Canonical working on Ubuntu ARM

November 17, 2008 | 12:28

Tags: #a8 #cortex #net-book #netbook #os #ulpc #umpc #x86

Companies: #amd #arm #canonical #intel #ubuntu

With UK-based chip manufacturer ARM pitching its Cortex range of low-energy processors firmly at the growing netbook market, we're going to need an operating system that can run on the non-x86 hardware: enter Ubuntu.

According to an article over on CNet, Canonical is looking to develop a version of desktop-oriented Ubuntu Linux specifically for the ARM Cortex A8 and A9 single and multi-core processors.

Ian Drew, ARM's vice president of marketing at ARM has stated that “the release of a full Ubuntu desktop distribution supporting [the] latest ARM technology will enable rapid growth, with Internet-everywhere, connected, ultraportable devices. Working with Canonical will pave the way for the development of new features and innovations to all connected platforms.

Jane Silber, chief operating officer at Canonical, has echoed Drew's sentiments, saying that “this is a natural development for Ubuntu, driven by the demand from manufacturers for an ARM technology-based version.” Currently Ubuntu is only available in x86 form for 32-bit and 64-bit CPUs, although the Debian platform on which it is based has had an ARM build available for quite some time.

With Ubuntu ARM due to hit the shelves some time after April next year, and coupled with UI work that Canonical is doing specifically for the netbook market, the future of the ultra-portable might just be in Canonical and ARM's hands.

Hoping that ARM can make the transition from 'phone handsets to netbooks with a little help from Canonical, or are you only interested in such a device if it's running Microsoft Windows on a good old x86 chip? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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