View Full Version : Programming & professional use of Ubuntu touch

March 11th, 2013, 04:58 PM

Im very interested in ubuntu for tablet. I currently use ubuntu on my laptop mostly for programming (python etc.), TeX-compiling and text-editing.

Im not sure if I have understood the release of ubuntu for tablet yet as I have a few questions.

It seems to me that ubuntu for tablets are made to run on ARM processors, but desktop ubuntu are made for x86. Does this mean that Chanonical solves the platform difference the same way MS did it? Releasing one RT and one Pro as different two different OS? Or will they run the same OS on x86 and ARM?

If there will be two different OS's, will I be able to use python and all the packages I am used to from desktop OS? Will steam etc be supported?

March 11th, 2013, 07:02 PM
Start here:

Ubuntu does not face the same problems as M$ when it comes to software compatibility between arm and x86. As ubuntu's software is compiled from source, it is easy to compile for a different architecture. Ubuntu already has it's packages compiled for arm.
Therefor it does not have to create two versions like MS does.

In theory ubuntu tablets will be able to run every package that you would on the desktop.
However, it might not be productive to run desktop apps on your phone. I think canonical is hoping that developers will create tablet / phone interfaces for their apps in addition to the desktop UI.
There is also the convergence option where you would dock your phone / tablet into a monitor / mouse / keyboard combo to create a regular PC.
In this solution you would run the regular apps on your phone and use them as you do now.

March 11th, 2013, 07:22 PM
You need to remember exactly what Ubuntu is. It is a Linux distribution. To put it simply there are two parts to the Ubuntu distribution. There is the foundation platform and there is the Ubuntu platform that sits on the foundation platform.

Now, it all depends upon the architecture of the device as to the make up of the foundation platform. For desktops and laptops based upon the x86 CPU architecture the foundation platform is composed of such stuff as bootloader, display server, kernel, login manager, desktop environment. The developers of each of these and other components we are familiar with.

What Canonical is aiming to do is converge the Ubuntu platform across PC, Phone, Tablet and TV. Eventually the same Ubuntu platform will run across those four types of devices. But as you have noted the foundation platform has to be different.

Really, until these devices are on the market it is not possible to say what will and will not run on them. The OEMs will have a large say on what services are being provided on the devices that they are putting on the market and how much it will cost to use those services. It is wrong to speak of standard and professional versions of Ubuntu. That is not the way that Ubuntu will be made available.

I suggest that you look out for the high specification Ubuntu phone (if one ever does get put on the market). The type of device that you can put into a hub/dock which in turn is connected to a monitor, keyboard, mouse. That set up will run Ubuntu just as if the Ubuntu phone was a desktop PC. It will have the Unity Next user interface as will desktop Ubuntu.

The phone becomes a full PC and thin client when docked. http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/phone

Ubuntu uniquely supports a new category of convergence device – add a keyboard and mouse and your Ubuntu tablet becomes
a full PC http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/tablet

Ubuntu for Android enables high-end Android handsets to run Ubuntu, the world’s favourite free PC desktop operating system. So users get the Android they know on the move, but when they connect their phone to a monitor, mouse and keyboard, it becomes a PC. http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/android

That is the aim - officially.


March 12th, 2013, 01:08 PM
Thank you! Exactly what I was hoping for :)

Now I want a padfone with ubuntu! Maybe ASUS' next padfone will be released with ubuntu