[Gta04-owner] There's not only Linux out there

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Fri Oct 21 08:47:40 CEST 2011

Am 21.10.2011 um 00:17 schrieb Martin Christian:

> Hi,
> so many people hurray about their new GTA04 devices, so I'm wondering if
> I missed some call to order?!
> Anyways, why are you so fixed on Linux as an OS for a mobile phone?

It is just a matter of practical solutions that are already available.
When designing the GTA04 we had the BeagleBoard as a reference
design and a working Linux system for it. So we were able to focus
on adding hardware to the BeagleBoard and finally integrate everything
into a single piece of hardware. Developing hardware and a different
kernel/OS in parallel would have increased complexity beyond being

> There are many other Open Source OSes around, which could be used:
> - OKL4 microkernel from OK labs is used in commercial mobile products.
> However, I don't like their "Sleepy Cat" licence. But it might be a start.
> - Minix 3 from good old Tannenbaum. I looked at Minix 3 today, after 3
> year not monitoring them. And I actually like the way it goes with it's
> recent development release. Also, Minix 3 has a BSC license and you get
> rid of all the legal questions that arise from closed source firmware.
> You "only" have to get the UMTS driver ported to Minix 3. But that's
> something I'd like to work on. Ah well, and you've got to write the ARM

The UMTS "driver" isn't very complicated. The kernel driver for Linux ("HSO")
is open source and part of the vanilla kernel tree. It provides characters
devices /dev/ttyHSO* to access the AT command stream and data streams.

> platform code.
> It's not that I don't like Linux. It's a great desktop OS. But I think
> mobile devices require something more secure.

The platform is open and there is no limitation to port/develop alternate

> I fear with these ideas I probably won't get a GTA04 board, do I?

Why not? We are currently preparing the next production batch and
will be open for orders soon.

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