I have a Samsung Galaxy S3, and might eventually buy an Android tablet. Don't get me wrong... Android is a great OS and in my opinion the best thing to happen to mobile devices. Problem is, I don't really want a phone or tablet in the classical sense, but rather a hand-held laptop if you will. On which I can use the same software I use on my computer... if of course the application in cause has an ARM version.
This is why I keep pondering the thought of wiping out Android and everything on my mobile device, and installing ARM Linux instead. The thought of having real Linux on my mobile device is awesome and very tempting. I can just imagine how KDE (with plasma desktop, kwin effects, etc), windowed applications, bash, software repositories, and everything else would be like. However, there are several things I'm worried about, and am trying to understand before I even remotely plan such a transition. Namely:
- Doing it right: The last thing I need is to find myself in a situation where I wipe out Android and its recovery menu, but fail to install Linux as well, leaving me with a bricked device. If I'm going to do this, I want to be absolutely sure I do it properly. Is there a fully risk-free way of replacing Android with PC versions of Linux? Also, my device isn't rooted, as previous attempts to do so have failed. How do I root an Android 4 device from a Linux PC (I no longer have Windows)?
- Loss of functionality: Unlike PC's and laptops, mobile devices have their own functions. The touchscreen and virtual keyboard needed to type on it, the speakers and microphones which aren't like the ones on a computer, WIFI / Bluetooth / NFC / GPS, the accelerometer (which could be detected as a joystick / gamepad), and the camera which needs to be able to take photos and film videos at maximum resolution. Most importantly, I need to keep being able to make phone calls and use 3G internet via my SIM card. Can ARM Linux take care of all these things, and does any Linux distro for such devices understand all those components and can offer applications that take care of each?
- Bugs: Everyone is saying that Linux for ARM is not safe yet, because there are a lot of problems. If anyone ever experimented with this, what are those problems exactly? How safe is it overall to use ARM Linux? Do applications and / or the OS crash frequently, and is there a risk of the device itself even breaking and needing a reinstall?