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I just bought a used Sony 7" netbook to play with. It comes with Win CE 6.0, but I would like to switch to a linux distro. I am having ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    Distro for Via m8505 Arm7 cpu w/128 MB ram?


    I just bought a used Sony 7" netbook to play with. It comes with Win CE 6.0, but I would like to switch to a linux distro. I am having problems finding out which distro's will run on an Arm7 architecture. Distrowatch list Meego, Debian, and Slackware as working on arm processors, but the distro sites have no info I can find. They show downloads for the different x86 processors, Atom processors, etc, but no listing for Arm or Via processors. Does anyone know of any distro that will work with this architecture? And if they don't list a Via or Arm download, which version do I download? Thanks for the help, and yes, I know the Sony 7" netbook has a rep for being dog slow, but at the price I got it, it was an affordable experiment.
    Last edited by MASONTX; 06-14-2011 at 05:47 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    After doing a lot of digging, it appears that that chipset will support Android 1.6, but the links I found were all to touchpads with the Via m8505 cpu an 128 MB ram, not Mini-netbooks. Guess I'll just have to wait until the unit arrives and try and see.
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  3. #3
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Good Luck from TX.

    [other] Linux on 7" mini netbook ARM-VT8500 ? - Ubuntu Forums

    101 pages.

    ARM Linux - What is it?

    Gitter Done.

    More Jaw Jacking Here about building your own woof.

    Maybe you will pioneer your own distro.

    Edit: http://www.debian.org/ports/arm/
    Last edited by rokytnji; 06-15-2011 at 12:55 PM.
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    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    Thanks Rocky. I've never built, ported, or compiled anything, so not sure what would be involved. There seem to be Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Suse, and Puppy efforts in some stage of developement, but all but Puppy require at least 256 MB ram, double what I have. It also seems from what I have read, that I would need to port to the specific hardware of my device. Apparently ARM7 is not as specific as say i386. One poster noted that to make an arch linux distro for the ARM7 you would have to account for over a thousand variations. Even if you found an ARM linux, you would have to recompile for your specific hardware.
    I can burn and install an ISO, but I don't think I know enough to port/compile/build anything. I was hoping that I could just download Arm linux or Android x.x, install and go on my happy way.
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    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    I can burn and install an ISO, but I don't think I know enough to port/compile/build anything. I was hoping that I could just download Arm linux or Android x.x, install and go on my happy way.
    I understand. You and all the other owners of these Chinese arm net-books are are waiting in line for just such a distro. There is a guy at Linux Questions named justboo2u
    who might be just right up your alley maybe.
    Journey to Linux-ify a Chinese 'Smartbook'

    Best topology for embedded or flash filesystem

    He doesn't have a high opinion of android though as a solution so far.
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  6. #6
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    Thanks Roky. He has gone farther than anything else I've read, at least on the 8505 chip.
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    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    I keep finding references to linux running on ARM9 and ARM11 chips, but no mention of ARM7. One poster, answering a question about Flash, stated that it would only run on ARM9 or newer chips.
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