Linux On Your iPad? Yes, You Can

If you love your Apple iPad but wish you could run your favorite 'nix applications on it, StarNet Communications has an app for that. If you've been dying to see Flash apps on the iPad, the company's got a fix for that, too -- and none of it involves a hack that would anger ole' Steve. StarNet on Thursday released iLIVEx. It turns the iPad into an X terminal that runs Linux and Unix apps hosted on remote servers.

The folks at StarNet say iLIVEx will give users LAN-like performance when accessing remote apps, even over 3G connections, because it relies on the speedy X11 protocol. Connections are secure, too, by way of SSH encryption.

If you have an iPad but have not yet developed a taste for Linux, StarNet has an app for that, too. When you buy iLIVEx you'll get a free account that lets you run a virtual Linux desktop. It runs on the iPad but can also be run on a Mac, Windows or Linux PC. With the virtual desktop you gain access to apps hosted on StarNet's cloud Linux server. These give iPad users functions they can't get natively such as:

  • The ability to view Flash. The cloud apps include a Firefox browser which lets iPad users see Flash-based Web sites and applications. (Hulu anyone?)
  • The ability to copy and paste between applications on the iPad.
  • The ability to access the virtual Linux desktop from Windows, Linux and Macintosh PCs, as well as the iPad, switching at will between them without losing data. This requires you to buy the appropriate X11 client for each PC. But StarNet will give you a six-month trial version of the others when you buy iLIVEx.

iLIVEx costs $14.99 and is available now from the App Store for U.S. and Canadian residents. StarNet will be able to sell globally in about 30 days, after the U.S. government gives its OK for the company to export iLIVEx's SSH encryption code.
statusafk 4 years ago

Windows 7 on an ipad? No you can't?

bob_on_the_cob 4 years ago

[quote user="statusafk"]

Windows 7 on an ipad? No you can't?


No you can in the same way these are. They are basically just acting as a remote desktop client with the server somewhere else. Same story came out a while back about Windows.

3vi1 4 years ago

It's similar, but technically offers a little bit more functionality.

With X11, the window management still occurs on the local machine (the tip-off is that the titlebars and borders use the local theme). So, you could open individual Linux apps on the remote machine and have them displayed on your desktop right next to your native apps.

You can do this same thing between Linux machines today with no extra software (other than ssh, which everyone should have installed). Just 'ssh -x remotemachinenamehere' then start the graphical app from the command line (ex. 'kuser' or 'gedit'). The GUI will open on your local machine, but the app will actually be running on the remote machine. I use it all the time as a fast workaround to having to remember a bunch of CLI commands.

Windows doesn't have an X11 server natively, so you'd have to install extra software, but you *could* make it work. I've never used it, but Xming is free software that does this.

The reason StarNet gives you access to a Linux desktop and not a Windows desktop is pretty simple: Linux is free, so they can build as many back-end virtual machines as they want for their customers with no extra cost. I'm sure someone at MS would argue that Windows has lower TCO, but they'd be dead wrong in this situation.  Since you don't want to use this to play games (a direct OnLive client would be better for the platform), Linux gives you everything that Windows would and much more.

realneil 4 years ago

You know a crap-load more about Linux than I do, I just use the graphical interface for everything. Command line? I don't think so!,.....LOL!

Linux is finally at the point where you can do just that and not screw around with commands anymore and that's what I was waiting for. I've started setting people up with Ubuntu on their old Winders PC's that cain't hardly run no kind of Winders anymore. The same computers with the dust blown out of them turn into wicked computing demi-gods with Linux on them. Linux needs hardly any resources to run fast, so it's a win for them if they're willing to learn a FREE OS.

bob_on_the_cob 4 years ago

Yeah. lubuntu on my netbook feels just as snappy as my desktop. At least doing web, email, and such that someone with old computer most likely does.

animatortom 4 years ago

AND...... 3vi1 is jumping for joy :P

3vi1 4 years ago

Hehe... You know me. :)

Actually, I'd much rather have a tablet that just runs Linux natively, like the Always Innovating Touchbook.

realneil 4 years ago

"Yes, You Can",.....

But I don't want to.

animatortom 4 years ago
Like many things in life...
Just because you can,.....Doesn't mean you should!
Zip it!
tracyanne 4 years ago

The major drawback is that one would have to own an iPad, something I have no intention of ever doing, the iPhone I owned was more than enough, thankfully I dropped it on the footpath and broke it, and my insurance paid out.

Using X11 over SSH is a really good idea, it's very fast, especially when the data is compressed. Like 3vil I use it on my LAN all the time to connect to and work on the various machines I have, it's considerably cheaper than buying separate keboard and Monitors for each, just run them headless and access them from your main machine.

However I'd rather have the OS I'm using on the machine I'm using, there are too many issues with Cloud services, not the least the reliability of the connection, So I'd rather have Dells new tablet or Always Innovating's Touchbook, until then I'll happily live with my Linux powered Netbook.

greyletter one year ago

where can I find a hack that would anger ole' Steve?

I want to anger ole'Steve.

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