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Yes they are broadly compatible, and our firmware/BIOS abstracts most of the differences. You will be able to run exactly the same Linux kernel or RISCOS ROM on top of them (and ideally, any other implementation of our firmware - we have an EXCELLENT relationship with Marvell for example, as we used their chips a lot for the Pegasos :)

As for Linux - believe me, once we have Karmic support finished we will be running after all the other Linux distributions (backport to Debian Sid, grab all the Ubuntu derivatives - Mint is first on the list - Fedora and OpenSUSE when they get their armel ports out of the door).

Actually supporting Mint without any armel support from the main distribution is a little more tricky than taking a Linux distro that already HAS a port and pluggin in a few custom packages, but the Debian->Ubuntu->Mint legacy really works in its favour here.

 is a RISC OS Usermwsealey on 2/9/09 2:17PM
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