I can answer #2 partially with yes you can install other variants because I am currently running a Debian custom build that we put together from GitHub - pyavitz/debian-image-builder: Debian image builder for single board computers so I assume with works the other distros can be done since we currently are able to run Debian/Ubuntu/Devuan. If you do have any questions for us stop by our discord and ask if you try it out. There are two active discord servers right now for the builder and a new Khadas oriented one… the links if needed are Khadas - Khadas server arm-img-builder - Builder server
Reply to digitaltrance, someone from khadas please correct me if I’m wrong.
So on PC’s you have a number of defined standards that abstract away all the low level stuff, this allows you to load any operating system designed for x86.
Arm in the past did not have this but it does now have an equivalent to the above called the “system ready” certification and linux distros like Fedora Workstation support this and you can install it on an SR system just like an x86 PC but…
Arm SR systems are found only on very expensive developer server/workstations systems as thats the origins of it, the low cost Arm SBC’s do not use it and require a tailored build of the OS for each SBC based on whatever boot systems it uses.
So you cant just download a generic image off the internet like Linux Mint at least for now.
That’s my very limited & possibly wrong understanding of the situation.
Ubuntu is actually not an ideal distribution for beginners, you have the gnome user interface which is alien to windows users (90% of computer using public) and Ubuntu pushes snaps as their application delivery system.
For installing software via a GUI the bulk of the momentum in linux is behind Flatpaks on Flathub for app store usage and for decentralized standalone software “linux app images”, Ubuntu does not support Flatpaks (you can modify it to do so). This means your cut off from lots of the cutting edge stuff on Flathub out of the box on ubuntu.
Tenkawa how difficult would it be to get NeptuneOS added to your build server, it is a Debain based distro that uses KDE with support for Flatpaks out of the box (in its latest beta version), this would make it a far more suitable OS for beginners used to windows.
It would be great to have some distro with KDE and flatpaks part of OOWOW as an installable option.
Neptune OS is just a fork and customized version of Debian. The Flatpaks and customizations actually do not make it easier on SBC’s to learn how to use… it can make it more difficult because it is taking away the interaction. PC’s don’t need the close interaction so you can do that and it makes it more difficult to learn… I advise most people to avoid these highly customized distributions that are designed for a specific use if they want to use a general purpose OS on a SBC. Any of the ones I listed in the build above post can install KDE Plasma and make the SBC function the same as Neptune does with a bit of manual work. Porting over Neptune for example would currently require converting it to run on SBCs (Its only available on X86/64 PC). Also as of Feb 23 2023 Canonical is requiring all official Ubuntu variants to stop using Flatpaks. If you do have any questions stop by our Discord
I respectfully disagree and that kind of experience is exactly what turns people off linux nor should you have to learn “linux”. If you buy a car you learn to drive it but not all of the technical innards of how the car works, in an ideal world yes you would but that isn’t reality.
Normal computer users dont install GUI’s and would expect something like Flathub out of the box.
It’s why linux on the desktop never goes anywhere year after year, Valve at least understand this which is why they went with KDE and Flatpak support as the default for the SteamDeck and that has done more for the linux desktop than any thing else in the past decade. Ubuntu as a linux desktop is done for without support for Flatpaks out of the box in the long run.
If all you care about is the SBC being a training tool for devs or hobby projects sure it can stay a super obscure technical platform but to be an actual viable Arm desktop PC you must have something like NeptuneOS. The users don’t care about “linux” they want something easy to use that is GUI centric without having to use the terminal.
The OP was looking for Linux Mint which means something windows like, that is not available on the Edge 2 and ubuntu is an unappealing desktop distro which is why there are so many forks of it, Canonical are an enterprise company and clueless about the desktop.
Canonical is who makes Ubuntu and is one of the most used desktop Linux distributions actually… Bottom line is that Flatpak was asked by Canonical/Ubuntu back in February. “Canonical has issued an official edict: the approved Ubuntu remixes must remove Flatpak support as of the next release.” NeptuneOS however is a very “specific” X86 OS. It would need to be redone to be made to work on ARM devices. This is what I specialize in. There are no ARM versions of it. If I found the correct git/project page it appears it is also dependent on very specific x868 and selinux calls that will not be available in the architecture. If you would be interested in discussing more… join the arm-img-builder Discord I posted above anytime… c0rnelius and I are the 2 who primarily develop our builder.