Linux Standard Kernel 3.3 to include Android drivers | webOS Nation

Linux Standard Kernel 3.3 to include Android drivers 18

by Derek Kessler Wed, 15 Feb 2012 6:50 pm EST

webOS on Android hardwarewebOS and Android both have something very fundamental in common - they're based off of the Linux open source kernel. Up until the decision to go open source, Palm and then HP used a custom proprietary version of that kernel to power webOS, but with the OS going open source over the coming months, HP's changing over to the Linux Standard Kernel instead to open up webOS to the wide world of, well, other devices (since HP's not currently making their own). And that brings us to today, when webOS CTO Sam Greenblatt tweeted the following:

"All drivers of Android will be included in Linux kernel 3.3 the LSK. Isn't that interesting?"

Yes, Sam, that is interesting. The merger of Android and Linux kernels with version 3.3 has been going on for a while, but mostly in the circles that are frequented by the uber-techs: the Linux Foundation. They're incorporating a lot of the open source drivers from Android into the open source Linux Standard Kernel, the end goal being to make it easier to install Linux and its derivatives on a wider range of devices.

So what does this mean for Open webOS, now that it's poised to adopt the Linux Standard Kernel? It means that it will be easier for end users to install webOS onto a wider range of devices and get greater support for the hardware inside. Of course, there are plenty of things you can expect to not have support even with Android drivers getting rolled into the kernel. For one, the cellular radios in Android smartphones are powered by proprietary drivers from the manufacturer and won't be included in the Linux Standard Kernel.

Still, it's a big step forward for making it easier to install webOS and other Linux-derived operating systems on a whole universe of Android-powered hardware.

Source: CNXSoft; Via: Sam Greenblatt (Twitter)


This is awesome. A coworker got the Galaxy Nexus and it is a very nice phone. Too big for my preference but very nice indeed. Put my beloved huevos (webOS) on it and I wouldn't care that its too big!!

LMFAO! 'huevOS!' classic.

What's even better is that the Galaxy Nexus has a nice area on the bottom of the screen that can be used as a gesture area for webOS's functions. SO the Galaxy Nexus would actually work rather well with webOS!

No, it doesn't. It has an empty area, but touch sensitivity doesn't extend off the screen.

If they can boot WebOS 3.0 on it then you have no need for gestures. Just touchscreen :D

I wanna put WebOS on my Nokia N800!!! :)


" Palm and then HP used a custom proprietary version of that kernel"

Custom? Yes. Proprietary? No. That would be a violation of the GPL. Sorry for splitting hairs...

Anyway, I suppose this is exciting news, but I'm having trouble finding out what, exactly, this means. For example, I can't see too many graphics drivers making their way into the mainline kernel, since the open "drivers" are just interpreters for binary components. That type of thing tends to get rejected - just ask VIA. That and, from what I understand, it's the Linux Foundation that's working to merge things back into the mainline kernel and not, say, Google (or the ODMs).

Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing, just a huge and immediately usable good thing.

I would love to be able to dual boot webOS and Android on my Galaxy Nexus. Imagine webOS on that beautiful 4.65" 720p screen!!!

android 4.0 is pretty much a mockery of webOS :/ sad how google (along with other companies) stole the best ideas of webOS

To be fair, it's not really stealing. Matias Duarte was the User Experience designer for webOS and was picked up by Google when the HP merger happen. Android 4.0 basically is webOS in terms of design because it's designed by the same person.

This is great news! I bought a Nokia N9.....with ICS being closer to reality on that phone, it means most of the drivers will already be there for it. Hardware wise, it has the same cpu/gpu combo as a Pre2, so I'm *hoping* its a fairly easy port (I say that loosely lol) to bring webOS to what I think is the best looking and best size phone available today.

I just got a Galaxy nexus in white... exactly the same as the picture above. The hardware is awesome! 1280x720p super amoled + NFC + zero lag camera _etc. looking forward to be able to dual boot webOS and android!

If Open webOS can use Android drivers, you should be able to use the proprietaryAndroid drivers when you purchase the hardware giving you the right to use that hardware's driver, right? You just can't redistribute it.

You guys are right, the problem is not with the kernel. To a large extent, the kernel doesn't matter, there's loads of them, all free.

The problem is the drivers. I've been suffering and watching others suffer, with hobby OS projects that always get stuck at the same point: There's no publicly available driver for the current hardware. There are heroic, tremendous reverse engineering efforts to build own drivers from scratch, without vendor support. Some of them yield impressive results, some don't. But all of them mean a huge wear on developers, who simply cant' stand that much effort for such a little reward. You can't be twenty years old forever, and the drain in energy leaves many of these systems half way.

Will it also be easier to install android on the pre3 then?

What I would love to see happen is WebOS running on other hardware like the Galaxy Nexus but also with access to run Android Marketplace apps. I love WebOS as an OS but we need more than just an awesome OS. We need quality apps! Yes, our App Catalog has some really good apps like Picsel Smart Office but we need MORE! I hope this development leads somewhere.

Yes. Very interesting and expected (by me). This is the first step of putting their current manufacturers out there on their own while Giigle makes cutting edge Android phones in their Apple-like R&D and manufacturing operations at Moto Mobility..