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Ubuntu Mobile Development at the Bossa Conference 2010

What we can look forward to in the Lucid release

Rodrigo and I were invited to talk about Ubuntu Mobile at the Bossa Conference this year in Manaus.The finished presentation is here but what follows is a short rundown of what the Lucid release means for Ubuntu. Some highlights are

  • Rootstock/Rootstock gui – integrated with oem-config
  • Qemu-arm-static
  • ARM/Thumb2 support - the archive in lucid is built for the ARMv7 architecture with thumb2 support.
  • EFL 2D Launcher

Rootstock is a graphical (and command line of course) set of tools to create a fully configured tarball or VM image of an ubuntu rootfs from scratch

so that you can extract it to a root device. One nice thing about this is that various tasks can be included in the image. This is very useful when working with ARM. Other tools such as Moblin Image Creator exist to do more or less the same thing but Rootstock is leading the way in innovation at the moment IMO. If you want to really customize an image then you need to use seeds and germinate a set of packages - for this you will need to read our book ;)

The binfmt-misc module in the Ubuntu kernel makes it possible to execute binaries of foreign arches under linux. This means it is possible to have an arm eabi enabled chroot on a i386 system :) - this is as simple as running

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install qemu-arm-static
$ build-arm-chroot karmic eabi-chroot

ARM/Thumb 2 is the instruction set underlying the ARM Cortex architecture which provides enhanced levels of performance, energy efficiency, and code density for a wide range of embedded applications.The whole Ubuntu archive is being ported to Thumb 2 and we still have some some build failures- if you can help with ftbfs (failed to build from source) please help out here.

This has already been covered extensively elsewhere but the new UI for ARM based Ubuntu devices will rock hard for Lucid. The tool will detect hardware and if a device does not have 3D capabilities it wall fall back to the EFL launcher   It is hard to stress why this is rocks so much but a unified user experience across i386/Atom and ARM devices should ring a few bells in marketing departments everywhere, right.

Exciting times.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010 in Work  | Permalink |  Comments (0)
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