Ubuntu 14.04 to run on tablets and cars. And become a smartphone OS?

Posted: January 12, 2012. At: 10:58 PM. This was 6 years ago. Post ID: 2411

The Ubuntu 14.04 release will run on a wider variety of appliances than ever before, with tablet computers and in car computers to be targeted. This would be more reliable and usable than the Windows mobile operating system that is powering the Windows mobile telephone and of course many computers around the world. Tablet computers are one target for this new release of the popular Linux operating system that offers a free and usable operating operating system, although the default Unity tablet interface is annoying, you can install Gnome Shell or Lxde instead and that is the core strength of Linux after all. Mark Shuttleworth has also stated that the Ubuntu distribution will also target smartphones. Is he planning to take on the Windows phone and make his own Linux powered mobile telephone? The old Nokia N900 running a Linux based operating system was a popular choice for a Linux mobile device, but if Ubuntu wants to run on a tablet with limited power versus a power connected desktop machine they will need to improve the power management code to save battery life.

All in all, this looks like an interesting move by Canonical, we will have to wait until the release of the Ubuntu 14.04 release to get a better picture of the compatibility with the various target devices. Here is to hoping that they get this right!

4 responses to “Ubuntu 14.04 to run on tablets and cars. And become a smartphone OS?

It’ll be interesting to see if Canonical actually develop some valuable new power-management kernel code themselves or just rely on Red Hat to do it again.

Ubuntu should drop Unity and focus on a good Desktop Environment. Gnome 3 is bad but Unity is completely useless. It is the sole reason Mint is now at the #1 spot on Distrowatch.

Someone on XDA-Developers has got Ubuntu booting natively on a Galaxy Tab 10.1 already. It needs a USB keyboard and mouse but it’s definitely do-able. Debian’s ARM port helps out there, Fedora only has F13 with a stable ARM release so it’s lagging behind.

Tablets and embedded systems are an interesting space for Linux to move into. It’s definitely the right OS for the job, considering how stripped and customised it can be. Small machines like the BeagleBoard and Raspberry Pi will help drive developer interest, tablets and smartphones can only add to that.

Unity is the reason I am using Gnome-fallback ATM on Ubuntu 12.04, it is very fast and sleek indeed, the Gnome Shell desktop does not play well with SDL games for some reason. Linux Mint has the MATE fork() of the Gnome 2 source code, I downloaded the Gnome 3 Linux Mint 12 ISO, I have to get around to burning a DVD and checking that out sometime. If Canonical keep the Gnome-fallback desktop in Ubuntu I will be very happy. Tablets are the reason for the Windows 8 Metro interface as well, that will be some strong competition for Ubuntu, Canonical really have to pull out all of the stops to impress with their operating system tweaks to make it a good alternative on the mobile hardware.

People are developing all these new UI/UX paradigms but are they really all that useful and popular? Unity and Gnome 3 obviously aren’t. I can’t see Metro winning anyone over for desktop usability either.

Fallback mode is rubbish as well. It’s too restrictive compared to Gnome 2. The MATE fork is such a good idea.

I ended up developing my own Arch-style minimalist desktop environment around Openbox and tint2. It’s doing well on both my work and home PCs.

The Openbox and Tint2 combination is god tier, but I have even tried Afterstep, that is another alternative to the Unity desktop. I only use the Gnome-fallback desktop as it is pretty fast and does what I need it to. The Unity desktop makes it hard to switch windows and it is not configurable at all. I should try and install MATE on Ubuntu and see how I go.

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