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Ubuntu Ports To ARM 279

Posted by timothy
from the arm-y-of-warmth dept.
nerdyH writes "Canonical will port Ubuntu Desktop Linux to the ARMv7 architecture. The announcement sets the stage for Intel to lose the traditional 'software advantage' that has enabled x86 to shrug off attacks from other architectures for the last 30 years. How long can it be before Microsoft responds with a Windows 7 port? I mean, x86 just can't do 'idle power' like ARM ... Nokia's N810 tablets can standby for several weeks, just like a cell phone, keeping you 'present' on IM, behind IPv4 NAT the whole time. The first Atom MIDs are standing by for 6-7 hours."
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Ubuntu Ports To ARM

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  • Is the OP serious? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Excelcia (906188) <kfitzner@excelcia.ca> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:14PM (#25749571) Homepage Journal
    Is the OP serious about Ubuntu's port to ARM causing Intel to worry and Microsoft to follow suit? As much as it is a popular Linux distro, and as much as I personally like Ubuntu and wish this were true, I really don't think Intel is going to lose sleep over Ubuntu on ARM.

    Perhaps I'm misreading the tone of the summary. I honestly can't tell if it's is tongue-in-cheek or serious. The absurdity of it makes me think it's poking a little fun, but it reads to me like the guy was serious.
  • Ubuntu Alone (Score:4, Insightful)

    by prestomation (583502) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:16PM (#25749599)

    Ubuntu alone is not going to "set the stage for Intel to lose the "software advantage"", or anyone else for that matter, by switching to ARM.
    Sure, a few thousand people will be able to switch to an ARM device without blinking, but the rest of the 99.9% of the worlds computer users won't give a flying piece of monkey poo.

  • by corsec67 (627446) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:16PM (#25749601) Homepage Journal

    The announcement sets the stage for Intel to lose the traditional 'software advantage' that has enabled x86 to shrug off attacks from other architectures for the last 30 years.

    I am reading this summary as a complete joke.

    We are having problems moving to AMD64, and those processors include a full speed x86 compatibility mode. Until there is an ARM7 core that has a full x86 mode I don't think it is going to go anywhere on eliminating the "software advantage" of x86.

    We can't even get such smallish things as flash to be offered in 64-bit mode, so what happens to larger Windows only stuff?

    Plus Wine wouldn't work, since it isn't an emulator.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:31PM (#25749905)

    Well, since Debian supports ARM for a long time now, I can't even see how Intel would bat an eye to Ubuntu porting to ARM. As far as I can see, Canonical will be just getting all the work Debian already did, tweaking 1% of it, and issuing press-releases.

    You guys do know that at least as far as the Linux kernel goes, Ubuntu is regarded as a bunch of parasites by way too many developers, don't you?

    Now, that attitute it is going to bleed to userspace. Too many people in Debian are already somewhat hostile to Ubuntu... the RedHat/Fedora developers are getting pissed at Ubuntu for the same reasons (they are too good at stealing the credit from whomever did the REAL work)...

    If Canonical now manages to "steal the credits" for an entire Debian port, they may soon find out it became persona non-grata with the people who really does the hard work. And you BET Ubuntu users will get the flak over it.

    I sure hope they will start writing on these press releases WHERE the real work came from. THEN, we might even believe Canonical will be doing anything of real value the next time we read one...

  • Pandora (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:32PM (#25749933) Homepage Journal

    I second these thoughts fully - I _WANT_ to see Ubuntu on ARM as a hobbyist.

    Downside: It might make the next batch of Pandora [openpandora.org] preorders sell out that much faster.

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:34PM (#25749971) Homepage Journal
    Its proof the OP has about 0 idea what he is talking about. ARM CPUs are not meant to compete with the Desktop/Laptop CPUs, they often lack a lot of the features that those CPUs have. You won't see a whole ton of ARM based desktops anytime soon. ARM does compete(and is already light years ahead in terms of volume) with Intel in the embedded market. Having a version of ubuntu you can customize for a large # of devices does open up a lot of opportunities, but thinking that somehow this will combat Intel's dominance in the PC CPU industry is just well....stupid.
  • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:45PM (#25750191) Homepage

    Debian is a binary distribution, thus no end-user compilation is necessary. You're thinking of Gentoo.

  • by mweather (1089505) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:51PM (#25750293)
    Yet another reason not to use proprietary plugins. If non-x86 netbooks catch on I think we'll see sites like youtube offering alternative streaming methods, like via HTML5's tag. Flash is great for vector animation, but it doesn't offer any advantages when it comes to web video.
  • Re:Ubuntu Alone (Score:4, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:55PM (#25750341) Homepage Journal

    Ubuntu alone is not going to "set the stage for Intel to lose the "software advantage"", or anyone else for that matter, by switching to ARM.
    Sure, a few thousand people will be able to switch to an ARM device without blinking, but the rest of the 99.9% of the worlds computer users won't give a flying piece of monkey poo.

    Really? All it took was a a tiny company in Cupertino, CA, a rogue division in Boca Raton, FL, and a tiny company in Albuquerque, NM, to change IBM's world.

  • Re:sounds to me... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:57PM (#25750365)

    Kidding aside, it's not even a little out of the ordinary. Not only has Linux been running on ARM for ages and ages, Debian already supports the architecture. The Ubuntu devs would have zero work to do if they ever bothered to contribute upstream...

  • by Nursie (632944) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @02:58PM (#25750397)

    "Its proof the OP has about 0 idea what he is talking about. ARM CPUs are not meant to compete with the Desktop/Laptop CPUs, they often lack a lot of the features that those CPUs have. You won't see a whole ton of ARM based desktops anytime soon"

    Where were desktops mentioned?

    MIDS and netbooks are the target. But with netbooks being so popular, and high battery life being an issue, ARM could make inroads to intel's current netbook dominance. And even stop it entering the MID market.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @03:03PM (#25750487)

    Gnuflash will come along. Flash is already available for some non-x86 architectures.

    Who cares about windows-only stuff on a mobile internet device or a netbook?

    As for the rest of Linux stuff, there are already arm ports of a hell of a lot of thing, debian runs fine on arm.

  • by doti (966971) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @03:05PM (#25750503) Homepage

    Might as well give credit to GCC, that compiles to all those platforms which Linux is ported to, and some more.

    It's GNU/Linux for a reason.

  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @03:35PM (#25751005) Homepage Journal

    How long can it be before Microsoft responds with a Windows 7 port?

    There's no point in doing this. The reason people install Windows on their x86-based netbooks is so they can make use of the existing selection of Windows software titles. In the non-x86 world, there is no such thing, so the advantage goes to Linux.

  • by John Sokol (109591) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @03:45PM (#25751201) Homepage Journal

      ARM kicks ass.

      They really have made an excellent platform for making pda's/laptops and desktops, but few have really taken advantage of it so far. Just Set top boxes, and embedded platforms, which is where I have been using them.

    I just don't understand why OLPC didn't use ARM...

  • by maglor_83 (856254) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @03:55PM (#25751401)

    Flash is great for vector animation, but it doesn't offer any advantages when it comes to web video.

    It has the advantage of a huge install base.

  • by markov_chain (202465) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @04:40PM (#25752189) Homepage

    3D acceleration support, various binary-only drivers, flash player.

    Also, it might take some time to tune browsers/JS engines on an arch with vastly different cache performance.

    Of course all of this could get solved given some time.

  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @04:47PM (#25752313)

    the Shark was more powerful (233MHz, which is roughly equivalent to a 466MHz x86 processor)

    I had an iPaq PDA around that time with a 200MHz ARM CPU. I loaded Linux on it, ran some benchmarks, and I was saddened to find that its performance was not much better than a 33MHz 80486.

    I'm not sure I believe your numbers since any 466MHz X86 would be a superscalar design, and AFAIK, ARM chips from that era aren't. The X86 in the Pentium-II timeframe would typically get a real-world throughput of one simple CISC operation per clock (using each of its multiple ALUs at about 50% efficiency), whereas the ARM would have at best one smaller RISC operation per clock. It's hard to see how the ARM could achieve *double* the X86 on performance per clock.

  • by Count Fenring (669457) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:32PM (#25753951) Homepage Journal

    Because the target demographic for ARM is what will be affected by this, not a segment of the market that doesn't really have a keen interest in low-power high-performance processors.

    It's much more interesting to figure out what a technology-combination will do than what it won't do.

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