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Old November 3rd, 2010, 09:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Which phone for Linux users?

Hi,

I'm not yet owner of an Android phone, but I want to buy one. I'm not sure, which model. Maybe somebody could help me with the selection, please? My requirements are as follows:
  1. Must be able to synchronize calendar and address book with my Linux desktop (Debian/Ubuntu). I do not want to copy my data to any external server, such as google, nor do I want to use Windows software (emulator nor VM).
  2. Must be able to backup the phone data to Linux. Again, I do not want to use an external server, nor do I want to use Windows software.
  3. Must be able to flash the telephone from Linux. As before, I do not want to use Windows software.
  4. Must have the camera on the correct side (front!) for video telephony (e.g. Skype and/or SIP).
I thought about a Samsung Galaxy S I9000, but it seems neither (1) nor (2) nor (3) of my requirements are met. Am I wrong? Or can another Android phone be recommended to Linux users?

Many thanks in advance!

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Last edited by MuWeg; November 3rd, 2010 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Removed dupe
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 09:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Most of your points go against the philosophy of android, that is cloud syncing to google and not a PC.
I use Debian also, but my phone has never gone near the PC.
Seems silly to tie email or contacts to the pc when you can have it available everywhere.


good luck, but I think you will not find anything suitable

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Old November 3rd, 2010, 02:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with Jethro10 about the syncing thing. I run Ubuntu myself but have never "synched" anything with it. It's important to keep in mind there is no equivalent of iTunes for Android. One good thing with Linux in particular is that you have direct access to the external and internal sd cards of the phone without the need for downloading drivers. Just plug it in and you're ready to go.

If you're referring to "flashing" as in installing new ROM you don't really need anything other than access to the internal sdcard, BUT there is this program called Odin that can come in handy when you're phone gets soft bricked, but sadly it only works in Windows. But that's what vmware is for, right.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 02:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with what others have said here and unfortunately I don't think you will find what you are looking for.

1 & 2 - Android is designed to sync with Google. It isn't designed specifically to sync with anything else. The sync happens with Google mail and calendar for your contacts and appointments. I'm not aware of a linux program that will do a sync with the phone, but there may be one out there or someone could write one. The only thing that I have seen for linux that does any type of syncing with Android is Banshee, but I think it is more for media.

This may also help explain some things:
can you sync android phone with linux? - Google Mobile Help

3 - You don't really flash the phone from a computer with Android, you flash the phone from the SD card.

4 - The only phone that comes to mind (top of my head here) is the Sprint EVO for this one. I know there is at least one other phone with a front facing camera out there, but can't remember which one it is.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 04:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think the Samsung Galaxy S also has a front facing camera.
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Old November 4th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Android doesn't sync with Linux

I'm sure, the cloud stuff is nice for some users. However, company policy, common sense, or personal taste might suggest not to put more sensitive, unencrypted data as necessary on servers out of ones own control.

About flashing: Flashing the phone via SD card is just fine. Odin with VMware is not an option for me.

About the front cam: At least Dell Streak, Samsung Galaxy S, GM DSTL1 and the EVO seem to have one.

Many thanks for all your answers. If you are right, it seems, Android is not made for (people like) me and I have to look for alternatives.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 02:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Galaxy S cannot be flashed with Linux

One additional remark: The Samsung Galaxy S is one of the very few Android phones with front camera and unfortunately it cannot be updated using the SD card. Instead a proprietary Samsung application "kies", running only on Windows is required. This application does not even run with "wine", according to some postings in the net.

The Dell Streak and the EVO seem to allow "OTA" updates, but the Streak is far too heavy to count as a telephone (218g vs. 118g for the Galaxy S or 170g for the EVO). The GM DSTL1 seems to be unavailable, at least in Europe.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 02:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Android phones are designed to sync with your Google Account, I'm afraid none of the phones (perhaps even feature phones) in the market will be able to satisfy you if you have such strict requirements.

Loosen up a bit and you might find something good.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 11:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I feel your pain, WuMeg. I drank the koolaid since I already have a google account and I can leave my encrypted activities to the household network. My husband's spent the last three days trying to find a desktop sync program for Debian and his Android and I'm off to share this thread with him.

I am curious what phone you choose, if you wouldn't mind pm'ing me with the phone get.

Good luck!
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Old November 18th, 2010, 06:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Meego phones from Nokia are expected next year. Seeing that Meego is a full GNU Linux, maybe that will have this point addressed.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuWeg View Post
One additional remark: The Samsung Galaxy S is one of the very few Android phones with front camera and unfortunately it cannot be updated using the SD card. Instead a proprietary Samsung application "kies", running only on Windows is required. This application does not even run with "wine", according to some postings in the net.
False. Kies is the way people upgrade when they are impatient. If you got the Sprint Galaxy S, Sprint would send you an over the air update to your phone. Updating via an SD card is only if you are flashing a custom ROM. Learn you're facts, buddy. You don't NEED a computer to do anything on an android. When I used Ubuntu, when I needed to put something on my cell, I just popped the SD into my netbook. But like I said, as for updating, you don't need a computer.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 01:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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So ironic that Android is Linux and open-sourced based, but many custom roms can only be added through Odin, through Windows. What exactly does Odin do? And why can't you do it through the Terminal?
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Old December 13th, 2010, 07:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I used sbflash on linux, that was more for rooting before upgrading the rom but no need for windows.
Synicing is the big issue now a days, I needed a calendar and don't need the data plan but the old palms and WM are about the only things left that sync locally, Android, WM7 and the new palms all go through the cloud.
I figured Android, being open source, is would be the most likely for someone to write a local sync app.
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