path: root/wiki/src/blueprint/ARM_platforms.mdwn
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authorintrigeri <>2016-02-16 13:07:32 +0000
committerintrigeri <>2016-02-16 13:07:32 +0000
commita5ec7f18d6725868511e93673acae0c6313c77e0 (patch)
tree627e230d9cde8c72fbf65c3d5a22f9d931f51238 /wiki/src/blueprint/ARM_platforms.mdwn
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+This is about [[!tails_ticket 10972]].
+[[!toc levels=2]]
+Pros & cons
+## Pros
+* It is likely that cheap laptops are going to be more and more often
+ based on ARM. So, supporting ARM would have several advantages:
+ - People who can't afford a more expensive computer might more
+ easily afford a ARM-based one ⇒ supporting Tails on ARM would make
+ it more accessible economically speaking.
+ - It could allow more people to dedicate a machine to Tails, which
+ can have a number of advantages, such as: one can choose a machine
+ that they can carry with them all the time (⇒ physical security of
+ the hardware); one avoids the risk of their (adversary -owned)
+ non-Tails operating system corrupting the firmware in a way that
+ can in turn compromise Tails.
+* Most mobile touch devices, e.g. tablets, are based on ARM
+ these days ([[!tails_ticket 6064]]).
+* Some concerns about (Intel) x86 technologies, like the Intel ME,
+ might be less of a problem for the time being on ARM. This is no
+ magic wand, though: as Joanna Rutkowska writes in her
+ [State considered harmful](
+ paper, "there is nothing special in ARM-based architecture that
+ could prevent a vendor from introducing backdoors into the SoCs they
+ produce".
+## Cons
+* A huge amount of work is needed to make this happen, since it
+ impacts basically all kinds of teams and skills: user support,
+ release process and workload, infrastructure, quality assurance,
+ Installation Assistant + DAVE, etc.
+* This has the potential to spread our energy a bit too thinly, e.g.
+ in terms of maintenance workload, or in terms of acquiring
+ maintaining and knowledge and skills.
+* There are lots of unknowns: boot loaders, drivers and hardware
+ support. It's an entirely new world for most of us ⇒ in the current
+ state of things, it is hard to estimate the resources we would need
+ to make it happen.
+* Tor Browser [[!tor_bug 12631 desc="is not supported on ARM yet"]].
+## Other remarks
+* It might be a good thing, for the Tails project, to have a big thing
+ to do together, that at least one people from each team would need
+ to be somewhat involved in.
+* The Tor project may be interested in supporting ARM platforms better
+ (e.g. for Tor Browser). This could be a good opportunity to (learn
+ how to) work together more tightly, be it on the technical or
+ fundraising / paperwork side.