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authorintrigeri <intrigeri@boum.org>2016-02-16 13:07:32 +0000
committerintrigeri <intrigeri@boum.org>2016-02-16 13:07:32 +0000
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parentcad21bd925d4a1911fff4e0229c5abda3798c6ee (diff)
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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](http://blog.invisiblethings.org/2015/12/23/state_harmful.html)
+ 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.