Tegra 2 supports Ubuntu Linux
According to this faq-like post on the official Nvidia Tegra developer site, Ubuntu Linux is supported as an operating system for Tegra 2 based devices.
This is extremely important for both Nvidia and Linux in general since a lot of IT-savvy people find Android insufficient for the netbook form factor and ask for a “real” Linux on these very promising devices.
I tend to agree with this view primarily because Tegra 2 @1Ghz is a powerful SOC for a smartbook/netbook/tablet which can run a full desktop Linux with decent speed. I see no reason to limit Tegra 2 based systems to inferior operating systems like Android or Windows CE (bah). As an example, Windows CE 6.0 supports only 512Mb RAM and only one processor. Since the Tegra 2 has two Cortex A9 cores,Windows CE will not be able to utilize both. Android has no X-Windows on it so it cannot run normal Linux software, only software directly written for Android. In contrast, Ubuntu for ARM supports multiple processors, any reasonable amount of RAM and most of the popular Linux software can be installed readily from the Ubuntu ARM repositories, and even the more obscure sw likely requires only a recompile.
A simple Gnome desktop or Ubuntu’s Netbook Remix user interface may not be perfect for a touchscreen operated tablet but is very useable with the traditional laptop form factor. Some of the Tegra 2 tablets will add a pointer device as well, in addition to the touchscreen (like the Notion Ink Adam) so these machines will be easy to use with a customized, full Linux desktop.
The list of currently known Tegra 2 tablets/smartbooks.
Some performance comparisons between Cortex A9 (like the Tegra2) and Intel’s Atom: