Purism Librem 5 Open Source Linux Smartphone Meets its 1.5 Million Dollars Funding Target

Back in the summer, we reported about Purism Librem 5, a privacy-focused, open source Linux smartphone. The hardware has not been developed yet, at the time the company was still considering either i.MX 6 Cortex A9 processor or i.MX8 Cortex A53 processor for the phone, and asked for 1.5 million dollars in their self-managed crowdfunding campaign to get the phone delivered in 2019. The project was interesting but with the current status for the project, amount to be raised, and delivery timeline, it was a long shot. But it turns out there’s some demands for smartphones outside of Android and iOS ecosystem, and since then, KDE and the GNOME foundation have joined the project leading to more coverage & people getting involved, and Librem 5 phone is now fully funded with 13 days to go. The processor will likely be NXP i.MX 8M Quad¬† quad core Cortex A53 SoC, as they’ve found it to be working with Etnaviv open source …

Fedora 20 “Heisenbug” Release Makes ARM a Primary Architecture

Fedora has been supporting ARM architecture for a while now, but it was only as a secondary architecture without official support. With the recent Fedora 20 release, nicknamed “Heisenbug”, the ARM architecture, more exactly ARMv7 hard float and greater, is promoted to a primary architecture meaning ARMv7 will have the same status as x86 and x86_64 architectures with packages officially build and supported by the Fedora community. What it does not mean however, due to the nature of ARM architecture, is that you can simply download an ISO to install on any ARM platforms, like you would do on an Intel or AMD computer. It’s a little more complicated than that, as it is platform specific, but instructions are available for the Beaglebone Black, Compulab Trimslice, the Wandboard, Calxeda Energycore Midway and Highbank, and Versatile Express in QEMU. You can download images with MATE, KDE, XFCE, LXDE, SOAS desktops, as well as a minimal image without desktop environment @ http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/20/Images/armhfp/ …

PicUntu – Rockchip RK3066 Linux Distribution for mini PCs (UG802, MK808, …)

Many people are using RK3066 mini PCs because they currently offer the best performance to cost ratio, but until now they were mainly limited to Android Jelly Bean, although there was some preliminary port of Ubuntu available for the devices. Now, this preliminary port has become a specific Linux distribution for Rockchip RK3066 PCs-on-a-stick called PicUntu, which is based on Ubuntu 12.10, and can optionally support Xfce or Gnome desktop environments. This distribution is known to work on UG802 and MK808, but should also work on some other RK3066 mini PCs such as iMito MX1. The latest version is Picuntu 0.9 RC 2.2, and features such as WiFi, Ethernet, HDMI audio, USB webcam are known to work,¬† What you won’t get, however, is hardware video decoding and GPU support since Rockchip does not provide the relevant binary files for Linux, but this does not seem to stop the developers from trying. But even without GPU support, people are happily running …