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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Suggestions
Puppylinux on Phone/Tablets: the definitive thread
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Feb 2013, 14:19    Post_subject:  

jamesbond, a couple exceptions you may not be aware of --

(1) Last I heard (this was a while ago, and I've not checked since) one had to pay a nominal fee to acquire a license, so that one can access certain Google-made code for Android -- code one needs to develop apps. IIRC the fee was $15, but it's the principle more than the cost.

(2) There are many devices on the market that do not have access to the (official) Google Play Store, eg my mother's Velocity Micro Cruz R101, purchased at Borders shortly before they went poof. With that particular tablet, when Mom wanted a Kindle app on it, I had to basically sideload it. That one tablet is not the only exception to this rule -- most of the super-cheap tablets on eBay are like this, from what I hear.

Regarding #2, part of the reason eBay tablets go as low as US$50-60 is because they've pirated Android -- to avoid getting themselves and/or customers (aka gullible schmucks) in trouble with Google, they remove the Google Play Store. (I'm one of those gullible schmucks -- as the computer person in the house, I'm the one who convinced Mom to go with the Cruz! Whoops...)

Freedom does not always mean what it claims to Wink Sometimes the freedom is there, and sometimes it's "all in your head".

An example which has actually happened: people have been arrested for giving free hugs, under claims of IIRC disturbing the peace. The hug is free -- until you feel guilty because the nice person giving them went to jail for it, and you participated in sending them there because you got a hug from them. Ouch!

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Q5sys


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Feb 2013, 16:03    Post_subject:  

starhawk wrote:
jamesbond, a couple exceptions you may not be aware of --

(2) There are many devices on the market that do not have access to the (official) Google Play Store, eg my mother's Velocity Micro Cruz R101, purchased at Borders shortly before they went poof. With that particular tablet, when Mom wanted a Kindle app on it, I had to basically sideload it. That one tablet is not the only exception to this rule -- most of the super-cheap tablets on eBay are like this, from what I hear.

Regarding #2, part of the reason eBay tablets go as low as US$50-60 is because they've pirated Android -- to avoid getting themselves and/or customers (aka gullible schmucks) in trouble with Google, they remove the Google Play Store. (I'm one of those gullible schmucks -- as the computer person in the house, I'm the one who convinced Mom to go with the Cruz! Whoops...)

Freedom does not always mean what it claims to Wink Sometimes the freedom is there, and sometimes it's "all in your head".


Freedom also does not mean, that its set up the way you want and its super easy for you to do things with no effort. Something can be free while still being very difficult to use the way you want.

You can always side load the google play store on your device... you are free to do that. Having to do that, doesn't make android not 'free', because you have the freedom to add it if you'd like.

I hope we dont get into an RMS argument about the defination of 'free' though. lol

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starhawk

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Feb 2013, 17:41    Post_subject:  

How is a copy of android "free" if someone (eg a company making tablets) purposefully makes it harder for you to do something, in an effort to restrict what you can do with the device? or, in the case of Google, enrich their own greedy pockets? This was a point of contention with the FSF that went all the way up to Torvalds himself, IIRC! (I seem to recall that Torvalds for a long time would not formally certify Android as "open source" software because of that problem -- but I don't remember if/when/how it was resolved.)

It is very common for a low-spec Android tablet to be "locked down" by the manufacturer so that it's nearly impossible to add stuff to it without rooting or sideloading (which is NOT encouraged by the manufacturer, and in some cases voids warranties) -- and then they sell it as an "eReader". The Cruz I mentioned is one such tablet. Yes, you CAN add to it. But if you do... it's yours, permanently, and after that point there's nobody to turn to if it breaks. Caesar crossing the Rubicon. Most people will not go that route, because of the warranty damage, and the perceived potential (however realistic) of device damage.

There are degrees of freedom, yes, but I'd be quite surprised if that's what we're talking about -- after all, neither you nor jamesbond really qualifies the word "freedom" in either relevant post -- so I came to the conclusion that you meant "as close to actual 100% absolute freedom as one can come to in a modern society". If that was an incorrect conclusion, please let me know -- but also, how was I to assume anything else? (My telepathy machine is in the shop right now. Please don't hold it against me.)

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Q5sys


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 1074

PostPosted: Sun 17 Feb 2013, 20:17    Post_subject:  

starhawk wrote:
How is a copy of android "free" if someone (eg a company making tablets) purposefully makes it harder for you to do something, in an effort to restrict what you can do with the device? or, in the case of Google, enrich their own greedy pockets? This was a point of contention with the FSF that went all the way up to Torvalds himself, IIRC! (I seem to recall that Torvalds for a long time would not formally certify Android as "open source" software because of that problem -- but I don't remember if/when/how it was resolved.)

It is very common for a low-spec Android tablet to be "locked down" by the manufacturer so that it's nearly impossible to add stuff to it without rooting or sideloading (which is NOT encouraged by the manufacturer, and in some cases voids warranties) -- and then they sell it as an "eReader". The Cruz I mentioned is one such tablet. Yes, you CAN add to it. But if you do... it's yours, permanently, and after that point there's nobody to turn to if it breaks. Caesar crossing the Rubicon. Most people will not go that route, because of the warranty damage, and the perceived potential (however realistic) of device damage.

There are degrees of freedom, yes, but I'd be quite surprised if that's what we're talking about -- after all, neither you nor jamesbond really qualifies the word "freedom" in either relevant post -- so I came to the conclusion that you meant "as close to actual 100% absolute freedom as one can come to in a modern society". If that was an incorrect conclusion, please let me know -- but also, how was I to assume anything else? (My telepathy machine is in the shop right now. Please don't hold it against me.)


If you're talking about Freedom in the RMS/FSF way, then there probably isnt any reason for us to continue this conversation in that direction as that concept of freedom is a logical absurdity. Absolute total freedom is impossible in that sense. Example, if you license a piece of software under the FSF concept of 'free', you have limited what I am allowed to do with that software. Because you have taken away my freedom to go and sell that software to someone else and make it proprietary. So while the FSF claims to promote total freedom, it actually limits downstream rights. It may have 'good intentions' for doing so, but its a violation of the concept of 'freedom' that they promote. True absolute Ffreedom would fall under the WTF-PL

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you are saying, but it seems to me that you are mixing issues. Buying a locked down tablet is hardly the fault of Android or to be honest, the manufacturer. You choose to purchase that unit. If you purchased a 'Ereader' that runs android and then expect to have the freedom to do what you want with it... then you made an error. If you want a pure android experience, then dont buy your device from anyone other than google. If I go buy a tiny 2wd pickup truck instead of buying a diesel 4x4, I dont exactly have the right to call up Ford and complain that my little ford ranger cant pull a tractor trailer out of the mud. It wasnt designed for that, and I was in the wrong for expecting it to do something it was never intended to do.

The licenses of those allow for such action. Puppy is technically released under the GNU license, but it's not been certified as a GNU release, becuase we actually include software that the FSF would claim isnt 'free'.

So regardless of the technical feat of porting Puppy to a tablet for example... if you are on a quest for freedom, then puppy (as it exists, and has existed for a while) is not your solution.

And honestly, this whole topic of 'freedom' is a side issue regarding Puppy on a Phone/Tablet, so perhaps we should move that part of the discussion somewhere else. If you want to create a thread on this, I'll gladly discuss this further. Because I dont know if I'm misunderstanding you... or if you're misunderstanding me. But clarification on that isnt the primary focus of this thread.

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starhawk

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Feb 2013, 20:45    Post_subject:  

I apparently can't adequately communicate what I'm trying to communicate, so I'm just going to give up.

This will be my last post in this thread for --at the very least-- quite some time.

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amigo

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PostPosted: Mon 18 Feb 2013, 05:46    Post_subject:  

Getting back, maybe, to the original topic. I think Q5sys is asking the right question, about exactly what qualities of Puppy are wanted for a tablet OS. There is a great difference in the hardware assumptions to be made. Since the bulk of Puppy's assumptions about hardware and interface type do not match those of a tablet (or even less a phone), there's not a whole lot of puppy-specific code or applications which would be useful on such devices.

That doesn't mean that there's nothing to be learned or applied from any/all Puppy-related stuff. In order to build anything like a complete OS for any hardware, requires a lot of insight into the usage patterns of the potential users.

But, actually, mobile devices have a more closely-defined range of hardware options -bluetooth, usb, wireless and possibly GPS or ethernet pretty much covers it. And of course, the touchscreen capability -which is really where it becomes more difficult to port or re-use apps built for a keyboard/mouse interface. And what about voice interfaces?
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Feb 2013, 19:26    Post_subject:  

If I was ever to have a Puppy of some description on a tablet I would be wanting it purely for the purpose of avoiding someone elses generic choices of apps. eg: I would want to boot the tablet quickly and use it only as a colour pdf reader so I can view my tech manuals faster than booting my laptop.

Can I buy a tablet now that is very efficient at this one function and carries no other unnecessary fat? I have no idea but I suspect not. (Maybe some eReaders already do this efficiently...)

Where I think Puppy does need to be cognisant of the new technologies is this: Puppy needs to be able to "talk" to these new devices with ease. Bluetooth, wifi, infrared, whatever method there is to transfer data and/or synchronise between devices needs to be do-able.
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Dookus


Joined: 15 Mar 2011
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Location: now living in wonderful Stanmore, inner western suburb of Sydney Australia, where the sun shines nic

PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb 2013, 08:48    Post_subject:  

Quote:
what exact chip? well it might just be easier to ask what exact tablet model you have. Then I can look at its entire hardware spec.


Toshiba AT100 also known as in america as "(Thrive)" Sporting a "Tegra 2"
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greengeek

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PostPosted: Tue 26 Feb 2013, 09:48    Post_subject:  

This looks interesting:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefox_OS
If they actually do ship during 2013 (and support open source as they say they will) then maybe this device could allow puppy to be grafted in. Or as an alternative - possibly act as a gateway to access a "cloud puppy" of some sort.
And heres a more recent info release:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2013/02/24/mozilla-launches-firefox-os-for-mobile-challenging-apple-and-google-with-the-open-web/

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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Feb 2013, 10:01    Post_subject:  

The OS on our "Nokia Lumia 610" smartphone is "Windows Phone 7.5".

Is it possible to backup and restore the OS on a smartphone?
Or install a new OS?
If so, does anyone know how?
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Karl Godt


Joined: 20 Jun 2010
Posts: 3982
Location: Kiel,Germany

PostPosted: Tue 26 Feb 2013, 10:09    Post_subject:  

May I ask about known Linux/GNU software to actually use the telephone features of a smart-phone ? How do I connect to the provider to speak ? Do I need to have Skype running for that ?
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Q5sys


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Feb 2013, 11:20    Post_subject:  

greengeek wrote:
This looks interesting:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefox_OS
If they actually do ship during 2013 (and support open source as they say they will) then maybe this device could allow puppy to be grafted in. Or as an alternative - possibly act as a gateway to access a "cloud puppy" of some sort.

What does 'cloud puppy' even mean?

ill reply back to everyone elses comments when i get home today. ill get some hands on time today with the ubuntu touch in a few hours... so i can report back on that as well.

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greengeek

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PostPosted: Tue 26 Feb 2013, 14:45    Post_subject:  

Q5sys wrote:
What does 'cloud puppy' even mean?

Well, something like this is a start:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=32428
But there'd be unlimited possibilities for accessing puppy-style apps online and tailoring the phone to look like a puppy if its' possible to modify icons, menus, etc, and maybe even add offline apps.

What would be really useful is if the phone could just be a portal to a login page that contains your favourite apps, and also your personal data, so that if the phone gets run over by a car, you have lost nothing - just buy/borrow a new one and your data/apps are all still on the puppy web portal.

Just like webmail but including other functionality aswell. I would happily pay a subscription for access to such a cloud hub if it was puppy driven (i trust puppy more than I trust MS or google - I feel more in control of my data).

I guess a phone that accesses the "cloud" in this manner is really using a browser as a vector for a terminal server session?
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Q5sys


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PostPosted: Tue 26 Feb 2013, 18:46    Post_subject:  

Karl Godt wrote:
May I ask about known Linux/GNU software to actually use the telephone features of a smart-phone ? How do I connect to the provider to speak ? Do I need to have Skype running for that ?

I'm unaware of any. I'm sure out there somewhere some *nix developer has written something for that, but I dont know what it is.

Sylvander wrote:
The OS on our "Nokia Lumia 610" smartphone is "Windows Phone 7.5".

Is it possible to backup and restore the OS on a smartphone?
Or install a new OS?
If so, does anyone know how?

Depends on the device. On Android devices you have to overwrite the bootloader with a program that will allow you to back up and restore images. I dont know if that exists for the Windows Phone yet. I'm sure eventually it will, but that has to exist first before you have any chance of changing the OS.
You'd need to first find out if you can root your phone, and then find out what recovery/reimaging tools exist for it. I dont know those answers, but I'm sure there somewhere out there on the internet.


greengeek wrote:
Q5sys wrote:
What does 'cloud puppy' even mean?

Well, something like this is a start:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=32428
But there'd be unlimited possibilities for accessing puppy-style apps online and tailoring the phone to look like a puppy if its' possible to modify icons, menus, etc, and maybe even add offline apps.

What would be really useful is if the phone could just be a portal to a login page that contains your favourite apps, and also your personal data, so that if the phone gets run over by a car, you have lost nothing - just buy/borrow a new one and your data/apps are all still on the puppy web portal.

Just like webmail but including other functionality aswell. I would happily pay a subscription for access to such a cloud hub if it was puppy driven (i trust puppy more than I trust MS or google - I feel more in control of my data).

I guess a phone that accesses the "cloud" in this manner is really using a browser as a vector for a terminal server session?


This then brings about the question of what is a 'puppy style app'. The apps that technosaurus used are already existing web apps. So they aren't 'puppy' apps at all, no more than they would be 'windows apps' if I ran them on a windows machine. So there's nothing Puppy about them. Technosauruses work which is impressive is to link all that through a webpage so that puppy can access them online. But those, with exception to the install menu, would work on windows as well. Here's an image of me running it on my phone:

Remember Puppy is an OS. Gimp runs on puppy, but that doesnt make it a 'puppy application'. Theoretically any GNU or *nix application could run on puppy, so make sure not to get confused with what Puppy is and what you can do with it.

As for web-apps you can already use those on any computer/phone that has access to the internet, because they are 'web' based. Nothing fancy is needed to be able to have the functionality you're looking for. It exists already on any platform, you just have to use it. The 'puppy web portal' you are looking for is pretty much called the internet. All you need to do is to make shortcuts on your smartphone to utilize those web-based apps. As for a service provider... Running Puppy as a server somewhere online to host user data... isnt really a good idea. Puppy was never designed to be a web server, there are plenty of far superior *nix offerings out there for that. From experience though, HTML5 and Flash runs like crap on almost every mobile device I've used.

As for interface, icons, menus... All that is... is a theme. Puppy isnt a theme. Sure you could change the theme of Windows, or Mac, or even Android to look and feel like puppy, but down under where it matters, its nothing more than a fancy theme. And since we'd have to completely change the Puppy interface to be able to utilize touch interface... you still wouldnt have the puppy look and feel that you're used to. Compare Windows Mobile to Windows. Compare iOS to OSX. They are completely different as far as usability and interface. Windows is trying to blur the line... but they've only done so with the start page, once you click to the desktop the whole Metro theme thing is gone.

However... all that being said, maybe I completely misunderstood what you were trying to explain to me. So if thats the case, then please do me a favor and explain it to me again. Sometimes I dont quite get the jist of what people mean through the written word online. Sigh... words just arent adequate sometimes to express ideas.

Anyway moving along... Ubuntu Touch

Lets start off with this, right now 90% of it doesnt work yet and is just filled with image and text placeholders, just to give the look and feel. It does come with a bundled browser, which I think is a custom webkit version, but I dont know cause I didnt really mess with it much since that wasnt what I wanted to focus on.

THE UI:

Overall the UI isnt too bad, there is alot of work to be done though, which is obvious since this is just a developer release. It has a nifty swipe feature to browse through the open applications, but I'm not sure how well that'll work in the real world. They have some neat UI features for being able access different features of the tablet, but again... i'm not sure how well it'll work in real life.

The Install:
Honestly this is very simple, and i'm quite impressed at how they manage it. Assuming you've already unlocked your bootloader, you can load Ubuntu Touch to a nexus device by connecting it to your ubuntu computer via USB with debugging, adding a repo, and then updating. Done, in moments you're up and running. Part of this reason is included below...

So in reality what is it?:
Its actually nothing more than a ubuntu install chrooted into a theme'd remix of a android remix of android. It's based on the CyanogenMod for Android,
CyanogenMod 10.1 is the flavor of choice to be exact. So its running the 'android' kernel. So in that sort of quasi way... it is still linux... although not much.
The system is chrooted under /data/ubuntu on the android filesystem.
It does not include Dalvik or Java, so it cant run native Android apps at all, but it's using the Android graphical display system. So what does that mean for us? well since its not using wayland or X.org, it means that regular *nix based apps that require x11 will not run. Also the main development sdk used in Ubuntu Touch is QT5, so it'll be interesting to see how that works out in the end, since thats such a new sdk.

The reason, I think, that Ubuntu decided to go this route is of running on top of CyanogenMod, was that it gives them access to all the binaries that are already written for the various Android harware thats out there. CyanogenMod acts as an interface between the Hardware and the Application layer. This also means that portability of ubuntu touch is eaiser since anything that can run cyanogenMod 10... should be able to run Ubuntu Touch.

So in the end... this is not a Linux port of ubuntu to a phone. Furthermore, this means that you cannot run ubuntu/debian applications on the ubuntu touch. I think the choice of Canonical going this route, shows that it's unrealistic to try to port the entire linux enviroment over to a phone/tablet.

As for the forthcoming Firefox OS... I have a feeling they will go a similar route. I dont see Mozilla suddenly designing an entire OS. If Canonical which produces Ubuntu doesnt want to design a full OS... I dont believe mozilla will either. I'm guessing at this point, seeing how Canonical opted to go, Mozilla will just do an entire web-app system.

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Dookus


Joined: 15 Mar 2011
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Location: now living in wonderful Stanmore, inner western suburb of Sydney Australia, where the sun shines nic

PostPosted: Fri 29 Mar 2013, 21:46    Post_subject:  

greengeek wrote:
This looks interesting:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefox_OS
If they actually do ship during 2013 (and support open source as they say they will) then maybe this device could allow puppy to be grafted in. Or as an alternative - possibly act as a gateway to access a "cloud puppy" of some sort.
And heres a more recent info release:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2013/02/24/mozilla-launches-firefox-os-for-mobile-challenging-apple-and-google-with-the-open-web/


Be nice if it comes out in a release that is older hardware compatible, and not just available pre installed on a phone, though some phones are being demonstrated with it now, as with Android, that does not mean we will be able to download it and run it on any Android or other phone in the future!
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