P2 OS other than Android - SL4P? Angstrom? Other?


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Oct 3, 2008
I really like the progress Linux-Swat has made with the SL4P. Kudos to him for taking that on!

Notaz, king of all Angstrom on the Pandora 1, has done a great job and been very creative and resourceful. It's a solid OS and has been the root supporting the Pandora's software development. Thank you!

The following discussion should not in any way disparage the work that either of them have done on the P1. It is intended to collect ideas around what would be the ideal starting point or features to have on a P2 OS.

Should we stick with Angstrom on the P2 and retain everything that has been developed so far on it?

Should we start down the path of making SL4P the Linux-on-P2 OS?

Should we be looking at something with more main stream recognition? This would likely be Ubuntu - though I despise the Unity interface from the core of my being.

Or maybe something completely off the wall?

My current favorite desktop distribution is Linux Mint 13 XFCE. If you haven't tried it, give it a spin. http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2088

I particularly like the clean interface and the category based menu system. Being able to use apt-get as well as the same package manager as Ubuntu gives it some very nice software leverage. I like that it isn't all bound up in 'OS features' that I didn't really want anyway and that it's clear of bloat and that I don't have to set 8 boxes to $0 donation before I'm allowed to download it (Ubuntu does this).

This thread is not meant to be divisive or definitive - everyone has their favorite distribution. It is meant to open the discussion of the merits and issues of going down the different available paths.

So - what are your favorite distributions and why?
Well for SL4P to work well as a default OS the Pandora 2 would need sizable internal storage.. currently the Pandora only has 512MBs of internal NAND storage.. Angstrom is small enough for it, Slackware needs a bit more space..
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Windows3.11/95/98/98SE/NT4.0 - because its "RETRO" :D (little joke)

Hmm what for Operating Systems want i to see too....

....Hey yeah only Debian with normal Gnome Desktop(no Desktopeffects or rubbish 3D Effects :rolleyes: )


.....PC Linux OS and Knoppix ^_^


....the React OS ARM Port maybe :D

...yeah the React OS Arm Port is cool,thats a good Idea.
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ReactOS is surely no candidate for the Pandora 2. The arm port will not run x86 binaties anyway and it is still in alpha state.

On a more serious note, I like Linux Mint, too. It is an ubuntu derivate so there should be plenty of software, but I don't know if theres an arm port yet.
Suggesting a favorite desktop distribution like Linux Mint doesn't help if it doesn't have an active community around an ARM branch. Building and maintaining a seperate package repository for ARM is thankless work needing many volunteers.

Angstrom might be best, even if more on-board space were available, since its lack of bloat means small downloads for updates.

On the other hand, it would be nice to have a working CUPS for printing so maybe SL4P or Ubuntu for ARM. Either way we probably need a Notaz to provide things like hardware overlay framebuffers and similar hardware magic.
Some quick research...

No, Mint doesn't have an ARM release yet. It IS based on Ubuntu for the majority of it's package management though. There IS an active ARM project on Ubuntu: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ARM

An interesting thing on that page - it lists the Kubuntu desktop as being supported under Ubuntu/ARM. Granted, I like XFCE more, but KDE isn't all that bad - and is way nicer than Unity.

On the flip side, though, I'm not tied to any given distribution - to me it's more about the user interface than the branding, but I know that OS branding makes a difference in attracting (or at least not frightening) prospective users.

So, I don't think we can eliminate Angstrom, Slackware, Debian, Ubuntu, Kubuntu or Mint out of hand. They're all within the realms of 'feasible'.

As to space requirements - I have no idea how much on-board flash/NAND the P2 will have or if it will run it's OS off of a card. I think we may have to acknowledge that the P2 MAY come with Android as it's primary OS - and have that housed in the on-board flash on a dedicated basis. This means those of us who want 'Real Linux' will likely be booting it off of a user supplied card. Yes, deleting/eliminating Android and pushing in a Linux distribution would be an option - for those who want to dump Android all together. I think, though, that most people won't want to do that, but would instead dual-boot with a 2nd OS on a card.

Most Android devices these days come with at least 8GB, more commonly 16GB of flash. Yes, some have more. The point is, I haven't seen anything released in any recent memory with less than 8GB - which would be plenty to house a full Linux distribution. We should be safe assuming that the P2 will have at least 8GB NAND/flash OR have a card (microSD or SD) to house the Android OS.

Is 8GB enough? Linux Mint LXDE 64bit X86 requires 5.6GB disk to install for example.

I'd be shocked if the P2 had less flash than that or a microSD card tucked inside to house the OS. So, the argument for Angstrom, "Because that is the only distribution that will fit," becomes less likely to be valid. That doesn't eliminate it from consideration - it simply removes the argument against the other possibles.
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My vote is for Xubuntu, which works fine on ARM, I'm using it right now on my Chromebook. Or at least, I'm using Ubuntu w/xubuntu-desktop installed.
I just filled out their contact form and got a generic email reading:

Hello CJ,

Thank you for your interest in Ubuntu for Android. We are still in the early stages of development, but industry reaction so far has been incredible. Here are some reviews from CNet and IT Pro Portal.

Right now, we’re working with hardware manufacturers and mobile operators to bring the product to market. If you’d like to follow our progerss, the easiest ways to do this are:

Check the Ubuntu web pages for more updates.

Follow @Canonical on Twitter for the latest news.

Thanks again!

Yours sincerely,

The Ubuntu team
You kniw, that Ubuntu for Android is something completely different?
It boots Ubuntu in android, like we boot Android in Angstrom afaik.
Yes, it runs android and ubuntu on the same kernel and loads the interface it needs for a task. Don't know if you can boot a desktop on the phone though.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice and all, but not sure if it is suitable for the Pandora 2.

We'll see what comes out of this.
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Well, with a little magic, it shoudln't be hard to live switch between the two interfaces on the Pandora without the need for HDMI out
What about all the hard work this comunity has been working in angstorm? will it be compatible with other OS? Will everyone bother to make a port of their angstorm software to other OS? It would be kinda sad to see all this awseomeness going to waste :(
What about all the hard work this comunity has been working in angstorm? will it be compatible with other OS? Will everyone bother to make a port of their angstorm software to other OS? It would be kinda sad to see all this awseomeness going to waste :(/>

I agree. Thats why I'm simply saying this is an option. There are downsides to every option

Switching between Ubuntu and Android. It's a dream come true.

Ya, I heard about it a long time ago, but never saw a practical application for it until today when it dawned on me to put 2 and 2 together