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Computer privacy

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 3, 2013 13:15 UTC (Thu) by sorpigal (subscriber, #36106)
In reply to: Computer privacy by man_ls
Parent article: Canonical to demonstrate Ubuntu on phones

This is why it was so sad for me to see Nokia go down in flames. The N900 was not exactly Debian, but it was pretty much Debian for all practical purposes. It's too bad the Meego efforts are all based on something else, because finding my next phone when I get fed up with the bugs in my N9 is going to be a problem. It's hard to go from "I have root and apt-get out of the box" to anything less.


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Computer privacy

Posted Jan 3, 2013 16:30 UTC (Thu) by shmerl (guest, #65921) [Link]

Package management is a minor thing to adapt to, in comparison to general flexibility. Having root and zypper isn't any worse than having root and apt-get.

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 3, 2013 17:48 UTC (Thu) by sorpigal (subscriber, #36106) [Link]

apt-get is just an example, there are a lot of little differences between distributions and on the N9/N900 they pretty much all come out the Debian way which I both like and am very familiar with.

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 3, 2013 22:24 UTC (Thu) by shmerl (guest, #65921) [Link]

Mer based ones (like Nemo) come out of Meego, and have no direct relation to Debian. And actually Nemo is the only one actively developed distribution which can run on N900 and N9.

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 3, 2013 21:12 UTC (Thu) by cjwatson (subscriber, #7322) [Link]

For all practical purposes other than building packages, maybe - I gave up after a few hours of scratchbox hell, although I love my N900. I have considerable hope that building packages for an Ubuntu phone will be much more sensible, given the work we've been doing on multiarch and cross-building. (34% of Ubuntu main cross-builds out of the box at the moment ...)

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 3, 2013 22:25 UTC (Thu) by shmerl (guest, #65921) [Link]

Did you try Mer SDK and OBS?

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 4, 2013 0:01 UTC (Fri) by cjwatson (subscriber, #7322) [Link]

No. Life is too short.

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 4, 2013 15:49 UTC (Fri) by niner (subscriber, #26151) [Link]

Life is too short to try tools that save considerable time?

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 5, 2013 11:05 UTC (Sat) by cjwatson (subscriber, #7322) [Link]

As far as I can tell, the Mer SDK only builds for RPM-based systems. I'm unlikely ever to recoup the time spent in converting my phone from Maemo to Meego or one of its descendants.

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 4, 2013 0:02 UTC (Fri) by cjwatson (subscriber, #7322) [Link]

And incidentally I'm not interested in running (and especially not in developing) anything non-Debian-based.

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 4, 2013 1:22 UTC (Fri) by shmerl (guest, #65921) [Link]

Up to you of course. I personally use Debian on the desktop as well, and would prefer something Debian based for the mobile as well. However Debian as a project is rather slow to advance much in the mobile sphere. Mer on the other hand moves fast and is optimized for mobile, being well ahead of others, so I see nothing wrong with using it. Learning different tools like RPM vs DEB or some architectural differences and etc. isn't a scary or unworthy effort.

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 4, 2013 6:50 UTC (Fri) by pabs (subscriber, #43278) [Link]

It isn't particularly hard to put Debian on a random mobile device:

http://bonedaddy.net/pabs3/log/2012/12/03/debian-mobile/

Unfortunately due to Linux mainline not supporting random mobile devices, Debian can't either. You can help get Debian on your mobile device by becoming a kernel developer and helping fix, rewrite and send upstream all the Android drivers from random kernel forks. Likewise for bootloaders. We could also use some help packaging the various mobile GUIs and applications:

http://wiki.debian.org/Mobile

Looks like Fedora and other distributions are discovering the kernel stuff too:

http://cedarandthistle.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/android-j...

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 4, 2013 18:00 UTC (Fri) by shmerl (guest, #65921) [Link]

Yes, that's understandable, but that's exactly where Mer has an advantage. They explicitly separated the hardware adaptation bits from the rest of the system. I.e. hw adaptation is pluggable, and the rest of the core distribution stays the same (within the same arch like ARMv7, MIPS and etc.). Since putting all kind of wild mobile kernels differences in the mainline doesn't sound like a practically rapid approach, Mer just doesn't dictate it, and hw adaptations are up to the vendors to provide. It allows moving fast and be flexible with it.

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 9, 2013 16:31 UTC (Wed) by pabs (subscriber, #43278) [Link]

I never understood what Mer people were on about with that. Does "explicitly separated the hardware adaptation bits" mean that they just don't include kernels for most devices? If so that sounds exactly like what Debian is forced to do. If not, could you explain what you mean? Sounds like they will be facing the same kind of bugs in crappy, blobby, non-mainline kernels that I did with Debian or that CyanogenMod do. Trusting hardware vendors doesn't sound like a good plan in the slightest.

Computer privacy

Posted Jan 12, 2013 12:40 UTC (Sat) by juliank (subscriber, #45896) [Link]

They just package up the kernel and other libraries for each target separately, not much more. So basically each device has its own kernel + userspace libraries.

That's still better than Android though, where the complete system is built for a specific target and no sharing happens at all (not even userspace components).


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