Linux, Android and Open Source in
     the Mobile Environment
                 Alison Chaiken
             alchaiken@gmail...
Why do we care?


Linux is well-established on servers and in embedded,
                but mobile is wide open.


   Mobi...
What do we mean by “Linux”?

   "anyone can call any kernel-derived operating system
                    Linux" -- Jim Zem...
kernel.org's definition

    Linux is a clone of the operating system Unix, written
   from scratch by Linus Torvalds with...
Full “Gnu Linux” implementations
           Name             Supported by        Hardware          Based on

           Me...
MeeGo Architecture Diagram




                 Hmm, doesn't say “Linux”!

02/25/10                 Alison Chaiken      6
Intel's Moorestown SOC Built for
                    Linux




           LG GW990 running Moblin on Moorestown
02/25/10  ...
What we know about MeeGo
●   Motivation is earlier market failures
●   Aimed at netbooks and “slates” like Atom?
●   Intel...
Linux Kernel Plus
   Name        Support      Hardware            Platform       Language


   Bada        Samsung      Wa...
Smartphone Sales by OS




02/25/10            Alison Chaiken   10
The most valuable piece of I.P. in
            the world is . . .



           the GPL'ed Linux kernel.



02/25/10      ...
WebOS (and Chrome?) Software Stack




           FaiB, even to OEMs, but not FaiF.
02/25/10                Alison Chaiken...
Android Software Stack




02/25/10           Alison Chaiken   13
Android has some familiar features

  ●   Can adb into unlocked phones, type “ls” and
       “ps” and peek into /etc, /pro...
But “Android/Linux” is not standard
           (based on material by Matt Porter and Harald Welte)

   ●   System calls ar...
Will the Android fork damage the kernel?

   ●   drivers/staging/android removed from kernel.org


   ●   Drivers don't bu...
Licenses and Mobile Phones
  ●   Maemo had plenty of closed components.
       closed components.


  ●   WebOS and Bada h...
Community Android remixes?
  ●   Android ported to Tegra, Snapdragon, etc.

  ●Runs on phones, eBook readers (Nook),
  net...
Android-based open source
 ●   FLOSS Dispenser: a free market for Android


 ●   CyanogenMod Project, alt build of Android...
Mobile Linux Take-aways
 ●   LiMo, ELIPS, Bada, others will ship on millions of featurephones


 ●   MeeGo is desktop Linu...
Summary

 ●   Linux-based mobile OS's differ at the
     architecture and library levels, not at the
     package level

 ...
Symbian: completely irrelevant?
 ●   As of 2010, fully open under Eclipse license – except for drivers


 ●   Based on anc...
References and Sources
 Software Freedom Law Center blog and podcasts by Bradley M.
   Kuhn on Android/Linux's Future and ...
Traditional OS stack




02/25/10          Alison Chaiken   24
Chrome OS Stack




           The ‘Browser’ engine is the system execution engine.

02/25/10                         Alis...
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Linux, Android and Open Source in the Mobile Environment

  1. 1. Linux, Android and Open Source in the Mobile Environment Alison Chaiken alchaiken@gmail.com February 25, 2010 Survey of Linux on mobile Kernel-only open source in mobile world Curious status of Android and why we care
  2. 2. Why do we care? Linux is well-established on servers and in embedded, but mobile is wide open. Mobile outcomes for Linux will have significant consequences for other platforms. Smartphones = most important battleground.
  3. 3. What do we mean by “Linux”? "anyone can call any kernel-derived operating system Linux" -- Jim Zemlin "Linux is the kernel . . . . Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called'Linux' distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux." -- RMS 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 3
  4. 4. kernel.org's definition Linux is a clone of the operating system Unix, written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers . . . It has all the features you would expect in a modern fully- fledged Unix, including true multitasking, virtual memory, shared libraries, demand loading, shared copy-on-write executables, proper memory management, and multistack networking 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 4
  5. 5. Full “Gnu Linux” implementations Name Supported by Hardware Based on MeeGo = Moblin Intel, Nokia, N900, LG Fedora or + Maemo Linux GW990; ARM Debian + Qt Foundation and x86 (Atom) Mer ? Fully open N900 Ubuntu Maemo LiMo + LIPS = LiMo NEC, Samsung, custom ELIPS Foundation, Panasonic, Wind River Vodafone, NTT Angstrom Archos Archos 5 Tablet OpenEmbedded AccessLinux, Orange, Access, FreeRunner various OpenMoko, MontaVista, MobiLinux OpenMoko 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 5
  6. 6. MeeGo Architecture Diagram Hmm, doesn't say “Linux”! 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 6
  7. 7. Intel's Moorestown SOC Built for Linux LG GW990 running Moblin on Moorestown 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 7
  8. 8. What we know about MeeGo ● Motivation is earlier market failures ● Aimed at netbooks and “slates” like Atom? ● Intel and Nokia continue separate app stores?! ● Committed fast-boot patches back to main tree ● GTK and Clutter not much supported 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 8
  9. 9. Linux Kernel Plus Name Support Hardware Platform Language Bada Samsung Wave Own SDK C++ webOS Palm Pre, Pixi Browser/Mojo Javascript Chrome OS Google Samsung Browser Javascript netbook Android Open Handset myriad JVM Java Alliance, Replicant 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 9
  10. 10. Smartphone Sales by OS 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 10
  11. 11. The most valuable piece of I.P. in the world is . . . the GPL'ed Linux kernel. 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 11
  12. 12. WebOS (and Chrome?) Software Stack FaiB, even to OEMs, but not FaiF. 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 12
  13. 13. Android Software Stack 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 13
  14. 14. Android has some familiar features ● Can adb into unlocked phones, type “ls” and “ps” and peek into /etc, /proc ● Developers can cross-compile C code for ARM using NDK ● Kernel supports insmod, ioctl, dmesg, etc. 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 14
  15. 15. But “Android/Linux” is not standard (based on material by Matt Porter and Harald Welte) ● System calls are handled by Goog's own Bionic, based on BSD's libc ● Bionic is half the size of glibc ● Avoided LGPL by rolling their own instead of using uClibc ● Chock-a-block with hard-coded constants and policies 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 15
  16. 16. Will the Android fork damage the kernel? ● drivers/staging/android removed from kernel.org ● Drivers don't build against main kernel ● OEMs cannot contribute drivers back to the kernel ● More threatening to the main effort than, say, an Arduino fork 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 16
  17. 17. Licenses and Mobile Phones ● Maemo had plenty of closed components. closed components. ● WebOS and Bada have no licenses at all. ● Android is Apache-licensed but drivers are closed. ● Installation of “Google Experience” apps not permitted. 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 17
  18. 18. Community Android remixes? ● Android ported to Tegra, Snapdragon, etc. ●Runs on phones, eBook readers (Nook), netbooks (Acer), MIDs. ●“Remixes” of Android likely: Frog Design. ● “Less than free” even to handset manufacturers. 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 18
  19. 19. Android-based open source ● FLOSS Dispenser: a free market for Android ● CyanogenMod Project, alt build of Android ● Open Android Alliance dead as of 2/20 ● Replicant Project aims to replace closed components ● Debian can be installed on top of Android? 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 19
  20. 20. Mobile Linux Take-aways ● LiMo, ELIPS, Bada, others will ship on millions of featurephones ● MeeGo is desktop Linux rejiggered for mobile ● webOS and Chrome OS are browser-based OS's founded on the Linux kernel ● 800-lb gorilla is “less than free” but may be unstoppable 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 20
  21. 21. Summary ● Linux-based mobile OS's differ at the architecture and library levels, not at the package level ● If you thought desktop distros were confusing, steel yourself! 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 21
  22. 22. Symbian: completely irrelevant? ● As of 2010, fully open under Eclipse license – except for drivers ● Based on ancient Psion real-time microkernel ● Runs on many handsets, but they have closed bootloaders ● Only open hardware is TI's Beagleboard ● Free, but not “less than free” like Android ● Apps must be signed by Symbian Foundation 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 22
  23. 23. References and Sources Software Freedom Law Center blog and podcasts by Bradley M. Kuhn on Android/Linux's Future and Advancement of Mobile Software Freedom and Software Freedom on Mobile Devices Palm, Nokia, Moblin, Google, Engadget websites Linux Weekly News http://lwn.net/Articles/374612/ “Android Mythbusters” by Matt Porter 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 23
  24. 24. Traditional OS stack 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 24
  25. 25. Chrome OS Stack The ‘Browser’ engine is the system execution engine. 02/25/10 Alison Chaiken 25
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