how do I know which linux OS I can install on a pinetab
#1
I am currently learning about the pine tab.  

Is it restricted to running only Ubuntu Touch?  

Were I to purchase one, how would I know which linux distributions I could install on it?  And, how would I learn how to install each one?  

I'm very confused on these questions.  I read a lot that the pint tab will run linux distributions, but I have not seen anyone describe how to do that.
#2
(07-25-2020, 02:52 PM)dln949 Wrote: I am currently learning about the pine tab.  

Is it restricted to running only Ubuntu Touch?  

Were I to purchase one, how would I know which linux distributions I could install on it?  And, how would I learn how to install each one?  

I'm very confused on these questions.  I read a lot that the pint tab will run linux distributions, but I have not seen anyone describe how to do that.
It will probably work the same as with the Pinephone where you put different distros on a SD card and boot from there. I guess most of tutorials will emerge in the wiki, once some people hold devices in their hands.
#3
(07-25-2020, 02:52 PM)dln949 Wrote: I am currently learning about the pine tab.  

Is it restricted to running only Ubuntu Touch?  

Were I to purchase one, how would I know which linux distributions I could install on it?  And, how would I learn how to install each one?  

I'm very confused on these questions.  I read a lot that the pint tab will run linux distributions, but I have not seen anyone describe how to do that.
Please review the Pine64 Pinetab Wiki as a start: https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php/PineTab. The OS section needs updating as Manjaro has done some work as well that may work on the Pinetab. Lastly, there are a few demo YouTube videos, but I would expect more as the early developer batch is received by users.

The wiki will probably undergo a rewrite once the early adopter batch is received as well. Usually for installing on OS on an SD card, you can use Etcher. The PinePhone wiki from Pine64 has detailed instructions (NOOB guide) at https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php?title=...roSD_Cards that should help you understand this better. In practise, it isn't hard to do, and is similar to putting a Linux iso image on a bootable USB.
#4
Like other computers where you download an OS and install it pretty easily, is that a possibility with the PineTab? Or is it restricted to only ARM builds? Obviously it has a large enough screen, and a keyboard and mouse attachment, to work like a normal computer, so what's stopping it from having a full fledged OS installed on it, or am I massively missing something, like drivers and whatnot not being supported? Thanks.
#5
ARM is a brand of processor and has nothing to do with the "full fledgedness" of the software you can run on it.

ARM is not x86, x64, PowerPC, 68k, etc compatible. So you have to run ARM software on an ARM processor, except in emulation.

The PineTab is a "normal computer" unless you only consider computers that run Windows to be "normal". In fact, Windows X will probably run on the PineTab eventually.

You *do* download and install the operating system of your choice on the PineTab. But you're limited to what's available, or what you can make run on it, like any other computer.
#6
(09-08-2020, 03:58 PM)KC9UDX Wrote: ARM is a brand of processor and has nothing to do with the "full fledgedness" of the software you can run on it.

ARM is not x86, x64, PowerPC, 68k, etc compatible.  So you have to run ARM software on an ARM processor, except in emulation.

The PineTab is a "normal computer" unless you only consider computers that run Windows to be "normal".  In fact, Windows X will probably run on the PineTab eventually.

You *do* download and install the operating system of your choice on the PineTab.  But you're limited to what's available, or what you can make the on it, like any other computer.

Thanks for your explanation. Some more noob questions if you don't mind:
- Should the PineBook and Rock(Pro)64 operating systems then work on the PineTab? 
- There must be more OS's out there already designed for ARM than currently on this forum, so is it a driver and software issue that limits what OS's can currently be installed? Is it because ARM requires more software to operate than a x86/x64 processor that I'm used to?
#7
Here's the thing: Comparing x64 to ARM is like comparing a Chevy Nova to a Rambler American.

You pretty much put the same things into them, and they do pretty much the same thing. Just one is more popular just because it's more popular, but therefore has more popular support. But to Nova owners, it's just something that gets you from "point a" to "point b". For American owners, it costs less to own, and you really feel special driving it. The guy at the service station doesn't like it because it's "different".

ARM doesn't require more software. But the PCs you're used to are standardised "Wintel" generic hardware. The PineTab isn't a standard device, fortunately. So that means that most operating systems don't natively support it.

What we should really discuss here, is what operating system do you want to run on the PineTab?
#8
(09-08-2020, 05:08 PM)KC9UDX Wrote: ...

What we should really discuss here, is what operating system do you want to run on the PineTab?

I'm quite happy with what's available, and I am looking forward to the OS's being developed. It was more of a question for whether I could install something like Lakka or retroarch quite easily on the tablet, or whether I'm restricted to what's mentioned in the forums. Lakka has a build that is designed for Rock64, but is that not enough? Will further development be required to adapt it for the PineTab due to differences in hardware?

Are you saying that Windows supports so many different hardware configurations simply because they build it into their OS? And for cases of Ubuntu or OpenSUSE, how do they support the different hardware configurations so easily, is it because the configurations are so standard? Sorry, I should probably google all this...
#9
"PC" hardware is very standardised. The vast majority of one "PC" is very, very compatible with every other "PC". The exception is individual expansion hardwares, which need new drivers (firmware) when they are introduced. What helps is that most hardware developers write drivers for Windows. Many even publish how to write drivers. A good example of an exception is Nvidia. Windows is the only operating system that Nvidia wants to work with their hardware.

In general, hardware that Pine64 uses, is not Windows-compatible. So we rely on manufacturer's specs, or reverse engineering, to make it work. That's why it takes time to get these things working.

I'm not savvy to the particulars of the PineTab itself. It may be quite similar to the Pinebook (not Pinebook Pro). But it may not. If operating systems that run on the Pinebook all run unmodified on the PineTab, then they are similar. But probably not. PineTab might have more in common with PinePhone, which also I don't know too much about. Hopefully someone with more specific knowledge of these products can comment.
#10
quick note on the PineTab/PinePhone compatibility: today in the IRC one of developers mentioned that currently PineTab and PinePhone images are not compatible with each other, since they need to use different display drivers (or something like that). And a unified image (the one which can run on both) should be able to detect on which of these devices it's running.


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