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A new Linux distribution is looking to overcome the limitations of Debian on ARM, by running both Linux apps and Android apps in native mode.

Produced by the group that created the MicroXwin kernel-based X Windows implementation, the VolksPC distribution is designed to give users an ARM-Debian environment that supports Debian's range of desktop applications, while improving support for things like YouTube playback and HD video.

“We created a unified distribution that allows both Android and Debian LXDE/XFCE applications to run simultaneously at native speeds. On ARM, our distribution is based on a modified ARMHF Debian Wheezy rootfs”, the developers write.

As Phoronix reports, the developers claim that apps under both environments run “at native speeds”; the only changes to Android are in startup scripts, providing full compatibility with existing applications; and MicroXwin provides a high-speed X-Windows framework for the system.

“MicroXwin’s custom Xlib library sends graphics commands directly to the graphics driver which handles all the drawing. Unlike X-Windows, MicroXwin is not a client-server implementation,” the site says.

The company is getting ready to ship a mini-PC running the system with a dual-core Rockchip RK3066 CPU at 1.4 GHz, a gig of memory, 16 GB of NAND flash, a range of interfaces and a VGA output.

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