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Hi all, I wonder if you could help me with a question for my studies? I'm writing an essay on open source software for uni (Digital Media BA). For part ...
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    How can I find out if a device uses Linux? e.g. Garmin Nüvi 3760T sat nav


    Hi all,

    I wonder if you could help me with a question for my studies?

    I'm writing an essay on open source software for uni (Digital Media BA).

    For part of the essay, I want to show that consumers are using Linux without realising it these days e.g. in devices such as Sat Navs.

    I'm looking at this month's Which Magazine's best-buy Sat Navs and trying to work out which ones use Linux. For some of them it's obvious, but I'm a bit stuck on the following:

    Garmin Nüvi 3760T
    Garmin Nüvi 1690
    Garmin Nüvi 1310

    I can see that Garmin do use Linux.
    On their website they list the following devices as Linux-based: (Sorry can't link to it as I'm new here!)

    nüvi 295W
    nüvi 8xx Series
    nüvi 5xxx Series
    nüvi 9xx Series
    nüvifone G60 Series (APAC)
    nuvifone G60 Series (AT&T)
    nuvifone G60 Series (Atlantic)
    nuvifone G60 Series (Poland, Czech Republic & Greece)
    nuvifone G60 Series (Sunrise)


    Mine don't seem to be on the list. But can anyone confirm this for sure?
    In the specs online they just seem to mention compatibility with Mac and Windows, which sounds like Linux to me

    If anyone has a clue how to find this out I'd be very grateful.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    oz
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    Hello and welcome!

    If you haven't done so already, check this site for lots of info on devices using Linux:

    The Linux Devices Showcase - Linux For Devices Articles - Linux for Devices
    oz

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    Hi Ozar, thanks for the reply, and the welcome

    That link will be great for my essay thanks! This is all new to me, i'm learning lots.

    I'm still confused about the Garmin phones though. The Linux Devices site links to an article which says

    It had been rumored since the Nuvi 880 and Nuvi 860 shipped several months ago that the devices were equipped with embedded Linux, but when LinuxDevices asked Garmin for source code in March, the company replied: "Unfortunately, the information about the operating system of Garmin devices is considered proprietary." The Garmin Linux source code page, however, now lists source code for version 2.6, 2.7, and 2.8 of the Nuvi 8xx software, as well as versions 3.7 and 3.8 for the Nuvi 5xxx.
    (Sorry I still can't do links - only another 13 posts to go )

    The models I'm looking for aren't mentioned anywhere.

    I wonder - do you think it's fair enough to assume that because Garmin were using Linux for earlier models, they probably are using still using it now? (Especially as it seems they were pretty slow in declaring that they were using Linux before?)

    I hope so as it will prove the point I'm trying to make if so!

    Cheers

  4. #4
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Note that if Garmin IS using Linux on these systems, and they don't make the source available, then they are going to regret it when the FSF and Linux Foundation get around to it. That would be an egregious violation of the licenses that are part of the Linux system and tools.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Thanks for the response.

    It's a bit odd isn't it that (if my understanding is correct) they said that their phones didn't use Linux, and then changed their minds.

    It will be interesting to see what happens.

  6. #6
    Linux User Manko10's Avatar
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    A quick tip here: some devices send their kernel decompression information to their serial port on boot and some have hidden ports for that.
    Refining Linux Advent calendar: “24 Outstanding ZSH Gems

  7. #7
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberman View Post
    Note that if Garmin IS using Linux on these systems, and they don't make the source available, then they are going to regret it when the FSF and Linux Foundation get around to it. That would be an egregious violation of the licenses that are part of the Linux system and tools.
    Not to worry.....it's available. You just have to look for it.
    Linux Source Code - Garmin Developer
    I didn't actually verify the links themselves...so it's still debatable.
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help, Please keep it on the forums only.
    All new users please read this.** Forum FAQS. ** Adopt an unanswered post.

    I'd rather be lost at the lake than found at home.

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    Perhaps I'm being dense, but I've gone full circle! The page MikeTbob links to (thanks ) is the one I started with.

    There's a list of Nüvi devices, but the ones I'm interested in are specifically these, and they don't seem to be on the list.

    Garmin Nüvi 3760T
    Garmin Nüvi 1690
    Garmin Nüvi 1310

    Perhaps I've misunderstood their product numbering codes, and the models I'm interested in are actually included as part of the series which are listed?

    Or perhaps they are indeed missing?

    The list of Garmin devices which use Linux are, according to that page:

    nüvi 295W
    nüvi 8xx Series
    nüvi 5xxx Series
    nüvi 9xx Series
    nüvifone G60 Series (APAC)
    nuvifone G60 Series (AT&T)
    nuvifone G60 Series (Atlantic)
    nuvifone G60 Series (Poland, Czech Republic & Greece)
    nuvifone G60 Series (Sunrise)

    ... and my ones aren't there - or are they?!

    I'd really appreciate it if anyone could help me make sense of it?

    Thanks

    The essay is going well, in case anyone's interested - which is no mean feat as the last one I wrote was 16 years ago This one's been powered by weak beer and mince pies

  9. #9
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    In these cases I usually send an email to the company's tech support group asking about the devices in question that you are interested in. It is entirely possible that they are using some other embedded OS instead of Linux, such as QNX for example. In that case, the source won't be available, but I would imagine they will tell you that. I have a 760 Nuvi that also doesn't show up on the Linux list.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Good idea, thanks

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