Tablet confusion


akeley

Still Fresh
Joined
Nov 5, 2013
Messages
37
I`m thinking about getting a little tablet/e-reader...there` are two problems though: I know very little about the subject and also I`m allergic to both Apple & Google.

The purpose is mainly for reading comics, also books  and maybe a bit of web browsing. I`m not too interested in the app world.

My main question is: can you install some sort of Linux OS - that is not Android - on a low key tablet such as older Kindle Fire? And still be able to do the things I want to do?

I thought of Kindle because it seems to offer good specs for minimal price, but after looking around it`s all about rooting with Jellybean etc. Any other older tablets (Nook?) that could be rooted with Linux or maybe Ubuntu?

(sorry if it doesn`t make much sense, like I said I have minimal knowledge of tablet/smartphone world)
 

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
15,593
Location
Somewhere off the coast of the EU
If you don't like Google/Android, why are you looking at the Fire?


Edit: Seems I skim read the third paragraph. I've not heard of anyone doing that, but a quick internet search should answer that question.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Caine

Hardcore Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
4,138
Location
Netherlands
Sounds a bit like you want what Plasma Active and the Vivaldi Tablet were doing.

Unfortunately they were struggling quite a bit to get a device to market. I don't think that they managed to date.
 

akeley

Still Fresh
Joined
Nov 5, 2013
Messages
37
That`s the thing, when I looked up "open source tablet" all that came up was few years old and mostly just hopeful prototypes and such. 

My (most likely wrong) idea of what rooting means is that I should be able to put whatever files I want on the device (obtained from whereever) plus maybe install some apps programs from outside the official channels...you know, like homebrew or Linux software...damn, like I said I`m really alien to this world - is it all really just stuff from Google Store (or Amazon or some such?)

I do (?) understand that Android is based on Linux, but is there a version that lets you get rid of Google presence and install other clients, like browser or ebook reader? (and also does rooting prevent the device from contacting the HQ?) I also think I saw a post somewhere about installing Ubuntu being possible on Fire...

Considering Kindle because it`s quite cheap - about 40-60 pounds for the older model...Nook even cheaper...while having pretty reasonable hardware specs. 
 

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
15,593
Location
Somewhere off the coast of the EU
If you rooted a fire, you could presumably install Replicant or Cyanogenmod or another Android flavour, but you'd need someone to port Linux (as in GNU/Linux) to get a more traditional free linux experience on it. You could theoretically do it yourself, but it's a chunk of work.
 

SNESFAN

Retro game fanatic
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
3,430
Age
40
Location
Fort Knox, KY. USA
Get a nexus 7 2012 version, you can root it and install Ubuntu right from their website. Not emulated or chrooted, just real booting ubuntu. The video I posted on shield is just a proof of concept, I have one running dingux which is the linux that the GCW zero runs, there isn't an image that exists in the wild for either yet on the shield, there may never be either. But nexus 7, it will meet your requirements I think.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

akeley

Still Fresh
Joined
Nov 5, 2013
Messages
37
Thanks for the tips, but it`s still a massive headache. The main problem seems to be my refusal to indulge in the Google operation - I can go as far as installing the modded OS  but even so it seems all the apps are only available through their Store into which you need to log in with a Google account (shudder)... Even for free stuff like Firefox? :(    I`m not a fan of M$ either, but I use their OS as a shell purely - everything else controlled by third party soft, mostly open source that I can obtain from anywhere, not just one "store". 

Did some more reading and might go for Nook HD - kind of cheap (Nexus seems slick but out of my price range plus comes straight from...you know) and also rootable plus there seems to be Ubuntu Touch released for it...(but what if even that is only available through Google channels?)

Overall, I`m quite disappointed. I didn`t realize how locked down this market really is - I knew about Apple/Google total dominance, but didn`t know it`s literally "total". Would`ve thought that in a market so huge, there would be some open source oasis or two. Damn.

Firefox OS seemed to be the move in a right direction, hugely promising - but it launched last year and went rather quiet. If they won`t make it then I doubt anybody can.
 

EvilDragon

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Messages
29,871
Age
44
Location
Ingolstadt
You can find a lot of stuff when searching for the APKs, e.g. firefox apk in the internet somewhere.

It's a lot more work, but you don't need to use a google account.
 

comradekingu

Glowing ember
Joined
Apr 15, 2011
Messages
5,092
Website
portfolio.anotheragency.no
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 supposedly has the best screen, dont know if its the same story as what new nexus  7 has, but both LTPS.

Root it and install something not cancerous. Dont get gapps. Get f-droid instead.  Firefox (or orweb) away.

Its possible to install something like ubuntu touch, or firefox OS on it.

Probably was something like that at MWC, but i was more into the SoC info and such. If you wait a little bit there will be for sure.

If you are serious about reading e-ink could be an option.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

akeley

Still Fresh
Joined
Nov 5, 2013
Messages
37
You can find a lot of stuff when searching for the APKs, e.g. firefox apk in the internet somewhere.


It's a lot more work, but you don't need to use a google account.
So I hoped, thanks for confirming that. 

F-droid, huh? Now we`re talking ;) Hoped something like that would exist. 

About to pull the trigger on Nook HD, cant afford Nexus`s + they`re devil-branded ;) and others are more expensive too -  and I don`t need big screens or specs. 
 

darkborn

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
455
There is UrukDroid - basically a Linux with some parts of Android on top of it.
"Goal of this system is to allow users to do most of the operations they are allowed to do on normal Linux distributions. It's aimed for more advanced users, but tries to be useful on basic level of all people if they don't need special features."

http://code.google.com/p/urukdroid/
If  I remember right, it is based on Debian. But there were also Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Angström examples.

Unfortunately, it is designated for Archos Gen8 devices, I am not sure are those still available.
My screen at Archos tablet broke before I managed to put UrukDroid, so I can't provide much more informations.

But:
> The purpose is mainly for reading comics, also books  and maybe a bit of web browsing. I`m not too interested in the app world.
It is ideal for that, f.e. Archos 70 or 101 Internet Tablet, if you find it cheap somewhere, it will suite you well.

Edit: it seems that Ubuntu run on generation 9 tablets.
 
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top