Prospects of a GNU/Linux Tablet

30 respuestas [Último envío]
alucardx
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/29/2012

It seems like the idea of having a GNU/Linux tablet is really gaining momentum. I have been hoping for a really good one to come along that can run GNU/Linux and run using only free software.

A very prominent chipset being used is the Allwinner A10 SoC. Does anyone know what the freedom status is on this chipset?

I don't think that anyone is going to rival the iBad or Android tablets any time soon but just having an option to run a free software only tablet would be nice.

andrew
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/19/2012

> It seems like the idea of having a GNU/Linux tablet is really gaining momentum. I have been hoping for a really good one to come along that can run GNU/Linux and run using only free software.

Well there is Replicant which is based on CyanogenMod and aims to only ship with free software! But so far it's only limited to a few phones, and no tablets.

CyanogenMod has less non-free software than Android, apparently.

> I don't think that anyone is going to rival the iBad or Android tablets any time soon but just having an option to run a free software only tablet would be nice.

Yes, I think the best idea is to spread word about mobile/tablet projects that aim to replace non-free software.

I don't own/use a tablet at the moment, so I can't make comments with regards to hardware.

alucardx
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/29/2012

I'm currently running Replicant on my Nexus S. There are a lot of things about it I don't like. For one, there are no real good hardware candidates to use that have good privacy. The other is that getting everything to work on the phone using only free software is not currently possible. Also, I personally don't think Android is that amazing. Maybe it's okay for a smaller device like a phone(tracking device) but for a tablet I'd prefer GNU/Linux running some type of touch-friendly interface.

There is a project out there called PengPod ( http://pengpod.com/products/pengpod1000 ). It looks like it's using the Allwinner A10 SoC. Like I said before, I'm curious as to whether GNU/Linux will run that with all free drivers and firmware.

Daemonax
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/30/2009

>Also, I personally don't think Android is that amazing. Maybe it's okay for a smaller device like a phone.

I'm also not very fond of Android... And a lot of phones now have enough power to run something better. I recently got a Galaxy Note II, which I think is actually more powerful than my T61 Thinkpad... Android seems to have a lot of silly bugs, and as it's something used is most portable devices now (I believe it's now the most popular platform for portable devices) it really is quite poor. I've had my phone restart itself, I have no idea why. It has also once kept turning the screen on every minute until I restarted the phone... Free distributions like Trisquel that don't have the huge financial backing that something like Android has, perform much better.

People have already gotten major distributions running on their Android phones though.

There probably are many benefits to the free software community though with so many companies now using Android. There are probably a lot of new bits of code coming back into the Free software ecosystem.... But there are obvious problems.

MagicFab
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/13/2010

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Le 12-11-13 01:50 AM, name at domain a écrit :
> >Also, I personally don't think Android is that amazing. Maybe it's okay for a smaller device
like a phone.
>
> I'm also not very fond of Android... And a lot of phones now have
enough power to run something better. I recently got a Galaxy Note II,
which I think is actually more powerful than my T61 Thinkpad... Android
seems to have a lot of silly bugs, and as it's something used is most
portable devices now (I believe it's now the most popular platform for
portable devices) it really is quite poor. I've had my phone restart
itself, I have no idea why. It has also once kept turning the screen on
every minute until I restarted the phone... Free distributions like
Trisquel that don't have the huge financial backing that something like
Android has, perform much better.

I'd agree Android "read-only" development model by Google is less than
ideal, however the derived work such as CyanogenMod is amazing. I invite
you to follow abug report from start to "fixed" there, and then compare
THAT to Trisquel. The community efforts are huge, and it shows on the
devices performance. 2 tablets and 2 phones are used daily in my
household, I have yet to find the kind of showstoppers on those yet, as
opposed to Trisquel. I understand Trisquel's limits within its context
and it fits my needs, but I wouldn't dare compare both projects.

>
> People have already gotten major distributions running on their
Android phones though.
>
> There probably are many benefits to the free software community though
with so many companies now using Android. There are probably a lot of
new bits of code coming back into the Free software ecosystem.... But
there are obvious problems.

GNU/Linux on Android hardware is already possible and is already
implemented on several Motorola devices that I know of. Go to any
BestBuy in the USA and check the displays - I saw one a month ago.
Granted, it's Ubuntu at the moment, but it's a good demo of what could
be done with 100% hardware+software. This video explains it well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv1Z7bf4jXY

There is *lots* of new free software being developed specifically for
Android. Take a look at the incoming queue in F-Droid:
http://f-droid.org/forums/forum/submission-queue/

This is in no way perfect, but certainly evolving at a very high rate.

Cheers,

Fabian Rodriguez
http://trisquel.magicfab.ca

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: PGP/Mime available upon request
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://www.enigmail.net/

iEYEARECAAYFAlCiNb8ACgkQfUcTXFrypNXNdwCeLnag5to6pT3GgvUH3lu0VrPF
21gAn0J093dEwGzhdqIIGUSTcYO3ibC2
=ASMQ
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

MagicFab
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/13/2010

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Le 12-11-12 11:26 PM, name at domain a écrit :
> > It seems like the idea of having a GNU/Linux tablet is really gaining momentum. I have been
hoping for a really good one to come along that can run GNU/Linux and
run using only free software.
>
> Well there is Replicant which is based on CyanogenMod and aims to only
ship with free software. But so far it's only limited to a few phones,
and no tablets.
>
> CyanogenMod has less non-free software than Android, apparently.
[..]

A bunch of new Nexus-class devices where released just last night.

I am very curious to see how freedom-friendly that hardware is/how much
of Replicant can run on the latest Nexus tablets, that will be an
interesting development to see.

Privacy issues abound when you have GSM chipsets, but some of the Nexus
tablets can be ordered with Wifi only in a store (so, presumably, in
cash), making such concerns manageable. VoIP being available out of the
provider-only networks is an interesting combination if you must have
it, so most pieces of such a puzzle seem to be there.

Cheers,

Fabian Rodriguez
http://trisquel.magicfab.ca

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: PGP/Mime available upon request
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://www.enigmail.net/

iEYEARECAAYFAlCiODYACgkQfUcTXFrypNVV6QCfU6B8ZPzW0AcfJrdcpT3n9r4T
nbwAoOc7bg4nu3qAtQy3uNy9gazqpX69
=Shym
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

Nathan
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/02/2011

I don't have any information to add, but I'd just like to say that I'd love a device capable of running the Calibre ebook reader. No DRM, no hassle, I just want to be able to copy my Calibre Library into the home directly, and I'd love to pay for such a device.

Perhaps I could get what I want without a system that runs full-blown GNU/Linux. Calibre has device synchronization capabilities, so a DRM-free and Linux compatible ereader could work as well, but I know of none.

MagicFab
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/13/2010

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Le 12-11-13 12:35 AM, name at domain a écrit :
> I don't have any information to add, but I'd just like to say that I'd love a device capable of running
the Calibre ebook reader. No DRM, no hassle, I just want to be able to
copy my Calibre Library into the home directly, and I'd love to pay for
such a device.
>
> Perhaps I could get what I want without a system that runs full-blown
GNU/Linux. Calibre has device synchronization capabilities, so a
DRM-free and Linux compatible ereader could work as well, but I know of
none.

The approach is a bit different when you look at Android devices, they
are mostly designed / considered to be always online. In Android
e-readers you directly configure the URL of your Callibre network
library. Free open source software I've seen also offers options to
"copy to local library" or similar, or even "share this book". If you
wish to sync other software is designed for that - Dropbox being very
popular in non-free software, OwnCloud being a possible alternative.

There are some pretty good free (both "freedom" and "DRM"), open source
Android e-readers out there. The one I prefer is PageTurner:
http://www.pageturner-reader.org/

There are also CoolReader and FB Reader that I know of.

Cheers,

Fabian Rodriguez
http://trisquel.magicfab.ca

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: PGP/Mime available upon request
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://www.enigmail.net/

iEYEARECAAYFAlCiN3oACgkQfUcTXFrypNX9ZACgkYFgHgkYTUC7H8/8CzmdXsN/
rWMAoOtWAFhlHBFNaVe1D3aWF09GNV77
=Tukx
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

Nathan
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/02/2011

Is it conceivable to buy an old touchscreen device Built for Android and run something like Damn Small Linux or whatever simply to run Calibre? I'd remove any of the nasty geolocation stuff, and being able to access the internet, make calls, etc is not an issue for me. I'm thinking that I could be my Calibre Library on a micro SD card, and have the program set to look at that directory for any books.

Has anyone had success in trying to make a tablet device of sorts from a phone like I described? I want to do something like that, and I just want to be able to read and consume audio/video.

Also, is it likely that a device like that would have free drivers for wifi or graphics? Someone please point me in the right direction if you would know.

Geniusmax04
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/20/2012

I would recommend either the Wikireader or the Ben Nanonote. The Wikireader comes with a touchscreen, but the Nanonote comes with more freedom. Either of them should be able to run some type of e-book program.

lammi87

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/27/2012

There is the Vivaldi tablet project.

Project page: http://makeplaylive.com/
Forums: http://opentablets.org/
Main developer's Blog: http://aseigo.blogspot.fi/

They are making a GNU/Linux tablet that should be fully free software compatible. The project has had some setbacks recently though.

Chris

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/23/2011

Vivaldi was earlier known as the Spark tablet. They were trying to free the bits. Things didn't move fast enough... now they have to get a new tablet (If I recall everything correctly).

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

I believe the best you can get today is the ZaTab. Not 100% free but probably the closest to it (among *available* tablets).

Chris

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/23/2011

ZaReason like everyone else ships a lot of hardware dependent on non-free software. Unless your thinking about buying an iPad I wouldn't reccomend this.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

As far as I understand, it is close to impossible to get the Vivaldi tablet. It uses the vanilla Linux kernel (not Linux-libre) and 100% free software on top of it. The WikiReader and the Ben NanoNote (mentioned in this thread) are not tablets (and nowhere close to deserve this denomination).

The ZaTab ships with CyanogenMod 9, which also uses a vanilla Linux kernel and 100% free software on top of it. Its bootloader is unlocked. Root access is available. The user can, for instance, easily installs the latest version of CyanogenMod without Google crap.

Is there another *available* alternative that better respects the users' freedoms?

Chris

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/23/2011

Regardless of it being the least dependent on non-free software I can't justify to myself recommending a toy in a free software forum that is still extremely hostile towards users freedoms. I'd have less of an issue with this if ZaReason cared about free software. There actions don't suggest it though. They ship with wifi cards that are dependent on non-free software. Something that is extremely easy to fix and they don't.

The Spark tablet took a step back (in that it never got released) although having spoken with the lead developer I know they were working on and did get access to code that was previously unavailable under a free software license.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

I agree.

aliasbody
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/14/2012

I am trying to get enough money to repair my old and broken netbook in order to transform it on a tablet.

That could be a good idea for Trisquel and for ThinkPengiun as well. A tablet with Atom CPU would be awesome with Trisquel :D And it may be easier to have working than an ARM one no ?

Chris

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/23/2011

Netbooks are dead. Can't help you there.

That said we could have easily shipped a product at one time as there were chipsets and configurations which were not dependent on non-free code. That makes it much easier to do.

aliasbody
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/14/2012

I taked a netbook as an example just to say that they have good material to be used as Tablets, and when I said good materials I was talking mostly about the CPU and GPU.

Modern Atom CPU's can achieve with a good battery a life of almost 10hours. So it was just an idea since we don't have much GPU's on ARM with free drivers. A little bit like the Asus 810, that is a tablet but can be (like his brother the Asus Transformer) be plugged in into a keyboard.

Chris

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/23/2011

It probably makes more sense to focus on getting the code for ARM.

We did look into this once though. I think.

Ultimately it would probably have been a lot of work and sales at the time wouldn't have justified it. Plus it was a dead-end product. The ATOM tablets weren't happening. The advantages of the ARM tablets just blew the ATOM tablets out of the water.

abualijawad
Desconectado/a
se unió: 10/28/2012

Hi to all of you ,
It is a very nice idea to have a tablet device running Trisquel.; it should be done very soon as Christmas and new year is approaching doing the marketing of such product is a right time.

I have shifted from Ubuntu to Trisquel recently we do need more gadgets such as netbook , tablets , notebook preloaded with Trisquelbto show the world the magic of Free Software.

megurineturilli
Desconectado/a
se unió: 01/10/2012

I have an OLinuXino single board computer running Debian / Android dual-boot.
Android uses a proprietery bootloader, debian uses the free u-boot.
Linux-libre is not ported yet. First I had to uninstall the flash-player in Android, then I installed f-droid. I won't buy a tablet until Vivaldi is released.

Chris

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/23/2011

I'd highly encourage people to hold off on the tablets and Raspberry Pi type devices. If you can get away without a cell phone do it. Cell phones are tracking devices and also dependent on a lot of non-free software. These devices are all extremely hostile to users freedom. If you don't absolutely have to don't take that step backwards.

onpon4
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/30/2012

I feel inclined to mention that, while there is not a completely free OS for it (GNU/Linux with mainline Linux is used), the OpenPandora mostly gets the hardware fine. It's only dependent on nonfree software for 3D and WiFi (and the WiFi is easily solved if you just get a USB 2.0 Wifi dongle that works without nonfree software). So, basically about the same as a lot of mainstream laptops (not good, but not as bad as cell phones). Someone just needs to port a completely free OS to it like Dragora or Trisquel Mini, and it would be good to go (unfortunately, I don't have the knowledge of how to do this myself).

I went into more detail in a blog post:
http://onpon4.blogspot.com/2012/10/openpandora-pandora-review-from.html

Chris

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/23/2011

Everybody seems to be justifying non-free software because they want the latest toy. It's not a device that is becoming a necessity in the world in which we live. These are toys and as such I can't accept it.

I'm not perfect although I will resist. I'm not going to pick up a tablet until there is something which is more freedom friendly. I may on the other hand contribute to a project which is aiming to free a tablet/or chipsets that will make a free software tablet possible.

If you want a tablet badly enough find a project that is working toward solving the non-free problems and contribute the money you might otherwise have spent on a tablet instead.

MagicFab
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/13/2010

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 12-11-15 10:15 PM, name at domain wrote:
> Everybody seems to be justifying non-free software because they want the latest toy. It's not
a device that is becoming a necessity in the world in which we live.
These are toys and as such I can't accept it.

I don't think generalizing like that is useful. If *you* don't need it
and you can't accept it, that's fine, don't just assume everybody is in
the same boat.

>
> I'm not perfect although I will resist. I'm not going to pick up a
tablet until there is something which is more freedom friendly. I may on
the other hand contribute to a project which is aiming to free a
tablet/or chipsets that will make a free software tablet possible.

That would be Replicant, which coincidentally just relased their version 4:
http://replicant.us/2012/11/replicant-4-0-0001-images-release/

This is how to help:
http://replicant.us/how-to-help/

> If you want a tablet badly enough find a project that is working toward solving the non-free
problems and contribute the money you might otherwise have spent on a
tablet instead.

I'd agree funding/helping such a project (like Replicant) without using
the current non-free devices is the most ethical way of furthering this.

I also think just like using Windows with free open source software, I
see using Android with f-droid and Google service autonomous
alternatives an important way to help such projects while testing. This
also helps others and guide them through the ideal scenario of a fully
free device+software. Both are important parts of that equation. Keeping
in mind the huge adoption of Android (non-free) devices and CyanogenMod
(mostly free) firmware, there's good traction to then get to that goal.
Here are two other links about F-Droid and about Google alternatives:
http://f-droid.org/
http://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/GoogleAppsFreeReplacements

Cheers,

F.

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: PGP/Mime available upon request
Comment: Using GnuPG with undefined - http://www.enigmail.net/

iEYEARECAAYFAlCnnJUACgkQfUcTXFrypNXX1gCdFraK5gg9vcP9mC+Tb0E/1pcI
SlEAoIewELFoXdVcJX1VH59M4q95vRUR
=adkk
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

alucardx
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/29/2012

I would say that tablets mostly are toys. There are a few things you can do with them that they work well for. The most useful thing I can think of though is casual viewing of books, documents, movies, video clips, images, etc. You can't do much real work on them. You can do some communications.

I know there are some special "apps"(that term is lame and should be done away with. I'd rather we called them programs, like they are and always have been) that serve this purpose or that but usually it's very limited and is more of a novelty. I'm sure if you try hard enough you can find someone that is using it for real work. But it's not as widespread as the marketing folks would have you think. Tablet and "smartphone"(another term that could disappear) are just the most recent buzzwords. Well along with virtualization and "cloud"(don't get me started on that one).

That being said, I would still like to have a tablet for the simple things mentioned above. I don't NEED one. For the most part I'm doing things that I couldn't do on a tablet. But if I'm going to get one I'd like it to be running GNU/Linux and all free software. And again, I get sick of hearing excuses that "well it's mostly free". The problem is that it will never be free (in the case of CyanogenMod) because that's not part of what the goals are. As long as they can customize things and make it work most people are happy. I'm here because I want free. Not kind of free. Not mostly free. ALL THE WAY FREE.

Tullia
Desconectado/a
se unió: 11/13/2012

Perhaps for most people they are toys, so I don't really want to disagree with you, but for me personally it would be a very useful tool, if I could get one with a sufficiently accurate touch screen and stylus. I've tried out a Wacom Cintiq years ago and the parallax in the thick glass was too much for accurate drawing, and the icons too small. Maybe they've improved. Being able to do gestural drawing right on the screen would be terrific.

I'd also like to have a large one as an e-reader, as my small e-reader isn't good for PDFs. As it is, I tend to print out academic papers and highlight and make notes on them manually. It would save a lot of paper if I could do this digitally, and physically highlighting and writing in margins is very different to navigating with a mouse and typing a linked note in an addon.

As a user, my focus has always been on open source (and now Free) software and using whatever workaround, nonfree drivers etc to make things work: but it's becoming very apparent that as users we really need to focus on hardware first. The two go hand-in-hand. On every Linux forum everywhere you see endless threads about getting XYZ piece of hardware to work with Linux. It's all backwards! If we keep buying nonfree hardware, what motivation do manufacturers have to free their drivers?

Chris

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/23/2011

I completely agree. Potentially useful they are. Critical no. Are there any tablets that work well? I haven't encountered one.

As I stated above I'm not perfect either and I'm heavily focused on improving the situation. I definitely think people here are making exceptions for the sake of having the latest toy. I don't think the majority of people who are actually buying these are trying very hard to avoid non-free software.

The last time I checked they still make paper books. You can still draw with a pen, you can still paint with a brush, and a tablet is not essential for any of the tasks which one might find these devices useful. In the majority of cases laptops (and desktops more so) are what is going to make you productive. There simply isn't a good business case.

If you really think it is more than a toy you better have something more concrete. I can actually think of some much better examples. However I don't think they are so great that it offsets any advantages in productivity and possibly costs anyway.

Tullia
Desconectado/a
se unió: 11/13/2012

It might not be essential, but you could also suggest that novelists go back to typewriters, accountants use slide-rules and we all go back to reading a paper map instead of using a GPS. Well not much wrong with the last suggestion but the point is PRODUCTIVITY.

Photographing each step of an art tutorial is laborious, and if I make a mistake, I have to start over from the beginning. With good digital art, I can 'undo', and simply 'save' as I go instead of having to photograph or scan and tweak each one. Admittedly at the moment I mostly use analogue pencil anyway and just tidy up in Gimp but sometimes I like to use a lot of digital media. It's not play, it's work. I get paid little enough as it is. Anything that makes my work more efficient is a good thing. Good software really is a critical tool for my work, as is my Wacom tablet. It's not a Cintiq, my budget isn't that big.

Yes they still make books, but when you're talking about printing dozens of academic papers out every week, that's a lot of trees. Try organizing all of those too. It's redundant effort when I can find them with a click or two in my bibliographic software.

In both of these cases a good tablet would be a huge boon to productivity.

Just because most people use them for entertainment doesn't mean we all do.

There is simply no comparison between painting on a canvas and using digital tools. It's an entirely different beast. I'm not saying it should be an excuse for using proprietary software, but I will never agree with you that Tablets aren't essential. I've been just waiting for the technology to come within the quality and budget I require.