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Dual-Booting PengPod Tablet Can Run Linux/Android 109

New submitter garbagechuteflyboy writes "The PengPod is the first dual-booting tablet; It's able to run both Linux and Android. Pengpod is now running the latest Plasma Active which gives this powerful Linux tablet features that were previously only available to iPad and Android tablets. PengPod is currently selling pre-orders on Indiegogo." garbagechuteflyboy adds links to articles about the dual-OS tablet at liliputing, at Ars Technica, and at PCWorld. "First dual-booting tablet" seems like a hard claim to back, but it's nice to see a tablet marketed with Plasma Active in mind.
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Dual-Booting PengPod Tablet Can Run Linux/Android

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  • Dual boot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, 2012 @07:53PM (#42022759)

    Dual boots linux and ... well ... linux.

  • First? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jethro ( 14165 ) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @07:57PM (#42022777) Homepage

    Because I was dualbooting WebOS and Android on my touchpad a year ago.

    Also, having never heard of this device before, I looked it up and... frankly... it seems pretty horrible.

    • Re:First? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @09:03PM (#42023191) Homepage Journal
      In the N900 (the cellphone version of the Nokia Internet Tablet, i suppose it can count as a tablet) there were several linux versions available to install and choose at boot between them. Used to have the default Maemo with Meego and Android, but several more were available.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Boltronics ( 180064 )

        "Used to"? I'm still rocking the N900, with Maemo and Debian GNU/Linux wheezy dual-boot.

        There's also Arch, Ubuntu, etc. Many also run one of these distributions in a Maemo chroot. I bet it would have WebOS ported to it if only it had more power. Android is also ported via Nitdroid (although I hear newer versions such as ICS run too slowly).

    • by t0rkm3 ( 666910 )

      Yeah... Me and my Archos 101 were booting Angstrom and Android... 2 yrs ago... I think.

      Stupid, stupid headline.

    • Yeah, and I remeber a dual boot tablet from Viewsonic a while back. I think it was Windows/Linux though.
  • Resistive Screen (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nerdfest ( 867930 )

    I was about to sign up for one of these earlier this week, but the specs seem to indicate a resistive screen. After trying one of the cheap Chinese made Android tabs with a resistive screen, no thanks. I could deal with a bit less speed or memory, but the screen's got to be capacitive.

    • Re:Resistive Screen (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, 2012 @08:11PM (#42022869)

      I was about to sign up for one of these earlier this week, but the specs seem to indicate a resistive screen. After trying one of the cheap Chinese made Android tabs with a resistive screen, no thanks. I could deal with a bit less speed or memory, but the screen's got to be capacitive.

      It has a capacitive screen

      • by hobarrera ( 2008506 ) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:19PM (#42023827) Homepage

        Damn that, I would have gotten on if it had a resistive screen. I can't stand capacitive screens and it seems the entire market is flooded with those!

        • You kid, but my partner has fat fingers and constantly complains about not being able to use a pointed pen stylus on his Nexus S. Maybe i'll get him a galaxy note 2 for Christmas as it's both capacitive and has a nice (non-fluffy-ball) stylus.
          • Actually, I wasn't kidding, I was being serious. I've a Nokia N900 which has a resistive screen, and can't stand capacitive screens.
            It's actually funny that my serious comment was modded up funny.

            • Personally I hate them. It's basically a flexible plastic film with some sensors underneath that does wear out over time, unlike glass. If you scratch a resistive screen, good luck getting an accurate tap anywhere near the scratch, rendering it useless if you're trying to tap anything small like an on-screen key. I don't dispute that the n900 is a fantastic device for which a capacitive screen probably wouldn't be a good design choice (unless it had a precise stylus like the newer Samsung Notes), but for

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's capacitive.

    • Re:Resistive Screen (Score:4, Informative)

      by drachensun ( 2766139 ) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @09:45PM (#42023399)
      Its in the updates on the site: Q: Do the PengPods use a capacitive touch screen? A: YES, no resistive touch screens, only capacitive. I think some confusion has been caused by the fact that the A10 chip has a built in resistive touch screen controller. We are not using it, we are using an ft5x capacitive touch screen controller chip with 5 point multi-touch.
    • After trying one of the cheap Chinese made Android tabs with a resistive screen, no thanks.

      Hm, you don't think that being cheap had anything to do with it as opposed to being resistive do you? I take it that you've never used a good resistive touce screen, then?

      I had a Zaurus SLC3100 years ago, and it had an excellent resistive touch screen. The lag was low and the precision was high. I actually had a full OpenBSD install on it, and it was prefectly capable of running the GIMP, which was actually quite fun

  • by davydagger ( 2566757 ) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @08:00PM (#42022797)
    because both of them use linux as the kernel. So in this case it would be not just appriopriate, but important to seperate between GNU/Linux and Android/Linux.

    This tablet runs GNU/Linux AND Android/Linux.

    What will really impress me is if you can get a hybrid userland where you can run GNU on android.
    • GNU sat on their hands and didnt bother with releasing a kernel, ever.

      They don't get to piggy back on Linus' achievement of actually finishing on time.

      Unless they think they should get credit for BSD, NeXT and OSX too.

      • by gagol ( 583737 )
        1997 called, they want their meme back. See:
        • Nothing changes the fact that Linus had something booting in the 1990s while the GNU/Hurd project was going nowhere.

          If anything, the fact that in the wider media it's called Linux should be a sobering message to RMS that being truly free means never having to say, "GNU Slash" and being able to take from the community.

          • you should still at least honor him, because he did put lots of work into GNU which is widely used alongside Linux and more or less considered standard linux components.
            • The guy who gave the world emacs? no way.

              Sure, he gave the world GNU, but he also did it under a very liberal license. Why should I give credit to a guy who doesn't understand that credit is the basis for IP law?

              IP Law is very flawed, but, the notion that work and ideas are commodity products are his notion and if he doesn't like it, maybe he should rethink things.

          • by gagol ( 583737 )
            I consider HURD to be a very ambitious experiment that have the potential to benefit computing greatly in the long term. It is a very clean and extensible design, but very difficult to master.
    • What would GNU be doing on a tablet? In this case, it's Android/Linux and Plasma Active/Linux. Incidentally, does Plasma Active need X11 to run?
    • Well, we GNU that, but thanks for pointing it out...

  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @08:03PM (#42022827)

    Our goal is to build a powerful, True Linux Tablet, one free of Android's restrictions, at a reasonable price.

    Why won't they list the so called "Android's restrictions?"

    They appear to have made up this statement...just for fun.

    • I assumed they were referring to the restricted runtime environment. Your code runs on dalvik, uses the Android Window management system, network access is again limited by what the Android environment allows, and so on.

      • Couldn't you modify android to unrestrict this on some (or most) android tablets?
        • The only way to do that effectively is to root the device and flash a custom ROM that may have any number of problems itself, and if you're unlucky might even brick the device altogether. Some devices aren't developed for very much. For instance most of the custom ROMs for my Droid Bionic have broken HDMI output, and don't implement USB-OTG, both of which I use regularly with the WebTop that it docks into.

    • I'm not really sure what they mean either. Why is it running Android 4.0 when the latest is 4.1? What flavor of Android will it be running? Vanilla Android Open Source Project (AOSP)? Cyanogenmod? Will either the Linux or Android kernels require binary driver blobs for full functionality, or will this thing be totally open? What distribution of GNU/Linux will it run -- Plasma Active on Mer? Can it run Debian or Ubuntu? Is it easy to hack on or upgrade after it ships?

      This device sounds cool, and $185 for a 1

    • by Jartan ( 219704 )

      For starters android doesn't support little things like a password file or a groups file. It's Linux but the devil is in the details.

      • Exactly, Android is-no-quite-linux(TM), libraries, runtimes, etc. Surely, with effort you could theorically port any software, but why port if it works at is?.
  • It wasn't that long ago that we saw that someone had ported Ubuntu to the Nexus 7.
  • Dupe (Score:5, Informative)

    by Narishma ( 822073 ) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @08:21PM (#42022933)

    garbagechuteflyboy adds links to articles about the dual-OS tablet at liliputing, at Ars Technica, and at PCWorld.

    How about a link to Slashdot []'s story a week ago.

  • After the OpenPandora debacle, people should be wary about pre-ordering anything. I know the theory of the idea, the company typically uses pre-orders to fund the design and construction of the thing, but with so many other tablets out there, why gamble?

    • by jx100 ( 453615 )

      Given that I actually have my Pandora, I'd be pretty happy with that particular result, even if it took an extended period of time.

  • My now out of production and almost 3 years old SmartQ V7 triple boots to Ubuntu, Android and Windows CE: []
  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @08:27PM (#42022975)

    I'd rather run both Android and a Linux desktop at the same time. They both use a Linux kernel after all, so dual-booting seems a bit redundant. Why not run an android system (if not individual apps) as an app within, say, KDE plasma.

    Actually, I'm surprised that MS and others haven't just implemented Android-compatible subsystems within their OS's and run Android apps natively. Need windows apps *and* Android apps? no problem. We support them both! Android isn't actually Linux after all; it's a Java environment and the kernel is irrelevant. I think BB 10 wanted to do this (QNX kernel), but I don't know if they ever did.

    • by Jartan ( 219704 )

      Android isn't a Java environment at all. The code for Dalvik apps is written in java then compiled to java bytecode. That bytecode is then compiled to Dalvik bytecode. The actual systems/api of the two have nothing in common either.

      It's possible to port it but it's fairly reliant on Posix to work. Far easier to just use an emulator. Dalvik is a register based runtime though so I'm unclear about it's performance on an x86 system.

      • by caseih ( 160668 )

        Saying it's not a Java environment is strictly true, but really just a detail. The fact that the engine is called Dalvik and that it's internal structure and bytecodes are different from the JVM is not really relevant to my point.

        I see no reason why it is reliant on posix to work. That's just an implementation detail. Dalvik certainly could be ported to, or implemented on other kernels and libc's. Would take work, but MS has a lot of smart people. They shouldn't tout android compatibility as the main f

        • There's no technical reason Android need only run on a Linux kernel. All Android needs is a dalvik implementation and a supporting layer (which happens to be provided by linux and a libc).

          You might have fun with games and other things which use the NDK. If they have an x86 version of the .so then you might be able to use something like WINE to get Windows to load it in and run it, but if there's only an ARM version you'll have to emulate that CPU and it will not be fast.

        • by Jartan ( 219704 )

          You are fundamentally misunderstanding the difference between a bytecode virtual machine and what Java does. Java isn't just a language. It's an entire computer with an entire operating system. The Java language is a small subset of that. Android uses that small subset (language + language libraries) and uses entirely different systems for the rest. Saying Android is Java is like saying Windows is C#.

          So to run Android on windows. You need Dalvik. You need Android systems. You need the Android se

          • by caseih ( 160668 )

            Talk about pedantic. Look, I'm merely speaking in general terms. No I am not fundamentally misunderstanding the difference between a bytecode virtual machine and what Java does. I understand it very well. Everything you spout is tied to linux only as a matter of implementation.

            I'll try again a third time here. What I'm saying is that (and that wasn't even my main point! -- see ubuntu on android), contrary to your assertions, "Android" (the dalvik engine, the runtimes, etc) do not *have* to depend on Li

            • by nazsco ( 695026 )

              So, wine for Android.

            • by Jartan ( 219704 )

              I'm hardly being pendantic. My statement has always been that it's easier to just emulate. Googles code as you agree is dependent on posix.

              The idea of porting all those systems is ludicrous. Running an emulator is far easier. The only hicup is ARM vs x86. That is a lot simpler to solve.

              When you see "native" dalvik that is what they mean. x86 dalvik running on an emulated posix layer.

              What do you have against an emulator in the first place? A proper vm is only going to be a very small performance hit.

          • by Richy_T ( 111409 )


            It may not be everything needed but it'd go quite a ways.

          • Actually if you are running Windows or MacOS you just need Bluestacks. []
        • by caseih ( 160668 )

          Looks like BlackBerry 10 is well on their way to supporting Android apps as I talked about. Probably won't save them, but it might keep their current customers who are tempted to leave for Android:


    • There's so much wrong here that I don't know where to begin.

      So I won't.
  • by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @09:30PM (#42023333)

    Chinese tablets have been doing this for ages. I have a 7" tablet I bought a few years ago that ...GASP... boots THREE Operating Systems!! Android, Windows CE, and Linux.

    This is absolutely nothing new or unique. Quite frankly, I'm astonished this is being covered by Slashdot like this, unless they are getting advertising revenues from the HK vendor that sells it.

    • Why not post the name of your table?

    • I think the news here is that some software developers are begging Slashdot readers to pledge some money for their Kickstarter project. Any self-respecting "hacker" who can root an Android phone and install an ARM version of GNU/Linux can do the same.

      I'm sure the actual hardware would be a "whitebox" or generic 7" tablet that you can order wholesale from one of the smaller Chinese manufacturers. The Kickstarter money would probably go toward purchasing a certain number of minimum units.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      why are you surprised? slashdot posted the same thing a week or two ago too!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Allwinner has so far been very uncooperative with the open source community. The only reason we even have the modified linux kernel source is because some manufacturers have finally released it, and it is horrible!

    In addition, their implementation of a driver for the CedarX video decoder is totally closed and not tied into android's standard video decoding APIs, meaning that the only way to utilize that portion of the SoC is to use closed-source video players that are tied into Allwinner's horrible propriet

  • by xlsior ( 524145 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @12:33AM (#42024117) Homepage
    If you have an old Nook Color (the eReader model, not the Nook Tablet) you can easily triple-boot into the stock B&N Android build, cyanogenmod Gingerbread, and cyanogenmod ICS simply by inserting a microSD card with the respective OSes. Either built it yourself, or pick up one of the countless pre-built memorycards from ebay.
    Sure, It's three different android builds, but it's multi-boot nonetheless

    In addition to that, the HP Touchpad has been able to dual boot between WebOS and Android for a long time now.
    • by Predius ( 560344 )

      There is a port of Ubuntu for the Nook Color as well, but it hasn't seen any development since the initial proof of concept was released, and it's VERY unpolished.

  • I run Gentoo on my desktops, so I'm used to building it all.

    On this, or on any other tablet, can I do the same? (Obviously I'd cross-compile on one of my desktops and move the code over.)

    I'd like a tablet where there's not an arms/obsolescence race, where getting true ownership (root) isn't an escalating battle until the maker decides its obsolete and not worth the trouble any more. I'd like to not have my ebooks disappear on me when the company goes, "Oops!"

    AFAIK, that leaves the Vivaldi, the zTablet fro

  • Can the PengPod play Pong?

APL hackers do it in the quad.