Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

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Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

opendaddy
Hi,

What are the ups and downs of replacing Linux with OpenBSD in Google's Android operating system? I guess this question would apply to the new Sailfish OS as well.

Thanks.

O.D.

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

Chris Cappuccio
[hidden email] [[hidden email]] wrote:
> Hi,
>
> What are the ups and downs of replacing Linux with OpenBSD in Google's Android operating system? I guess this question would apply to the new Sailfish OS as well.

OpenBSD is designed for mobile phones. Of course Google should have used it.

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

Chris Cappuccio
Chris Cappuccio [[hidden email]] wrote:
> [hidden email] [[hidden email]] wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > What are the ups and downs of replacing Linux with OpenBSD in Google's Android operating system? I guess this question would apply to the new Sailfish OS as well.
>
> OpenBSD is designed for mobile phones. Of course Google should have used it.

Ok instead of my stupid smartass answer.

How about this:

1. OpenBSD now includes KMS and could support systems like Wayland that,
in theory, are probably better suited for mobile (or any modern graphics
in general) than X11 (At least, the Nokia developer who spent years
hacking X11 into the N900 series thinks so)

2. OpenBSD has a license that is well suited for inclusion into devices,
even more so than GPLv2 (Although most manufacturers don't seem to mind
the GPLv2 because Linus built in various exceptions into his model)

3. The chips that support these various phones are all proprietary,
undocumented, and the manufacturers only produce support blobs to match
the Linus licensing model and the Linux kernel on these devices.

4. OpenBSD has a tight and compact model that should be easy for
embedded developers to embrace

5. OpenBSD does not currently do much to support various phones
although it does have ever increasing support for ARMv7 chipsets which
is what all of them run on (that and ARMv8 now)

Obviously the biggest hurdle is #3 and of course someone has to
have the interest, which is invariably going to be a manufacturer,
and currently manufacturers embrace Linux, because it has
a lot of knowledge/attention/momentum in this area.

So the next question is, why would someone want to switch to OpenBSD
on one of these platforms?

1. Concise ecosystem (less maintenance of your own distribution)

2. High quality code

3. Increasing attention to areas that matter (ARMv7, KMS, etc)

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

Paul de Weerd
On Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 02:00:53PM -0800, Chris Cappuccio wrote:
| So the next question is, why would someone want to switch to OpenBSD
| on one of these platforms?

Because phone software is absolutely awful today.  There is no
exception.  Some options have one or a few redeeming features, but
overall it's overwhelmingly shite.

I too dream of a phone that runs something as usuable and sane as my
servers, laptop or desktop machine.  Then again, I also dream of
winning the lotery ;)

(I realize that this was not what your question was about)

Cheers,

Paul 'WEiRD' de Weerd

--
>++++++++[<++++++++++>-]<+++++++.>+++[<------>-]<.>+++[<+
+++++++++++>-]<.>++[<------------>-]<+.--------------.[-]
                 http://www.weirdnet.nl/                 

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

Amit Kulkarni-5
On Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 4:16 PM, Paul de Weerd <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 02:00:53PM -0800, Chris Cappuccio wrote:
> | So the next question is, why would someone want to switch to OpenBSD
> | on one of these platforms?
>
> Because phone software is absolutely awful today.  There is no
> exception.  Some options have one or a few redeeming features, but
> overall it's overwhelmingly shite.
>
> I too dream of a phone that runs something as usuable and sane as my
> servers, laptop or desktop machine.  Then again, I also dream of
> winning the lotery ;)
>
> (I realize that this was not what your question was about)
>
> Cheers,
>
> Paul 'WEiRD' de Weerd
>
>
maybe a Blackberry then? Or wait a few years, we will have figured out how
to load OpenBSD on them after the llvm/clang switch.

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

frantisek holop
In reply to this post by Chris Cappuccio
hmm, on Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 02:00:53PM -0800, Chris Cappuccio said that
> So the next question is, why would someone want to switch to OpenBSD
> on one of these platforms?
>
> 1. Concise ecosystem (less maintenance of your own distribution)
>
> 2. High quality code
>
> 3. Increasing attention to areas that matter (ARMv7, KMS, etc)

just like everyone else, i would love to see an openbsd
powered "android" phone.  but i think the elephant in
the room no one is talking about is performance.
without getting into "running bad code faster" vs
"running good code slower", openbsd is simply slow.

-f
--
there's no second chance for a good first impression.

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

frantisek holop
hmm, on Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 04:58:02PM +0100, frantisek holop said that

> hmm, on Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 02:00:53PM -0800, Chris Cappuccio said that
> > So the next question is, why would someone want to switch to OpenBSD
> > on one of these platforms?
> >
> > 1. Concise ecosystem (less maintenance of your own distribution)
> >
> > 2. High quality code
> >
> > 3. Increasing attention to areas that matter (ARMv7, KMS, etc)
>
> just like everyone else, i would love to see an openbsd
> powered "android" phone.  but i think the elephant in
> the room no one is talking about is performance.
> without getting into "running bad code faster" vs
> "running good code slower", openbsd is simply slow.

i'd like to clarify that this is no way a
discouragement for anyone who would like to work on
that (not that i think that person would decide based
on my email without hard facts and statistics)

-f
--
programmers dont change lite bulbs; that's a hardware problem.

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

Mikael-9
In reply to this post by frantisek holop
Hi Frank,

I heard this argument that OBSD is slow circulated a little bit.

Can you please clarify and quantify?

Really performance is of a very secondary importance, however unless
there's a good reason for it not to be there, it is nice that it is there,
hence my question for you to clarify and quantify now -

Thanks,
Mikael




2013/11/29 frantisek holop <[hidden email]>

> hmm, on Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 02:00:53PM -0800, Chris Cappuccio said that
> > So the next question is, why would someone want to switch to OpenBSD
> > on one of these platforms?
> >
> > 1. Concise ecosystem (less maintenance of your own distribution)
> >
> > 2. High quality code
> >
> > 3. Increasing attention to areas that matter (ARMv7, KMS, etc)
>
> just like everyone else, i would love to see an openbsd
> powered "android" phone.  but i think the elephant in
> the room no one is talking about is performance.
> without getting into "running bad code faster" vs
> "running good code slower", openbsd is simply slow.
>
> -f
> --
> there's no second chance for a good first impression.

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

Matthieu Herrb-5
In reply to this post by Chris Cappuccio
On Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 02:00:53PM -0800, Chris Cappuccio wrote:

> Chris Cappuccio [[hidden email]] wrote:
> > [hidden email] [[hidden email]] wrote:
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > What are the ups and downs of replacing Linux with OpenBSD in Google's Android operating system? I guess this question would apply to the new Sailfish OS as well.
> >
> > OpenBSD is designed for mobile phones. Of course Google should have used it.
>
> Ok instead of my stupid smartass answer.
>
> How about this:
>
> 1. OpenBSD now includes KMS and could support systems like Wayland that,
> in theory, are probably better suited for mobile (or any modern graphics
> in general) than X11 (At least, the Nokia developer who spent years
> hacking X11 into the N900 series thinks so)

>
> 2. OpenBSD has a license that is well suited for inclusion into devices,
> even more so than GPLv2 (Although most manufacturers don't seem to mind
> the GPLv2 because Linus built in various exceptions into his model)
>
> 3. The chips that support these various phones are all proprietary,
> undocumented, and the manufacturers only produce support blobs to match
> the Linus licensing model and the Linux kernel on these devices.
>
> 4. OpenBSD has a tight and compact model that should be easy for
> embedded developers to embrace
>
> 5. OpenBSD does not currently do much to support various phones
> although it does have ever increasing support for ARMv7 chipsets which
> is what all of them run on (that and ARMv8 now)
>
> Obviously the biggest hurdle is #3 and of course someone has to
> have the interest, which is invariably going to be a manufacturer,
> and currently manufacturers embrace Linux, because it has
> a lot of knowledge/attention/momentum in this area.
>

Yes, and also the fact that the userland for a phone or a tabled has
to be quite different from the userland for a desktop/laptop kind of
machine. Without a keyboard, you need touch-screen enabled
applications to install the system, set it up and interact with it.

And there are specific needs in terms of kernel services to be able to
route audio to/from the "phone" part of your device, wake it up on
incoming calls,...

So this would not be OpenBSD, but merely a system based on a BSD-ish
kernel plus some BSD base libs (libc, libm, what else).

Most of the rest would need to be rewritten or ported from
Android/Sailfish/Mozilla OS/...  

At EuroBSDCon 2004 in KA, in his Keynote lecture¹, Jordan Hubbard said
he was seeing a future for NetBSD in this area, since they already had
all the tools to cross-compile the base system in a much nicer way
than linux. Well 9 years later this has not happened.

¹) http://2004.eurobsdcon.org/uploads/media/EBSD04_keynote.pdf page 48
--
Matthieu Herrb

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

Maxim Belooussov
In reply to this post by Mikael-9
On Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 6:41 PM, Mikael <[hidden email]> wrote:

> >
> > just like everyone else, i would love to see an openbsd
> > powered "android" phone.  but i think the elephant in
> > the room no one is talking about is performance.
> > without getting into "running bad code faster" vs
> > "running good code slower", openbsd is simply slow.
>
> Last time me and Paul de Weerd have checked the performance of OpenBSD vs
Linux, OpenBSD was 0.5% slower than linux. That was mainly network latency
check, granted one-sighted. I am sure that if I had tweaked the intel
network driver in OpenBSD, fish would win.

Max

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

sven falempin
In reply to this post by Matthieu Herrb-5
On Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 7:50 AM, Matthieu Herrb <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 02:00:53PM -0800, Chris Cappuccio wrote:
> > Chris Cappuccio [[hidden email]] wrote:
> > > [hidden email] [[hidden email]] wrote:
> > > > Hi,
> > > >
> > > > What are the ups and downs of replacing Linux with OpenBSD in
> Google's Android operating system? I guess this question would apply to the
> new Sailfish OS as well.
> > >
> > > OpenBSD is designed for mobile phones. Of course Google should have
> used it.
> >
> > Ok instead of my stupid smartass answer.
> >
> > How about this:
> >
> > 1. OpenBSD now includes KMS and could support systems like Wayland that,
> > in theory, are probably better suited for mobile (or any modern graphics
> > in general) than X11 (At least, the Nokia developer who spent years
> > hacking X11 into the N900 series thinks so)
>
> >
> > 2. OpenBSD has a license that is well suited for inclusion into devices,
> > even more so than GPLv2 (Although most manufacturers don't seem to mind
> > the GPLv2 because Linus built in various exceptions into his model)
> >
> > 3. The chips that support these various phones are all proprietary,
> > undocumented, and the manufacturers only produce support blobs to match
> > the Linus licensing model and the Linux kernel on these devices.
> >
> > 4. OpenBSD has a tight and compact model that should be easy for
> > embedded developers to embrace
> >
> > 5. OpenBSD does not currently do much to support various phones
> > although it does have ever increasing support for ARMv7 chipsets which
> > is what all of them run on (that and ARMv8 now)
> >
> > Obviously the biggest hurdle is #3 and of course someone has to
> > have the interest, which is invariably going to be a manufacturer,
> > and currently manufacturers embrace Linux, because it has
> > a lot of knowledge/attention/momentum in this area.
> >
>
> Yes, and also the fact that the userland for a phone or a tabled has
> to be quite different from the userland for a desktop/laptop kind of
> machine. Without a keyboard, you need touch-screen enabled
> applications to install the system, set it up and interact with it.
>
> And there are specific needs in terms of kernel services to be able to
> route audio to/from the "phone" part of your device, wake it up on
> incoming calls,...
>
> So this would not be OpenBSD, but merely a system based on a BSD-ish
> kernel plus some BSD base libs (libc, libm, what else).
>
> Most of the rest would need to be rewritten or ported from
> Android/Sailfish/Mozilla OS/...
>
> At EuroBSDCon 2004 in KA, in his Keynote lecture¹, Jordan Hubbard said
> he was seeing a future for NetBSD in this area, since they already had
> all the tools to cross-compile the base system in a much nicer way
> than linux. Well 9 years later this has not happened.
>
> ¹) http://2004.eurobsdcon.org/uploads/media/EBSD04_keynote.pdf page 48
> --
> Matthieu Herrb
>
>
cross compiling is really missing in openBSD to handle very small Platform
which does not have the power to compile, and more.

Thats why i sometimes hope the BSD was just working branches, ready to
merge into

bestBSD.



--
() ascii ribbon campaign - against html e-mail
/\

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

Theo de Raadt
In reply to this post by opendaddy
>cross compiling is really missing in openBSD to handle very small Platform
>which does not have the power to compile, and more.

If you choose to not become educated, fine, that's your choice.  There
is a completely fine cross-build environment that works well.

We can natively build on a vax and a landisk and a sparc, and the
reality is that all the modern "small platforms" are bigger than that.
Since our src tree with 820MB source tree and 1100MB obj tree, you
surely must be talking about pathetically small machines which don't
exist anymore considering 8GB microSD cards are nearing a buck.

Basically, you are making up excuses, in essence trying to find ways
to blame us for a variety of failings when you are the one who doesn't
attack those goals and targets.

>Thats why i sometimes hope the BSD was just working branches, ready to
>merge into bestBSD.

And precisely who would be served by restructuring everything in that
way?

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

Janne Johansson-3
2013/12/2 Theo de Raadt <[hidden email]>

> >cross compiling is really missing in openBSD to handle very small Platform
> >which does not have the power to compile, and more.
>
> If you choose to not become educated, fine, that's your choice.  There
> is a completely fine cross-build environment that works well.


Also, for SMALL systems (like arduinos and msp430) the ports devel
frameworks has a very nice cross compiling infrastructure, but then we talk
about
2k ram and 32k program space. Dunno if that is "small enough" for you?

--
How low can you go?

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Re: Should Android have used OpenBSD instead of Linux?

Jan Stary
In reply to this post by Matthieu Herrb-5
On Dec 02 13:50:49, [hidden email] wrote:
> And there are specific needs in terms of kernel services to be able to
> route audio to/from the "phone" part of your device

Can you please elaborate on this?

When searching for a good phone-recording application,
I found that in most of them the voice of the other party
gets recorder via the microphone, as it comes out of the speaker,
the reason being exactly that the "android part", namely the
running application, doesn't see the "phone part"'s GSM packets
as they come through the antena.

I have also heard it said that this disconnection between the two
is mandatory in some jurisdictions.