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Will Linux and an obsolete iPad ever be a thing?

There are a few dozen of us (well, maybe a few million) with iPads 1, 2, etc., which are no longer supported by Apple. I have two Windows 10 desktops, a Linux Mint desktop, a Windows 10 notebook, two Amazon Fire 8 tablets, and an iPad 2. So I'm blessed with productive machines (except for the iPad). My main desktop is a fairly new Dell, and my Amazon tables are also new – the remaining platforms are older. I rarely use the iPad 2, and envision it as being a great platform for an Open Systems OS. I perceive two big catches: (1) I'm no Linux software engineer, and modifying Mint for the iPad 2 is way beyond my aspirations. (2) Linux seems to be keyboard-centric, and unfriendly to touch screens. Is there some version of Linux or even some other OS in my iPad 2's future? Has anyone attempted or successfully done such a thing to their iPad? Looking forward to your answers.

--Submitted by Bob M.

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Probably not on an iPad.

In reply to: Will Linux and an obsolete iPad ever be a thing?

I've run into this discussion or question a lot on Android forums. Droids, of course, are much more friendly towards modifications than Apple products, yet I have never seen a useful Linux installation on a Droid. Driver problems are nearly ubiquitous, especially wi-fi, touchscreen and display. Even when an actual working desktop is achieved, the systems I've seen and heard about have run so slow as to be worthless. In every case I know about, including some of my own, a custom Android ROM has been far superior to a Linux installation, or even a stock OEM ROM. As far as attempting this on an iPad, I think you'd by stymied at the first step: finding a kernel and bootloader for it. Unless you happen to have access to Apple's software archives, and can get copies away without getting caught, you're out of luck.

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In reply to: Will Linux and an obsolete iPad ever be a thing?

Also check other videos about it.

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Confusing video

In reply to: XLINUX

Perhaps you could have written a script for yourself or at least planned out in advance what to demonstrate. I gave up watching after about five minutes because your constant flipping around in a disorganized fashion was just too irritating.

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Basically, NO.

In reply to: Will Linux and an obsolete iPad ever be a thing?

First, Apple doesn't want you to. If they ever found out you actually
were able to do it, they'd sue you.
Second, Linux isn't going to run on their proprietary hardware. if you're going to run Linux (or even Android) run it on something Apple hasn't patented.
Third, it's been tried, over and over. About the only way it's happening is to use the iPad as a screen for a remote server, not as a standalone device.
Besides, is it really worth replacing the battery on an iPad just so you can run Linux, when you can get an Android device for about the price of just the battery?

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I'm going to disagree then agree.

In reply to: Basically, NO.

Apple sue you? They lost that about a decade ago. Read https://www.google.com/search?q=apple+sues+jailbreak+company

Also Apple's rights on the hardware is "EXHAUSTED!" Don't know what that means? No problem. I have an EXCELLENT VIDEO for you on the topic.
Watch this:

And here's what I agree. For not much we can get other tablets. I found a killer deal on an Amazon Fire HD 8 refurb for under 40USD. It's so low that I wish I had picked up a 10 pack. And with the help of the Internet it has the Google Android Play Store and is too nice for the money.

Post was last edited on June 30, 2018 3:02 PM PDT

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OK so maybe they won't actually sue you...

In reply to: I'm going to disagree then agree.

but I think I made my point in other ways...
Go ahead & stick that Ford engine in that VW! (IF YOU CAN)

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In reply to: Will Linux and an obsolete iPad ever be a thing?

You could probably get it to boot with some very basic hardware support but a thing from the GPU to the touchscreen to the various radio chipsets will never have open source drivers meanign a binary blob driver for iOS would somehow have to be wrapped to work with the Linux kernel. Good luck with that. This is a problem on android as well with binary blob drivers. Anyway if this was doable it would have been done. You are better off jailbreaking it and seeing if you can get the underlying system to do whatever is it you want with Linux on an iPad (really, Linux, android aside, is not very workable on a touchscreen).

If someday apple released all their kernel / driver sources it would be easy but that's not going to happen. Even if Apple wanted to, they have licensing considerations with soc/hw manufacturers preventing it.


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Recycle your old iPad since it isn't worth the bother

In reply to: Will Linux and an obsolete iPad ever be a thing?

Hardware prices are too cheap for it to be worth the bother of trying to port Linux onto old hardware anymore. Years ago it might have made sense to do it. I put have rerooted my old Nook Color and installed Linux and Chrome on old windows notebooks and they are slow and have very limited function. It might be fun to do it just to see if you can but now you can buy a new Dell WIndows 10 notebook on sale for around $150. I bought my Acer Chromebook new on a Black Friday sale for $99 and a new Amazon Fire 8 Tablet for $79 when it is on sale. They are all new computers that are fully supported and work fine. They aren't as nice or fast as my more expensive machines but they are great special purposes or backup for my more expensive units.

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Linux has been throu some next to miraculous transformations

In reply to: Will Linux and an obsolete iPad ever be a thing?

But I suspect the odds are against this one ...

Considering Linus Torvalds started out on a 386 Intel processor (use Minix if you want to go below that) it is quite awesome to see what kinds of hardware it has already been ported to. The obvious part of the list includes all newer processord of the x86 family and their 64 bit children. This includes the Raspberry Pi as well as some servers with an order of magnitude of 1000 processors. But, thanks to some portability having been designed into the architecture of Linux, only a small portion of the OS needs to be ported to a different processor architecture, the rest can just be cross-compiled to a new target platform.

For example, some IBM software developers, in their own time and against management advice, ported Linux to the company's mainframe hardware, which - believe me - is vastly different from anything Intel ever made. (I am speaking of what started out as the S/360 and is now known as System Z at IBM.) IBM also ported Linux to their System P hardware where it is available as an alternative to their native Unix flavour for these systems (AIX.) It is interesting that the P series processors of these systems are closely related to the Power PC chips once used in Apple's personal computers and in some game consoles.

And let us not forget that Android is in essence just a Linux port to the processor architectures in use on smart phones and tablets - including their specific peripherals.

Now, to port that to Apple tablet architectures (call it the "iPad" if you wish) probably wouldn't be so hard, as long as you can fall back on documentation of how the innards of an iPad (or iPod or iPhone) work - by Apple themselves of anyone willing to hack them. It would still require a concerted effort of some proportions, and - given the boundary conditions - may never happen.

At the end of the day we are looking at porting something that is firmly embedded in an open source universe to a fiercely proprietary hardware platform, while there are much more accessible options available.

Let me rephrase the OP's question then: "Will Linux - or any of its derivatives, such as Android - ever be mated to an obsolete iPad, given that there are just as many - more or less - just as obsolete Android tablets that were made for Android and can easily be fitted with all kinds of existing Android flavours. (The keyboard-centric argument against Linux does not apply to Android, of course - and Linux does, indeed, also support a mouse and possibly even a touchscreen, now that those are seen on computers as well, from time to time Wink

Post was last edited on July 7, 2018 12:56 AM PDT

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Re: transformations

Well, that was certainly the long answer! Good history lesson, too; stuff new to me and I'm a Linux buff. But the short answer is still "no".

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That's Right - No ...

In reply to: Re: transformations

... and not because it absolutely can't be done, but because it is too complex to be viable - and that is mostly because we are dealing with a highly proprietary platform to start with. Pity, if you ask me.

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In reply to: That's Right - No ...

IMHO we need a law requiring any manufacturer selling hardware in this country to publish the source code for any firmware it needs. The term "proprietary driver" should be an oxymoron. Maybe in the next world.

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Why do you want a law for anything?

In reply to: Agreed...

It should be a free market with as little government interference as possible. If you want to buy only HW with public firmware you could but you won't like the result. Companies develop their firmware, operating system port and hardware together. That is the product they are selling. Being forced to give out complex source code would mean that their investment in product development would be wasted.

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In reply to: Why do you want a law for anything?

This will be my last post on the subject because I dislike flame wars. I feel the purpose of govenment in this era is to keep corporations in line and acting for the good of the people in their jurisdiction, which said corporations certainly will not otherwise. That idea that "corporations are people too" is ludicrous, and would be laughable if it hadn't become law; horror stories do not inspire laughter.

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Did you want a horror story? Got you covered.

In reply to: Disagreed.

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Agree 100%

In reply to: Disagreed.

"That idea that "corporations are people too" is ludicrous, and would be laughable if it hadn't become law; horror stories do not inspire laughter."

Yep, show me a corporation with two eyes, two hands, and one brain!

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I don't see flames, only...

In reply to: Disagreed.

...a polite discussion with some difference of opinion. What I would compare it to would be back to the 70's and those hand held Mattel simple electronic games on devices (I liked the football one). If some other manufacturer created a device that had different games on it, nobody then would have expected it to be portable for placement on a Mattel device.

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Thinking about "Right to repair" laws.

In reply to: Why do you want a law for anything?

Apple has created quite the system yet FAILS to be able to fix recurring problems in some models.

In some cases the design bug is replicated in the new model. It's rather amazing that Apple does this. For this and a few other reasons, we need a law.

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Too many laws already

In reply to: Thinking about "Right to repair" laws.

I don't think so. There are too many laws already. Getting nit-picky about making a law that requires a company to build a product that can be repaired when it OBVIOUSLY is flawed to start with and designed to become obsolete quickly? What?

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Examples are out there.

In reply to: Too many laws already

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In reply to: Examples are out there.

Once you buy a product you should be able to do whatever you want with it. This would include fixing it, improving it or changing it's function. This does not mean that anyone should be able to force the original manufacturer into releasing it's proprietary information about that product. It should be totally up to them if they want to release source code or any design specifications. If a potential buyer of the product doesn't like the information that is available for it they shouldn't buy it. Personally I have never bought any Apple products since I like more open systems but if Apple wants to keep all of their products within their own Apple Universe which they exert tight control over that is fine with me. I just won't buy them but we don't need the government interfering.

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We do this already for cars.

In reply to: Confused

There's already spare parts, service information that had to be legislated to be set free.

How about Error Code 53 which Apple ended up being fined millions. If we don't watch these companies they will make an artificial failure and tell you to buy a new one.

Video follows.

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In reply to: We do this already for cars.

It is not a law for cars. If you buy a Tesla they don't make their source code available. I am sure they would have all kinds of legal ways to try to stop you from hacking their code since they want to charge their customers $1,000's for unlocking features already in the car's hardware like lane assist, higher top speeds, etc. Even gas engines car manufacturers don't let people have access to their engine control software. You can buy chips with hacked engine control code but without manufacturer's approval or assistance.

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Linux on iPad

In reply to: Will Linux and an obsolete iPad ever be a thing?

Linux on iPad? It may be possible, one day. It may even be possible now but I have never found a method that works. After I gave up trying, I asked myself what would really have been the benefit? My iPad was slow on its best day when compared to a similar Android tablet.

I am a Linux user. I love the platform and that is what is on my laptop but Linux is not really suited for tablets of any kind right now. Presently, developers are working hard to change that and they will eventually make it happen.

For now, Android is a much better platform and since Android is based on Linux and is already well-suited for mobile platforms, it would seem that getting Android to work with the iPad is the way to go.

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