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Replicant in Hardware Libre

Added by Juan Torres over 2 years ago

I am thinking of investing my free time in creating a phone more free possible, for what I believe what I believe to be following the philosophy of RepRap, what I intended to use:

  • Raspberry Pi Zero with 5MP or 8 MP camera module.
  • Touch screen 3 "or 5".
  • Battery of 5V , for example a thin external battery.
  • Antenna 3G/GPRS.
  • Module 3G / GPRS.
  • Microphone.
  • Speaker for calls.
  • Outdoor speaker.

The system to use seriously Replicant, the question is Would you have much trouble adapting the system to this device?

THX!


Replies (2)

RE: Replicant in Hardware Libre - Added by Andrés D over 2 years ago

I don't think that the Raspberry Pi Zero is a good choice:

- All Raspberry Pi models are a bad choice for free software. The boot process is made by the video core firmware (proprietary binary), not by the ARM cores. It exists a work in progress open source firmware(1), but it is not complete yet, and anyway a board that is booted by the ARM cores would be better. It probably needs firmware for other components, for example if you choose the wifi version.

- The Raspberry Pi Zero has only 512MB. This is too low RAM for android, in my opinion.

- The Zero has only a single core ARMv6 (ARM11) at 1GHz.

- It's not open hardware itself. You don't have CAD files for the board, and it's not licence as open hardware.

I would suggest Olimex Olinuxino Lime2:

- Good free software support from the bootloader, if you don't use the GPU. It uses an Allwinner SOC (A20) with good mainline Linux support.

- It has 1GB of RAM.

- The hardware is open source. CAD files are available (Eagle) and are licensed as open source.

- Lime2 has a dual core ARMv7 (Cortex-A7) at 1GHz.

- Has on-board LiPo management. It runs from a single cell lithium battery with charger.

- Allwinner SOCs have a good open source community behind (linux-sunxi.org). Also one of the main Replicant developers (paulk) has expresed interest and worked on Allwinner devices(2).

- Olimex, the designer and manufacturer, is very open source friendly.

Anyway, a lot of work needs to be done to port Replicant to either board. Replicant is based on LineageOS, that doesn't run on this boards (or in single board computers in general).

(1) https://github.com/christinaa/rpi-open-firmware
(2) https://code.paulk.fr/article25/an-incentive-for-liberating-computers-my-own-use-case

RE: Replicant in Hardware Libre - Added by Alexis PM about 2 years ago

Raspberry has fatal flaws ( https://libreplanet.org/wiki/SingleBoardComputers ). If you want to do free (libre) software/hardware developments, you must put your sight on OLinuXino (OLinuXino A10 LIME, OLinuXino A20 LIME, OLinuXino A20 LIME2, OLinuXino A20 MICRO,...) and BeagleBone (BeagleBone Black C), perhaps in a near future also EOMA68, you can take a look at https://wiki.debian.org/CheapServerBoxHardware

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