If you are a kernel developer for Android devices, you have likely experienced moments of frustration time and time again when trying to build or port a kernel to a new device. Luckily, many of your worries may be eased. In an official statement, Linus Torvalds has made what could be considered as one of the most major announcements in the history of Linux by adding ARM support to the popular free and open-source kernel.
While the initial list of supported ARM architectures is confined to a few server SoCs and development boards, more devices including several consumer-oriented SoCs found in Android devices will be added to the list in the next few releases. It may still take a while for Android to catch up since the Android kernel usually lags a few versions behind the latest stable Linux kernel, but it’s a step in the right direction. As more SoCs gain support, maintaining kernel sources for these ARM devices could become a breeze.
What does it mean for the end users, some of you might wonder. You’ll see quicker ports of popular ROMs to all sorts of Android devices and the “Whats not working” list will shrink greatly, even for very early ports. If all goes as planned, we should start seeing all of this come to realization in 2013.