[sf-lug] Mobile Linux, glibc, Java

Alison Chaiken alchaiken at gmail.com
Mon Feb 7 22:49:18 PST 2011

Claimer: I work for Nokia on the MeeGo (formerly Maemo) project.

Brian Morris <cymraegish at gmail.com> writes:
> Is Android really Linux though, any more than iOS is MacOS (using the same kernels I mean).

Android differs more notably from mainline Linux in its use of a Java
Virtual Machine to run user-space programs, as noted.   However, its
kernel is also substantially different from that of mainline Linux, as
it uses different interprocess communication, security, shared memory
and power management methods.   Android represents a substantial fork
of the Linux kernel and of Java as well, which is why Oracle is suing
Google: http://gigaom.com/2010/10/05/android-swimming-with-the-patent-sharks/

> I am pretty much decided on Maemo, I just don't know when I can get some hardware.

Brian, the very last smartphone with Maemo is the N900, which is still
available.   I'm using an N900 and am happy with it although it is a
bit long in the tooth now.  New devices will run MeeGo.      Here are
some resources:


There's also an article in the March _Linux Journal_.   Bottom line
is, MeeGo netbook image is quite workable right now on tablets, slates
and netbooks that run Atom.    You get real xterms (not busybox), good
old X11 and a yum-like package manager called zypper that can install
emacs, diffutils, gcc, etc.

The handset image is not quite ready for prime time yet.    There will
be more devices after the 1.2 release in May, which coincides with a
big free conference in San Francisco:

Rick comments;
>  at least iPhone OS use the same libc as does its MacOS ancestor.  ;->

Indeed, besides the differences noted above, Android using a
glibc-replacement called Bionic rather than the small-footprint
version of glibc called uClibc that embedded Linuxes most commonly

> I do like my (root-hacked) B&N Nook ebook reader, though, which is an
> Android device, and I've added a bunch of third-party applications
> publicised through nookdevs.com .

Until recently I was using an HTC G1 unlocked phone and was fairly
happy with it, despite its lack of memory.

Alison Chaiken
(650) 279-5600  (cell)
A career in Silicon Valley is just like a chess game, only players can
move all the pieces every turn and some of the pawns bite.

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