[Tinkerphones] [Gta04-owner] New LetuxOS Kernels and some tricks and thoughts

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue May 21 12:51:43 CEST 2019


Hi Jonas,

> Am 21.05.2019 um 12:26 schrieb Jonas Smedegaard <jonas at jones.dk>:
> 
> Quoting H. Nikolaus Schaller (2019-05-21 12:02:06)
>> Hi Jonas,
>> 
>>> Am 21.05.2019 um 11:00 schrieb Jonas Smedegaard <jonas at jones.dk>:
>>> 
>>> First of all, congratulations with the progress!
>> 
>> Thanks!
>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Quoting H. Nikolaus Schaller (2019-05-21 10:22:50)
>>>> BTW, here is another trick: You may (not) know that LetuxOS images 
>>>> created by makesd come rooted. This means you can simply ssh as 
>>>> root into the device without password check. This is quite helpful 
>>>> for developers and debugging.
>>> 
>>> A password-less network-accesible backdoor maybe unknown to the 
>>> system owner sounds dangerous to me: I recommend documenting that 
>>> very clearly (at least) everywhere passwords are currently menioned 
>>> in documentation.
>> 
>> Yes, please feel free to document it in the Wiki.
> 
> Is the wiki the only place passwords are mentioned?  There are no other 
> places users could be helped get notified about this open access? users 

I have no idea about what users do... We need users to see the missing
information and add it themselves. So we just must enable them to do it.
Which is the Wiki.

> 
> Suggestion: Add a notice in /etc/motd

Hm. Do your ever read/see that?

> 
> 
>>>> On a very general view, we have achieved a lot, but still not 
>>>> enough to get the LetuxOS eco-system into a self-sustaining mode. 
>>>> What is lacking?
>>>> 
>>>> * users are missing because software is not good enough for daily 
>>>>  use
>>>> * hardware is missing because potential users complain about 
>>>>  missing high-quality software
>>>> * developers to polish the software are missing, because of missing 
>>>> (new) hardware
>>>> 
>>>> You see the vicious circle? Ideas how to magically break it?
>>> 
>>> Contributing as certified OSHW your own work on designing hardware 
>>> helps encourage developers contributing to getting the devices 
>>> supported in mainline linux and u-boot.
>>> 
>>> Getting bootloader and kernel code mainlined encourage distributors 
>>> integrate and maintain support the the devices in their 
>>> distributions.
>>> 
>>> Having devices supported in distributions helps users prioritize the 
>>> devices over other (lesser free) options available to them.
>> 
>> This seems to assume that LetuxOS is not itself a distribution.
> 
> No.
> 
> For comparison, I work on the Debian distribution and dearly want the 
> Olimex Teres-I DIY laptop well supported there, which requires escaping 
> a similar vicious circle.

It looks as if we need someone who actively wants to get the goodies from
LetuxOS into standard Debian. We had such members in our community in the
past, but they seem to have lost interest (or more likely time for pure
volunteering).

>  I have appreciated the efforts done in other 
> distributions - concretely I work done in Armbian and OpenSuSE was 
> instrumental in getting the device supported in mainline u-boot (likely 
> included with 2019.07 release), which benefits all competing 
> distributions.

I just came to my mind what the most successful embedded Linux PC probably
is: RasPi with Raspbian.

It is not even open hardware or software nor supported well by mainline
which seems to contradict your suggestions. So what can we learn from it?

Some factors may be:
* technical support by silicon vendor (brcm)
* sales&marketing support by component/chip distributors
* they likely can pay developers

> 
> 
>> So what do you think would help users to prioritize LetuxOS over other 
>> distributions?
> 
> LetuxOS being superior to its competitors, obviously :-)

Yes, it is superior in several aspects (e.g broad hardware support
in kernel) but not all (e.g. GUI useability). That is what I mean
with missing "quality for daily users".

> 
> My point is that that I firmly believe that to get out of the vicious 
> circle we _first_ need to collaborate and only _then_ compete (if needed 
> at all, but that's a different discussion).

Well, I am waiting for years for collaboration (the first LetuxOS dates
back to 2006) but it seems as if other projects decided to compete and start
from scratch instead of building on top of LetuxOS :)

BR,
Nikolaus



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