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Gentoo/Android | Debian/Android (Was: Missing: Mobile Debian-Solution referring to Smartphone Operating Systems)




Hi Paul and friends on -devel,

Paul Wise <pabs@xxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> Please take a look
> these pages:
>
> https://wiki.debian.org/Mobile
> https://postmarketos.org/

I would like to append the list with

  https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Project:Android

and a project "portage-powered android" under Gentoo GSOC2018,

  https://jsteward.moe/gsoc-2018-final-report.html .

We are still half way from our final goal to completely decouple Android
into a set of manageable Gentoo packages and to make smartphones no
different from personal computers.  But several milestones have been
achieved.  Our student Pengcheng Xu has gained complete control of the
android/lineage system by putting it into an LXC jail managed by Gentoo
natively on the phone, while keeping Android fully functional.

We have also accumulated first-hand hacking experience with the
Android's brand-new build system soong/blueprint and successfully built
Android bionic-libc independently by a Gentoo package[1].

The Debian Multi-Arch makes running arm64-linux-gnu and
arm64-linux-bionic side-to-side straight forward and will facicitate
potential integration between the two userlands.


The considerations for hacking on Android are

  1. Android is the operating system with the biggest user base.
     Hacking it can effectively bridge the mobile world with GNU/Linux
     distributions.

  2. Android consists mostly with free software under the Apache 2.0
     license.  It is only Google inventing a lot of new wheels that
     caused us not familiar with it.

  3. The problems of vendor binary blobs are no worse than the non-free
     firmware Debian and Gentoo are shipping.

  4. The outdated linux kernel problem can only be solved once GNU/Linux
     hackers start to hack Android.  Only we care about it the most!

  5. Gentoo/Android should not be much different from Gentoo/FreeBSD.
     It is slightly different for the case of Debian/kFreeBSD, but you
     get it idea: we have achieved similar goals before.

If that resonate with you, cool!  Let's ignore the difference between
Debian and Gentoo at this moment, as the distance between the two is an
epsilon compared to that between Android and either Debian or Gentoo.

Cheers,
Benda

1. https://gitweb.gentoo.org/proj/android.git/tree/sys-libs/bionic/bionic-8.1.0_p41.ebuild?id=6d90db7ab26624f1ed93eb3172666d39df316e3e