If Android were to be built today, which parts of it could be built with mainstream GNU/Linux components? (i.e.: glibc and not bionic)

Hello everyone

Let me explain my question. From my understanding, when Danger and then Google started developing Android they decided to create a lot of custom systems that were incompatible with what was present in GNU/Linux, mainly because they weren't suitable for the underpowered devices of the past, and to circumvent the GPL. But a lot has changed since then; now phones are powerful enough to emulate GameCube games at 60FPS, Linux has better power management, etc. The result is that some of Android's frameworks have a lot of overlap with frameworks from Linux, and it creates a divide in the ecosystem.

So I'm wondering, if Android were to be built today, which parts of it could simply be built with standard GNU/Linux components, without the user experience being affected? That is to say, there would be no noticeable difference in performance, and there wouldn't be any missing features from modern day Android (at least that average joe wouldn't notice the difference)

Some examples of what I mean:

From what I've read, there seems to be a lot of overlap between Android's HWComposer, Gralloc and SurfaceFlinger, and Linux's DRM and Wayland. Couldn't Google simply use DRM, Mesa and a custom Wayland compositor in this case? Would there be any limitations, maybe with touchscreens?

Bionic was made to have a libc that was faster and used less power than glibc, and also to have a BSD license and not GPL. But ignoring that last part, and considering the power of current smartphones, is there any technical benefit in not using glibc instead?

I don't think Google would use systemd, they maybe would use something simpler like OpenRC, or Upstart which they use on ChromeOS, but then again I think Android's init is very tightly tied to Java processes with zygote and there's no easy replacement for that

Similarly, they probably wouldn't replace Binder with D-Bus since I believe their architectures are very different

This is mostly meant to be a discussion to see how far Linux has come in the last decade in terms of modernizing itself, and also cause I think its fun

submitted by /u/revelbytes
[link] [comments]

Read more here: https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/jwhq4f/if_android_were_to_be_built_today_which_parts_of/

Content Attribution

This content was originally published by /u/revelbytes at Linux, GNU/Linux, free software..., and is syndicated here via their RSS feed. You can read the original post over there.

%d bloggers like this: