Notices


Reply
Thread Tools
wicket's Avatar
Posts: 521 | Thanked: 2,424 times | Joined on May 2010 @ Colombia
#1
The DebiaN900 project is a set of scripts to facilitate the installation of Debian GNU/Linux on the N900. This is still very much "work in progress". There are many things work and many things that don't but it's now at a stage where I am happy to release it publicly.

This is the OS that I want to run on my N900 and I hope it will eventually become good enough to replace Maemo. Maemo was the first OS that showed me that you don't need to set any limits with mobile computing.

What's wrong with Maemo then?
Well it's incredibly out of date and there just aren't enough people contributing that are going to significantly change that. CSSU is great and I love what you guys are doing but to me it always looks like an uphill struggle.

What about Mer and its derivatives?
IMHO they aren't doing it right. When I say that, what I really mean is they don't meet my requirements. Large parts are developed behind closed doors. Mer suffers from being business focused and therefore they choose to use outdated/unmaintained GPLv2 packages (possibly with security vulnerabilities) so that OS derivatives can be Tivoised. Mer has a bespoke, limited set of core packages. Want another package? You have to port it yourself. Why reinvent the wheel when you can build on top of an existing product that doesn't suffer from these problems? The answer to that question probably relates to the need to sell it to hardware vendors, thus the Tivoisation agenda.

I've read many arguments describing why it's a bad idea to run a desktop/server OS on mobile but I'm still not convinced that it's impossible to make Debian mobile friendly. I believe that it can be done with additional packages and patches, some of which I hope will be accepted upstream.

I hope that this project will eventually satisfy the needs of those of us who want to run a full, up-to-date desktop/server Linux on their mobile phones. I would like to see this project evolve to become a complete alternative to Maemo ready for everyday use. It should be easy to install providing the best out-of-the-box experience possible whilst also being fully customisable and power efficient. I encourage you all to try it out, make suggestions, fork it on GitHub, fix bugs, make improvements, etc.

Why Debian?
  • Debian is generally recognised as a solid, reliable and trusted operating system. It strives for software freedoms without forcing them on you.
  • Debian has a large community of over a thousand developers and package maintainers so we will never again have to worry about unmaintained or vulnerable packages.
  • Tens of thousands of packages available and there are already some mobile-oriented packages available such as the Calligra Active office suite.
  • Debian is very flexible. It's very hackable to the point where it's easy to customise and interchange components. Don't like the default init system? Just apt-get install another one.
  • It's the OS that Maemo was based on so it will be very familiar to most of you here.
  • Increase N900/Neo900 interest/appeal to the large community of Debian hackers (I plan to adapt this to the Neo900 when I finally get my hands on it).

Why don't you just build and distribute a disk image?
  • The script format allows me to distribute it on a public Git repository making it easy for others to contribute as well as all of the other advantages that come with using Git.
  • Scripts are easier to distribute as they are much smaller than disk images.
  • The scripts have been designed to make it easy to customise via conf files.
  • You can see exactly how the OS is put together so you don't need to worry that any malware may have been included.
  • You may even learn something by having it in script format.

How do I get started?
Clone the Git repository (or download the zip) and read the README.

Notes:

Wi-Fi connectivity:

The default configuration installs ConnMan for network connection management. The command-line utility that interfaces with ConnMan is connmanctl (a GTK GUI is also available). Running connmanctl with no parameters brings up a sub-shell.

Here's a quick summary of the commands that are needed to get a protected Wi-Fi connection up and running:

# connmanctl
connmanctl> agent on
connmanctl> enable wifi
connmanctl> scan wifi
connmanctl> services
connmanctl> connect wifi_<string>

The connmanctl shell interface supports tab completion (Shift + Space-bar with the installed keymap) which is handy when entering the connection string.

See the ConnMan documentation for further information.

For alternative methods of setting up WiFi, see here.

Keyboard configuration:

There are two key maps, one for the console and one for X11. These are based on the Arch Linux N900 key maps.
The console key map is described here.
The X11 key map is described in /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/nokia_vndr/rx-51

Known issues:
__________________
DebiaN900 - Native Debian on the N900.

Mobile devices with mainline Linux support - Help needed with documentation.

"Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly." - Henry Spencer

Last edited by wicket; 2016-07-05 at 15:09.
 

The Following 51 Users Say Thank You to wicket For This Useful Post:
Posts: 698 | Thanked: 2,014 times | Joined on Jan 2011 @ Germany
#2
Any progress with the modem compared to the elektranox status [1]?
What's the most useful (usability, stability...) UI Debian offers for the N900 in your opinion?


[1] http://elektranox.org/n900/status/index.html
 

The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to sulu For This Useful Post:
Posts: 21 | Thanked: 49 times | Joined on Sep 2014 @ Italy, Rome
#3
Is a interesting project ...will you provide screenshots of debian on N900?? What DE is running in debian for n900?
Thanks!
 

The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to marcphemt For This Useful Post:
Posts: 3,023 | Thanked: 12,553 times | Joined on Mar 2010 @ Sofia,Bulgaria
#4
wicket: will those scripts install hardfp packages? any chance for softfp if that is the case?
__________________
Never fear. I is here.

720p video support on N900,SmartReflex on N900,Keyboard and mouse support on N900
Nothing is impossible - Stable thumb2 on n900

Community SSU developer
kernel-power developer and maintainer

 

The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to freemangordon For This Useful Post:
Posts: 1,107 | Thanked: 2,569 times | Joined on Dec 2010
#5
There is a entry in config file specifying armhf. I imagine you just replace that with armel.
 

The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Android_808 For This Useful Post:
wicket's Avatar
Posts: 521 | Thanked: 2,424 times | Joined on May 2010 @ Colombia
#6
Originally Posted by sulu View Post
Any progress with the modem compared to the elektranox status [1]?
What's the most useful (usability, stability...) UI Debian offers for the N900 in your opinion?


[1] http://elektranox.org/n900/status/index.html
That page of Sebastian's hasn't been updated for some time. For the current status, please check the N900 kernel status page. The n900-modem driver was merged in 3.16. If I'm honest, I haven't actually tested the modem yet.

I've only really tried Enlightenment which has an option to optimise for mobile devices. It works quite well but has its quirks such as that it ignores all X11 keyboard settings that have been set up in /etc/default/keyboard, /etc/X11/xorg.conf and /etc/X11/xorg.conf/* so it can only really be configured via the command line or with a not so elegant hack. It's easy enough to install (apt-get install e17) but unfortunately the package maintainers are a bit behind. E19 has recently been released.

I would like to build Plasma Active at some stage to see how that runs. There's also a package for Plasma Netbook available in Debian. Aapo is working on porting Hildon to GTK3 to run under Debian. Some prefer more basic window managers. There are a few options so I haven't yet decided on which UI would be best to install by default therefore my scripts don't install one yet. X11 is installed and configured for the keyboard, touch screen and I'll also configure it with the SGX drivers when I get that working. I welcome contributions of separate scripts to configure specific UIs.
__________________
DebiaN900 - Native Debian on the N900.

Mobile devices with mainline Linux support - Help needed with documentation.

"Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly." - Henry Spencer
 

The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to wicket For This Useful Post:
wicket's Avatar
Posts: 521 | Thanked: 2,424 times | Joined on May 2010 @ Colombia
#7
Originally Posted by freemangordon View Post
wicket: will those scripts install hardfp packages? any chance for softfp if that is the case?
Originally Posted by Android_808 View Post
There is a entry in config file specifying armhf. I imagine you just replace that with armel.
Exactly. Just set the ARCH variable to armel in debian.conf. I've tested both.

I'm curious to know why you'd rather use softfp over hardfp...
__________________
DebiaN900 - Native Debian on the N900.

Mobile devices with mainline Linux support - Help needed with documentation.

"Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly." - Henry Spencer
 

The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to wicket For This Useful Post:
Posts: 3,023 | Thanked: 12,553 times | Joined on Mar 2010 @ Sofia,Bulgaria
#8
Originally Posted by wicket View Post
Exactly. Just set the ARCH variable to armel in debian.conf. I've tested both.

I'm curious to know why you'd rather use softfp over hardfp...
1. SGX
2. Nokia PA plugins
3. there is a whole bunch of applications already available for Maemo, but you can't run them on hardfp OS
__________________
Never fear. I is here.

720p video support on N900,SmartReflex on N900,Keyboard and mouse support on N900
Nothing is impossible - Stable thumb2 on n900

Community SSU developer
kernel-power developer and maintainer

 

The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to freemangordon For This Useful Post:
wicket's Avatar
Posts: 521 | Thanked: 2,424 times | Joined on May 2010 @ Colombia
#9
I've updated the Issue tracker with some of the main issues right now.

I'd like to draw your attention in particular to this issue before you go off and install ALSA or similar and blow up your speakers.
__________________
DebiaN900 - Native Debian on the N900.

Mobile devices with mainline Linux support - Help needed with documentation.

"Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly." - Henry Spencer
 

The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to wicket For This Useful Post:
Posts: 3,023 | Thanked: 12,553 times | Joined on Mar 2010 @ Sofia,Bulgaria
#10
yeah, exactly my point about Nokia PA modules
__________________
Never fear. I is here.

720p video support on N900,SmartReflex on N900,Keyboard and mouse support on N900
Nothing is impossible - Stable thumb2 on n900

Community SSU developer
kernel-power developer and maintainer

 

The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to freemangordon For This Useful Post:
Reply

Tags
debian, debian900, devuan, maemo 7

Thread Tools

 
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:25.