Netplan v0.105 is now available

I’m happy to announce that Netplan version 0.105 is now available on GitHub and is soon to be deployed into an Ubuntu/Debian installation near you! Six month and exactly 100 commits after the previous version, this release is brought to you by 7 free software contributors from around the globe.

Changelog

  • Add support for VXLAN tunnels (#288), LP#1764716
  • Add support for VRF devices (#285), LP#1773522
  • Add support for InfiniBand (IPoIB) (#283), LP#1848471
  • Allow key configuration for GRE tunnels (#274), LP#1966476
  • Allow setting the regulatory domain (#281), LP#1951586
  • Documentation improvements & restructuring (#287)
  • Add meson build system (#268)
  • Add abigail ABI compatibility checker (#269)
  • Update of Fedora RPM spec (#264)
  • CI improvements (#265#282)
  • Netplan set uses the consolidated libnetplan YAML parser (#254)
  • Refactor ConfigManager to use the libnetplan YAML parser (#255)
  • New netplan_netdef_get_filepath API (#275)
  • Improve NetworkManager device management logic (#276), LP#1951653

Bug fixes

Netplan v0.104 is now available

I’m happy to announce that netplan.io version 0.104 is now available on Github and has been uploaded into the next Ubuntu LTS release, code name “Jammy”: netplan.io 0.104-0ubuntu1! This is a big release that has been brought to you by 10 contributors around the globe.

Changelog:

  • Enable embedded-switch-mode setting on SmartNICs (#253)
  • Permit multiple patterns for the driver globs in match (#202), LP#1918421
  • Improve routing capabilities (#248), LP#1892272LP#1805038
  • Support additional link offload options for networkd (#225) (#242), LP#1771740
    • receive-checksum-offloadtransmit-checksum-offloadtcp-segmentation-offload,
      tcp6-segmentation-offloadgeneric-segmentation-offloadgeneric-receive-offload,
      large-receive-offload
  • Consolidate enum-to-string arrays (#230)
  • Handle differing ip6-privacy default value for NetworkManager (#263)
  • YAML state tracking (--state rootdir) for DBus API and netplan try (#231), LP#1943120
  • Support ConfigureWithoutCarrier (ignore-carrier) for networkd (#215)
  • Move primary git branch master to main
  • Documentation improvements (#226)
  • Compatibility for glib-2.70 (#235)
  • Cleanup Makefile, install only public headers
  • Improve test reliability & enable integration testing CI for autopkgtests
  • Netplan get to use the libnetplan parser (#252)
  • libnetplan:
    • introduce the notion of NetplanState (#232)
    • use an explicit parser context (#233)
    • expose coherent generator APIs (#239)
    • improve overall error handling (#234)
    • consolidation of YAML parsing into the library (#241#249#250#251)
  • Restrict the symbol export to a determined public API (#227)
    • WARNING: We dropped some internal symbols from the API that we know
      have no external consumers (that we are aware of)
    • 0.103: _serialize_yamlcontains_netdef_typetmpvalidate_default_route_consistency
    • 0.102: cur_filenamenetplan_netdef_new
    • 0.100: address_option_handlersis_hostnamevalidate_ovs_targetwireguard_peer_handlers
    • 0.99: current_fileis_ip4_addressis_ip6_addressmissing_id,
      missing_ids_foundparser_errorvalidate_backend_rulesvalidate_netdef_grammar,
      yaml_error

Bug fixes:

  • Fix removal of defunct OVS vlan interfaces (#256), LP#1959147
  • Make ConfigManager cleanup on destruction (#259), LP#1959729
  • Do not write unvalidated YAML from keyfile (#247), LP#1952967
  • Disable temporary address generation for real with NetworkManager (#244), LP#1948027
    • this is a slight change in behavior for NM, but is in line with the docs
      and implementation of the networkd backend renderer
  • Ignore empty YAML hints and delete files on set network=null (#246), LP#1946957
  • Wait for ‘netplan try’ to be ready in DBus API (#245), LP#1949893
  • Initialize self.state in apply (#243), LP#1949104
  • Driver fallback to nl80211 and/or wext for wpa_supplicant (#240), LP#1814012
  • Handle missing gateway in keyfile routes, keep dns-search fallback (#238)
  • Make it possible to unset a whole devtype subtree (#236), LP#1942930
  • Fix normalization of multiple keys on a single dict in tests (#229)
  • Add default-routes feature flag
  • Fix memory leaks, dangling pointers & overall cleanup of API data (#228)
  • Small whitespace and formatting fixes & shipping EditorConfig (#224)

OpenPhoenux at FOSDEM 2013

openphoenux-logo
The team of OpenPhoenux presented the development process of the open hardware and free software powered mobile plattform “GTA04” at FOSDEM 2011 and 2012, including working prototypes and preview-boards for developers.

OpenPhoenux-3704Now, that the OpenPhoenux has taken off to reach a broader audience, we’ll show off all the open hardware (prototypes of new products and finished devices) at FOSDEM 2013. We hope you’re already eager to have your hands on the latest and greatest open mobile handhelds, which will be presented at our booth!

All of those are based on the GTA04 open mobile plattform, whose latest revision GTA04-A5 is ready and waiting for pre-orders to finance the next production run.

In addition, there are still a few complete GTA04 (revision A4) smartphone units on stock at the Openmoko reseller Pulster.eu. Contact him for further information.

Those are all great hardware projects for Linux/FOSS enthusiasts and freedom lovers! But the World of OpenPhoenux is not limited to hardware gadgets, but is connected to several other open mobile and communication projects, as well:

SHR    

So, if you’re visiting FOSDEM this year and are interested in open mobile communications it is a must to drop by the “World of OpenPhoenux”-booth (No. 3) in building AW, right next to Jolla/Sailfish, Hackable Devices/MakerBot, Enlightenment and more!

We’re looking forward to meet you there, answer your questions and demo the devices to you!

AW_stands

Openmoko/OpenPhoenux GTA04 jumps off

Table of Contents

gta04+pcblayout

The Story

All started off after Openmoko Inc. began to ship the Openmoko Neo 1973 (GTA01) and Neo Freerunner (GTA02) in 2007, which are fully open source smartphones. A dream became true for many open source lovers and technology enthusiasts at that time.

Sadly, Openmoko Inc. canceled their efforts for an open smartphone in 2009. But due to their openness (schematics, hardware specifications, software) it was possible for enthusiasts from the Openmoko community, with great support from Golden Delicious Computers (one of the german Openmoko distributors), to develop a new and modern open smartphone – the OpenPhoenux GTA04.

Technical Specifications

DSC00972

  • 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor (DM3730)
  • PowerVR integrated graphics (SGX530)
  • 2.8” resistive VGA touchscreen
  • HSDPA 3G modem (Option GTM601)
  • 512MB RAM
  • 1GB internal memory & SDHC card slot (up to 32GB)
  • WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Transceiver
  • Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Barometric Altimeter
  • USB 2.0 OTG port, 2.5mm headset port, GPS antenna port, video out

Prototypes & First production run (2012)

om_beagle_hybrid
Golden Delicious Computers and the enthusiasts from the Openmoko community started off with the idea of stuffing a BeagleBoard into a Neo Freerunner case and connecting an USB UMTS dongle to it – this was the first prototype GTA04A1, announced in late 2010 and presented at OHSW 2010 and FOSDEM 2011.

Next, they started to integrate all of this onto a single PCB of the same size as the Neo 1973/Freerunner boards, so it could fit into their cases, use their batterys, antennas, speakers, buttons and touchscreens. This board was then called GTA04A2 – the second prototype, which had quite some problems. A redesign of that prototype resulted to the GTA04A3 “Early-Adpoter” boards, which were shipped to about 20 develpoers, enabling them to start with software development for the platform.
LinuxTag12The next step was to reach out to the people by presenting the project on other conventions like the FOSDEM 2012, Openmobility 2012, Linuxwochen 2012 and the LinuxTag 2012, to produce bigger batches of GTA04s. To finance the first production run of the GTA04A4 (which includes some more fixes over the GTA04A3) Goldelico collected pre-orders from interested people from the Openmoko community. They were able to collect about 250 pre-orders and were thus able to start the first big OpenPhoenux production run.

GTA04 Boards in vapour phase soldering machine
GTA04 Boards in vapour phase soldering machine
Unfortunately, “mass”-production turned out not to be an easy task. Goldelico had to find, analyse and solve a lot of problems within the production line and especially in the soldering process, which took a lot of time. Because of all the troubles the people who pre-ordered in the beginning had to wait about 1 year to finally get their devices. At the end of 2012 all problems were solved and the “Group-Tour” had successfully finished. The GTA04 team is very happy to have reached that big milestone. Now that there are about 300 GTA04s (A3+A4) out in the wild, the interest in the Linux/FOSS community seems to be growing for our project. To satisfy that growing demand Goldelico will happily produce more GTA04s of revision A5 (which will include some minor fixes over the A4).

“Now as we have finally learned everything about mass production […], it is time to kick-start the next [production run].” (Dr. Schaller, Golden Delicious Computers)

Next production run (2013) – Out now!

DSC01512To finance the 2nd production run of about 200 more GTA04 boards Goldelico started to collect pre-orders just recently. The production should run smoothly that time, as there were no big changes and the process is known. Production will start in march 2013 and the boards should ship shortly after that.

If you’re interested in pre-ordering one of those new A5 boards, check out the Handheld-Linux store. If you’re interested in getting a complete “Letux 2804” unit (GTA04 board build into an Openmoko Freerunner case) now you can get it from the first OpenPhoenux reseller Pulster.eu (stock is limited!).

OpenPhoenux ecosystem

openphoenux
While preparing the next revision of the GTA04 and solving production problems, the guys at Goldelico started to experiment with other GTA04 powered devices. So it is no secret, that there is already an open GTA04 tablet prototype (Letux 7004) and the ready to use GTA04 professional PDA (Letux 3704), which can be used e.g. in logistics (RFID), measurement (GPS) or guiding tasks (big sunlight readable screen & long lasting battery).
The software for the GTA04 is already in a good shape as well. Besides the Debian (squeeze) hardware-validation image, there is the Debian based QtMoko distribution and the FSO based SHR distribution, which makes the GTA04 useable as a daily phone. Furthermore, a port of Replicant (fully open source Android) is in the works. All in all the GTA04 owners in the OpenPhoenux community seem to be satisfied with their devices, so is Nikolaus Schaller from Goldelico:

“[…] I enjoy every day to be member of this OpenPhoenux community. Let’s make the OpenPhoenux fly to new levels next year!” (Dr. Schaller, Golden Delicious Computers)

I really appreciate to see our community grow again and can just second Nikolaus’ sentence. I wish the community a successful year 2013, in which we can satisfy a lot of free software enthusiasts and freedom lovers needs. OpenPhoenux – Free your phone!

Some more Goodies

There are still some more goodies in the pipeline… So stay tuned!


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OpenPhoenux: Letux Smartphone and Tablet

OpenPhoenux project

The OpenPhoenux project by the german company “Golden Delicious Computers” (goldelico) is creating a fully free software compatible mobile handheld plattform, based upon an open hardware design. The first step was to design a motherboard fitting the Openmoko Neo Freerunner, so owners of Openmoko phones could “upgrade” their devices to state of the art hardware.

To finance the production of the first big batch of GTA04 boards, goldelico collected preorders of interested people [0]. This “Group Tour” enabled them to start production of about 200 boards, which started to ship to it’s new owners in May 2012 and the last ones are going to be shipped in the coming weeks. Now – about one year and a lot of production complications later – the first batch of GTA04A4 boards is finished [1] and the next one is being prepared [2]. It will include the new GTA04A5 board design, providing some minor bug fixes, and a now working production process.

If you’re interested in one of the new GTA04A5 boards, please subscribe to the OpenPhoenux-Community mailinglist, to get notified about the next production batch and the next round of preorder collection.
It is also possible to register your non-binding interest in one of the new GTA04a5 boards, by using the “Wishlist” functionality, this enables goldelico to estimate the demand and thus the next batch’s size.

Register non-binding interest: http://www.handheld-linux.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04
Visit the project’s website at: www.OpenPhoenux.org

Letux 2804 – Smartphone

The Letux 2804 is a smartphone providing a 2.8” touchscreen and a GTA04 core. It’s case can be produced by a 3D printer.
Technical Specifications:

  • 800 MHz / 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor
  • PowerVR SGX integrated graphics
  • 2.84” (43mm x 58mm) VGA touchscreen
  • HSDPA 3G modem
  • 512MB RAM
  • 512MB internal memory + micro SDHC up to 32GB
  • WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Transceiver
  • Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Barometric Altimeter, Camera
  • USB 2.0 port, 2.5mm headset port, GPS antenna port, video out
  • QtMoko, SHR, Android (Replicant), Debian, …

Letux 7004 – Tablet

The Letux 7004 is a free software centric tablet, powered by a 7.0” touchscreen and the same GTA04 core, as it’s small brother Letux 2804. This tablet was developed while solving the GTA04 production problems and is in the prototyping phase at the moment. So it’s not yet ready to order, unfortunately.
Technical Specifications:

  • 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor
  • PowerVR SGX integrated graphics
  • 7” (140mm × 110mm) VGA touchscreen
  • HSDPA 3G modem
  • 1GB RAM
  • 512MB internal memory + micro SDHC up to 32GB
  • WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Transceiver
  • Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Barometric Altimeter
  • USB 2.0 port, 3.5mm headset port, Ethernet port, GPS antenna port, video out
  • QtMoko, SHR, Android (Replicant), Debian, …

If you’re interested in high quality open hardware, “Made in Germany”, which is fully compatible with you favorite free and open source software, you should definitely track the projects mentioned above and jump in to get one of those great devices once you’re ready. I’m absolutely satisfied with my GTA04A3 early adopter board, which I’m happily using since over one year!

[0] http://lists.goldelico.com/pipermail/gta04-owner/2011-November/000679.html
[1] http://lists.goldelico.com/pipermail/community/2012-September/000091.html
[2] http://lists.goldelico.com/pipermail/community/2012-October/000103.html

Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag

LPI Linux Essentials

I took part in the “LPI Linux Essentials” Beta program at LinuxTag 2012 in Berlin (May 23rd, 2012). Today I got my official certificate, finally. I’m now recognized as an approved Linux and Open Source enthusiast and supporter:

In my opinion the Linux Essentials program is a nice thing, especially it’s intention to get young people at school in touch with the basics of computers and the ideals of Linux and Open Source Software. I hope the Linux Essentials recognition will broaden, now that it is officially started and find it’s way into more schools.

If you’re interested in the LPI Linux Essentials Certificate, please have a look at it’s official website:
https://www.lpi.org/linux-certifications/introductory-programs/linux-essentials

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webOS is going to be OpenSource Software

HP the company which bought Palm some time ago just announced, that they are going to release webOS as open source software! The Linux kernel side of webOS was open souce since the beginning, with a few exceptions like the PowerVR 3D driver and the touchscreen driver.
We’ll see how far HP will go and what parts they’ll really open up (their announcement didn’t mention the modem protocol for example).

webOS is probably the best and most intuitive software running on smartphones today. And was said to be “the iPhone killer”. Unfortunately the first device it was sold on (Palm Pre) wasn’t exactly the best hardware as it had serveral flaws like a bad keyboard slider. Thus webOS wasn’t adopted by masses of developers and suffered from a lack of applications, which in turn made it uninteresting to end users.

I got a Palm Pre in the early days and I also got a HP|Palm Pre2 developer device some months ago, which I still enjoy to use. All in all I enjoyed developing for those devices, too, but it was pretty depressing to reverse engineer parts of the modem protocol, to be able to have it communicate with the FreeSmartphone.org (FSO) middleware and run a really free and open source operating system like SHR.

So with this news from HP what we could probably get in 2012 is:

Let’s hope the best for the mobile FOSS community in 2012!

Openmoko/Goldelico GTA04 is available for the masses!

Goldelico GTA04 – free your phone!

The Goldelico GTA04 >OpenPhoenux< finally made it! Order your GTA04 replacement board for your Openmoko Freerunner (GTA02) and/or 1973 (GTA01) now! (www.handheld-linux.com)

Technical Specifications

  • 800 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor
  • PowerVR SGX integrated graphics
  • 2.84” (43mm x 58mm) VGA touchscreen
  • HSDPA 3G modem
  • 512MB RAM
  • 512MB internal memory + SDHC card slot
  • WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Transceiver
  • Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Barometric Altimeter
  • USB 2.0 port, 2.5mm headset port, GPS antenna port, video out

Info: The GTA04 project only provides a mainboard, which can be used to upgrade a Neo 1973/Freerunner, while still using their case, touchscreen, antennas, speakers and buttons/leds.

The release announcement

Dear all,
I take for granted that you all are eagerly waiting for an annoucement
that another batch of GTA04 boards becomes available. We did wait
with an announcement until we can really answer all questions.

Now, we think we can.

Components have all been ordered for another (small) batch so that we
can get them from production in December. If everything goes well, we
can even ship out some boards before Christmas.

The boards are named GTA04A4 (meaning the PCB revision). They
are fully featured from hardware side:

* DM3730@800 MHz
* UMTS module with 3.75G (up to 14.4 MBit/s)
* Sensors (Barometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer)
* GPS
* connector for optional camera module
* well documented building blocks so that you can write your own
boot loaders and kernels. Nobody stops your creativity and
nobody is pretending to protect you from yourself!

So you get something that is unique. A motherboard upgrade for
a handheld device. With open documentation to develop free and
open software. And, a community dedicated to continue the pioneering
work of the first Openmoko team. Last but not least, a team that listens
to your wishes for future upgrades and trying to fulfill them.

How much will it cost?

We know that most of you do expect that it is not too expensive, something
in the range of the GTA02. Unfortunately, we can't fulfill this specific wish.
There are two main reasons (besides we are not financial magicians):

1. the device has some very expensive components (CPU + Memory +
UMTS module)

2. we have really small production batches and therefore, have to pay
much more for the components than e.g. Apple or HTC (factor 2-3
compared to reports from iSuppli).

And, we can't subsidize devices because this is not a feasible long-term
strategy from an economical point of view.

But since raising the size of the batches ("bulk purchasing") has a
big effect ("economies of scale"), we have developed a strategy that should
make everyone happy:

A) there will be units available from (limited) stock shortly before Christmas,
at a high price. We try to produce more of these units to fulfill orders
within days. This offer is also good for getting samples for projects.

B) you can participate in a group-buy at a lower price. This requires
that we reach a certain number of units before we can start production.

So the price and availablility are:

a) 666,66 EUR; available for shipment from stock; planned to start
on 19th December

b) 499.99 EUR; requires 300 ordered units before 10th February 2012
(week after FOSDEM); production start expected for April 2012. There
is also a rebate for the first 100 early bookings.

There are rebates for quantites: 5% for orders of 5 units, 10% for 10 units,
12% for 50 units. So if you build buying groups (like for the Freerunners),
you can save some more money.

Both offers are ready for preorder/subscription through this link:

http://www.handheld-linux.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04

There is a third type of offer - a customized GTA04 board. This means you
can order a board variant where not all components are installed. And the
display connector can be replaced by a Board2Board connector. This allows
to plug the GTA04 like a module on a master board and develop different
handhelds and tablets based on the GTA04 design.

An example of such a device can be seen here:

http://www.handheld-linux.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04%20Custom

Finally, I have compiled some FAQ we have received in the past. If your
question is not amongst them, please ask.

So let's prove that the Openmoko community can not only design and
build samples of a GTA04 but also go into perpetual mass production.

Nikolaus Schaller

FAQ:

Q: Do I need a GTA01 or GTA02?
A: Yes. The GTA04 is a motherboard that fits into a GTA01 or GTA02
case. It does not have all electromechanic compontents. Missing are:
GSM antenna, internal GPS receiver, Earpiece speaker, Handsfree
speakers, Vibracall motor, Battery holder, Battery, USB power supply,
and very important: it does not include a display module. So you have
to take all missing parts from an existing GTA01 or GTA02.

The only exception is the LCD module where we can provide spare
parts.

But you can operate the board without these components - but then
it is not a handheld portable computer with phone functionality.

Or you can try to build your own case. Some inspiring proposals
and samples have been shown recently (e.g. wooden case).

Q: Does the device support the US frequencies?
A: Yes, it is Quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA (3.75G), but not
CDMA2000 1x nor EV-DO

Q: Does it have FCC and CE approvals?
A: At the moment partially. The UMTS module and the WLAN chipsets
are fully precertified. And the GTA04 system has successfully passed
the CE emmission tests, that it does not produce harmful interferences.
We are just missing the CE ESD and safety tests.

Q: Why do I have to wait so long if I participate in the group buy?
A: The reason is that our project has no external funding and needs
to collect enough money before we can order chips and components.
This introduces two types of delay: the preorder-window and then
the delivery time of components. E.g. PCBs are built to our specific
request and that needs between 20 and 30 working days. And
producing and testing several 100 units needs quite a while

Q: Will there be variants?
A: We have decided to run only a single variant with all components
installed. It turned out to be cheaper in total than to have a low-end
variant (e.g. without sensors) and a high-end variant.

We have one variant that we can provide on demand: the module
version. You can use it as the basis for connecting larger displays
and experiment with alternate cases. Details how to mount mechanically
and the pin layout can be found in the System Manual

Q: Does it work with a GTA01 case?
A: Yes. You will even get stereo speakers since the speaker box of the
GTA02 has two. One was sacrificed in the GTA02 to provide WLAN.

Q: Do you have complete phones?
A: We have a handful of complete phones built from returned GTA02
units. They are also available in the shop:

http://www.handheld-linux.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04%20Complete

Q: Do I get the money back if the group buy does not reach the minimum
quantity within the preorder window?
A: Yes. 100% (less money transfer cost).

Q: What is the status of the software?
A: We (Goldelico) do offer a hardware validation kernel and a
Debian/LXDE rootfs, but this does not comprise a phone software.
Projekts like SHR, QtMoko and others are in the middle of porting
their distros to the GTA04 platform. So the software is not completely
ripe but on good progress.

But we already can do phone calls by a simple shell script and
apt-get install through UMTS.

Q: Is there driver support for every bit and piece of the hardware?
A: We do not yet have drivers for Camera, IrDA, Audio IN, Torch/Flash,
FM radio. If you can support the development, please help!

Please also note that these hardware parts have not been tested in
detail. So they may not work at all.

Q: Where are the schematics?
A: The System Manual includes the schematics:

http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-main/downloads/37/

They will be updated soon to reflect the changes from the GTA04A3 (Early
Adopter) to the GTA04A4 board.

Q: Do you have spare components like case, antenna etc.?
A: We can't buy or produce these parts and have no steady supply.
We will try to get some replacements, but can't promise.

Q: Is it possible to downgrade from the GTA04 to GTA02?
A: If you swap the display again, yes. You can also get a second
display module so that you can simply swap the GTA02 and GTA04
boards+display units within minutes:

http://www.handheld-linux.com/wiki.php?page=LCD%20Module

Q: Do I need a debug board?
A: No. The TI OMAP is "unbrickable" and you just may need a
RS232 cable to boot and reconfigure NAND flash parameters.

Q: I want to use it in a project and need 50, 100, 500, 1000 units.
A: For samples or small quantities, please order them from our
shop. For larger batches, please contact us and we will find out
how fast we can produce and at which volume rebate. Depending
on quantities, we can develop and produce variants.

Q: What can I do to increase the likelihood that the group buy
reaches the minimum quantity?
A: Convince your fellow GTA01/02 owners to think about buying
a GTA04 board. Talk, Mail, Blog about the GTA04 to make it
known that the Openmoko project did lift off again.

Q: I don't feel comfortable to replace the motherboard myself.
A: The most critical part is to remove the LCD module from the
GTA01/GTA02 board. Either find someone to do it for you. Or
get a spare part. Or send the device to us and we will do it for
you at a small fee.

Please follow the instructions like for a buzz rework:

http://www.handheld-linux.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04%20Installation%20Service

Q: I am a reseller. How can I get devices?
A: You are welcome to support the Openmoko movement. But
we can't give any big dealer margins because the components
and production are already very expensive. Please contact us
for details.

Q: My country is not listed in your shop.
A: Running export into all countries on this world needs a
lot of paperwork and knowledge to follow all the customs
regulations. And worse, we have some US-Technology
inside the GTA04 that is classified by EAR. So we need
a re-export permission. This is all beyond our capabilites.
Therefore we have to regret that we can't serve all countries
on this world. But you may find friends who live in a country
we can directly serve and you manage the export yourself.

Free platforms Go On, despite former giant’s NoGo

This is an official PR announcement from the FOSS community.
Different translations are available here: wiki.freesmartphone.org
/CZ /DE /ES /PL

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 – Despite the recent departure of a former mobile handset manufacturer giant, several developing teams and their users are actually… happily hacking on. With the longterm goal of a fully Free Software platform for embedded systems, the teams of FSO, SHR, QtMoko, Replicant and AndroidOnFreerunner invite others to join and participate in projects which are not driven left and right by the  unpredictable follies of corporate management.

«We have been making a steady progress throughout the years. The major requirement has been a solid, Linux supported hardware, and for that we have been using Openmoko, Palm Pre, N900 and HTC phones – and ambitioned forthcoming projects like Goldelico’s GTA04. All these devices are providing a great development platform for those who seek truly open and independent system for their learning, coding and even professional or commercial use.» — says Dr. Michael Lauer from FSO.

There’s a temporary advantage when big players like FIC (Openmoko), Nokia+Intel (MeeGo) and Google (Android) invest in Free Software Projects. Though if the project contains parts of proprietary code, it depends on the investor. At some point the investor might abandon the project and the community. Then the project is doomed because the community can not fix any bugs in the proprietary code or adapt it to newer/other APIs.

«We believe in another model – proven to be both sustainable and satisfactory – where everybody can contribute their knowledge and learn at the same time, without proprietary code blobs and no closed doors boardroom meetings. This allows us to use existing hardware even when the maker decided to abandon it all together or is not willing to update it anymore. Anybody is able to commit, read, comment on or download the source code.»

The teams invite both users and developers to look at their project pages, the current results, motivations and needs, as well as to join the mailing lists, wikis, forums, IRC rooms or what  not, to chat, listen and eventually contribute in order to create the free and open embedded platform for their devices.

The communities of FSO, SHR, QtMoko, Replicant and Android on Freerunner

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Steam is comming to Linux, now for real!

Yay, seems like the Steam Client, the Steam Engine, the Steam Games and the 666casino games are comming to Linux, now for real.

There is no official announcement by Valve, yet.
But there are Linux binaries and a Linux launcher script on the valve servers publically available.

The Mac version, which is related to the Linux version (with regard to porting it to OpenGL, Webkit, etc…) and officially announced, is in a closed Beta at the moment.

So we may see the Linux version after the Mac version is in it’s final state.
Phoronix suspects a Linux version release in June.

Check out these articles at Phoronix:

Proof In Steam’s Mac Client Of Linux Support
Yet More Signs Of Valve’s Steam On Linux
There Is No Doubt, Steam Is Coming To Linux!