[Vserver] About open Linux phone/SDK Neo1973/OpenMoko & your feedback to run linux-vserver on a Arm9 cpu (Samsung s3c2410 SoC)

From: Robert Michel <news_at_robertmichel.de>
Date: Mon 27 Nov 2006 - 16:28:36 GMT
Message-ID: <20061127162836.GC19880@it1.de>


I'm a student and for years interested in Gnu/Linux(Debian) and mobile
communication. By thinking what a modern phone could do and what a
user realy can do with such phones (developed for the network provider
and the prospects of the phone sellers...) makes me realy sick. ;(

So I descided to do not spend my time on developing software for such
resticted devices and to wait for a free open phone.
Even the first Linux based phones like the A760 from Motorola does
disapoint me, because the published only the kernel (after a long fight
to do this) but modification woul'd not be easy, because so much isn't
published or documented.

Because of the power of the network provider I didn't expected a
free open (linux) very fast and thought the first free Linux phone
would be a selfmade one with the combination of PDA and a GSM card.

Surprises of the year:
#1 Trolltec anounced some month ago the "green phone" for developers.
   With 700$ quite expensive and AFAIK not realy free - it belongs to
   licences with trolltec and probably to use binarys from them.

#2 FIC announced on 2006_11_07 at the "Open Source in Mobile Conference"
   in amsterdam their phone Neo1973 and their open Linux developer
   plattform OpenMoko:

   Presentation slides:

When I saw this slides via internet, especialy slide #6 ;)

 Oh and well, one more feature.
 An adaption of my favorite command in all
 of computing.
 root at filebuntu:~# apt-get install _

By reading this, I was 100% shure that the people behind this project
are the right on and that a dream has come true.
Then I found out that also Harald Welte (you know him from
gpl-violations issues) was involved in starting this project:
And he already hacked with the A760 and opentom... ;)))))

So there have been real and good GPL hacker, who have conviced a
hardware producer (FIC) to use the power of Linux(Debian) for
their devices and open it like a PC, giving the user the freedom
which OS to install and which applications and that this could
now become true (with linux):

smartphone = mobil PC + GSM/GPRS (+ Asissted GPS)

Because the GSM part is on an external chip connected via serial
interface to the System on a Chip (Samsung s3c2410) and controlled
with AT-commands like an external device - the kernel could run without
close source binaries and the phone will be a trustworthy device.
(As much as you can trust the SoC *g*).

For raise the security level, especialy for the end user market, the
linux-vserer technics would become IMHO *very* interesting.

The core functions (GSM/GPRS...) could become protected that even when
an badly programmed application runnig wild - the phone would still be
usable for basic functions (calling, espeicaly 911/112 emergency calls)

- close source applications or application from lower trustworthy source
  could become own sandboxes

- applications with a hight security demand "server administration with
  ssh", telebanking could have also a own sandbox

- with "guest suspend to RAM" applications could start faster and could
  run at the same point they have been "paused" like applications on the
  palm pilot ;)

- other users could get a vserver account to run their scripts on the
  mobile PC - the owner could limited and log the BT/GSM/GPRS access...
  Example: an NGO, a university, a company could please their members
  to run their programms... when they pass a BT station they can
  transmitt informations...
  So the guest system could get a limitation for GPRS traffic
  or limitation of CPU power...

  Or just share vserver accounts on your mobile with your friends
  (With integrated Wifi and 433Mhz receiver it would become much
   more interesting what to do with this...)

No question, vserver on a smartphone could be usefull. :))

Now my questions to you ;)

- I know that vserver does not have the same hardware
  demand like xen or user mode linux - where can I get informations about
  using linux-vserver with arm9 (portable devices)?

- Does somebody of you have experiances and could tell me or the openmoko
  community about how much effort/work needed and performace would cost to
  run linux-vserver on the Samsung s3c2410 SoC powered linux smart phone Neo1973?

And of course when you like the idea of an open GPL/Linux plattform for
(GSM/GPRS, AGPS, .. ) mobiles, too - I would like it very much when
you would participate or just give ideas to the starting OpenMoko
community, in which ways linux-vserver could power up the securty, potential
and usability - for experts but also for normal PC|phone users.


Community mailinglist archive:

Preliminary Specification

   Note: These are _not_ final. But since we've had so many questions on
   our mailing lists,
   it's probably best to post them in one place:

     * 120.7 x 62 x 18.5 (mm)
     * 2.8" VGA (480x640) TFT Screen
     * Samsung s3c2410 SoC
     * Global Locate AGPS chip
     * Ti GPRS (2.5G not EDGE)
     * Unpowered USB 1.1
     * Touchscreen
     * micro-sd slot
     * 2.5mm audio jack
     * 2 buttons
     * 1200 mAh battery (charged over USB)
     * 128 MB SDRAM
     * 64 MB NAND Flash

     * Dialer
     * Contacts
     * Application Manager
     * Calendar
     * More...

Price: 350 US$ + shipping
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Received on Mon Nov 27 22:32:44 2006

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