linux firmware

Posted on 2005-04-19
Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I have a tablet media device that runs a propriety software.  Is there a generic linux firmware .bin file that I could flash it with to load standard linux?

It also has a 20 gig hdd for storage, but that is not where the OS is.


Question by:rjohnsonjr
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    > have a tablet media device that runs a propriety software.
    You might need to ask the vendor of your tablet media device for it.
    Usually, those devices require some special drivers, which the generic Linux OS doesn't have it built-in.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    it is really hard to help you out if the questiong is no specific enought. for instance what kind of tablet media device do you want to set linux up with... make and model would be good...

    it is like what drive runs my video card? without knowing what kind of video card do i have. There is no way you can find the right driver for it...
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    There are no generic firmwares that you can flash with.  The firmware is a static image that contains, at the least, enough software to boot the device to the point that it can read additional data from another location.  Usually this means enough drivers to access the 20gb hard drive, probably initialize the video, etc.  It may encompass far more than that, but the most basic function of firmware is to "bootstrap" the device.

    Since the device is running proprietary software, the availability of replacement software depends heavily on whether the hardware itself is supported by Linux.  If it is, then you'll need a firmware image that's been designed to be compatible with this specific device.

    So, to repeat the initial statement, there's no generic firmware.  There may be firmware specific to your device, but that would depend on 1) the manufacturer releasing enough details or software for it to be created, and/or 2) enough people having an interest in order to supplement whatever the manfacturer doesn't provide.

    If you're set on running Linux on it, search around on Google for user support groups that focus on your manufacturer's tablet media devices and are technically inclined (e.g. hacker/modders), or for a tablet-oriented Linux group that has a hardware / model compatability matrix.  I would start with the first.

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