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#1
 

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#2
The Hallium Project is a noble effort but it's not something I would ever consider using in DebiaN900 or its successor. A unified HAL that encourages the use of Android kernels (many of which are EOL and unmaintained), Android blobs and systemd is an absolute no-go in my book. I think there is market for alternate OSs to iOS and Android but they must be secure and open if they are to be taken seriously. Unfortunately Hallium inherits many of the problems present in Android. I'd sooner switch to Replicant than embrace an insecure, binary blobified GNU/Linux distro. Hallium was part of my inspiration for why I made a new thread to start documenting open mobile devices.
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#3
If this actually takes off it could be a good idea. Creating a common base for libhybris derived projects to share some of the workload seems like a sensible route.

As far as using Android kernels etc. I would like to avoid it where possible as well. Unfortunately due to the lack of open source drivers for some componenets you sometimes have little choice. If you try to get a working version of Maemo on something like a Samsung Galaxy or Sony Xperia, I think Android drivers are going to be the only way to do it.

I had been intending on getting a RPi 3 to work on an experimental version of hildon that would run on a stock distro/kernel. Unfortunately, due to some compatibility issues with my 3T, I've gone out and got a Moto G5, eating away at some funds. Trying to get a Maemo-like system running on that would probably require libhybris for the time being.
 

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#4
Originally Posted by Android_808 View Post
As far as using Android kernels etc. I would like to avoid it where possible as well. Unfortunately due to the lack of open source drivers for some componenets you sometimes have little choice. If you try to get a working version of Maemo on something like a Samsung Galaxy or Sony Xperia, I think Android drivers are going to be the only way to do it.
I think it should be possible to a working version of Maemo on a Samsung Galaxy or a Sony Xperia. There would certainly be missing functionality without the use of Android blobs and libhybris for those hardware components that require them, but I think a generic Linux operating system, like Maemo, should be bootable. Several Exynos and Snapdragon SoCs used in Samsung Galaxys and Sony Xperias already have mainline Linux support.

The use of kernels with an expiry date has been a major show stopper that has prevented me from purchasing an Android or even a Jolla phone. There are millions of Android devices with unpatched kernels still in use. Halium devices with Android kernels have the same problem. I don't think it will be long before we see another WannaCry-type worm aimed at unpatched EOL Android kernels with known vulnerabilities.
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#5
Originally Posted by wicket View Post
Unfortunately Hallium inherits many of the problems present in Android. I'd sooner switch to Replicant than embrace an insecure, binary blobified GNU/Linux distro.
Pray tell me how is using Replicant solving this problem?
It uses all the same closed binary blobs as your stock android, or do you really believe it somehow magically manifests everything open??
 
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#6
Originally Posted by juiceme View Post
Pray tell me how is using Replicant solving this problem?
It uses all the same closed binary blobs as your stock android, or do you really believe it somehow magically manifests everything open??
Sorry, but I'm afraid your assertion is wrong. Replicant doesn't use any closed binary blobs. There's no magic involved. It "replaces or avoids every proprietary component of the system, such as user-space programs and libraries as well as firmwares". In other words, not everything may work but it is entirely free/open and is the only mobile operating system approved by the FSF. Replicant developers have also contributed mainline Linux and U-Boot support for devices such as the LG Optimus Black and the Amazon Kindle Fire (1st gen).
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Last edited by wicket; 2017-05-26 at 03:38.
 

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#7
Originally Posted by wicket View Post
Sorry, but I'm afraid your assertion is wrong. Replicant doesn't use any closed binary blobs. There's no magic involved. It "replaces or avoids every proprietary component of the system, such as user-space programs and libraries as well as firmwares". In other words, not everything may work but it is entirely free/open and is the only mobile operating approved by the FSF. Replicant developers have also contributed mainline Linux and U-Boot support for devices such as the LG Optimus Black and the Amazon Kindle Fire (1st gen).
From the page you linked: "While Replicant is a fully free system, other components run aside the system, such as bootloaders, firmwares and the modem operating system (if applicable). These components are usually proprietary software."

I think this is juiceme's point: even though Replicant itself may be fully free, you still can't run it on anything without proprietary blobs, so it doesn't really solve anything.
 

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#8
Originally Posted by nthn View Post
From the page you linked: "While Replicant is a fully free system, other components run aside the system, such as bootloaders, firmwares and the modem operating system (if applicable). These components are usually proprietary software."
The question on that page to which your quote answers is, "Is my device only running free software after I install Replicant?" I've emphasised the word "device" because this question portrays a different context: open hardware vs open software. From one point of view, you're absolutely right. The devices running Replicant do not only run free software after Replicant is installed because firmware, which is closed, is indeed a form of software. On the other hand, whilst embedded bootloaders and firmware aren't free, they do not form part of the operating system and do not ship with Replicant. The devices that Replicant runs on are not 100% open but that does not mean that Replicant is not fully free.

Originally Posted by nthn View Post
I think this is juiceme's point: even though Replicant itself may be fully free, you still can't run it on anything without proprietary blobs, so it doesn't really solve anything.
Replicant is distributed without any proprietary code. Functionally is indeed incomplete but you have an operating system that is entirely free which still has many uses.

We're getting a little bit off topic here. The intention of my initial rant was basically to highlight that Android is a horrible OS with many problems (not only binary blobs) and Halium does not help very much with resolving them. Instead, it facilitates in bringing the same problems to GNU/Linux distros. I don't really understand the purpose of running GNU/Linux on our phones if it comes with practically everything I hate about Android. If it's for the software catalogue, you'd probably be better off with just purchasing the Android phone you desire and running a Maru OS chroot.
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Last edited by wicket; 2017-05-25 at 23:13.
 

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#9
Originally Posted by wicket View Post
...
Android is a horrible OS with many problems (not only binary blobs) and Halium does not help very much with resolving them. Instead, it facilitates in bringing the same problems to GNU/Linux distros. I don't really understand the purpose of running GNU/Linux on our phones if it comes with practically everything I hate about Android...
.
Just so that excellent point gets some fresh air.
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#10
Originally Posted by wicket View Post
Replicant is distributed without any proprietary code. Functionally is indeed incomplete but you have an operating system that is entirely free which still has many uses.
Well yes, but the point of these mobile devices is pretty often in these features enabled by the binary blobs.

Yes, I can probably use it for many things, just as I can use just about any device that I can load a linux kernel and basic userland on; provided it has a serial port that I can connect to.

However many people are not satisfied with a device that might be missing these features;
  • graphical display
  • touchscreen input (well if it has a physical keyboard then no problem)
  • sound output
  • microphone input
  • WLAN connectivity
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 2G/3G/4G/5G connectivity
  • USB connectivity
  • any sensors (compass, acceleration, orientation, ...)
  • NFC
  • haptic feedback
  • ...

Almost all of these require some kind of binary driver or loadable firmaware blob that you need to rip off from Android to enable and make use of.
 

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