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Ubuntu Touch OTA-24 Released - Still Powered By Ubuntu 16.04

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  • Ubuntu Touch OTA-24 Released - Still Powered By Ubuntu 16.04

    Phoronix: Ubuntu Touch OTA-24 Released - Still Powered By Ubuntu 16.04

    The UBports community continuing to maintain Ubuntu Touch for running this Linux distribution on smartphones and tablets is out with OTA-24 as their newest over-the-air update...

    https://www.phoronix.com/news/Ubuntu-Touch-OTA-24

  • #2
    They might as well just re-base on Arch at this point. At least then breakage could be reported upstream in realtime instead of devs moving on to other projects only to get a bug report 2 - 4 years after they forgot what code they were working on and how it worked.

    As a somewhat layman I've spent somewhat considerable time trying to run PostmarketOS, Ubuntu Touch, PureOS and other phone OS on various Linux phones and the amount of time-sink necessary just to attempt to get a working device makes /r/unixporn look easy in comparison.

    We need as many Linux Phone OS images as possible to run on qemu for desktop users to try. We could also do well to expand interest by pushing Virtual Machine images that can be ran on Android Phones without re-flashing them utilizing more of the CPU and RAM without any of the driver headache. At least then the average Linux dev could lend a hand in Linux Phone Apps and making sure the whole thing runs okay without the $400-$3,000 sink to get various testing devices.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ElectricPrism View Post
      We could also do well to expand interest by pushing Virtual Machine images that can be ran on Android Phones without re-flashing them utilizing more of the CPU and RAM without any of the driver headache. At least then the average Linux dev could lend a hand in Linux Phone Apps and making sure the whole thing runs okay without the $400-$3,000 sink to get various testing devices.
      the better solution would be to get wayland working, there is someone working on smithay, trying to port that to android, you pair that + termux (ch/p)root and you have a a decent linux experience. there is X11 support, but I find it lacking. but it could also work. you just need to get ch/proot with images that will work under termux,

      there is the option of also just compiling the various apps to work under termux too. but IMO wayland support is necessary. so high hopes to that person working on smithay

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      • #4
        The transition to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS unfortunately remains ongoing.
        why 20.04 instead of 22.04?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by hotaru View Post

          why 20.04 instead of 22.04?
          (I didn't research much, but worked on similar projects in the past, opinions are my own)

          Most probably because they already started on 20.04 and it has plenty of years of support left. Chasing a moving target would be a waste of time. Once they get off MIR (the Unity8 protocol, not the modern library) and into Wayland, plus Upstart->Systemd, then it will be much smoother to migrate to newer versions. As I understand, a lot of the components are forked ("vendored") from mainline. They needed to do that to ship anything on time. Keeping up with upstream and sending patches left and right is near impossible when you have a release date set in stone with manufacturer. This is why most embedded devices are such a mess to support.

          Getting anything to run on mid-2010 smartphones was hard. Each device has its own peculiarity and custom drivers. `libhybris` is also a giant hack. In the last decade, *some* SoC became less horrible to target. uBoot gained based UEFI abstractions. Some got ACPI and other PC-ish convenience. Android GKI kernel is more usable for downstream OSes. The number of SoC IP vendors also diminished, which removes some oddities. Plus the FLOSS drivers ecosystem isn't as unusable as it was. All of those Ubuntu mobile workarounds probably need to be undone and cleaned up while somehow keeping the older devices compatible for a while.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Elv13 View Post
            Most probably because they already started on 20.04 and it has plenty of years of support left.
            Not by the time they're done. Might just as well target 24.04 at this point.

            By the time Ubuntu Touch uses something remotely modern, Fedora will already have released two or three mobile flavors: Plasma Mobil, Phosh, and maybe that Gnome Shell Mobile thingie.

            Originally posted by Elv13 View Post
            Chasing a moving target would be a waste of time.
            So is trying to keep outdated garbage working.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ElectricPrism View Post
              They might as well just re-base on Arch at this point.
              No, thank you. I would support something a little more rolling if the devs have time to keep up, but not Arch. Rather something rolling but not too much like Debian Testing or openSUSE Argon or something.

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              • #8
                Ubuntu touch is too late for the party. It was very exciting in 2016 but not anymore. UBports is simply wasting their effort and money in trying to revive something that nobody wants. Phosh is already here... Soon Gnome will be the go to alternative for those looking for linux distro on mobile devices.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ajparag View Post
                  Ubuntu touch is too late for the party. It was very exciting in 2016 but not anymore. UBports is simply wasting their effort and money in trying to revive something that nobody wants. Phosh is already here... Soon Gnome will be the go to alternative for those looking for linux distro on mobile devices.
                  wrong, Ubuntu touch for a lot of people is still the best solution, personally lomiri is easily the only mobile UI on linux that is worth half a damn

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                  • #10
                    I have the BQ Aquaris M10 FHD with the latest UBPorts OS running.

                    I have already outlined my assessment of the ecosystem in other updates on UBPorts on Phoronix but the issue for the UBPorts team is some of the source code the older hardware runs on.

                    For example, with regards to my BQ M10 FHD (made for BQ by HTC). It is still supported because they are able to pull forward the legacy Android (v5.x) drivers into the 16.x kernel. But BQ is out of business and so there has been minimal development to get some of the drivers updated to later versions of Android, so the UBPorts team has no foundation by which to certify the later LTS build. They will face the same issues the custom Android ROM community has with this tablet.....it boots, but some features won't work, like either the camera, or the audio, and the most problematic for the custom ROM's is the microHDMI port the tab has for external monitor use.

                    The UBPorts team told me they will "try" to get the BQ hardware working on LTS when I asked them about it. A rumor was floating that they were going to drop the hardware, and the answer is, "we will try, but no guarantees."

                    If anyone wants to rip why UBPorts wants to support these older devices, well, ask the devs who make Linux work on a SGI Workstation, or on a Nintendo N64 why they think its important. Why does someone patch or enhance the display driver for ATI Rage 64? Matrox Parhelia?

                    For the BQ tablet, it is based on a early generation Mediatek APU and *everyone* I have emailed with will say, development for Mediatek, especially older ones are a royal PITA. Besides, the tab is years old and the battery chemistry will probably begin to decline soon. So while I appreciate the UBPorts teams work (and I have donated to them for what they have done), I am prepared to drop it when they do. If they do get it to work on LTS, then I will stick around and continue to use it.

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