Linux?

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

  1. roracle
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    roracle iPF Novice

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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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    iDan Administrator Staff Member

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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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    roracle iPF Novice

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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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    jskahan iPF Noob

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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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    scotty frank iPF Novice

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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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    roracle iPF Novice

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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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    Guillaume iPF Novice

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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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    leebase iPF Novice

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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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    antiedman iPF Noob

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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
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2010
  10. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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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.
  11. kheldour
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    kheldour iPad Junkie

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    I totally disagree, 'cause you completely miss the point about the device.
    It is NOT a, please forgive me, nerd-computer. It is the computer "for the rest of us", as Steve would say.

    I like the analogy of the evolution in the car industry. Remember the time where cars used to run on wooden wheels and the driver exactly needed to know, how the engine worked, how to tune his car (no, not pimping the car, it was about how to improve the engine, etc.). If you asked a driver at that time, how the next generation of car should look like, they'd answer: stronger, faster and more chrome....

    But then car manufacturers started to learn the requirements from the market. It was not about horsepower, speed and so on. People wanted a car for housewifes, for shopping, for the family or workhorses....

    And modern cars need to fit our requirements, not we are going to adopt to the cars capabilities. And a modern driver doesn't need to know, how the engine works, what the difference is between a .dll and a .pdf or .exe

    The iPad is a device which doesn't want to be a full scale computer, it is multimedia, entertainment and definitely for coach potatoes. It is a new idea of computer. It is progress and evolution.

    It is not about gigahertz, RAM-size, resolution oder interfaces. It is the question if you still want to drive an old-timer or a modern car.

    Go on the market and ask 10 people "what is an USB-port". Maybe three people know the answer. Ask for the amount of ram in their computer and possibly one or two know it. If you ask for a SSD you have to have a lot of luck....

    But what is with these other people? People not like us (the technology geeks, the early adopters).

    They are annoyed with their computer day in and day out, because they - the same user, who doesn't know what an USB-Port is - get asked by their virus scanner, if the file "winlogon.dll" in the directory SYSTEM32 should be deleted or just moved into the quarantine folder.....and to be honest, Macs are easier, but not less difficult, cause we, the users always tend to go deeper in the operating system, than we should.

    Apple is actually revolutionizing the computer industry with the iPad. They own more than 70% of the music-download market, they sold more than 75 million iPhones and iPod-Touches over the last three years. And they will revive the dying print industry the same way, as they revived the music industry.

    Steve Jobs has well recognized, that Apple never can compete with Microsoft and Linux-distributions in the professional and commercial markets (except a few creative areas, for print, video, etc.). That's why Apple is focussing on the home and private market. And they do that very well.
    And btw. there has just been a research on the TCO (total cost of ownership: purchase price, maintenance, energy consumption, IT help desk, etc.) of computers over the whole lifetime in an enterprise - and guess what, Mac's are, although they are slightly more expensive when you purchase them, at the end of there (tax) lifespan cheaper than the Windows-PCs.

    Ask yourself: Would you give your grandmother a notebook to scroll through the latest family pictures? I have shown my granny some pictures on the iPhone. And after a few minutes she was flipping through the pictures easily. And now imagine granny with an iPad......

    You get the idea.

    Apple's iPad, unlike the MacBook Air, will take the home market by storm. Even if only 10% of all existing iPhone/iPod-Touch users buy one, it is still 7,500,000 devices.....

    That is a market force no print company will deny and I predict here and now, that I am able to get 70% of todays available print magazines on the Apple iTunes Bookstore within the next 24 months.

    And they will take other markets at ease: Hospitals, schools, museums - you name it.

    The iPad is just the beginning........


    ....and for those, who still want to use Linux or Unix or Windows......there are still enough other pc's, slate devices, pocket-pcs etc. out there. And yes, they do have there reason to survive and they will keep a strong market share.....but the iPad will displace a lot of them, the more it evolves, the more market share Apple will get.

    Just my 2 cts.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2010
  12. artheus
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    artheus iPF Noob

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    Well I agree with you on some points there! I think the Mobile Mac os Is wonderful. I have also seen my grandma testing my iPad and she got it right away. She's 80 years old and does not know anything about "the computers".

    But what is bothering me a bit with the iPad is that if I would want to in almost any way personalize, or customize something in my iPad. I would have to jailbreak it, and loose my warranty and probably about 70% of the stability of the os. Same thing if I would want to create my own apps, I would either have to jailbreak my iPad, or install a Mac OSX on my desktop pc, which is not legal, stable or secure.

    The only thing that would be legal, stable and secure would be for me to pay at least a $700 for a new mac and start developing from there. I don't want that.
    I don't want that, because I don't see that I earn anything by doing this. Because what you say (see quote) about "purchase price, maintenance, energy consumption, IT help desk, etc.", I don't really get that, as I would be the maintainer of my own computer, I have never called a help desk even once (maby I will have to if I buy a Mac??), And the energy consumption is not much different from my computer, which is very energy-efficient. And the purchase price, is much higher, about $200!

    So what I would want is either for it to be possible to install new os on the iPad, so I can customize, and do what I want. Or being able to customize more, and compile my own apps in Linux or Windows without having to jailbreak or anything like that.

    Cheers,
    Artheus
  13. IpadOne
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    IpadOne iPad Addict

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    So you are free to buy an other device like JooJoo, future HP Slate , or the one will coming soon

    you can’t ask Apple to do the device you want, they do the device the people need ….

    Or maybe you create your one from scratch … and maybe you will succeed
  14. kheldour
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    kheldour iPad Junkie

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    Dear Artheus,
    I don't want to insult you. ;)

    But that is exactly, what Apple intended to do - and a possible market to address.

  15. num1deluxe
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    num1deluxe iPF Noob

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    I cant see anything wrong with forcing linux on an ipad just for the sake of doing it.
    Especially when they say you cant and say it to be the wrong thing to do.
  16. Bremen
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    Bremen iPad Addict

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    I can see that, for the challenge and all....I'm sure it would mean geek points to someone...... But to actually use? No way. For me it would be a major downgrade.....
  17. On_fire
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    On_fire iPF Noob

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    <rant>Seriously?!? I can get something that is comparable to almost any Mac model for at least 25% less. The only way to get something comparable to a Mac for the same price is to look for the most expensive brand available, which is not usually better then the cheaper ones... Not saying anything bad about Apple, you're paying for the brand and the ease of use, but don't go saying that they are cheaper then they really are.</rant>
  18. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    Actually you are paying for the best OS on the market, the best customer service and the guarantee that the OS and all software will be 100% compatible with the hardware with no hassle setting it up.

    Oh yeah and never having to reinstall the OS and really never having to restart (I know people that have had their macs running for months without restarting).

    You pay for more than just parts when you buy a Mac, just like you pay for more than just the components of the iPad.

    /Rant.
  19. col.bris
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    col.bris Administrator Staff Member

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    The os x is bullet proof no viruses cost of owner ship is low minimal maintentance easy to use. It just works. Not to mention you plug in a camera it is supported nothing to install you plug in a printer over 1000 drivers on board no inistall required it just connects.
  20. Delirium
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    Delirium iPF Noob

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    Opinions as options always differ..

    Been using macs since the powerbook models, about 1995. They are cool, they are good looking, mouths drop every time i take my macbook pro out the bag.. the system is beautiful.. The iphone is amazing. Sleak, multi-touch, ipod inside, every cool thing i could want. But.. to this almost everyone will have to agree.. sync only through usb, when it go on emergency mode, need a laptop to boot it, sync only with one itunes library, converting almost every video to itunes compatible, the flash thingie, and the list could go on for a while..
    What i dont like on linux (and systens alike) is they are not as sleek and beautiful as apple's are. Is that important?? depends on your use of a computer. Personally i like my jailbroken iphone, place videos for incoming calls, winterboarding the visual and stuff.. and i simply hate when those error messages pop and the apple site gives the same "restore now!" answer for everything.
    The macbook i use on college broke, so i just bought an ipad. I know that not being able to connect my pendrives on the ipad will hinder my studies; i know not being able to install software made specifically to my area of study will be almost disastrous. And for that i really like the idea of freedom. The idea of, when needed, being able to boot on Android or a linux distro and have that situation handled.
    As saying that, i found myself in two different situations: the geek and the normal user. As a normal user, i dont need freedom to be an individual. As a geek with personal projects not linked to computers (but everything uses computers these days), i still cannot be an individual.
    Sci-fi writers of old wrote about companies hindering the liberties of using equipments as mega-corporations described as cartels, mob's, totalitarian, self-indulged. And that feels as the I on apple products seems oddly as an ironic joke, as i (through their products) am fated to never be more than a not important part of the collective.

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