2014 brought us plenty of new open-spec, community-backed SBCs — from $35 bargains, to octa-core powerhouses — and all with Linux or Android support.
The Linux Mint team recently released Linux Mint 17.1—a somewhat minor but still welcome upgrade to the Ubuntu-based ecosystem. And while Linux Mint 17.1 arrives as it usually does (a few weeks after the release of a new version of Ubuntu), version 17.1 is not based on Ubuntu's latest effort, 14.10. Instead, this edition of Mint remains tied to the last Long Term Support (LTS) release, Ubuntu 14.04.
The Linux OS is likely to become even more popular as 32bit computing becomes a commodity and projects like Yocto make it easier to create, develop and maintain Linux based systems for embedded applications.
One of the advantages of Linux is that it enables OEMs to become more like startups, where agile hardware development teams speed time to market by using an OS to abstract the underlying hardware details. However, despite its benefits, a Linux system can be vulnerable to rootkits unless its embedded processor is booted properly.
Linux doesn't have any kind of PR, and in the collective mind of the people, there is still an impression that Linux users spend their time inside the terminal and in dreary desktops. In fact, most of the current Linux desktops are much better than anything made by Apple of Microsoft.
The Peppermint OS is built around a concept that may be unique among desktop environments. It is a hybrid of traditional Linux desktop applications and cloud-based apps.
This innovative approach puts the latest release of Peppermint OS 5, which appeared in late June, well ahead of the computing curve. It brings cloud apps to the Linux desktop with the ease and flexibility of a Chromebook. It marries that concept to the traditional idea of having installed software that runs without cloud interaction.