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Cellphones Ubuntu Linux

New Samsung Video Demos Linux on Galaxy Smartphones (liliputing.com) 100

Slashdot reader boudie2 tipped us off to some Linux news. Liliputing reports: Samsung's DeX dock lets you connect one of the company's recent phones to an external display, mouse, and keyboard to use your phone like a desktop PC... assuming you're comfortable with a desktop PC that runs Android. But soon you may also be able to use your Android phone as a Linux PC [and] the company has released a brief video that provides more details. One of those details? At least one of the Linux environments in question seems to be Ubuntu 16.04... While that's the only option shown, the fact that it does seem to be an option suggests you may be able to run different Linux environments as well.

Once Ubuntu is loaded, the video shows a user opening Eclipse, an integrated development environment that's used to create Java (and Android apps). In other words, you can develop apps for Android phones with ARM-based processors on an Android phone with an ARM-based processor.

Samsung promised in October that its Linux on Galaxy app will ultimately let users "run their preferred Linux distribution on their smartphones utilizing the same Linux kernel that powers the Android OS."

New Samsung Video Demos Linux on Galaxy Smartphones

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  • Video Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by boudie2 ( 1134233 ) on Sunday November 12, 2017 @07:41PM (#55537751)
    Here's the Samsung demo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    • Eclipse is sluggish on an a fast x64 chip. Running it on a Snapdragon 835 is likely to be painful

      http://weborus.com/snapdragon-... [weborus.com]

      Geekbench is a admittedly a bit bogus but I can't find anyone doing a decent benchmark like SpecInt comparisons between x64 and ARM.

      • I have an android phone, but am not impressed. One fault of android is that you can't do development on it, you need a proper X86 box for the SDK. Its nice to see samsung doing something with linux. Perhaps it will lead to something more useful.
        • I've got a three year old Samsung Galaxy S5 which is fine as a phone. I haven't upgraded it because they won't sell me anything faster with a removable battery, water seals, an SD card and a headphone socket.

          Now one problem they've got is that I'm not the only one who's not upgrading their phone every two years like people used to do.

          I reckon things like this are a way to push that. Eclipse or even LibreOffice on a Snapdragon 835 will work but it will be a painful experience. If you bought the next S9 or S1

          • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

            Second that. Things that stops me from upgrading from my (over 5 years old) Galaxy Note 2 are, it has quad core, it works fine still, it takes great pic's, it has a replaceable battery which is very cheap even for the Samsung branded battery. OTOH The new Galaxy Note cost is absurd and it doesn't have a replaceable battery.

            • Still using and enjoying my Note 4 here. Recently replaced with a like new for $130 bucks and does so much....

  • The big advantage of Linux is that you can customize it to do what you want. "Linux on Galaxy" is a half-assed measure to win over... somebody. Not sure who they think they are winning over but it's not the people who want to run Linux on their phones because it's still a proprietary system just with a sandbox. However, if they didn't do this properly, then you can expect to see this phone model get rooted upon it's release.

    • Intel ME
      AMD PSP

      • ...which you're now replacing with the "Runs as the chipset's northbridge" proprietary blob on the smartphone's baseband modem by Qualcom.

        (Haven't checked in detail, but I would be prepared to think that the Exynos variants aren't any better.
        Discreet baseband modems haven't been in fashion anymore since the days of TI OMAP).

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      The big advantage is long term development. So the next logical step a Samsung Linux phone, why bother with Android if well, you can get all the Linux apps you want from the Samsung store and from a Samsung point of view, they are no longer reliant up Google or subject to Google's control. So looking to drop Android on a range of Linux specific phones?

    • Sounds like whining. Remember when Linux was available on PS3? I did not personally use it, but - surprise - I ran into people who did, and never would have been exposed to Linux except for that. And they got pretty pissed when Sony took it away, to the extent that one just stopped accepting PS3 updates, but that's another story. I expect, a whole bunch of people are going to meet the real Linux for the first time because of this, and some of them are going to go on to be active community members. See, just

      • Sounds like whining.

        Seems like posting that is just an easy way to be dismissive of other people's views. Honestly, couldn't I just claim that your post what's truly whiny in this situation?

        • Seems like posting that is just an easy way to be dismissive of other people's views. Honestly, couldn't I just claim that your post what's truly whiny in this situation?

          Please fee free, and I will dismiss you as a whiner, as is right, good and just :)

      • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

        Sounds like whining. Remember when Linux was available on PS3? I did not personally use it, but - surprise - I ran into people who did, and never would have been exposed to Linux except for that. And they got pretty pissed when Sony took it away, to the extent that one just stopped accepting PS3 updates

        I was super-excited to install Linux on my PS3. Was I pissed that Sony remove the feature? Eh, only a little. The thing is that I had already made my peace with Linux on the Playstation -- it was crappy experience and I was long over it. It was that thing that you repartitioned your drive for (I upgraded the PS3 drive) to install Yellow Dog, played with a few hours, and never touched again. You were not given access to all the cell processors' resources, and the GPU was mostly locked away. All of this is pr

  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Sunday November 12, 2017 @08:30PM (#55537879) Homepage Journal

    Motorola Atrix from 2011 was an Android phone that would run a Linux desktop (X11) when you plugged it into an external monitor. And there was a dock for the Atrix that gives you keyboard, display and extra battery. The Atrix dock did not sell well and a lot of hobbyists picked them up at a discount and rewired them for their own projects, mostly into Raspberry Pi laptops.

    • by Cyberax ( 705495 )
      I played with it at the time. It was awkward and slow - there was just 1Gb of RAM and 3D acceleration didn't work with X11. IO was also painfully slow.

      Samsung S8 has 4Gb RAM and a far faster CPU and storage. It's still on a low end for desktops, but it's at least starting to look feasible.
      • Oh I know, I made that device. It wasn't very good.

        People use 700 MHz Raspberry Pi as their "desktop". Not a lot of people, but some are using it. Having huge specs doesn't really make something a desktop or not. (all of these are still more powerful than my first desktop computer)

    • Everybody who installs, uses or provides Linux is unoriginal. By that measure, unoriginal is fine.

  • I think this is a pointless effort. You can't just take a desktop operating system and cram it into a mobile device. They don't work the same way.

    Even if you tweak the system itself, create a new interface that works acceptably with a tiny touch screen - you still have a whole ecosystem, thousands of programs designed for big screen and physical peripheral. So using them becomes a painful, clumsy chore - sometimes literally impossible. (Trust me, I had a Win10 tablet. Big mistake.)

    But wait, there's that doc

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday November 12, 2017 @09:18PM (#55538043)

      That means you have to carry an external display, mouse, and keyboard with you.

      Or you could have an external display and keyboard at home, and another setup at the office, like millions of people already do with their laptops.

      • At home and at the office, where you surely can use an actual PC anyway. So, again, what's the point?

        • At home and at the office, where you surely can use an actual PC anyway. So, again, what's the point?

          The point is that you don't need to buy a PC, or a laptop. Your phone is your computer. For 90% of people, a phone has plenty of computing power.

          • This has been tried with Microsoft Continuum and Samsung DeX but for whatever reason it just isn't popular (to say the least). There were dreams about having docking stations in the offices/homes/hotels/etc. but they went for now at least the way of the flying car.

            A PC isn't the huge investment that used to be 20 years ago and one that would perform as a desktop for light browsing/youtube/document editing or whatever you want to do with a phone can be found literally in the trash. People just aren't setting

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday November 12, 2017 @09:24PM (#55538055) Homepage

      I think this is a pointless effort. You can't just take a desktop operating system and cram it into a mobile device.

      Except they're doing the opposite. Maybe it's not an efficient use of screen space, but scaling up a small screen works. A keyboard obviously works fine. And you got no problem using the mouse to hit an UI element made for sausage fingers. As long as you don't need multi-finger gestures other than pinch and zoom which map great to the mouse wheel you're doing okay.

      That means you have to carry an external display, mouse, and keyboard with you. Or hope they will have a spare external display, mouse, and keyboard wherever you go.

      It's not for people who need a laptop, quite the opposite. It's for people that only occasionally need something bigger than a smartphone, most likely at home where external display = TV with HDMI. You already have the phone (sunk cost), you already have a TV (sunk cost), buy a little dock and keyboard/mouse and you can write that letter and do that spreadsheet without the laptop.

      Granted, right now it only exists on super expensive Galaxy S8s and the dock itself was not cheap but if they can bring it to cheaper phones and bring the price of the dock down - it already went from a launch price of $150 to $90 - there's hundreds of millions of people who have just a smartphone and nothing else. Who don't have a ton of Windows applications they miss. Who are not gamers (or at least Candy Crush-type gamers), who don't need workstations, who sometimes just needs a big screen and better input.

    • The trick of developing apps on the target hardware is a nice one, and phone processors are up to the task.

      With bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and WiDi projection (that one's probably not ready, yet), you could literally walk up to a $300 "workstation" with your device and sit down and use it like a desktop without even taking it out of your pocket. Then walk away and all of what you've been doing is still there in your pocket.

      Or, you could store everything "on the cloud," and access it from your phone or d

    • Oh, you mean, like a laptop?

    • You can't just take a desktop operating system and cram it into a mobile device. They don't work the same way.
      Even if you tweak the system itself, create a new interface that works acceptably with a tiny touch screen - you still have a whole ecosystem, thousands of programs designed for big screen and physical peripheral.

      That's not how DeX works at all.

      The idea is : you keep Android (or Tizen) working on your phone just as before.

      But whenever the phone is connected to the DeX dock, instead of blowing up the Android interface on the lot-of-inches monitor, you start a separate Ubuntu VM and display that on the screen and control it through the USB/Mouse.
      (A little bit like having your USB Bootstick with you, except you don't even need a desktop to boot it, you run it on the smartphone's CPU).

      And because all the above mentioned

    • That means you have to carry an external display, mouse, and keyboard with you.

      I spend most of my life moving between fixed docks. I don't carry anything with me except the device doing the work. When I'm on the go I don't expect to use something like this. It's when I reach where I'm getting to that this becomes useful.

  • FINAL! (Score:5, Funny)

    by n329619 ( 4901461 ) on Sunday November 12, 2017 @08:35PM (#55537903)

    2017 Year of the Linux on Desktop!

    oh wait it's actually on a phone?...

    2017 Year of the Linux on top of Desk!

    close enough.

  • I ditched my Samsung phone because of the horrible software they jammed into Android - bloatware of the first order that ruined it compared to Google's phones.

    If their Linux implementations have the same stuff stuck in and are dependant on Samsung support for ongoing updates then count me out.

  • Seems to be missing the point IMO

    Java is fine as far as that goes, but native apps would be much more interesting in this context.

  • >"Samsung's DeX dock lets you connect one of the company's recent phones to an external display, mouse, and keyboard to use your phone like a desktop PC... assuming you're comfortable with a desktop PC that runs Android. "

    So if you're not comfortable with Android, you can't connect it to use as desktop?

  • Let's see... Ubuntu running on top of Android provided that you have a Galaxy S8 or Note 8, and that you buy an expensive docking station to make it work. Ok then.

    • ...you buy an expensive docking station to make it work...

      Is $93 expensive? (Checkout price on amazon.)

  • ... you can develop apps for Android phones with ARM-based processors on an Android phone ...

    What a great idea. Using EMACS?

  • I love my iPhone, it mostly works and doesn't endlessly make me angry like my Sony Android did.

    This phone would cause me to switch in a heartbeat. The key though is that I am a programmer, embedded and otherwise. Seemingly a pretty niche market. But I am an influencer. Not that I can tell the entire world to switch but I work with businesses and could make a far more compelling reason to use Samsung. Super custom security or whatever. This is a very very smart thing for them to cater to the many but small
  • If you don't mind a bit of DIY setup, it has been possible to do this for a long time.

    I installed plain old KDE linux in a virtual machine in my Android tablet over 2 years ago.

    It was a recent, full version, had full access to WiFi and Bluetooth.

    Obviously "disk" space is limited to whatever you have on your SD card.

    I had both Ruby and Elixir installed and running in a console under KDE. They both worked just fine, as did the native KDE desktop and apps.
  • Holy Shit, Samsung. "Our new feature is something you've been able to get from the Play Store [google.com] for free for years!" (Users might also try Gnuroot Debian [google.com] but I have successfully used the other app in the past.)

    Shark jumped.

  • It's great that Samsung is making this user-friendly, but people have been installing chrooted Linux on rooted Android phones for many years, at least as far back as the HTC Magic in 2009. I haven't tried since my old Motorola Cliq, performance was EXTREMELY poor back then...
  • Not native android apps, you can't.

    Android only has compilers for x86 and x64 but not arm.

  • android IS Linux. has been since kernel 2.4. but unlike Linux, android's kernel does not get updated nearly as much. I wouldn't trust that

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