"Anybody who looks at an Android system knows that, while
Android is certainly based on the Linux kernel, it is not a
traditional Linux system by any stretch. But Android is free
software; might it be possible to create a more "normal" Android
while preserving the aspects that make Android interesting?
Developers Mario Torre and David Fu think so; they also plan to
soon have the code to back it up. Their well-attended FOSDEM talk
covered why they would want to do such a thing and how they plan to
"Mario and David are annoyed that Android does not run on a
normal Linux system, on any other operating system, or on any
architecture except ARM (though they did note the in-progress x86
port). They like their Android applications and want to be able to
run them on ordinary systems. To get there, they have developed a
plan of decoupling the various parts of an Android system so that
they can be replaced. Then they will implement whatever pieces are
needed using ordinary Java and the openJDK; that includes
implementing a Dalvik virtual machine (VM) in Java and/or running
Dalvik as a standalone application. The result will be IcedRobot -
an Android implementation built with ordinary Java and which can
run on standard operating systems.
"Why would one get into a project like this? As Mario put it:
they like Google TV and want to run it on a desktop system. It
might be nice to dispense with GNOME shell or Unity altogether and
run in a pure Android environment. Or, on a traditional desktop,
one could run interesting Android applications as "desklets."
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