Android and Linux - where are the practical similarities?

Discussion topics, Linux related - not requests for help

Moderators: ChrisThornett, LXF moderators

Would you buy a Nokia N9 if it was sold in your area? (The N9 is a Linux powered mobile phone)

Yes
2
25%
No
4
50%
Prefer Android.
1
13%
Prefer Symbian.
1
13%
My next mobile will be powered by Windows Phone 7 Mango.
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 8

Android and Linux - where are the practical similarities?

Postby globetrotterdk » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:12 pm

What can I do with Android, that I do (in my case) with Xubuntu? I have been doing a lot of searching on the Net to answer this question, but I haven't found any consistent resources that review the practical similarities between Android and Linux, seen from a Linux users point of view, without installing a custom ROM?

I have a rooted Samsung Galaxy Spica (i5700) running Android 2.1, with "a Better Terminal App Pro" installed, as well as BusyBox.

Here are a few basic questions:
  1. Is it possible to edit some preferences, with more options, using VI, than from the GUI?
  2. How does the Android file structure compare to Linux?
  3. Is it possible to install some CLI apps like lynx, nano, alpine or mutt, cmus, etc?
  4. What is the path to a microSD card?
  5. Is it possible to use wget and save a file to the microSD card?
  6. Is it possible for me to use ftp to log into my web hotel and copy files to it, as I do from my desktop computer?


Any comments, URLs, etc. would be appreciated, particularly with regards to the Android CLI and hacking Android 2.1.
globetrotterdk
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby heiowge » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:31 pm

No. Because it's Nokia. Last 3 Nokia phones I owned were pants. Had to return each one on several occasions with the same fault.

I have an android phone, but would easily swap for a different phone OS that is more open.
i5 4440 3.1Ghz, Asus H87M-E motherboard, 8GB DDR3, 2GB DDR5 nVidia card, 2x500GB Seagate hd, Coolermaster 750W PSU running Mint 16 MATE and Win7

eeepc 1015PX, 1.66 Ghz Intel atom processor, 2 GB DDR3, 320 GB hd, Mint 14 MATE. Fan needs fixing.
User avatar
heiowge
LXF regular
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:21 pm
Location: Cheshire, UK

Re: Android and Linux - where are the practical similarities

Postby nelz » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:43 pm

globetrotterdk wrote:
  1. Is it possible to edit some preferences, with more options, using VI, than from the GUI?
  2. How does the Android file structure compare to Linux?
  3. Is it possible to install some CLI apps like lynx, nano, alpine or mutt, cmus, etc?
  4. What is the path to a microSD card?
  5. Is it possible to use wget and save a file to the microSD card?
  6. Is it possible for me to use ftp to log into my web hotel and copy files to it, as I do from my desktop computer?


1) Yes, install an SSHd and use sshfs along with vi on your desktop to edit the files.

2) Linux doesn't have a filesystem structure, it is a kernel. Android is not GNU/Linux, but there are some similarities. As you have rooted the phone, you can see what goes where in any file manager.

3) Probably not as they will depend on standard GNU utilities.

4) /sdcard

6) Yes, several file manager support using FTP/SFTP/SMB to access remote filesystems. Try ES File Explorer and Astro.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
User avatar
nelz
Site admin
 
Posts: 8520
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:52 am
Location: Warrington, UK

Postby nelz » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:45 pm

If you really want your Android phone to be more like a GNU/Linux box, there is an installer for Debian.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
User avatar
nelz
Site admin
 
Posts: 8520
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:52 am
Location: Warrington, UK

Postby globetrotterdk » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:05 pm

nelz wrote:If you really want your Android phone to be more like a GNU/Linux box, there is an installer for Debian.

Cheers. I have seen this before, but I haven't been sure as to how much it could do. It seems to only install legacy Linux distros and I am unsure how much of the hardware it leverages. Can I make phone calls, receive SMS, pair with Bluetooth hardware, etc., or does the Linux distro act more like a handheld computer that I can work in "the cloud" and print from?

edit

Looking at the developer page, it seems that the idea is more that of a handheld computer, but I still am unsure how much of the mobile phone hardware the distro can access.
Last edited by globetrotterdk on Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
globetrotterdk
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:05 pm

Re: Android and Linux - where are the practical similarities

Postby globetrotterdk » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:11 pm

nelz wrote:2) Linux doesn't have a filesystem structure, it is a kernel. Android is not GNU/Linux, but there are some similarities

Cheers. When I think of Linux, I think of a distribution with a kernel, package manager, GNU tools, etc. For me, this includes the variations of file structure between distros like Slackware, Debian and Fedora as examples.
globetrotterdk
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby nelz » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:06 am

globetrotterdk wrote:Looking at the developer page, it seems that the idea is more that of a handheld computer, but I still am unsure how much of the mobile phone hardware the distro can access.


The phone stuff tends to be closed source, and expensive. That's one of the reasons OpenMoko never took off.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
User avatar
nelz
Site admin
 
Posts: 8520
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:52 am
Location: Warrington, UK

Re: Android and Linux - where are the practical similarities

Postby nelz » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:08 am

globetrotterdk wrote:Cheers. When I think of Linux, I think of a distribution with a kernel, package manager, GNU tools, etc. For me, this includes the variations of file structure between distros like Slackware, Debian and Fedora as examples.


Those are all GNU/Linux distros - one specific implementation of Linux. There are plenty of others, and you most likely already own at least one in an embedded device.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
User avatar
nelz
Site admin
 
Posts: 8520
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:52 am
Location: Warrington, UK

Postby globetrotterdk » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:53 am

nelz wrote:
globetrotterdk wrote:Looking at the developer page, it seems that the idea is more that of a handheld computer, but I still am unsure how much of the mobile phone hardware the distro can access.


The phone stuff tends to be closed source, and expensive. That's one of the reasons OpenMoko never took off.

So in reality, seen from a Linux users point of view, a device like the N9 has a number of competitive advantages, compared to other mobile phones produced at this time:

Firstly, that Maemo / MeeGo is integrated with the hardware rather than chrooting a distro onto an Android device. That means that the system has access to all of the hardware all of the time. Secondly, there is no need to reboot to perform different tasks. Any task where the system is able to leverage the hardware can be run at any time.

Seems like a win / win situation to me, as long as the build quality is OK and the usual apps and GNU utilities are ported to the platform :)
globetrotterdk
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby nelz » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:46 am

I very nearly bought an N900 when they came out, largely for the reasons you mentioned. I was so glad I didn't when Nokia effectively dropped support for it a few weeks later. That sort of behaviour would make me reluctant to consider another Nokia Linux phone.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
User avatar
nelz
Site admin
 
Posts: 8520
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:52 am
Location: Warrington, UK

Postby globetrotterdk » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:15 am

nelz wrote:I very nearly bought an N900 when they came out, largely for the reasons you mentioned. I was so glad I didn't when Nokia effectively dropped support for it a few weeks later. That sort of behaviour would make me reluctant to consider another Nokia Linux phone.

I agree, but what are the alternatives? I was at a presentation of the N9 , where one of the main developers of the N9 gui insisted that both Nokia and "the community" would continue to support the phone, but yes, nobody knows for sure, particularly as Nokia seems to be dropping MeeGo (despite Nokia claiming there is a possibility that they will produce more MeeGo phones) and there are no other vendors with mobile phone products in the pipeline using MeeGo.
globetrotterdk
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby nelz » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:05 am

Android is the alternative. When companies like Nokia talk about "community support" they often mean "sort it out yourselves".
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
User avatar
nelz
Site admin
 
Posts: 8520
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:52 am
Location: Warrington, UK

Postby globetrotterdk » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:39 am

nelz wrote:When companies like Nokia talk about "community support" they often mean "sort it out yourselves".

:D
globetrotterdk
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby Nerdy-ish » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:15 pm

Buy a Nokia phone - no.

Have Android phone - yes.

Buy same Android phone but with proper Linux instead of Android - silly question, would dump Google Android in a second.
Nerdy-ish
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:05 am
Location: Infront of computer


Return to Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest