problem.

What will it cost to do something with the dev module? At least through the network?

ok, one idea i'm advocating is to adapt arduino-like schematics to connect directly to the EOMA-PCMCIA-compliant interface. as such projects are usually a 2-layer board, very low-cost and the schematics are available under Open Source Licenses, it's a no-brainer. probably the best one to pick is the Leaflab's Maple: http://leaflabs.com/devices/maple/ [leaflabs.com] because in mass-volume the CPU is around $1 to $1.50 (the 48-pin version not the 100-pin version!)

as this CPU is so low-cost, but importantly also so highly functional, its use substitutes and strategically "normalises" Motherboard designs. the plans being discussed at the moment include using the STM32F to do Audio (because of the D/A and A/D converters), battery monitoring (A/D converters), LCD Backlight control (PWM), resistive touchpanels (A/D converters again), keyboard matrix (8+8 GPIO) - someone's already written a mouse driver so at least that doesn't need to be done :)

so yes: if you're interested, look up the cost of arduino-like devices. at least for prototyping purposes you could just get an off-the-shelf leafpad maple and connect it directly to the EOMA-PCMCIA-compliant CPU card even with a few bits of wire, in a pinch.

anway, here's a link to some example motherboards that have been designed: http://elinux.org/Embedded_Open_Modular_Architecture/PCMCIA#Example_Motherboards [elinux.org]
that includes a "micro" engineering board (that's nothing more complex than an adaptation of existing leafpad maple schematics) as well as something that's similar to the IMX53QSB, Beagleboard, Pandaboard and Origen etc.

Your price targets sound delightful. Might as well mark it up another $20 so you can fund the next version too. Or if the money could be spent on making it more rugged, that would be well-spent.

If the CPU is as fast as you say then there might be more interest in the dev module than you'd think.

yes, that's the plan :) would love to have some brainstorming ideas written by people on the possibilities, hmmm... let me just create a wiki page: http://rhombus-tech.net//community_ideas [rhombus-tech.net]

Re:Working on it (1)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334074)

That was a very informative post, but I have a couple questions: what exactly is GPL violating about the majority of the hardware out there? The ARM architecture isn't under any open license, so the only thing that could be in violation is the Android flavor they ship with it. And this shouldn't be a problem, if your mostly interested in wiping it and installing Debian. Or is the problem that current tablets are incapable of running a full blown distro without some custom coding beforehand?

This is a topic I am very ignorant about because I have never owned an Android device, but I'm curious, because I too would look for "Debian installability" when I finally go shop for a tablet.

Re:Working on it (0)

lkcl (517947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334320)

ok, i've written about this on a number of occasions, such as this one http://lkcl.net/linux/ideal-vs-reality.of.product.development.html [lkcl.net] but it's definitely worthwhile repeating things here, in this context.

GPL violations occur because the lowest-cost hardware is made by china factories who simply have zero software expertise. they just don't know enough to even *ask* for the GPL source code: they wouldn't know what to do with it if they received it: it's scarily-large, would consume vast amounts of their time and money (thus making them uncompetitive against all the other factories who will have also bought the exact same Reference Design), and there is a severe educational and economic shortage of software engineers in China anyway.

so, they ask an ODM for a ready-made solution, and they get one. any companies trying to deviate from the "solution" typically ship built-in webcams and microphones that don't even work because the binary-only firmware supplied by the ODM never had support for webcams or microphones!

but, you don't buy hardware from a china factory (because you can't "trust" them not to rip you off, right? and you don't want to deal with Customs and Import Tax, do you?) so you go to a retail store. but the retail store didn't get the hardware directly from china, they got it from a wholesale importer.

you see where this is going? neither the retailer, nor the wholesale importer, nor the factory that actually made the product ever saw, or understood, or even knew of the existence of, the GPL source code. yet, in strict accordance with the GPL you *have* to go "down the chain" of suppliers - you *cannot* go directly to the factory or even to the ODM - not least because you don't even know who they are!

second part of the answer is that each and every single device is radically different from any other device. there is no BIOS. there is no "commonality" between devices even with the same CPU! the GPL Linux Kernel is the *only* place where the information about the hardware is codified, in the form of "GPIO pin 12 fires up the WIFI in this tablet sold by this manufacturer" but "GPIO pin 87 fires up the WIFI in this completely different tablet, using the exact same CPU, from a different or even the same manufacturer".

this situation is causing absolute hell on earth for russell king, who is becoming increasingly despondent and depressed, as he has been "in the middle" of this for several years now: he's getting completely overwhelmed by the proliferation of ARM CPUs (over 1,000 now) multiplied by the number of devices using those CPUs (tens of thousands of designs). i have written up a sensible solution but getting through to linus and russell is somewhat challenging - http://lkcl.net/linux/linux-selfish.vs.cooperation.html [lkcl.net]

the other thing is that Android, which is a *userspace* set of applications *not* an "Operating System", is *not* GPL-based, it's Apache-2 licensed. then, also, there is a heavily-modified version of the Linux Kernel required for Android, and this version of the Linux Kernel *is* GPL-licensed. there is, understandably, considerable confusion and ignorance over this issue, right across the board.

so the problem really is the GPL violations on the Linux Kernel (including the one that is modified for use in Android, which is of course GPL-licensed), and also the GPL violations on the U-Boot Source Code, because this is where the hardware layout is "codified". without that information, it really is absolute hell on earth to find out what's going on. going back to about 2004, i've done reverse-engineering of about 12 ARM-based devices, now, so i know what it takes. you can't even compile up certain userspace applications, because the linux kernel header files are missing (/usr/include/linux).

then, you want to wipe the device and install debian? ok, so where in the NAND flash are you going to put the OS? it's not an ext2 filesystem, there *is* no BIOS, it's not even a FAT32 filesystem: the *only* information about where the device boots up from is either from the SoC manufacturer themselves, and they only told the ODMs (or, they supplied ready-to-go u-boot software under NDA, in direct violation of the GPL) and the source code isn't available!

i really really wasn't kidding when i said it really really is absolute hell to do reverse-engineering just to get the OS of your choice onto an ARM-based device.

hence the reason why, despite there being a vast choice of low-cost devices out there, we decided to reach out to the SoC fabless semiconductor manufacturers and the factories in china, directly.

Re:Working on it (1)

fred911 (83970) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334200)

slightly ot

The Gpad ga10 allwinner a10 can be found for $135 and can be flashed right up to ICS.

Archos (4, Informative)

lowieken (522530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333714)

Have a look at Archos tablets. They support Debian on their gen8 series, but those are still a bit slow. People are already running debian on their gen9 products, and official support for that is coming soon.

See also:
http://www.archos.com/support/support_tech/updates_dev.html?country=us&lang=en [archos.com]
http://dot.kde.org/2011/11/30/plasma-active-archos-g9-tablet [kde.org]
http://dev.openaos.org/wiki/Debian [openaos.org]

Re:Archos (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333852)

Yes, looks promising. No info about debian on gen 9 on the linked wiki as of yet, afaics.

Still, the MER/{Plasma Active}-combo might cut it as GNU/Linux enough.

I'm thinking of splurging whatever assets I can amass on one G9 after Christmas (hopefully at a discount or from "eBay" if someone got the "wrong" present or duplicates) and as many used gen 8:s as I can, because having touch interfaces all around the house would be nice - fridgeputer, stoveputer, diaperchangingstation-/craputer and frontdoorputer, of the top of my head...

Re:Archos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38334166)

You can install debian on an Archos (I did), but then it becomes painfully obvious that a touchscreen is no good as an interface for the typical linux interface. And there is no nxclient for the armprocessor :-(

As for printing from my android: what is wrong with

cat $file | ssh $host '( lpr) '


Having a tablet.... (1, Insightful)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333734)

And having type apt-get in to install an app totally defeats the point of the touchscreen input mechanism and UI, what you want is a MacBook air or other thin laptop.

Re:Having a tablet.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333822)

If the tablet has USB I'm sure he will be fine. There are cute little logitech cordless keyboards. A friend uses one on an Asus tablet (forgot the make).

Re:Having a tablet.... (2)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333928)

And having type apt-get in to install an app totally defeats the point of the touchscreen input mechanism and UI, what you want is a MacBook air or other thin laptop.

No, it doesn't. You won't be spending the bulk of your time apt-getting packages on the thing. But for when you do, if the tablet has a real USB port, you could use a normal keyboard, or you could ssh into it.

The apt-getability implies ease of installation and freedom of configuration.

Once you have it setup with for example KDEs Plasma Active gui just the way(s) you want it, you proceed using it in a tablet-like manner, at the same time feeling happy about being a (at least figuratively) bearded champion of Freedom and transparency, the main tenets of democracy.

Re:Having a tablet.... (1)

khipu (2511498) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334184)

And having type apt-get in to install an app totally defeats the point of the touchscreen input mechanism

You don't have to use any kind of command line on a modern Linux distribution; they have easy-to-use graphical tools for everything.

what you want is a MacBook air or other thin laptop.

No, you do not want a MacBook air; it runs a bastardized and restricted derivative of Unix, you'll be paying tons of money for all those little utilities you need to plug the gaps in its OS, and its "AppStore" and package management is far inferior to that of a modern Linux distribution.

Its called a "laptop" (5, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333746)

Seriously - the best system for running an OS and applications designed for a reasonable sized screen, physical keyboard and pointing device is one with... a decent-sized screen, physical keyboard and pointing device. Conversely, if you want a truly handheld device with no keyboard and a touch screen, you want a system and apps designed specifically for that environment.

That's one of the reasons why the iPad succeeded and previous Windows-running tablets didn't. I got an iPad because I was finding my iPod touch and Android phone very useful for certain things and could see a use for a larger version, not because I wanted a replacement for my "proper" computers.

OpenOffice would be hell on a tablet - I'm sure you could get it running, but its just not designed to be usable in that mode.

A MythTV front end for tablets would be terrific - if the UI were re-designed for touch operation: currently its really designed for a remote control or keyboard. Of course, you'd also have to worry about which video formats enjoyed hardware acceleration since your tablet CPU might not be up to software-only decoding (some existing solutions transcode stuff on the server side so the tablet can run them).

So, I guess the Asus Transformer sounds like a contender - but the whole point of that is that you can always disconnect it from the keyboard and use it handheld: if most of your software is going to require the keyboard then why not save your cash and get a netbook?

Re:Its called a "laptop" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333818)

I think the OPs point is surely it is possible to attain the best of both worlds.

Think about it in terms of the good 'ol Asus Transformer running a "windows-8-alike" When undocked from the KB you can run it like a tablet with a metro style interface designed for touchscreens.

Then when you dock it, you drop back to a PC-style desktop and can do everything that a laptop can do.

Not so hard to understand why in this day an age you'd expect the best of both worlds.

Also if you are claiming openoffice is unusuable on tablet then I assume the only reason is the lack of KB and mouse, since I use OO plenty comfortably on a 10.1" netbook, and I think the transformer solves that issue rather neatly.

So the only lacking thing is a nice neat, non android UI for the tablet mode when running debian I think.

Re:Its called a "laptop" (4, Interesting)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333996)

Also if you are claiming openoffice is unusuable on tablet then I assume the only reason is the lack of KB and mouse, since I use OO plenty comfortably on a 10.1" netbook, and I think the transformer solves that issue rather neatly.

Yes, and its a big reason. Apart from the gross differences (losing half your screen to an on-screen keyboard, the loss of precision of fingers c.f. a mouse requiring everything to be bigger - eating more screen real estate) the "language" of using a touchscreen is significantly different from that of a mouse, or even a trackpad with gestures (e.g. no concept of clicking, or moving the pointer without clicking vs. dragging). Maybe "unusable" is too strong, but definitely inferior to using an application in the medium for which it was designed.

I think the transformer solves that issue rather neatly.

Except you're paying a considerable premium over a netbook for the ability to leave the keyboard behind when you don't need it. If you are primarily using traditional applications, that keyboard is going to be a permanent fixture and the overall ergonomics of a netbook may be better. Maybe you'll get better battery life using "tablet" technology (assuming your "regular" Linux distro doesn't bork the power management on your tablet).

To be fair - I agree that the Asus Transformer is about the only non-iPad tablet that interests me.

Re:Its called a "laptop" (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334084)

> To be fair - I agree that the Asus Transformer is about the only non-iPad tablet that
> interests me.

Same here, but the sequel will be out in a few weeks. Sadly, it's going to cost £550 in the UK - a bit of a far cry from the rumours which suggested it'd be about the same price as the first one. £550 for a laptop with a touch screen instead of a keyboard is a bit steep.

Re:Its called a "laptop" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334142)

I think the transformer solves that issue rather neatly.

Except you're paying a considerable premium over a netbook for the ability to leave the keyboard behind when you don't need it.

How considerable is that premium? Cheap netbooks are dogs and have poor battery life. The transformer has neither problem (though it could be faster) and transformer prime is about to come out and settle the speed issue.

Re:Its called a "laptop" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38334338)

itsdapead for president!

OP should get a macbook air or whatever the other manufacturers can conjure to fit in a small case and have a long lasting battery.

Acer Iconia W500 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333748)

It comes with Win7 which is pretty crappy as a Tablet OS. I installed Ubuntu with Gnome2 and Compiz (nowadays I'd probably go with Mint) and a permanent cairo-dock to call things like Compiz Scale for task swtiching and Compiz Expo for navigating virtual desktops. Most things work out of the box (cam, wlan, ogl..). The only thing I don't like is the lack of driver support for the tablet digitizer - it registers 5 finger multitouch under Windows, but only single touch under Linux, otherwise I could do some awesome multi-touch gesture wizardry with it. Still way more functional than under Windows and obviously more powerful than anything Android.

Re:Acer Iconia W500 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333884)

So you think Win7 is a crappy Tablet OS then go on to say you installed Ubuntu w/ Gnome2 & Compiz on a tablet....that only registers single touch.

OpenOffice, POI etc. (2)

Dennis Sheil (1706056) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333752)

I think I'll take your mention of OpenOffice off on a tangent to do a little plug of my free software project...

A few months ago, I began the process of trying to port Apache POI to Android. For those who don't know, Apache POI is "the Java API for Microsoft Documents". It does Word and Excel, and also tries to implement other Microsoft formats, with various degrees of success.

I decided to start with a spreadsheet. I spent two weeks writing some scaffolding for a spreadsheet in Android. When I got it to where it looked good enough, I began working on loading Excel files with POI. And I could do so - with Excel xls files up to 2007. When I tried to load Excel 2007 and 2010 xlsx files, I ran into some problems...a topic which I'll get back to in a moment. Anyhow, I worked on trying to load Excel 2007/2010 xlsx files for a few more weeks, and when I saw I wouldn't, without luck, make any immediate breakthroughs, I put it aside. A few months later I open sourced my code on Github [github.com] and cursorily described my 200/2010 problem in the README file. If anyone wants to look at it, feel free. As I said, I worked on features for two weeks and then got hung on one the 2007/2010 xlsx problem. The one big feature I did not include in the spreadsheet is the ability to finger swipe through the spreadsheet rows and columns - you can look around the spreadsheet with the arrow buttons on old, old Android phones and the Android emulator, but I spent all my time working on Excel 2007/2010 xlsx instead of features like that. It's only two weeks worth of work (plus the 2007/2010 xlsx work), and that minus my last six months of Android knowledge, but it's decent enough for what it is.

I sent a message to the POI mailing list after posting the code on Github. One of the POI dev's made a suggestion as to what to do - strip all non-Excel functionality from the schemas file - but that was what I already had for the most part done. I say for the most part because I probably stripped more than 80% of the non-Excel code. Why did I need to do this? Because Android Dalvik executables have a 65,536 method limit, and with all the Apache POI XSSF required libraries to do Excel 2007/2010 xlsx files included, my program would exceed that limit. Now there are two paths to get around this. One is the easier path - strip 100% of the POI stuff unneeded for Excel compatibility from the POI schemas jar. But I already stripped the low hanging fruit of this, and whittled 80+% of that stuff from the schema. Unless the other

Anyhow, back in July, when I stripped 80+% of the low-hanging fruit non-Excel schema and it was still a no-go, I put this aside and began working on other Android projects. In October I began thinking about this, and realized I was not going to get back to it in a while, so I cleaned it up (a little bit) and put it up on Github under the Apache 2.0 license (POI is Apache 2.0 so I figured I'd just use that as well), and posted to the POI mailing list.

I've had enough Android projects, and non-Android projects and things to distract me from returning to this. If my attention was turned to this again, the first thing I would do would be to repeat my 80+% non-Excel POI schema cleaning with the latest POI trunk (or last released jar, or whatever) and make my results public on a web page, or the POI mailing list or something. I would try to get it from 80%+ to 85+% and up to 100% clean of everything unneeded. If that didn't work, I would see if I could strip stuff from some of the other jar's, like xmlbeans or something.

If all of this didn't work, I would go the way of two Dalvik executable files in one Android project. With custom class loading, an interface for each needed method and all of that. An effort I seriously doubt I would start on my own - but who knows? If others were interested in this, I might put some more time and effort into it when I can. It would be nice to have a free software Excel-compatible spreadsheet for Android. We could make it open document format (ods) compatible as well - although that would mean more methods! Honestly, I haven't looked at the ODF stuff much with regards to it. If anyone's interested, I put the link to the Github page above.

Cautiously optimistic about Archos G9 (3, Interesting)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333780)

The new generation (G9) Archos tablets look promising for running a more GNU/Linux than Android distro on them.

KDEs Plasma Active, on top of MER is being worked on:

http://dot.kde.org/2011/11/30/plasma-active-archos-g9-tablet [kde.org]

And the general philosophy of Archos seems to be encouraging development of alternative firmwares (not without loosing warranty, though):

http://www.archos.com/support/support_tech/updates_dev.html?country=us&lang=en [archos.com]

A SmartBook might do (2)

minkanjin (2529198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333848)

www.alwaysinnovating.com has a open source hardware tablet. It's where Asus got the idea from. It's compatible with any distro that supports ARM

motion computing tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333874)

there has been decent success getting ubuntu running on motion computing tablets. bluetooth, function buttons, and the finger print reader seem to have issues still. digitizer and sound were figured out long ago.

still use my aging le 1600 on a daily basis.

Get a pre-tablet-craze windows tablet from ebay (2)

Tom Goodale (150359) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333888)

A few years ago I got a Compaq TC1000 from eBay. It ran linux flawlessly, although it needed the proprietary nvidia driver to get screen rotation. This was long before the iPad, the current tablet craze or much thought of special operating systems for tablets (ok, it came with a special mobile edition of windows, but their wasn't much difference). Now the TC1000 is low power for today's needs but I'm sure there must be lots of tablets out there with a higher spec that people are offloading because they want an iPad or equivalent. They may not have capacitive touch-screens but otherwise would probably be ideal for you.

Re:Get a pre-tablet-craze windows tablet from ebay (1)

Tom Goodale (150359) | more than 2 years ago | (#38333942)

Although it would only have the battery life of a normal laptop rather than a modern tablet.

UFW / Ubuntu firewall outbound blocking + more! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333894)

HowTo: UFW ) Block Outgoing Ports Except Those Needed + More in Ubuntu 11.10

Contents -

Part 1: (. Novice .) - Block Outgoing Ports Except Those Needed
                                              allow: 20-21, 53, 80, 123, 443 outgoing only
Part 2: (. Moderate .) - Sysctl: configure kernel parameters at runtime
Part 3: (. Moderate .) - Configuring before*.rules
Part 4: (. Advanced .) - Blocking Private Networks

Part 1: (. Novice .) - Block Outgoing Ports Except Those Needed
                                              allow: 20-21, 53, 80, 123, 443 outgoing

I have tested this at the command line and it works. Here
are the instructions on how to block outgoing ports except
those specified using ufw at the command line. This guide
assumes you have previously modified /etc/ufw/ufw.conf
to enable auto-launching on system startup and ufw is

This configuration will allow the following outbound ports:
20-21, 53, 80, 123, 443 which is all that is required for
many users. The outbound port mapping may be customized
by you for your setup if it's your desire for allowing
other applications using different ports. This guide
does not cover configuration of apps which would reside
in /etc/ufw/applications.d

1. Open a Terminal window
2. With ufw started and configured for system startup
with the default inbound deny, begin:

sudo ufw deny out 1:19/tcp
sudo ufw deny out 1:19/udp
sudo ufw deny out 22:52/tcp
sudo ufw deny out 22:52/udp
sudo ufw deny out 53:79/tcp
sudo ufw deny out 53:79/udp
sudo ufw deny out 81:122/tcp
sudo ufw deny out 81:122/udp
sudo ufw deny out 124:442/tcp
sudo ufw deny out 124:442/udp
sudo ufw deny out 444:65535/tcp
sudo ufw deny out 444:65535/udp

3. Check your work in one or two ways:

sudo ufw status verbose
sudo ufw status numbered

Configuration is complete. To test this configuration you may start applications requiring the use of another port, such as a torrent application and when it fails to function, your leak test is a success. If you prefer retaining the above configuration, you may customize applications which allow it to use ports 80 or 443 to function. Or, you may prefer to redo the above differently with your own port range to allow for ports you need

I wrote this post because I couldn't find the information on-line on blocking outbound, or the information found was in error for the current version of Ubuntu 11.10. Or, there were posts where users *wanted* this functionality but people would post back unhelpful information in different ways, including but not limited to, "You don't need to do this." Yes, some would like this functionality, otherwise they wouldn't have asked for the information!

When you've finished using the sudo command in your
Terminal, close it out with:

sudo -K

followed by:


If you're continuing to use sudo for other operations
at the command line, don't type sudo -K until you've

One example of an application which may be customized for
this setup is Vidalia/Tor:

- Open Vidalia's Control Panel and click on Settings.
- Now click on the Network Icon.
- Next, click the box which says, "My firewall only lets
me connect to certain ports - Firewall Settings", from
here it should say 80,443 by default, you're done here,
click OK.

When you reload Vidalia/Tor, it will have written those port settings to the Tor configuration file and it will launch using the above two ports only. This is very useful when running Tor if you want an outbound blocking policy in ufw, as Tor by default
connects to several different ports and it would be impossible to configure them all, as they change per Tor node(s).


Part 2: (. Moderate .) - Sysctl: configure kernel parameters at runtime

This is interesting in Ubuntu 11.10, as Sysctl is
found/referenced in three different locations: /etc/sysctl.conf /etc/sysctl.d/ (contains a few files) /etc/ufw/sysctl.conf

Within /etc/ufw/sysctl.conf it reads:

"Please note these settings override /etc/sysctl.conf and /etc/sysctl.d. If you prefer to use /etc/sysctl.conf,
please adjust IPT_SYSCTL in /etc/default/ufw."

Let's start by modifying /etc/default/ufw, use one of the two options, nano if you're comfortable with using nano, or gedit if you'd rather use a graphical editor:

For nano copy/paste: sudo nano /etc/default/ufw
For gedit copy/paste: gksudo gedit /etc/default/ufw

Modify the following section to match this value:

# IPT backend
# only enable if using iptables backend

Save document and exit.

We've changed the default setting to specify
the use of /etc/sysctl.conf here.

Now we modify the /etc/sysctl.conf file. Start
the editor you wish to use, nano or gedit:

sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf
gksudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf

* Uncomment (remove the '#' before each line) the following sections: (these are my recommended settings) If you prefer, you could simply copy/paste these lines into /etc/sysctl.conf rather than hunting down each section for uncommenting, it's faster:

kernel.printk = 3 4 1 3
net.ipv4.conf.all.accept_redirects = 0
net.ipv6.conf.all.accept_redirects = 0
net.ipv4.conf.all.send_redirects = 0
net.ipv4.conf.all.accept_source_route = 0
net.ipv6.conf.all.accept_source_route = 0
net.ipv4.conf.all.log_martians = 1

* Copy/paste the following into /etc/sysctl.conf:

#from /etc/sysctl.d
kernel.kptr_restrict = 1
kernel.yama.ptrace_scope = 1
vm.mmap_min_addr = 65536

* Copy/paste the following into /etc/sysctl.conf:

#from /etc/ufw/ directory

Save the document and exit, now copy/paste at
the command line:

sudo sysctl -p

and you're done with the sysctl configuration! If you know what you're doing, you may alter the configuration above, but know what you're doing before you add anything further, or subtract from my recommended settings.


- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sysctl [wikipedia.org]

After completion:

sudo ufw disable
sudo ufw enable

When you've finished using the sudo command in your
Terminal, close it out with:

sudo -K

followed by:


If you're continuing to use sudo for other operations
at the command line, don't type sudo -K until you've


Part 3: (. Moderate .) - Configuring before*.rules

I won't elaborate on the purpose of this section,
it should become obvious should you read the files.
The following are my recommendations:

sudo nano /etc/ufw/before.rules
or: gksudo gedit /etc/ufw/before.rules

under #ok icmp codes comment all entries in this section by adding a # mark at the beginning of each line. There's no reason for my computer to allow icmp. I don't care what someone else says or why, this is my preference, ignore me here if your preferences are different.

under #allow dhcp to work
comment out the line if your system is setup for static ip use, if your system needs dhcp for networking, do not comment this section, leave it as-is.

under #allow MULTICAST mDNS for service discovery
comment out the line

under #allow MULTICAST UPnP for service discovery
comment out the line

Save file and exit

Repeat the above configuration modifications to
the file before6.rules, loading it with nano
or gedit, save and exit.

After completion:

sudo ufw disable
sudo ufw enable

When you've finished using the sudo command in your
Terminal, close it out with:

sudo -K

followed by:


If you're continuing to use sudo for other operations
at the command line, don't type sudo -K until you've


Part 4: (. Advanced .) - Blocking Private Networks

I assume you know what you're doing in this portion
of the guide. If you do not, please skip this section.

To block private networks (including the pesky multicast
if you don't need it) this works, but look out for the which may be your local private network
and shouldn't be blocked.

Subsection 2(1): Blocking Private Networks: [1]

sudo ufw deny out to
sudo ufw deny out to
sudo ufw deny out to

2(1),[1] References:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_network#Private_IPv4_address_spaces [wikipedia.org]
- https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1918 [ietf.org]

Subsection 2(2): Blocking MULTICAST: [2] [2/I]

sudo ufw deny out to (or
sudo ufw deny out to

2(2),[2] References:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multicast_address [wikipedia.org]
- https://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2365.txt [ietf.org]

2(2),[2/I] Information: Google about MULTICAST and many users on the web experiencing flooding from their routers with messages in their log from these addresses frustrating them. You may ignore these messages if you see them in your logs by
backtracking to Part 2 in this guide above, and modifying the line within /etc/sysctl.conf to:

net.ipv4.conf.all.log_martians = 0
instead of the value = 1. Personally, I like
seeing martians logged, you may not, for
reasons of sanity when combing log files
and disk space.

When you've finished using the sudo command in your
Terminal, close it out with:

sudo -K

followed by:


If you're continuing to use sudo for other operations
at the command line, don't type sudo -K until you've

lokpal bill (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333900)

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Dear slashdot (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38333944)

I want to haul large cargo containers and other such extremely heavy and large items, and I want to use a small hybrid or similar vehicle to do it instead of a semi. I heard there are some people who have hacked their Prius into a tractor trailer. What do you recommend?

Re:Dear slashdot (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334040)

Electric cars generate a lot of torque. There's not much reason you couldn't use them for towing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVZbqripkaI [youtube.com]

Re:Dear slashdot (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334190)

Electric cars generate a lot of torque. There's not much reason you couldn't use them for towing.

The question is whether they have enough energy storage to be useful. I don't know the answer, though. I know a lot of barely-related stuff as it deals with gas vs. diesel. For example my 1992 F250 was offered with, among other engines, a 460 c.i. V8 (from time immemorial, but now with lousy fuel injection) and the 7.3 liter diesel that I've got, built by International-Navistar in the US with parts cast in China or something like that. The short of it is that the 460 will get you up a hill faster, but it gets about 9 mpg at best when towing, and maybe 12-14 mpg at best on the freeway under 60 mph unloaded, where the diesel not only gets up to 20 on the freeway under 60 unloaded and driven like you're carrying a bunch of loose eggs in the bed, but also tends to get 12-14 while towing. So, how does electric compare?

Re:Dear slashdot (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334458)

"Electric cars generate a lot of torque. There's not much reason you couldn't use them for towing."

really? body and frame design as well as suspension means nothing in towing?

A Nissan Leaf will damage it's self if you tow with it because the Unibody frame is made so light that it cant not handle any towing, it will literally pull it's self apart as it is a FWD car. Plus the suspension is so light it cant handle more than a 150 pound hitch load. Motorcycles have a bigger towing capacity.

Cellular Service (1)

fongaboo (813253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334016)

Here's the big question... Are there any tablets where you can run Linux and use it on 3G or 4G cellular?

Are you really looking for a tablet? (1)

kwark (512736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334064)

My guess you are looking for a pad and not a full tablet!

A Levono Thinkpad x201 is the best tablet (how ironic it has pad in the name) I used with Linux so far. Everything on this think just works (though I never tried the analog modem).
-fingerprint reader
-tilt sensors
-all the special buttons

So if you want a pad instead, take a look at the Meego "supported" devices:
http://wiki.meego.com/ARM/TEGRA2 [meego.com]

Beware of the Advent Vega pads, it's a nice platform but the screen is absolute shit. But maybe a poor viewing angle doesn't affect you that much.

cordia tab and ekoore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38334066)

you might want to look at cordia tab and ekoore.

don't forget about chroot (1)

khipu (2511498) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334162)

In addition to installing Linux natively, on many devices you can install a full distribution in a chrooted environment inside the stock Android environment. There are some Android market apps that make that easy.

a netbook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38334164)

its like a tablet but has a keyboard and is 1/3 - 1/2 the price

What could have been (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334366)

Of course, Maemo and its spawn could have had this market sewn up, if Nokia had actually realised the way the future was going.

Sadly, they were told, repeatedly, but they have cloth ears.

x86-based tablet much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38334430)

OMG! Ubuntu! Featured Intel Atom-based Ekoore tablets months ago. I'd go for that if I don't want to bother with ARM images and whatnot.


Italian manufacturer, they are - dunno if they ship internationally.

I've been doing that for years... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38334442)

Fujitsu Stylistic tablets. Honestly use the real thing and stop screwing around with consumer junk. You can get used ones for under $400.00 that work great.
www.ebay.com and search for fujitsu stylistic.

All done.

Gna)4 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38334498)

needs OS. Now BSDI hand...don't = 36440 FreeBSD
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