The Fail0ver guys have a great talk about porting Linux to a PS4 and how it's an example of an x86_64 that is totally NOT a PC in any meaningful way.
Android is designed for devices where you solder random pins to random chips and hack a bunch of shit and blobs together to get it to boot. You can't install a fresh Android like you can Windows, and I think it's really held back Android as a long term, stable operating system.
Microsoft at least mandated UEFI+ARM, but their boot loaders are still locked even though their mobile platform is dead (come on Microsoft, you just bought Github. Throw as a bone and unlock your bootloaders or publish a key for them!). No mobile device uses Device Trees.
It would be great if you could take most popular old android devices and just run Linux on them, use them as a small Raspberry Pi like device. I think that's what Postmarket is doing to start with, but it looks like they're even progressing to getting phones really usable as phones in the future .. which is pretty damn exciting.
Also didn't the uefi keys for the microsoft phones get leaked?
There are already some proofs of concept:
The big benefit of the mainline kernel is, that it is the only way to get all the (security) fixes. Greg Kroah-Hartman (Linux kernel who maintains the stable releases) wrote in Februrary:
> As proof of this, I demoed at the Kernel Recipes talk referenced above how trivial it was to crash all of the latest flagship Android phones on the market with a tiny userspace program. The fix for this issue was released 6 months prior in the LTS kernel that the devices were based on, however none of the devices had upgraded or fixed their kernels for this problem. As of this writing (5 months later) only two devices have fixed their kernel and are now not vulnerable to that specific bug.
For all the good benefits of a competitive market system, the externalities such as the fracturing software systems is fustrating.
But seriously: I can only imagine how many hours each individual has put in writing all these messages on github. Some pull requests and issues read like full blog posts, and oftentimes we reference them in the source code. So it would really be a shame if they got lost.
People are giving so much of their data into third party hands these days without ever thinking about it. We want to be in control of our own data, and while hosting a gitlab instance by ourselves is not feasible for us at this point, having a good backup strategy would already be a big improvement in that direction.
I'd love to resurrect my old Nexus 7 (2012) tablet with something more lightweight than the current monstrosity that Android has become. Right now the main thing holding me back from doing that is the lack of LVM support. Either Plasma Mobile or even SwayWM (when it gets gesture support) would be great for a lightweight open device for browsing the web and reading papers.
That being said, there's a fair chance that I'll give installing that proof of concept a shot next time I'm stuck on a problem/procrastinating.