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Linux On The Microsoft Surface Won't Be Easy

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  • Linux On The Microsoft Surface Won't Be Easy

    Phoronix: Linux On The Microsoft Surface Won't Be Easy

    If you were hoping you would be able to run your favorite Linux distribution on Microsoft's new Surface Tablet, it doesn't look like it will be an easy task to accomplish...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTI2NDY

  • #2
    Firstly, I think Linux on Surface has already been accomplished, although the results of that may not be public.

    But the question is, why would you want to pay $500 for a 10" 1366x768 tablet with Tegra 3, 2 GB RAM and 32 GB flash memory when Android tablets with better specs can be had for less. And usually those have unlocked bootloaders so you can replace Android with whatever Linux distro you prefer.

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    • #3
      Just buy a Nexus (or if you want the keyboard functionality, a Transformer) tablet. Open bootloaders (or unlockable) and you get the same chip under the hood (if you use a Nexus 7 or any TF) with a higher PPI display. Don't give Microsoft your money for the Windows RT license.

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      • #4
        Exactly like an iPad, or numerous other locked down ARM devices

        Non-story.

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        • #5
          To all those who think this isn't important or is a non-story, you're missing an important point here.

          This confirms our worst fears: that you cannot install Linux based distros except maybe with extreme difficulty on such devices. And this is in fact an anti-competitive move by Microsoft.

          It may be limited to the Windows Surface tablets now, but what if it becomes more widespread? What if more device manufacturers follow suit and this becomes the norm even for Android devices? Such a thing is simply not acceptable. Of course, such devices have existed before, and will exist in the future - but we can't continue accepting such things. We've got to show device manufacturers and companies that we will NOT accept such restrictive devices.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sandy8925 View Post
            To all those who think this isn't important or is a non-story, you're missing an important point here.

            This confirms our worst fears: that you cannot install Linux based distros except maybe with extreme difficulty on such devices. And this is in fact an anti-competitive move by Microsoft.

            It may be limited to the Windows Surface tablets now, but what if it becomes more widespread? What if more device manufacturers follow suit and this becomes the norm even for Android devices? Such a thing is simply not acceptable. Of course, such devices have existed before, and will exist in the future - but we can't continue accepting such things. We've got to show device manufacturers and companies that we will NOT accept such restrictive devices.
            Do you live under a rock? Limited to windows surface tablets? It's been like this on 90% of these devices. This IS the norm for many many android devices and all iOS devices. Many android devices have locked bootloaders. I have a nexus which doesn't so I am lucky.

            This is nothing new.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sandy8925 View Post
              It may be limited to the Windows Surface tablets now, but what if it becomes more widespread? What if more device manufacturers follow suit and this becomes the norm even for Android devices?
              It's already the norm, and it's been that way for a decade. I'm not sure why you think MS is pushing this tendency - if anything, they are the ones following in the footsteps of everyone else.

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              • #8
                thats soooo much crap too.

                Thats exactly like saying.... "But maa-aaaah you're a crackhead, so I thought I could be a crackhead too! But I'm gonna use this fatter needle and bigger syringe, and I'm gonna knock you out and make you take my (bigger) dosage in your eyeball!!"
                Last edited by duby229; 12-29-2012, 10:15 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                  thats soooo much crap too.

                  Thats exactly like saying.... "But maa-aaaah you're a crackhead, so I thought I could be a crackhead too! But I'm gonna use this fatter needle and bigger syringe, and I'm gonna knock you out and make you take my (bigger) dosage in your eyeball!!"
                  It's more like walking into a crack den, seeing 100 people doing drugs, and then focusing entirely on 1 new guy standing in the corner doing the least amount while ignoring everyone else.

                  I don't like locked down devices, but it's hypocritical to focus only on MS when there are much bigger players like Apple doing the same thing.
                  Last edited by smitty3268; 12-29-2012, 10:34 PM.

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                  • #10
                    If you had one of these devices you'd want to totally remove Windows 8 RT OS and then put on Linux, but I bet there are other restrictions to stop this. It may even mean opening the device up and turning on a write mode to areas of memory, electronically.

                    The fact is this device is very expensive for the features.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sandy8925 View Post
                      This confirms our worst fears: that you cannot install Linux based distros except maybe with extreme difficulty on such devices. And this is in fact an anti-competitive move by Microsoft.
                      It's hardly anti-competitive at a device level, since they'll be making their money off you by just buying the hardware, independent of the OS on it. One might argue that they don't want to lose the Windows Store royalties; I don't know what those are, how significant they will be for Microsoft, etc. That could be, but then, if they're subsidizing the hardware at all (given the outcry from other vendors over how cheap Microsoft was making their initial Surface hardware, this seems likely) it's hard to fault Microsoft for not wanting to give you subsidized hardware that won't make them money back.

                      It's also for DRM purposes, I'd imagine. Rooted Android tablets (and to a lesser extent, rooted iPads) are considered a major problem by many software developers. Microsoft said, "no worries, bro, we gots your back." Rooting the Surface -- and hence bypassing the DRM -- is not going to be easy, and hence application developers on Windows 8 RT can rely on their users being legitimate paying customers. Same goes for any media DRM.

                      The other part is protecting these simplified devices from certain classes of malware, which does exist in the wild for rooted iPad and Android devices, I might note. The people who want SecureBoot to outright disappear are absolutely retarded. Demanding that you have some means to control it if you own the device is very reasonable, but asking that the world do without legitimate security protections entirely because you're afraid some hardware vendors will be mean is silly.

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                      • #12
                        There is a simple solution

                        Don't Buy Surface!

                        My goal is not to give any money to MS, so why on Earth would I consider buying MS-specific hardware in the first place?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chrisr View Post
                          Don't Buy Surface!

                          My goal is not to give any money to MS, so why on Earth would I consider buying MS-specific hardware in the first place?
                          Pretty much. Same goes to those fools who buy Mac hardware to run linux on it. You've already given Apple your money, you're advertising their hardware with their obnoxious glowing logo on the lid and no-one will care that you're running Ubuntu/Fedora/whatever on it. You've already helped subsidise the Apple legal team, so no-one cares that you've bypassed their UEFI bootloader and found drivers for their weird WIFI chip.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by chrisr View Post
                            Don't Buy Surface!

                            My goal is not to give any money to MS, so why on Earth would I consider buying MS-specific hardware in the first place?
                            Same, I'm never buying a Microsoft product ever again. I also refuse to work on people's computer with Windows on it unless it means uninstalling it and putting another OS.

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                            • #15
                              Why ?

                              Still using Desktop PCs , are there reasons to go to Surface or any Android/IOS tablet ?
                              Is enjoying the commands way some kind of retrograde or old school ?

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