Open webOS Beta made official, supports Ubuntu and OpenEmbedded | webOS Nation

Open webOS Beta made official, supports Ubuntu and OpenEmbedded 29

by Derek Kessler Fri, 31 Aug 2012 1:55 pm EDT

Open webOS Beta made official, supports Ubuntu and OpenEmbedded

As we noted earlier today, one of our eagle-eyed forum members spotted that HP had opened up the build scripts and other open source components for the first Open webOS beta, and that said build of Open webOS was installable on Ubuntu. Well, turns out HP wasn't done open sourcing everything yet, and a short time later the OpenEmbedded build system was also announced. If you're not familiar with OpenEmbedded, it's a build framework for embedded Linux (the base of webOS) to support installs on embedded devices. In the case of Open webOS, the use of OpenEmbedded will make it easier to bring webOS onto new hardware, though it doesn't outright make it work on anything - there's still work you'd have to do. We've looked at the build instructions for the embedded version of Open webOS, and we'll be honest, it's waaaaaay over our heads here.

OpenEmbedded will work with the ongoing ARM codebase of webOS, with the Beta release also including an ARM emulator for testing it. The emulator includes core services like db8, node.js, and the other services that make Open webOS tick. The desktop build, meanwhile, supports running System Manager (LunaSysMgr) as a standalone app on your Ubuntu machine, letting you run the core applications (Calendar, Email, et al) inside it. Oh, and 'many' third part Enyo apps are supported as well, but as we expect Open webOS to be missing some components that couldn't be replaced with open source, some of the stuff your app depends on might not be there.

It's taken several months to get here, and there's still some stuff to do. But this beta milestone marks the release of 54 separate webOS components to open source, totalling 450,000 lines of code.

At the very least we're excited to see that something like OpenEmbedded has been implemented with Open webOS. It's one step closer to being able to install the operating system on… something. What exactly, remains to be seen. But at least we know from the screenshot above that it's not going to look much different at all - it's still webOS.


Ugh, looks like they replaced Prelude with Verdana or something.

I don't think so. I remember seeing Prelude in the source code over at

I really hope they build Open webOS for the nexus 7, That would be incredible.

By the way, does Open webOS 1.0 add any new features that webOS 3.0 didn't have? I know we now have graphic acceleration and some faster engines built in. But will Open webOS support NFC? Bluetooth 4.0? Audio streaming?

" is happening..." :-D

So to install this on a Touchpad, I have to install Ubuntu first. Then I can run Open WebOS on top of Ubuntu on top of WebOS 3.0.5...

Ubuntu can be installed on a Touchpad?

This won't work (without a lot of work). One reason is that build-desktop builds for x86, but on your TouchPad you have armv7.

Precisely. The kernel is one thing, but kernel headers tell Ubuntu what code to use for your system processor. The Ubuntu version of Open webOS beta depends on kernel headers based on x86 Processors. Your TouchPad cannot use it, even with Ubuntu installed, because that version of Ubuntu on your TouchPad uses kernel headers for the ARM Processor series. (And even with the OpenEmbedded version of Open webOS, again, Linux Standard Kernel will not run on the current TouchPad due to proprietary components.)

Not only that, Ubuntu on your TouchPad is limited to applications ported to the ARM Processor. The packages available are different than the desktop version of Ubuntu, for example, VirtualBox which requires an Intel Processor on any system it uses so obviously it won't run on the TouchPad at all. Open webOS package dependencies would also have to meet this requirement as well.

That's the long version of what the above guy said. Someone needs to rework the code to make Open webOS on Ubuntu use Kernel Headers compatible with the TouchPad, and most likely, it's a lot of someones. It's not happenstance that HP decided against porting it to the current TouchPad... it's not impossible, but it won't be quick to do.

wonderful times are upon us :-)

Yes I agree. I use Ubuntu on my laptop and I am a proud owner of 2 Touchpads 2 Palm Pixi and one Palm pre.


Can someone make a video of how to install it on a tp? I kno there's lots of instruction but not very with that stuff. I want to install it on my tp if possible. :(

It currently isn't possible to install Open webOS on the TouchPad, and it's unknown if it will ever be.

There's no indication that the touchpad will ever be supported, due to the availability of the closed source drivers.

Is Prelude (the typeface) included as part of this release?

So since there is a build for OpenEmbedded, this means that openwebOS can be built for the PandaBoard?

Also, could this build be used on ubuntu embedded? There is a version of ubuntu that runs on the TouchPad right now as a bootable option (not chroot).

The officially supported platform list includes the beagleboard, so it should work on the PandaBoard too. Although I don't really much see the point.

Next year is the year of the linux/webos desktop.

I once read a really interesting comment
on slashdot, that says the great advantage
of webos over android is that it is _just_
a replacement for X. I guess this is what
is happening.

what happened to having webos on every computer and printer, Why can't they just make webos a program you can download for windows, is it really that hard?

yes it is, actually, since webOS IS linux, meaning they would have to recode everything, and I'm pretty sure Microsoft would'nt be to happy with that.

That idea was from a former CEO of HP. Forget if he was the one that almost killed WebOS or another. Either way, it's still possible to have WebOS on all those platforms, especially with it going fully open source, but we first we need to get Open WebOS out the door.

That was Mark Hurd's intention when he pushed for the acquisition of Palm. But HP thought him getting caught with his pants down was so bad they decided to bring in Leo who quickly decided to throw the baby out with the bathwater instead.

You mean Mark Hurd.

Oops.. yup, :) thx for catching that!

probably a stupid question.. Open webOS won't work on existing devices, but can various pieces of it be parsed out as patches or updates to current webOS?

well, the current open webOS compiles for the Transformer Prime, so I suspect about a dozen devices will have some level of webOS support in a month or so.

There is no UI yet, it's being worked on by the Open WebOS team now.. Honestly though, if the bottom end was targeted to a device within a day, this isn't going to take long to get it on various hardwares, including legacy hardware.

I'm not sure if you're trying to be funny or you're deliberately trolling.
But there's a really long way from that to an usable webOS.

Let's not forget that even a completely working Open WebOS is currently very far from usable.