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BadFox
82d

What are the challenges of using standard Linux on phones, perhaps with a phone-optimized desktop environment?

Comments
  • 1
    Sounds like a question for google :D
  • 4
    Drivers. Touch interface sucks giant balls.
  • 3
    Sounds like a school assignment that's getting farmed out to devrant.
  • 2
    @irene also the proprietary hardware abstraction layers for things like radio and camera. Giant messy clusterfuck.
  • 0
    @bahua I don't even do anything that closely related to development. HND Computer Networking here.
  • 0
    @zemaitis I did but then we have stuff like the KDE Plasma Mobile which seems to run pretty well. I'm wondering why there doesn't seem to have been much progress for even the more mainstream Android devices.
  • 1
    @irene @RantSomeWhere so it's really just drivers? How do the desktop ones seem to scale well to somewhat similar devices, for example, the UVC driver using lots of different webcams?
  • 1
    @BadFox I believe, yes. There is already an Ubuntu touch project.
  • 2
    @BadFox that's because drivers and HALs on mobile devices are closed. HALs (communication layers between the OS and hardware) are shipped in the form of blobs on mobile devices, so you'd have to reverse-engineer the whole thing to make it work on a different platform (there's an XDA article about that, let me see if I can find it). PC hardware suppliers don't do that because they realize that their hardware becomes unusable on servers and things like that, I presume.
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    Also, market. It took a fuckton of work on Android to get it to a point where it could be a decent mobile OS, and Android is based on Linux. Standard desktop/user-facing Linux just doesn't have enough money in it to justify that. Then there are other hairy issues like compatibility of apps, and available alternatives (why go for this when Android basically does it anyway? and so on). Today's phones are not just the OS, they're whole ecosystems of products and standard Linux just doesn't have that built up.
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