Experiences with Linux Mobile
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Mobile phones are becoming more and more complex in terms of both hardware and software. Linux Mobile, as a term covering both the kernel and its surrounding components that together form the operating system, is said to have the potential to become the de-facto standard operating system for mobile phones and an enabler for advanced future mobile services. This master thesis evaluates key aspects and central mechanisms of the Linux kernel and how it supports its surrounding hardware and software components in a flexible manner. The main work consisted of investigating the necessary kernel subsystems, with focus on the latest major kernel release for as being able to provide the demanded real-time responsiveness for mobile phones. Further, the typical hardware architecture for this form factor is examined and discussed with focus on the important aspects of responsibility, power management, and memory. The combination of the hardware and the flexibility of Linux is demonstrated through the booting process. Both major commercial and open source development platforms are investigated to elaborate on the opportunities of employing Linux as an enabler for advanced mobile services. The attempt of building a cross platform tool chain as a basis for a development platform was carried out with only partial success. It is described with the results achieved and steps planned. Based on the topics discussed and the results achieved the thesis is concluded with a discussion of whether Linux Mobile has the potential to become the de-facto standard mobile operating system, and what challenges and opportunities that are brought along with it.