Linux kernel needs more phones and tablets, says developer

Linux kernel needs more phones and tablets, says developer

Running the penguin kernel without numerous Google patches, proprietary drivers and heavy, restricting manufacturer modifications on Android phones used to be still considered, at most, an intriguing niche topic up to recently by most people. But the continuous efforts of mainlining ARM devices has been finally noticed by some kernel folks.

In a recent and somewhat famous note on the relevancy of open-source kernel patches, contributor Qu Wenruo explicitly mentioned better support for ARM phones and tablets as one of the areas to prioritize in the current kernel development for new users. In particular, he said it would be "wonderful" to include more ARM mobile devices in the upstream (or mainline) kernel tree.

If you guys just want more ideas, there are tons of better things [...] which IMHO can benefit everyone in the community: [...]

More upstream phone/tablet support
Especially for guys even running upstream kernel on RPI CM4 like me,
more ARM devices with upstream kernel support will just be more happiness. Not to mention this also means super long time support, way longer than the lifespan of those devices.

It's super sad to see just less than a dozen phones/tablets got upstream kernel support. Even more frustrating that those mainlined devices are already pretty old and slow for today's standard.

If you guys can change the trend, it would be wonderful.

Bringing attention to this topic upstream could a starting point for larger-scale efforts on this side, and we hope more developers will take the call to join the "mainlining" of otherwise unsupported, and thus short-lived, Android and iOS machines.

We are often unaware of the computational power and flexibility of those pocket-sized machines: upstreaming will bring them long-term software support. And thus let us actually use them as computers were intended.

You can read the full discussion here on LKML. Follow TuxPhones on Twitter and Mastodon, or join our subreddit to have the latest news about Linux smartphones.

Thanks to Caleb Connolly for the tip. This article is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

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