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> linux on Gemini
speculatrix
post Oct 20 2017, 05:57 AM
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https://player.vimeo.com/video/239095559?portrait=0

looks like we finally got a new Zaurus!
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Varti
post Oct 20 2017, 06:49 AM
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Talk about fast posting, the video was uploaded just 2 hours ago biggrin.gif

Here's a link to the Vimeo page, showing the comments too:

https://vimeo.com/239095559

Yes, it looks like it might be a worthy successor, let's cross our fingers about the overall build quality...

I wonder how does the switch on button work, how do you select either OS if the unit is switched off? Also, I wonder if something like grub or kexecboot will be installable.

Varti
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Varti
post Oct 23 2017, 11:37 PM
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Some interesting insights on Linux on the Gemini, on the maemo.org forum:

https://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=99022&page=9

They are using LittleKernel as a bootloader, and it seems that it will be possible to use Linux from Android via chroot, in order to avoid to have to reboot:
https://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=15344...mp;postcount=83
https://github.com/littlekernel/lk/wiki/Introduction

Mediatek releases drivers for Android only, so for Linux they'll have to either rewrite the drivers, or use libhybris to use Android's ones. The Linux distro shown in the video probably uses libhybris.
https://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=15371...mp;postcount=88
https://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=15373...mp;postcount=92
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybris_(software)

Varti
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greguu
post Jan 6 2018, 04:40 AM
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Out of curiosity I did email Planet Computers Ltd to ask about a few points in regards to Linux and also Android support. Please take my predictions below with a grain of salt as they are just guesses at this stage.

- What bootloader software is used and how to change between Android and Linux? [unknown, Little Kernel mentioned, but possibly native Android with the ability to load a "secondary linux kernel" that needs to have a nested environment on a SD card or chroot]
- Is Linux and Android sharing the same SSD or can a "proper Linux" only boot from SD ? (as it is with many native Android devices) [possibly SD only for dual boot or SDD only for Linux if Android is wiped, see above.]
- Does the Gemini PDA support 4G and GPS under Linux or only under Android ? (What chip-sets are used, are drivers open-source?, MediaTech Android Only) [Unlikely, that 4G and GPS will be open-source under Linux, not good]
- Is the display "portrait native" and therefore needs rotation or does it support the advertised 2160 x 1080 natively in landscape ? (Linux would need possibly software rotation as the GPU driver is Android only) [Likely scenario]
- Does the display take up the full space on the screen or is it limited to 16:9 as shown on the prototypes ? [possibly only 1080 x 1920 in portrait + rotation]

I would appreciate if anyone has some more specific details about the questions raised to help to clarify these. I will post an update once I get some feedback from Planet Computers.
The downside here is that as with many other "Android only" devices that the kernel is often outdated and no further progress can be made unless the vendor (MediaTek in this case) does release a source or update of their SDK.
Quite frustrating that the focus is so much on Android. I wish they would not advertise Linux support at all.

QUOTE(Varti @ Oct 24 2017, 08:37 AM) *
Some interesting insights on Linux on the Gemini, on the maemo.org forum:

https://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=99022&page=9

They are using LittleKernel as a bootloader, and it seems that it will be possible to use Linux from Android via chroot, in order to avoid to have to reboot:
https://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=15344...mp;postcount=83
https://github.com/littlekernel/lk/wiki/Introduction

Mediatek releases drivers for Android only, so for Linux they'll have to either rewrite the drivers, or use libhybris to use Android's ones. The Linux distro shown in the video probably uses libhybris.
https://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=15371...mp;postcount=88
https://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=15373...mp;postcount=92
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybris_(software)

Varti


This post has been edited by greguu: Jan 6 2018, 04:46 AM
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speculatrix
post Jan 6 2018, 05:38 AM
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My Android phone is rooted. I've always rooted my phone and/or unlocked the bootloader, even though I usually stick to the stock OS. I root for a number of reasons:
* mounting and chrooting into a full linux installation
* using VPNs (not needed since Android introduced VPN support)
* using Titanium Backup Root (ideal when you upgrade, you can backup and restore apps and all their configs and data)
* removing or disabling bloat
* using tools which can block apps with too many permissions (not so necessary with newest Android versions)
* using ADB over wifi
* use tcpdump to analyse traffic and see if any apps are misbehaving

The first point is the relevant one here. I partition my SD card so that the first partition is used by Android (FAT32), then there's a second EXT4 partition for linux, then a third which is a small swap partition. I installed a fairly minimal debian desktop into that second partition. I could use a disk image file and loopback mount it I guess, but performance might suffer because of the encryption. You can install Debian or Ubuntu Arm linux into a disk image on an x86 PC because debootstrap works just fine.

To use it, I fire up a regular terminal in Android, or get a shell over ADB/USB or ADB/Wifi, and can fsck and mount the SD card partition. I have a few scripts in /data/local/bin to do this, they also mount/bind the emulated and real sdcards into that linux environment. Then I chroot into it, and have a few scripts ready to set up the environment.

Mostly I use the command line, so I can rsync photos off the phone onto my file server, and rsync music onto the phone. I can start an ssh daemon so I can ssh into the phone, or push music from the file server using the rsync command.

If I really really want to use a graphical program, I can start vncserver with a virtual frame buffer, and then run the GUI program in linux on that, and then in Android use VNC Viewer to give me the linux experience; I can also VNC into that from a PC as well of course.


I'm not saying that this is what Planet will do, but if you have root on your phone, plus a busybox which has a large number of the standard command line tools built in, and a linux installation you can chroot into, it's a pretty powerful environment
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rogalian
post Jan 10 2018, 08:47 AM
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I'm really hoping its a true Linux install and not merely sitting on top of Android. Time will tell. I'd be happy enough if the bootloader is unlocked, root available and all the Android source too - provided Google services are ENTIRELY optional. If not then I want full Linux end-of.
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Varti
post Jan 10 2018, 10:50 AM
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QUOTE(rogalian @ Jan 10 2018, 05:47 PM) *
I'm really hoping its a true Linux install and not merely sitting on top of Android. Time will tell. I'd be happy enough if the bootloader is unlocked, root available and all the Android source too - provided Google services are ENTIRELY optional. If not then I want full Linux end-of.

Same here. Planet has apparently pushed Mediatek for Linux drives for his CPU, time will tell how much of this will become reality.

Varti
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speculatrix
post Jan 10 2018, 11:48 AM
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QUOTE(Varti @ Jan 10 2018, 06:50 PM) *
Same here. Planet has apparently pushed Mediatek for Linux drives for his CPU, time will tell how much of this will become reality.


I've a friend who lives and works in Hong Kong and buys various electronics and SoCs, and says that Mediatek are too big and too uncaring to deal with unless you're really big and are spending enough for them to notice.
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