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Spark: The first free-software, Linux tablet is on its way


Open-source software and Linux, thanks to Android, is well represented on tablets. But, if you didn’t want to deal with proprietary firmware and software, you were out of luck… until now. Aaron Seigo, one of the KDE’s lead developers, and his team are just about ready to roll-out the first tablet based entirely on Linux and free software: The Spark.

For those of you who are a little puzzled right now–”But, isn’t Android based on Linux??” let me start by explaining that yes, Android is Linux and open-source software. But, its implementations on various smartphones and tablets always uses some proprietary software, firmware, and/or shims to combine the code into a working device. Spark is different.

As Seigo explains, “We decided to go with Mer, the community continuation of MeeGo, as our base OSS [open-source software]. With the amazing help of the Mer community, we have been able to bring up a non-Android, built-from-source kernel on the device and even boot into Plasma Active. There is still work left, and we still do have some binary drivers, but this progress is already one massive crowbar that’s prying open the doors that have been shut on the world of ARM based devices.”

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