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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Zwolle, The Netherlands or abroad :-p
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    17

    Why did RH & Fedora loose the small PC/SOC OS ?

    Hi,

    Our laptops and my Workstation run Fedora since the late 90's. It's been a bumpy ride, but it (FC 27 now) developed nice and works quite well for my wife and me.
    However since a couple of years I have gained interest in small and very small computers such as Raspberry Pi, ODROID, Banana Pi etc. And I have noticed that the OS on these are almost entirely Debian/Ubuntu based. Sure for the die-hards there are Fedora ARM releases for the Pi, but they fail to be mainstream on any of these small computers. Has Fedora missed the boat on this?
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________
    > Chaos always wins because it is better organized ∎
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    5,540

    Re: Why did RH & Fedora loose the small PC/SOC OS ?

    Quote Originally Posted by linuxghost
    Hi,

    Our laptops and my Workstation run Fedora since the late 90's. It's been a bumpy ride, but it (FC 27 now) developed nice and works quite well for my wife and me.
    However since a couple of years I have gained interest in small and very small computers such as Raspberry Pi, ODROID, Banana Pi etc. And I have noticed that the OS on these are almost entirely Debian/Ubuntu based. Sure for the die-hards there are Fedora ARM releases for the Pi, but they fail to be mainstream on any of these small computers. Has Fedora missed the boat on this?
    The availability is entirely dependent on user interest, and more critically someone with the time, hardware resources to be able to test them with who is willing to maintain the branches.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    559

    Re: Why did RH & Fedora loose the small PC/SOC OS ?

    I have noticed that the OS on these are almost entirely Debian/Ubuntu based
    This is a result of the fact that most of the low level ARM tools the SOC manufacturers use are Debian based. ( UBUNTU just comes along for the ride ). The simplest path for the manufacturer is to assemble a bootable Debian OS and pass it on.

    The beauty of the ARM environment is that you get to redo much of the legacy PC design. Two big outcomes of this are the BIOS is gone and you come to life in a 32 bit protected execution mode. However, this in turn presents the SOC manufacturers with the challenge of selecting options to preform initialization and boot operation. The generally accepted replacement for BIOS is U-Boot. This is a significant bit of software which preforms initialization and set-up of the SOC. In addition, because each SOC design will include various storage, graphics, memory, communications ...... technologies , U-Boot must be configured for the specific SOC device being booted.

    In the past all a Linux distribution had to do was replace sector zero of the boot device to assume control of the boot process. ( it isn't exactly that simple, but please accept for comparison purposes )

    In the ARM world, a distribution has to deal with the configuration and activation of U-Boot prior to activating Linux boot process. This makes the process of adding and supporting a particular ARM SOC more complex. You can see many distributions discussing how many and what "flavors" of ARM to support because of this complexity. Many of the ARM SOC builders don't consider their devices as general purpose computers and don't feel an incentive to enable wider OS access.

    I wouldn't blame either distribution builders or ARM SOC builders for any lack of vision here. We are in another period of sorting out what form the eventual market will take.
    It's just like the early days of the PC marketplace.

    Hope you find this long winded post of some interest.
    Laptop: ASUS K61IC/ Intel T6600 2.20Ghz x2/ 4GB/ 320GB SataII/ NVidia G96M/ fc27.x86_64
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Zwolle, The Netherlands or abroad :-p
    Posts
    17

    Re: Why did RH & Fedora loose the small PC/SOC OS ?

    Thank you for your replies antikythera and Kobuck.
    @antikythera
    The availability is entirely dependent on user interest, and more critically someone with the time, hardware resources to be able to test them with who is willing to maintain the branches.
    Is that an invitation in disguise?
    @Kobuck
    I wouldn't blame either distribution builders or ARM SOC builders for any lack of vision here.
    I'm sorry that you got the impression that I somehow blame Fedora. (Could be a language barrier thing since I'm not native en_US nor en_GB .)
    Perhaps disappointment would be a better expression.
    Hope you find this long winded post of some interest.
    Sure I do! I'm from the reading generation. 66 years old and still learning...
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________
    > Chaos always wins because it is better organized ∎
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________

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