Linux's Torvalds: ARM-Based Laptops Will Be Big in 2016Linux's Torvalds: ARM-Based Laptops Will Be Big in 2016
The mythical Year of the Linux Desktop never arrived. But 2016 could be the Year of the ARM-based Laptop. That's according to Linus Torvalds, who spoke at the Linux Foundation's recent LinuxCon Europe 2015 event in Dublin.
October 9, 2015
The mythical Year of the Linux Desktop never arrived. But 2016 could be the year of the ARM-based laptop. That's according to Linus Torvalds, who spoke at the Linux Foundation's recent LinuxCon Europe 2015 event in Dublin.
"I'm happy to see that ARM is making progress," Torvalds said in a discussion at the conference. "One of these days, I will actually have a machine with ARM. They said it would be this year, but maybe it’ll be next year. 2016 will be the year of the ARM laptop."
Torvalds didn't explicitly say he thinks those ARM-based laptops will all be running Linux. But there's a good chance many of them will. Linux-based operating systems have already made steady inroads on Chromebooks, many of which run on ARM processors. And Android—which is more or less a version of Linux—has been tailored for ARM chips for years.
Of course, the real kicker for open source fans would be ARM-based laptops that run mainstream Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu or Debian, rather than quasi-open source Linux derivatives such as Android. It's certainly easy to imagine big-name Linux distributions powering more ARM devices, since many of those distributions already offer official ARM ports.
Torvalds also commented on security in the Linux kernel. "Security people will always be unhappy," he said. But he added that he believes the kernel developers are doing the best they can to check the 25 million lines of kernel code for security bugs using automated tools.
As for the next 25 years of Linux, which marks its 25th anniversary next September? "Linux is all these crazy people doing crazy things I never imagined," Torvalds said. "It's going to be interesting to see what others will do with it in the next 25 years."
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