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Anonymous
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Fancy a full version of Linux on your smartphone?

Ubuntu Linux is to made available to install on smartphones.   The first version will be specifically designed to run on the Galaxy Nexus and will be shown at the CES next week and the team behind Ubuntu reckon it will be widely available within this year.   It will allow users to run Linux desktop apps directly on their smartphone.

 

Sounds good to me.   For the consumer, it adds a world of apps and options and for developers it going to give a huge increase in the potential user-base for their apps.   Best of all - it puts relatively cheap smartphones in direct competition with far more expensive devices running far more tightly locked-in operating systems.

 

Posts: 27,019
Topics: 247
Registered: ‎29-07-2008

Re: Fancy a full version of Linux on your smartphone?

Sounds interesting, I saw this on the BBC site today:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20891868

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Sky Unlimited Broadband - Windows 10 - Nexus 4 Android 5.1.1
Posts: 2,988
Topics: 25
Registered: ‎25-10-2010

Re: Fancy a full version of Linux on your smartphone?

A kind of yes and a kind of no. In respect to Android, I've just changed to it and I can't say it was pleasurable experience though its now configured to what I want. I'd preferred not to have done it though which is an inherent problem in linux: installation is not as slick as windows is.

 

There will be a heavy expectation to some slightly naive users they because its linux they'll be able to run all their apps like the desktop. Cue lots of frustated users and no doubt versions will be released stripped of functionality to make it work.

 

As for the yes bit, I'd like to see if they actually include the command line where that would be a real benefit to many. If they've removed it then its going into a very niche area that it will never get out of. 

Anonymous
Posts: 0

Re: Fancy a full version of Linux on your smartphone?

I would expect it to include a VNC server, that wouldn't take much ram. The command line could then be accessed from a PC, using a proper key board, over wireless.

Level 44: Clearly Talented
Posts: 5,942
Registered: ‎18-09-2012

Re: Fancy a full version of Linux on your smartphone?

The thing I worry about is the open source nature of Linux (don't get me wrong I love it) however porting a variant to mobiles is going to spark an interest in people to write malicious code to target it.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong. So Ive been told Smiley Wink
Posts: 2,988
Topics: 25
Registered: ‎25-10-2010

Re: Fancy a full version of Linux on your smartphone?


@Liquid wrote:
The thing I worry about is the open source nature of Linux (don't get me wrong I love it) however porting a variant to mobiles is going to spark an interest in people to write malicious code to target it.


ah, now if you go through the video you'll see he mentions that they're targetting the enterprise and security. So whatever company takes it on, they'll have control of the kernel which means they can do what they like to it and manage it remotely aka like the Blackberry (which this is obviously targetting) so your average employee can't multitask playing angry birds during a conference call.

 

Same goes for the consumer level, its only secure as you want it to be so no real change there. Mind you, if you have kids you could in theory have a mini-management app on the pc and limit their usage on the phone. Ooooh that sounds like an opportunity...

Level 44: Clearly Talented
Posts: 5,942
Registered: ‎18-09-2012

Re: Fancy a full version of Linux on your smartphone?

That does sound like an opportunity haha.

That's a very good point. Unfortunately I see this ending up as another android affair where the amount of variants is going to cause issues.

It's a shame there can't be a global based one where manufacturers collaborate to improve security without forgetting previous versions of the software exist.
Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong. So Ive been told Smiley Wink
Anonymous
Posts: 0

Re: Fancy a full version of Linux on your smartphone?


@Liquid wrote:
The thing I worry about is the open source nature of Linux (don't get me wrong I love it) however porting a variant to mobiles is going to spark an interest in people to write malicious code to target it.


It's not Ubuntu itself that you'd need to worry about - that would be no less safe than the desktop version and apps that run under the operating system would be no more dangerous than those available for Android itself - less so in many cases as you would be able to use long-time used and tested apps that were never even designed in a way that couls even begin to exploit a phone.  The whole point is that you will be able to use standard Linux apps rather than ones specifically designed for phones - which means you can run apps that are literally incapable of accessing your call-logs, geo-location data etc.

 

A cycnical person might even suggest that certain phone manufacturers (and possibly even some network operators) are less than squeaky-clean when it comes to malware but they are currently the ones controlling the version of Android you are able and allowed to install on your phone.  Don't forget that Sony - one of the major players - has previous form when it comes to deliberately installing malware onto people's devices - they were caught embedding rootkits onto optical disks so that they would infect pc's as soon as they were inserted.   Such a cynical person might suggest that obtaining an operating system directly from a hugely reputable source is preferable to having a locked-down version that can't even be properly anaysed from a proven malware distributor - and it won't come with "tailored" apps and adware - just a clean operating system.

 

Thankfully, I'm not cynical Smiley Wink

Anonymous
Posts: 0

Re: Fancy a full version of Linux on your smartphone?

I think as a "techie" the biggest frustration for me in having Linux on a smartphone is the lack of a decent full-sized keyboard to take advantage of the powerful command line/text editing capabilities that Linux/Unix does so well.  Maybe I am just stuck in my ways Smiley LOL

 

Chris