Linux kernel 3.3 released, Android kernel code merged

The latest version of the Linux kernel is now available, and the team responsible for the mainline kernel have merged code from the Android project. This will make it possible to boot Android from a vanilla Linux kernel and should make it easier for developers to write apps for both platforms.

Google Nexus One with Ubuntu

This could make it easier to run Android apps on some Linux distributions, or make it easier for developers creating custom Android ROMs to work with a Linux kernel.

Google Android has always been based on a version of the Linux kernel, but Google has made a number of changes over the years, and the Linux kernel 3.3 will incorporate some of those changes into the main branch.

A kernel is basically the core of an operating system. The reason Android and Ubuntu can use similar kernels but look so different is because they’re running different shells (user environments) and apps on top of that kernel. But with the release of the latest kernel, the gap could get a little smaller. It could also make life easier for hackers looking to port Ubuntu or other Linux-based operating systems to run on phones and tablets that ship with Android.

via Hacker News

  • Mr. T

    I can see the point about making it easier to port this or that Linux variant to an Android device, but I’m having a lot more trouble seeing how this affects userspace applications. The kernel differences are not the major roadblock for user applications: the differences in userland libraries are. Most Linux applications depend, at some level, on the GNU userland libraries. Android lacks those. Most Android applications rely on UI widgets that are specific to Android. Most Linux distros lack those libraries. The application logic for most Android apps is written in Java, which is about as platform-agnostic as it gets. I’m really not seeing how a shared kernel addresses those issues.

    • TT

      Its more about Hardware support.  The Kindle Fire has a problem with using Hardware Acceleration to enable flash and netflix on rooted installs of ICS. This would enable better HW support.

    • sola

      This will also make it easier for Canonical to ship Ubuntu for Android for many devices.

      That will make it possible to use EVERY Linux applications on your Android device without dual-booting.