Linux?

Discussion in 'iPad Hacking' started by roracle, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. roracle

    roracle
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    The answer is yes: it is possible to install Linux on this this. The only issue is having a driver for the A4 processor and whatever else they put in there. Of course, there are better alternatives that are already Linux compatible. I just figured someone may be thinking about this topic as well but just haven't said anything.

    I personally feel that Linux has the upper hand with mobile computing because of it's core design allowing for minimum resources to be used while still treating the device like a computer (and not some special godsend that doesn't work with anything). That sounded like trolling, sorry. I feel the benefit of making Linux available for this system would be awesome.
     
  2. iDan

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    Hi Roracle and welcome to the forum! You brought up a very interesting idea. Although I think if the iPad was to be hacked, Android or Chome OS would be a better choice since it's already geared toward a mobile device.
     
  3. roracle

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    Indeed, but alas I am very much a "nettop" user. This means that if I have something to type, I do so in Oo_O or something. I use my netbook right now with Ubuntu 9.10 NBR and it's perfect on there. No problems at all (except the wireless card crapping out on me here and there, hardware problem as it does so in Windows as well).

    Ubuntu NBR is an easy to use version of Linux that would be awesomely compatible with a touch screen (which is what they may have been going for the entire time).

    Android would be my second choice of course. As for ChromeOS, they need to find ways around it just being a browser before it's worth my time. I just like options I suppose, and as many of them as I can get. :p
     
  4. jskahan

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    I think the real catch will be how to boot it into install mode. Supposedly the CPU is an ARM variant, so the basic support is most likely available but I bet the GPU support will not be.

    My guess is the it will need to be similar to the Archos Android 5 install hacks where you have to gain access from a separate machine. Considering the iPhone OS, getting an SSH connection in is probably the best bet.
     
  5. scotty frank

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    I am partial to the Chromium OS idea but then again I am a Googlenaut.
     
  6. roracle

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    Google is a company I watch closely. If they aren't careful they may be labeled the next Microsoft.

    I feel, however, that any open source alternative would be an incredible feature to see working its way to tablets. Lenovo's U1 Hybrid is the perfect example. When docked to the keyboard it sports a Windows desktop, but when in tablet mode, it switches to a Linux-based environment and stays synced with the base. They are using their own modified version of Linux for this task to be accomplished. It is a little rough on the edges right now, but I feel it may pave the way for more interesting slates in the future.
     
  7. Guillaume

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    Hi guys,

    Unfortunately, I'll have to disagree with the first post. Linux will probably never exist on the iPad.

    The reasons are multiple- one of the biggest problem is the processor. It is based off the ARM architecture, yes, but it is made by Apple, and no specs whatsoever are available. For all we know, 30% of its architecture could be completely different from traditional ARMs. As a result, it would be very hard to write a compiler for that processor (we'd have to retro engineer the SDK's iPad compiler- good luck with that).

    Another problem would be managing to boot the iPad and make it execute custom code (in order to boot either the linux kernel, or a boot manager). That hasn't been figured out on the touches or the iPhone, and as a consequence very likely won't be figured out on the iPad.

    Also Apple uses a lot of parts made specifically for the iPad, without any documentation available (ie the GPU)- writing drivers for these would take hundreds and hundreds of hours of retro-engineering.

    And yes, I know what I'm talking about, I used to be part of the GNOME project, and I also briefly worked in Rockbox, an alternative firmware for a whole array of devices, including the first gens iPod.

    Custom firmwares on the iPods are pretty much dead since the 2nd gen nano.

    So yeah, I really like the idea of the iPad, but if you want a Linux tablet- do not buy an iPad. It won't happen.
     
  8. leebase

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    Why? Who has an old iPad laying around that they are tired of such that they want it for linux? If you are going to buy a new iPad -- but you don't want to run the iPhone OS....why wouldn't you just buy an Android tablet from the get go?

    Lee
     
  9. antiedman

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    You must not have read the question right. The point of this was to raise awareness on the fact that you can get a full multitasking operating system for the ipad.

    the Idea is not to get another cellphone operating system but to get a real operating system.

    I think Moblin would be a good distro or Ubuntu netbook remix.
    Although there is a Linux distro lurking in the shadows ,that I can never remember, that is supposed to be tailor made for touch computers.

    The bad thing is to get any real peripherals like a webcam working you need to know hardware to work through the proprietary connection. However, Getting an ipad connection to usb dongle to work should be the easy way out (less splicing and dicing) :p
     
    #9 antiedman, Apr 8, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2010
  10. gentlefury

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    So sad you feel this way. Apples mobile os (it really needs a name!) is very much a real os. It is a non traditional os, but it is quite real, and in my opinion quite wonderful. Everyone is so obsessed with the old way of doing everything that anything that doesn't fit that standard isn't real to them. I have not once felt roadblocked or hindered in any way by my iPad.
     

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