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Linux, Android and Open Source in
     the Mobile Environment
                 Alison Chaiken
             alchaiken@gmail.com
                      3/5/10


  Survey of Linux on mobile
  Kernel+ open source in mobile world
  Curious status of Android and why we care
Why do we care?


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


     Smartphone OS space is highly contested!


   Mobile outcomes for Linux will have significant
       consequences for other form factors.
What do we mean by “Linux”?

   "anyone can call any kernel-derived operating system
         Linux" -- Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation

   "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



03/05/10                   Alison Chaiken                     3
kernel.org's definition


     Linux is a clone of the operating system Unix . . .
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.




03/05/10                  Alison Chaiken                      4
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)

           LiMo + LIPS =    LiMo                NEC, Samsung,     custom
           ELIPS            Foundation,         Panasonic,
                            Wind River          Vodafone, NTT

           Angstrom         Archos              Archos 5 Tablet   OpenEmbedded

           Mer              ? Fully open        N900              Ubuntu
                            Maemo
           AccessLinux,     Orange, Access, FreeRunner            various
           OpenMoko,        MontaVista,
           MobiLinux        OpenMoko


03/05/10                                  Alison Chaiken                         5
MeeGo Architecture Diagram




                   Doesn't say “Linux”!

03/05/10                Alison Chaiken    6
Intel's Moorestown SOC




           LG GW990 running Moblin on Moorestown
03/05/10                  Alison Chaiken           7
Prospects for 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 de-emphasized




03/05/10                 Alison Chaiken              8
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


03/05/10                       Alison Chaiken                               9
The most valuable piece of I.P. in
            the world is . . .



           the GPL'ed Linux kernel.



03/05/10            Alison Chaiken        10
WebOS (and Chrome?) Software Stack




    FaiB, even to OEMs, but not FaiF.
Android Software Stack
Android has some familiar features
But “Android/Linux” is not standard
           (based on material by Matt Porter and Harald Welte)

   ●   System calls handled by Bionic, based on BSD's libc


   ●   Bionic is half the size of glibc


   ●   Existing uClibc already established in embedded


   ●   Chock-a-block with hard-coded constants and policies


03/05/10                        Alison Chaiken                   14
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


03/05/10                    Alison Chaiken                 15
Licenses vs. Governance
                 from Andreas Constantinou



Is the source code publicly available or to members only? Are code
check-ins publicly accessible? Are the minutes from meetings
publicly available? Are there any fees or contractual commitments
(NDAs, etc) required for members? Who has the authority to
release code and binaries (how is the release schedule
determined)? Who is entitled to branch source code? How is the
roadmap formed . . .

More to consider than just source availability!
Android-based hacks




 “Remixes” of Android coming from telcos: Frog Design.

03/05/10                Alison Chaiken                   17
Android-related open source
 ●   FLOSS Dispenser: a free market for Android


               ●   CyanogenMod Project, alt build of Android


 ●   Replicant Project aims to replace closed components


               ●   Debian can be installed on top of Android?


 ●   OsmocomBB is FaiF GSM Baseband driver

03/05/10                       Alison Chaiken                   18
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




03/05/10                       Alison Chaiken                      19
Summary

 ●   Linux-based mobile OS's differ in architecture,
     libraries and governance, not just in licenses
     and packages



 ●   Linux community at large has a lot at stake


03/05/10                Alison Chaiken                20
References and Sources
  ●   Blog and Software Freedom Law Center podcasts by Bradley
           M. Kuhn on
           Android/Linux's Future and Advancement of Mobile Software Freedom and
           Software Freedom on Mobile Devices

  ●   Linux Weekly News http://lwn.net/Articles/374612/

  ●   “Android Mythbusters” by Matt Porter

  ●   “Mobile Megatrends 2009,” Andreas Constantinou

  ●   Ofono and freesmartphone.org middleware projects

03/05/10                              Alison Chaiken                               21
Licenses and Mobile Phones
  ●   Maemo had plenty of closed components.


  ●   WebOS and Bada: no licenses.


  ●   Android is Apache-licensed but drivers are closed.


  ●   Installation of “Google Experience” apps not
        permitted.


03/05/10                   Alison Chaiken                  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
03/05/10                              Alison Chaiken                     23
Traditional OS stack




03/05/10          Alison Chaiken   24
Smartphone Sales by OS




03/05/10            Alison Chaiken   25
Chrome OS Stack




           The ‘Browser’ engine is the system execution engine.

03/05/10                         Alison Chaiken                   26

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Linux, Android and Open Source in the Mobile Environment

  • 1. Linux, Android and Open Source in the Mobile Environment Alison Chaiken alchaiken@gmail.com 3/5/10 Survey of Linux on mobile Kernel+ open source in mobile world Curious status of Android and why we care
  • 2. Why do we care? Linux is well-established on servers and in embedded, but mobile is wide open. Smartphone OS space is highly contested! Mobile outcomes for Linux will have significant consequences for other form factors.
  • 3. What do we mean by “Linux”? "anyone can call any kernel-derived operating system Linux" -- Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation "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 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 3
  • 4. kernel.org's definition Linux is a clone of the operating system Unix . . . 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. 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 4
  • 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) LiMo + LIPS = LiMo NEC, Samsung, custom ELIPS Foundation, Panasonic, Wind River Vodafone, NTT Angstrom Archos Archos 5 Tablet OpenEmbedded Mer ? Fully open N900 Ubuntu Maemo AccessLinux, Orange, Access, FreeRunner various OpenMoko, MontaVista, MobiLinux OpenMoko 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 5
  • 6. MeeGo Architecture Diagram Doesn't say “Linux”! 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 6
  • 7. Intel's Moorestown SOC LG GW990 running Moblin on Moorestown 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 7
  • 8. Prospects for 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 de-emphasized 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 8
  • 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 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 9
  • 10. The most valuable piece of I.P. in the world is . . . the GPL'ed Linux kernel. 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 10
  • 11. WebOS (and Chrome?) Software Stack FaiB, even to OEMs, but not FaiF.
  • 13. Android has some familiar features
  • 14. But “Android/Linux” is not standard (based on material by Matt Porter and Harald Welte) ● System calls handled by Bionic, based on BSD's libc ● Bionic is half the size of glibc ● Existing uClibc already established in embedded ● Chock-a-block with hard-coded constants and policies 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 14
  • 15. 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 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 15
  • 16. Licenses vs. Governance from Andreas Constantinou Is the source code publicly available or to members only? Are code check-ins publicly accessible? Are the minutes from meetings publicly available? Are there any fees or contractual commitments (NDAs, etc) required for members? Who has the authority to release code and binaries (how is the release schedule determined)? Who is entitled to branch source code? How is the roadmap formed . . . More to consider than just source availability!
  • 17. Android-based hacks “Remixes” of Android coming from telcos: Frog Design. 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 17
  • 18. Android-related open source ● FLOSS Dispenser: a free market for Android ● CyanogenMod Project, alt build of Android ● Replicant Project aims to replace closed components ● Debian can be installed on top of Android? ● OsmocomBB is FaiF GSM Baseband driver 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 18
  • 19. 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 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 19
  • 20. Summary ● Linux-based mobile OS's differ in architecture, libraries and governance, not just in licenses and packages ● Linux community at large has a lot at stake 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 20
  • 21. References and Sources ● Blog and Software Freedom Law Center podcasts by Bradley M. Kuhn on Android/Linux's Future and Advancement of Mobile Software Freedom and Software Freedom on Mobile Devices ● Linux Weekly News http://lwn.net/Articles/374612/ ● “Android Mythbusters” by Matt Porter ● “Mobile Megatrends 2009,” Andreas Constantinou ● Ofono and freesmartphone.org middleware projects 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 21
  • 22. Licenses and Mobile Phones ● Maemo had plenty of closed components. ● WebOS and Bada: no licenses. ● Android is Apache-licensed but drivers are closed. ● Installation of “Google Experience” apps not permitted. 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 22
  • 23. 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 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 23
  • 24. Traditional OS stack 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 24
  • 25. Smartphone Sales by OS 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 25
  • 26. Chrome OS Stack The ‘Browser’ engine is the system execution engine. 03/05/10 Alison Chaiken 26