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Hardware Linux

Installing Linux On ARM-Based Netbooks? 179

Posted by timothy
from the super-easy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I am sure that many other Slashdotters have noticed an increase in ARM-based netbooks over the past several months. For example, the Augen E-Go. It is a widely touted theory that it is impossible to install Linux on one of these notebooks, replacing the commonly installed Windows CE operating system. The sub-$100 netbooks carry decent specs, including 533MHz ARM processor; 128MB DDR RAM; and a 2GB Flash drive, as well as most expected netbook components (USB, Wi-Fi, etc.). I find it hard to believe that a computer with these specs is impossible to hack and install Linux to, but Google searches have been largely unsuccessful in finding proper information. Do any Slashdot readers have experience in installing ARM Linux distros to these cheap netbooks like this? If so, what distros do they recommend?" (In particular, I wonder if anyone can comment on Ubuntu on ARM.)
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Installing Linux On ARM-Based Netbooks?

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    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Debian GNU/Linux on ARM [debian.org]

      Indeed. I wouldn't recommend Ubuntu for these simply because it's designed for typical desktop machines with gigs of memory, and all the "pretty" is no good when all you've got is 128MB. But Debian with an appropriately lightweight window manager should be up to it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        I wouldn't recommend Ubuntu...

        If it's good enough for the Beagleboard, it's good enough for a netbook. Also check Youtube for live demos.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          [quote]If it's good enough for the Beagleboard, it's good enough for a netbook. Also check Youtube for live demos.[/quote]
          OK, let's put it this way: I just tried to install 10.04 on a 400MHz K6 with 160MB of RAM (and plenty of swap) and when it tried to boot the install, the only thing that appeared was a message that said the OOM killer had taken out the system logger.

          Ubuntu is not a low-memory distribution.

          • by udippel (562132)

            Since you post AC, I can't give you mod points.
            But your observation is fine, and important. This is a serious bug: One must not be able to install a distro into what cannot boot up.
            File this bug for all of us, please!

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:54PM (#32300968) Journal
      And if all else fails, you can always try here [linuxfromscratch.org]. Only problem you'll have then might be the drivers, although in that case there still may be help for you [freesoftwaremagazine.com].
      • by owlman17 (871857)

        Mod parent up. I've resurrected several old (Win95/98 era) PCs around the house with LFS. Only downside is you'd be compiling for dozens of hours, if not days on those rigs. Of course, you could always cross-compile from a modern PC.

        • by Z00L00K (682162)

          And if you want a really lean&mean Linux you can select BusyBox instead of building each command individually.

          For GUI - a stripped down X server with FVWM2 or BlackBox as window manager.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by causality (777677)

        And if all else fails, you can always try here [linuxfromscratch.org]. Only problem you'll have then might be the drivers, although in that case there still may be help for you [freesoftwaremagazine.com].

        I have been using Gentoo (and love it) for several years now. I have not actually tried LFS although I am familiar with its basic concepts. Can you advise why you would prefer LFS over Gentoo? It seems you'd be giving up the ease of long-term administration that Portage offers, and so far as I know Gentoo does support the ARM platform.

        • by Gordonjcp (186804)

          Gentoo is a pretty poor choice for old hardware, because it's so slow compiling everything.

          • by causality (777677)

            Gentoo is a pretty poor choice for old hardware, because it's so slow compiling everything.

            Which is completely irrelevant because LFS is also a source-based distribution. Please be familiar with what you're commenting on.

            To reiterate: you compile your software for both Gentoo and LFS. One has a package manager, the other doesn't. That's the main difference between them.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:03PM (#32301064) Homepage

      Maybe; maybe not.

      Back in the day (ie, when the MobilePro 780 and similar "netbooks" were about and popular with Linux hackers - maybe 8-9 years ago), there were some non-trivial limitations to booting Linux or a BSD on the devices.

      The problem was that there was no way to actually boot Linux natively without chainloading from within CE. Sure, the hardware worked, but the CE ROM address was hardcoded within the "BIOS", and there was no way to circumvent it.

      As a result, booting was/is a 5-minute (manual) process due to CE's boot. It's highly cumbersome.

      Additionally (and possibly somewhat related), I noticed that around 2004 or so, all of the "mobile computing" or "Borg-like computing" project pages, targeted products, and the like just sort of disappeared. Stuff like the "matchbox PC" from Stanford, twiddler keyboards (think that's what they called them), IR (etc.) keyboards for Palm, et al, and misc. other peripherals became difficult to find. No new products were coming to market in that segment.

      Cool project pages where people had some interesting software work for mobile computing (including novel input/output devices) just kind of stopped being updated. Kernel porting and hardware support projects (eg. Linux on the MobilePro 780/880) were abandoned. I don't get it, but I'm going to have to guess that emergence of the first widely accessible smartphones distracted these adventurous types, or the hackable geek-preferred hardware simply dried up. It's really too bad. (Maybe the economy or impending adulthood had somethign to do with it, too?)

      That said, I have good news and bad news: the good news is that it looks like the "embedded" computer with a keyboard is coming back (See: Viliv S7). Unfortunately, I also suspect that x86 Intel hardware will dominate the market instead of the "cooler" ARM hardware (OMG, Mooreland is impressive). We'll see how much that matters, but I hope "not very" - and we're able to have our cake and eat it too, despite (because of?) the Intel badging.

      My hope (and guess) is that we'll have decently powerful MeeGo/Moblin/Maemo powered cell phones at a reasonable price within two years or so - whether that's what the vendor shipped on them or not.

      • by sortius_nod (1080919) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:25PM (#32301246) Homepage

        I have to agree. I've had experience installing Linux on ARM and other "exotic" systems, they all seem to be very picky about what systems will work and what won't. You will have to boot into CE just to get it to load, and it will run like a dog.

        Drivers will be your biggest hurdle if you can actually get it to run, as between models they seem to change up hardware continually.

        I'd pretty much drop the idea unless you want to build it from scratch or input man hours into helping a dying ARM Linux project.

      • trolls (Score:3, Insightful)

        by reiisi (1211052)

        semi-intelleigent sounding stuff that presumes INTEL has already won.

        Shoot. Why not just give in to the BORG entirely?

        • Re:trolls (Score:5, Insightful)

          by CAIMLAS (41445) on Friday May 21, 2010 @08:19PM (#32301586) Homepage

          "Intel has already won"?

          Let's see: you can currently buy a capable Atom based mini-ITX board with a dual core processor for under $70 - sufficient system for a small office network server, workstation, and pretty much any common task. It's got lower power use than the competitors in the same price range as well as more performance. (In fact, the Atom boards are a bit cheaper than the cheapest Via and AMD board/CPU combos - and mostly fanless.)

          Now consider that the latest Atom has a TDP of 2 watts, and in-use power utilization about average for existing smartphone platforms. It might not immediately/seamlessly boot Windows 7, but I'd wager a bet that someone will figure out how to get it to work on account of it being an x86 chip. And a common Linux distro might very well be able to install without too much kludgery, too.

          This is something that just a couple years ago (when Atom first came out, there about) everyone said was impossible: Intel would never have anything that would compete with ARM processors on power utilization and performance. Yet these Mooreland CPUs appear to have just as much (if not more) performance than the latest, greatest Snapdragon and the iPad's SoC. Also consider how incredibly fast Intel came to market with this CPU (vs. the much more linear progression we've seen in the ARM platforms over the past decade).

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sznupi (719324)

            You're grealty underestimating Atom power usage and overestimating ARM one; they are typically at least an order of magnitude apart, quite often two.

            Now consider that in my damn Wintel PC (or...in those Atom ones you mention) there is most likely more ARM cores than x86 ones; to say nothing of all the devices around me.
            Heck, virtually all mobile phones are built around ARM. Even that is, at worst, around the number of all PCs in existence...but annually.

          • I don't know where you got the mod points from, but others without as many real-world sock-puppets have pointed out where you are either lying or fooling yourself.

            Look at all the resources intel has to waste keeping x86 afloat. Engineering resources, marketing resources, arm twisting, kickbacks and bribes, ...

            Imagine what we could have, if the resources intel is putting into keep x86 afloat were put into ARM. Or, shoot, PPC. Sparc, ColdFire. MIPS. The other Moore's FORTH CPU.

            No, you can't imagine it because

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by imp (7585)

        Back in the day, the reason that the MobilePro 780 (and friends) had severe limitations running Linux/BSD was due to the design of the hardware. WinCE was installed into mask programmable ROMs. This meant that it was impossible to replace the code at the locations the processors vectored to when doing a reset. This meant that deep sleep was impossible.

        These days, the OS is held in flash memory, and can be replaced more easily. Most of the systems I've played with it has been possible to replace things.

    • by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:14AM (#32303446) Journal

      Debian is a possibility, but Ubuntu won't work. Ubuntu has been updated to a newer arm instruction set than the one used in a lot of these netbooks.

      The problem with these things is, unlike x86, ARM has no BIOS. Your kernel/image has to be customized to work with all the chips that particular netbook has. This would be easier if they all had the same CPUs/SoCs, but they all vary quite a bit.

      I've seen vt8500 netbooks, wm8505's, Samsung SC2410's, 7802's, cheap x86-i386 knockoffs, and MIPS based netbooks. None use the same boot loaders (!), and few have the same instruction sets. (!) Those that do do not have the same LCD controllers or other components, and usually all drivers are closed source. (if available at all)

      There are some attempts to get linux on them... here's a few:

      http://s0.blackmage.co.uk/~nextvolume/via_arm/index.php [blackmage.co.uk] (some luck, using android kernels mostly)
      http://3mx.taita.co.uk/ [taita.co.uk] (some luck)
      http://mininetbooks.your-board.com/ [your-board.com] (no luck yet)

      If you've got one and want to chat, join the IRC on freenode.net, channel #easypc

      Most of the hackers and developers there have different kinds of netbooks, and only one each, but pooling knowledge has been handy. Apparently vt8500/wm8505 netbooks usually have a read-only card reader that needs to be soldered to be fixed. My Anyka 7802 netbook ($58 shipped!) doesn't have this problem, but it has no drivers available. Not even Android runs on it.

      There's a dozen or so people in the channel, so if you've got questions (or maybe answers), join in. Note: We're all in different timezones. Responses can take hours, or if you're lucky minutes.

  • Or.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Angstrom Linux [angstrom-d...bution.org]

  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bert64 (520050) <(bert) (at) (slashdot.firenzee.com)> on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:51PM (#32300940) Homepage

    I don't even get why these arm based machines come with windows ce, that's just setting the user up for disappointment... Sure it looks like windows, but won't run any of the apps people would expect to run on it....
    Linux at least doesn't create such a false impression, and has a much wider array of applications readily available for it.

    • I don't know why linux hasn't supplanted CE in this area; but I think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that most of the low-end ARM-based "netbooks" are pretty much the direct architectural descendants of the pocketPCs of old, just in a different case/form factor.
    • by sznupi (719324)

      Haven't you answered yourself right there?

      Impression.

  • The trouble... (Score:5, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:52PM (#32300956) Journal
    With Linux on ARM is that ARM devices are substantially less standardized that x86s are when it comes to such niceties as the preboot/early stage of boot process.

    Because of the decades-long Wintel monopoly, pretty much any x86 board(with the exception of a few oddball embedded things and OLPCs), boots in almost the same way. Worst case, the ACPI implementation is so shot that you have to boot with -noacpi in order to get the kernel up and running.

    ARM devices, though, have had considerable freedom to do their own thing, so long as the vendor provided a BSP that papered over the weirdness enough to run the OS of the customer's choice(historically WinCe/VXworks, more recently this has included Linux). On the plus side, this has meant some fairly interesting capabilities in some of the bootloaders. On the minus side, this has meant a multitude of bootloaders(a few OSS, redboot, u-boot), some fairly common, and some horrid oddball crap that even Google has only heard mentioned a few times.

    If you can get the kernel booted, userland is not such a big deal. Debian has had a pretty decent one for a while, and the Ubuntu guys have recently been doing some "suitable for low-rez screens" type polishing. The issue will be figuring out the bootloader. And, of course, there is absolutely no assurance that the drivers for whatever oddball devices are crammed into the cheapo SoiCs in these things exist, or work properly.

    If you get to the stage of "what distro do I want", you are ahead of the game.
    • by spazdor (902907) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:03PM (#32301070)

      Has anyone written a post-boot kernel loader for Windows CE along the lines of LOADLIN.EXE? That would save a lot of people a lot of agony.

      Sure it's a kludge. Not the kludge we need, but the kludge we deserve.

      • Re:The trouble... (Score:4, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:35PM (#32301326) Journal
        Yup, that's how you ran other operating systems on a number of PDA-type devices. Unfortunately, for the same reasons outlined by the grandparent, it needs modification for each target machine and it also requires you to be able to install stuff in Wince that runs in privileged mode.
      • by imp (7585)

        WinCE based boot loaders have existed for the past 10-12 years. But there's a problem with them. You can't replace the code at the reset vectors which is necessary to get the deep sleep modes working properly. You can run Linux or BSD on the box, but you'll not be able to suspend the laptop, nor will you be able to easily script the booting. If you are relying on WinCE to do the booting, you're also not able to reclaim that space in the Flash memory either.

      • The one I've used is called HaRET [handhelds.org], which is both a debugger-ish thing that lets you play with physical memory and GPIO ports, and a LOADLIN-style bootloader.

  • by crow (16139) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:56PM (#32300988) Homepage Journal

    Sure, Linux runs on lots of CPUs, and would have no problem on ARM, and probably even supports all the devices on the systems in question. The trick is finding a way to install it, and that's where the hacking comes in. How does the system boot? Can you modify the boot image to install Linux? Does the BIOS (or whatever equivalent) insist on only booting digitally-signed boot images like video game consoles do? Those questions may have different answers for each device.

    In most cases, I would think it shouldn't be too hard, as they aren't likely to bother with digital signatures, and they probably have some mechanism for installing an upgraded or patched operating system (for bug fixes, if nothing else). Someone has to buy one and figure out how to do it.

  • Maemo (Score:4, Informative)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:56PM (#32300998) Homepage Journal
    Is more a tablet or a cellphone than a netbook, but the N900 runs it, and is ARM based. And probably will be a Meego version for it too soon. Anyway, the N900 have twice that RAM, completes to 1gb counting the swap, and several times that flash on storage, you could feel a bit stretched with it.

    There are also several mini linux distributions specially targetted to low ram/hardware (i.e. damn small linux), but not sure if there are ARM ports of them.
  • ARMeD Slack (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:00PM (#32301026)

    Check out Slackware on ARM

    http://www.armedslack.org/

    This is is a port of 12.2 packages (slackware is almost complete with 13 rc1).

  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:11PM (#32301148) Homepage

    I've already posted in this thread elsewhere, but I just thought I might add: Google is likely part of your problem (inability to find anything useful).

    I've noticed lately that Google has become much less of a useful resource when looking up technical information. You're more likely to find a useful link with "stupid" queries, but any level of complexity results in two out of three being only-sorta related. It's a mess, and historically useful search formatting (quoting, -, +, etc.) no longer really help.

    I really hope a better alternative comes along soon (or google releases "geek.google.com" or some such thing - with the old indexing). The lack of good search results (nay, worse results) has really made my life more difficult.

  • Why bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kitserve (1607129) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:30PM (#32301294) Homepage

    Looking at the specs given by the OP, I am wondering why you would go to the trouble of installing Linux on one of these machines (other than geek cred) when you could just get a MIPS based netbook with similar specs that comes with Linux, e.g. the CnMbook. I got one for £90 last year, it's slow as hell but does the job for basic web access etc when I don't want to carry around a full sized laptop.

    I might add that putting a full-featured Linux distro (e.g. replacing the basic Linux install it ships with with Debian or the like) on the CnMbook doesn't seem too plausible at the moment, there's just too much tweaking necessary, and this is a machine that ships with a Linux variant installed. Trying to put Linux on one of the ARM machines mentioned by the OP when it isn't even supported by the manufacturer seems like more pain than it's worth to me...

    • I've got a CnMbook. It's shite; however I do have Debian on it. Not that I could have figured out how to do it myself, but someone did.

      I want an ARM netbook with linux on it, but I'll wait until I can buy one.

      • by Gori (526248)

        I've got a CnMbook. It's shite;

        Can you elaborate please, it seems like a quite nice machine for some basic note typing/calendar/web/ssh stuff.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Simpad is an ARM-based tablet computer made by Siemens some years back. It came with WIN CE but people have created a Linux distro called OESF that runs on it and it will run many Sharp Zaurus applications unmodified even though it has a much larger screen than a PDA.

    I would expect that people would have to do some boot loader hacking similar to what was done with Simpad, but if you could get that Simpad distro booted on one of these netbooks then you will be past the biggest hurdle in making Ubuntu Net

  • Linux on iPAQ (Score:4, Informative)

    by lostdistance (1560065) on Friday May 21, 2010 @08:54PM (#32301770)
    I have installed Linux on an HP iPAQ hx4700 PDA (624MHz XScale PXA270, 64Mb RAM, 128Mb flash, 480x640 screen). As others have pointed out the main problems are finding (1) a boot loader and (2) drivers for your device. In the case of the hx4700 these problems were already solved for Familiar Linux (familiar.handhelds.org); SDG Systems produced a boot loader and others produced the kernel patches and drivers. A more generic boot loader is HaRET (Handheld Reverse Engineering Tool), a Linux bootloader which works from the Windows CE environment. I haven't used it myself because I wiped WinCE off my iPAQ years ago. Drivers and platforms for ARM devices are being developed for the Linux kernel all the time; check out the source code under ./arch/arm. But you may not find exactly the right combination for your device. Being a kernel hacker helps! As for a Linux distro, I first used Familiar Linux. But that is no longer actively developed. So I switched to Angstrom Linux (www.angstrom-distribution.org). But that doesn't offer the latest version of the Mozilla Fennec browser. And in both cases I found the desktop environment (e.g. GPE) to be too resource hungry. So I have now rolled my own distro from the latest software sources. In particular I am using a window manager called PAWM (Puto Amo Window Manager), which is small and perfect for a device without a keyboard, and fennec-2.0a1pre built from bleeding edge sources. Yes, they do actually work in 64Mb of RAM! It does take some effort to port, configure, debug and fix the software, but it's fun to do.
  • How different then, would doing this kind of thing be from installing Linux on a PocketPC/Windows CE device such as an iPaq? Yes, that is possible [handhelds.org], but it is far from straightforward. I imagine the device is significantly different from a standard PC and more like a PocketPC-based ARM handheld or smartphone, and one ought to be considering it as such. I assume that such a device will not have some Palladium [wikipedia.org]-like trusted computing system similar to what one sees in some gaming consoles which prevents one f

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Friday May 21, 2010 @10:30PM (#32302344)

    The problem with portable computing devices -- at least the ones that aren't tied to an expensive cell plan -- is that they are such narrow margin markets that few manufacturers are interested in them. Let's say that you want a lightweight, long battery life, portable computer with a full-sized keyboard to do actual work on: word processor, spreadsheet, or for the more technically inclined, a text editor and a copy of gcc, and you don't give a shit about watching video or browsing Flash-heavy sites.

    Good luck with that.

    It's not that there's any technical barrier involved here. You could do all of that just fine on a 90MHz Pentium fifteen years ago, or even a 50MHz 80486 twenty years ago. Odds are that the processor and memory in a third-rate cell phone could blow those specs away. Add a real screen and a keyboard, and you've got a device that could retail under $100. Of course, that means that it would probably wholesale for around $40, and the manufacturer's profit would likely be a couple of bucks, but only for the month or two it would take every factory in Taiwan to rush out clones. And that's provided it wasn't stillborn because every clueless tech "journalist" started bitching about how you couldn't watch video or play the latest games on it. Frankly, you can't really blame the manufacturers for not wanting to jump on that wagon.

    So instead, we get the overpriced toys of the netbook world which, while capable computing platforms in the abstract, are so crippled by their toy keyboards that they're basically DVD viewers with built-in web browsers. It's like the final, terrifying revenge of WebTV.

    I suspect that if you want something else, you're going to have to find an otherwise suitable netbook and substantially modify the hardware yourself. Personally, I've been giving serious thought to stuffing the guts of a netbook inside of a vintage IBM Model M keyboard and building a custom cover for it.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot AT worf DOT net> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @12:05AM (#32302754)

    is because ARM systems so far are embedded systems.

    PCs are easy because their behavior is very simple and effectively, hasn't changed much since the beginning. But ARMs are a dime a dozen and used in various things from lightweight controllers to cellphones. Your PC might very well have several ARM processors inside it.

    As a result, every ARM system is different - the memory map is different, the interrupt controller is different between SoC vendors, peripherals are located at different spots, etc. The only real constant is that ARMs boot at 0x0, but many SoCs have boot ROMs that are mapped at that area, which load a bootloader off storage at some arbitrary memory location and jumps there. End result, on ARM, you need to build a kernel/bootloader that's specific to your hardware.

    On a PC, it's pretty much a monoculture and you know where things are in physical memory space. Things are located at well known addresses. On a PC, then, it's effectively the same architecture. That's why there's so many OSes available because the basic kernel needs are all the same across every PC, ranging from low power embedded systems to super 128-core behemoths - you know where RAM starts, how the BIOS will load you and where, how the interrupt controller, timer hardware, etc., work, and how to talk to more advanced peripherals via interfaces like ACPI. Hell, about the biggest change in PCs is the slow move to EFI based firmware, but they implement a BIOS compatibility module for backwards compatibility.

    Try writing a program where you don't know where you're going to be located in memory, hardware you don't know where it might be located, interrupt controllers that can change wildly, etc without requiring reconfiguration and recompilation, and it's impossible. That's the current state of ARM systems...

  • by nukem996 (624036) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:53AM (#32303600)
    The problem with changing what an arm device runs is in the bootloader that arm devices run. What most arm devices have is firmware that not only configures the CPU and other devices but loads the OS. Unlike a PC where it loads some code off the first sector of the drive most arm devices actually have the code to load the file system, put a file in memory, and execute it. This is great except there is no standard on how to do this and can be configured from very easy to change(i.e just change the file it loads) to very hard(i.e the firmware checks the file checksum). Your best bet is to do some googling on the device and see who makes the CPU. Then google and CPU and you should find what the standard firmware the manufacture uses. Next you need to hook a serial device(most devices have these just no serial port on the board, you need to sodier it on). Then you can start hacking away. Marvell based devices are great since the OpenRD and Netplug devices have plenty of documentation and they all use the same boot loader and such.
  • by Qubit (100461) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @05:33AM (#32304194) Homepage Journal

    So here's a little more background for those who haven't followed development of it closely:

    MeeGo is the arranged marriage of Intel's Moblin + Nokia's Maemo.

    MeeGo is still under heavy development, and although source and builds are available, everything is still experimental.

    The steering group is "planning [a] release of MeeGo version 1 in the second quarter of 2010", according to the FAQ [meego.com]. It'll be here soon; don't start making plans to run it as your daily OS until v1.0 is actually released.

    To give a taste of how raw development of the OS is right now, even basic tutorials on how to write a "Hello, World" application aren't useful to the community yet [meego.com] as most tutorials depend upon the MeeGo SDK, a component that hasn't yet been released by Intel.

    But what you care about most is: "Will it run on my hardware?"

    The best place to determine that is on the Devices [meego.com] page on the MeeGo Wiki. If you find that you can run the current development images on a different piece of hardware, please make a note of it on that page.

  • There is nothing inherently difficult about Linux on ARM. I have installed Gentoo on two such systems, a Buffalo Linkstation and a Nokia N800 (though the latter runs Maemo most of the time). These devices were designed for Linux to begin with.

    IMHO, it is much better to support manufacturers that support Linux. Even if you get Linux running on one of these WinCE devices, you are supporting a closed monoculture by buying it.

    As of netbooks, there are two currently available in online stores that I find pa

    • by jmorris42 (1458) *

      > The last time I mentioned these, some people complained that the Lemote is not actually available anywhere, so here are two places:

      I can guess the .nl site isn't where I should look so try the .com. Lets see, UK only keyboard, Shipped from Europe and paid in Euros (more fees) and at prices higher than a lot of higher spec hardware without those problems. And you get to buy it from a tiny site that can't even spring for an SSL cert. I know I'm eager to put my credit card in that. Sounds like 'not av

  • by mackyrae (999347) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @08:25AM (#32304966) Homepage
    At the Ubuntu Developer Summit last November, one of the Ubuntu ARM guys did a plenary presentation where the machine hooked to the projector was an ARM machine running Ubuntu. I also saw Jonathan Riddell looking for a USB mouse so he could install Kubuntu on an ARM machine he'd been handed.
  • I can't be 100% sure what you've got because I can't find much info about it on the internet, but odds are good that is just a re-stickering of a very prevalent ARM netbook that's doing the rounds.

    If so, a developer community can be found below, and there is a full replacement Linux distro available (no promises that it'll work, YMMV etc.).

    http://www.littlelinuxlaptop.com/ [littlelinuxlaptop.com]

  • - Create ARM VM (Qemu does this)
    - Create development image/environment (Qemu can do ARM)
    - Build an ARM image
    - Test in emulator/simulator
    - Install with one of several methods - the Debian Installer works on ARM, for example.
    - Test, log notes for yourself, and repeat the build process
    ----
    http://cross-lfs.org/view/clfs-embedded/arm/introduction/how.html>

    "The CLFS system will be built by using a previously installed Linux distribution (such as Debian, Fedora, Mandriva, SUSE, or Ubuntu). This existing Linux s

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