[Replicant] Suggestion - make a desktop version of Replicant similar to RemixOS

Josh Branning lovell.joshyyy at gmail.com
Sun Jun 12 23:35:20 UTC 2016

On 12/06/16 22:18, Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli wrote:
> On Sat, 28 May 2016 11:57:34 +0100 (BST)
> <wizzle at tutanota.com> wrote:
>> Hello
> Hi,
> You wrote to the contact address instead of the mailing list:
> The contact address is only for inquiries that cannot be made public.
>> RemixOS has created a version of Android that has a desktop
>> environment. Unfortunately it is closed source.
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remix_OS
>> It would be awesome if there is a Replicant desktop version that uses
>> a well known open source Desktop Environment like Cinnamon.
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamon_%28software%29
> As far as I know, this isn't a current priority for any of the
> developers involved in Replicant, however you are free to work on it
> yourself.
> Wolfgang Wiedmeyer is working on upgrading Replicant to Android 6.0, so
> you should base your work on top of his.
> http://redmine.replicant.us/boards/21/topics/12057?r=12927 has more
> details on it.
> Also, your goal is not very clear to me. What do you want to run
> Replicant on exactly:
> - An x86 desktop/laptop? Some laptops have a touchscreens, a modem, and
>    a GPS inside the modem.
> - A vm inside a desktop/laptop?
> - An SBC?
> Since mainline Linux now requires very few changes to run Android, I
> don't see why it couldn't run on x86.
> However running a full GNU/Linux desktop environment on top is another
> story(You would need to port it on Android).
> So instead you would probably need to run it aside trough chroot,
> virtualization techniques, or other mechanism.
> In f-droid there is also an application to convert Android applications
> to run on top of the chrome browser, however I'm not aware of 100% free
> software distributions that ships a modified version of chrome.
> Denis.
> _______________________________________________
> Replicant mailing list
> Replicant at lists.osuosl.org
> http://lists.osuosl.org/mailman/listinfo/replicant

Hello, I'm looking at doing something similar.

Android x86 is a version of android for x86.[1] Which already exists, 
but is not really what I want. I want to be able to run android 
applications on an xserver in as much of a GNU/Linux kind of way as 

Denis already mentioned that there is a plugin for chrome/chromium 
called ARChon but no free version of chromium exists.

At one stage there was a project called IcedRobot, but last time I 
checked, the project had stalled and was dead.

This leaves two options that I can see at this point in time: Using the 
emulator, or using apkenv [2]. I am only really interested in getting 
the apps running on the ARM architecture. Although dalvik bytecode is 
portable across architectures, there is a considerable amount of 
programs with native code embedded into them, which would need to be 
recompiled for them to work on x86.

Using apkenv though, does not completely solve the problem, even for 
ARM, as until recently, building the SDK required a full download of the 
android sources, meaning an open source distribution with development 
tools would have to include them too. That's not to mention potential 
issues with compatibility, and the use of prebuilts in the SDK/NDK.

If I were to start on this again, it would be building the SDK [3], 
applying the patches paulk pushed to replicant SDK on the 9th of 
November 2013 [4]. This would also help F-Droid, who uses an android 
SDK/NDK for their build server.

Finally I have one more link that I found after hitting an (ashmem) 
problem with attempting to build dalvik with libhybris on the 
linux-libre kernel, unfortunately I lost my work before I found this, so 
it may be helpful to you [5].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android-x86
[2] https://github.com/thp/apkenv
[3] http://tools.android.com/build#TOC-Building-the-Linux-and-MacOS-SDK
[4] https://git.replicant.us/replicant/sdk/commits/replicant-4.2
[5] http://www.bolatdinc.com/?p=336&cpage=1


Thanks Denis for pointing out that the new version of replicant may be 
based on android 6.0.

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