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Handhelds Software Linux Hardware

Linux Boots on Treo 650 179

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'll-boot-you-so-hard dept.
nilbog writes "A major leap forward has taken place in the development of Linux for the Treo 650. Grack.com has posted screenshots of a Cingular branded 650 displaying the familiar penguin logo. A discussion has sprung up over the the treo central forums where Shadowmite, one of the developers, has confirmed that it shouldn't be too long before they are able to get the phone's hardware working under linux. "
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Linux Boots on Treo 650

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  • Treo 600 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bhadreshl (841411) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:33AM (#14256762)
    Does it also work for Treo 600?
  • by matthiasryan (936907) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:35AM (#14256777)
    But how long until we can slashdot a webserver running on a Treo 650?
  • by hackwrench (573697) <hackwrench@hotmail.com> on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:38AM (#14256809) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry, but getting something to display the penguin logo is not a major leap forward for anything. Furthermore the display of the pengin logo is not proof of linux running.
    • by Rayban (13436) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:53AM (#14256944) Homepage
      Both of those are understandable points, but I'll address them here:

      For the former, it's just showing that it's possible to run Linux at all on the phone. We've got all the pieces available (Linux Kernel, GPE environment, GSM/CDMA AT command set etc.), it's just a matter of connecting all the those pieces together to create a full open-source GSM/CDMA phone on highly-available hardware.

      For the latter, you'll need to just trust that it's actually working (note that a lot of the hardware is supported by the handhelds.org kernel already). It's also using the PXA27x processor - a very well-documented and well-understood processor with open specifications.

      • So how long before we get a Treo basied beatbox?
      • Someone made a Linux distro for handhelds...in particular one that would run on an Palm OS capable device. Or even just devices that run Palm OS 5. I would totally run it on my Clie. A suite of handheld apps with it would be nice too.
      • by dfghjk (711126) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @01:35PM (#14257790)
        "highly-available" doesn't mean what you think it means. What you mean to say is that it's something you can easily buy. Availability is the "A" in RAS (reliablity, availability, servicability). Saying a piece of computer hardware is highly available doesn't mean it's easily bought!

        For those willing to buy a Treo 650 and the phone service with it, what can a Linux port offer that's more desirable than what they get out of the box? Are you going to get the same SMS/MMS/email capability, the same productivity apps, the same phone integration, the same data capabilities that you get already? The same sync capability with your desktop? Are open source apps better than the ones available for the 650 now at doing the things that a Treo owner wants to do? Pretty much no on all counts. Linux may be cool on a Treo like it is on other things but it isn't useful.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          What can it offer? All the features Verizon or whoever locked out of it. Bluetooth DUN, OBEX, etc.
        • "what can a Linux port offer that's more desirable than what they get out of the box"

          An operating system that doesn't suck? Palm OS was decent in 1996, but today I want an OS that doesn't randomly freeze, that doesn't randomly reboot and that allows me to run more application at once.
        • Pretty much no on all counts. Linux may be cool on a Treo like it is on other things but it isn't useful.

          You're not much of a hacker, are you?

          -matthew
        • For those willing to buy a Treo 650 and the phone service with it, what can a Linux port offer that's more desirable than what they get out of the box? Are you going to get the same SMS/MMS/email capability, the same productivity apps, the same phone integration, the same data capabilities that you get already? The same sync capability with your desktop? Are open source apps better than the ones available for the 650 now at doing the things that a Treo owner wants to do? Pretty much no on all counts. Linux
          • Have you considered Nokia's linux webpad? If you just got a basic phone with bluetooth but no other options (they're out there - hell you could use a used T68i with BT module) then you could do everything else on your webpad, which is a better handheld than an old palm anyway. And best of all, it seemed to actually be reasonably priced.
        • Linux may be cool on a Treo like it is on other things but it isn't useful.

          As someone who:

          1) Actually owns a Treo

          and

          2) Owns a Zaurus SL5500

          I say that linux on the Treo is definately useful.

          The Zaurus murders the Treo in terms of usefulness.

          Unfortunately, it lacks a phone (for always on net access) and has a lousy battery life.

          Linux on the Treo would give the best of both worlds.

          In addition it would fix problems you obviously know nothing about, like Verizon locking out use as a bluetooth modem for your lapt
      • i have familiar with opie running on my ipaq 6500, and i'm too used to it to change to GPE. my question is, as soon as this is mature enough for "production" use, can i run opie instead ?
      • One issue with cellphones right now is that the (A)GPS API is closed off to third party applications on all phones except for Motorolas. Will it be possible to interface with the GPS hardware on the phone through Linux?
      • that's already been done:

        http://handhelds.org/moin/moin.cgi/BlueAngel [handhelds.org]
    • if someone would just write a palmOS app that displays the penguin on your screen.
    • In fact, it's the difference between 'We don't know what's wrong, it's a black screen and we're not sure if we're reading these logic traces correctly' and 'We have a working toolchain, and the kernel is sending error messages to the display', it's the watershed moment in any port. Now it's comparativly straightforward to work with.
  • by Rayban (13436) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:40AM (#14256822) Homepage
    I'm the guy who was doing the porting work. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them here and save my poor blog's comment system.

    It was a good thing I coralized all my images an hour ago!

    • by Rayban (13436) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:43AM (#14256847) Homepage
      For those wondering if it's real, I've been working closely with Shadowmite (the Treo Hacker extraordinaire) and you can track our progress on his forum [shadowmite.com] or the not-as-up-to-date Handhelds.org Palm Treo 650 Wiki Page [handhelds.org].

      We've also started documenting a lot of the hacking stuff we've discovered on the Shadowmite wiki [shadowmite.com].
    • by strredwolf (532) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:44AM (#14256858) Homepage Journal
      Looks like you got a bug there with the framebuffer being offset like that.

      Any word on if you're going to bundle Opie or GPE on it?
      • by Rayban (13436) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:46AM (#14256877) Homepage
        That was a bug in the LCD initialization. Actually, we weren't initializing the LCD at all - we let the phone's bootloader do that.

        I managed to get that stuff working last night by setting the GPIOs correctly. The handhelds.org Linux kernel sets a GPIO (L_BIAS) that fubars the LCD. The latest version has the framebuffer working correctly (although I disabled the penguin for more screen real-estate ;)).

        You can check out my blog at grack.com for updates.
        • As a Treo600 user, with T-Mobile service, I greet this news warmly.
          Except that T-Mobile's website doesn't offer the 600 anymore, much less the 650.
          The thought of running Linux on a cel-phone and connecting reliably with my Gentoo laptop is quite nice.
          Yet none of the providers seem to share my excitment.
          Why? Is the infrastructure simply not there to support lots of people moving packets on cel phone networks?
          • I also greet this news warmly. (Why do I feel like I'm welcoming an overlord?)

            I've got a Treo 650 on Verizon Wireless, and I implemented shadowmite's Bluetooth DUN hack [shadowmite.com] on it. I don't do much gaming, and it kinda sucks for bittorrent, but I'll pull down between 300-400 MB of data some nights, and I usually connect at around 112kb. Plus, I can still get text messages and make phone calls. Not really fast, but it's certainly usable, and I pay for the unlimited data plan. Bundled with a voice plan on th

    • by bfree (113420) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:52AM (#14256928)
      How much communication is happening amongst the various Palm PXA developers, for example I just noticed the hackndev.com link has arrived on your handhelds.org wiki page. Garux seems to have spawned a lot of interest and it seems the machines are generally quite similar, so could we prehaps see a "distro" released for PXA Palms?
      • by Rayban (13436) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:56AM (#14256976) Homepage
        We've opened the communicatation channels to share information. There are two other Palm PXA ports already - the LifeDrive and PalmTE ports. We can share a *lot* between those projects, but there's still a fair bit of information to gather for each individual device (ie: the LifeDrive has Wifi/USB off-chip, etc.).

        I hope that we can all help develop a single distribution that would work on all three devices. It would certainly help lower the porting load. Also, those guys seem to have gotten pretty far - The LifeDrive guy already booted GPE!

        This is where open source really shines...
        • I don't really know (but guess you do) how many "ports" there are, but it seems to me the LifeDrive, TE(2), Treo650, TT(2|3) and Z72 are all potential targets for the one code-base/distro, it seems the core Palm PXA hardware is all quite similar. Between them it's also quite a range of machines, it will be interesting to see what will/won't work (bluetooth, Z72 camera, LD wifi, Treo Phone) and what uses people will put them to ... to ask a question again, do you have a personal itch you are scratching wit
    • by AugstWest (79042) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @12:26PM (#14257215)
      Would it be possible to boot Linux from the SD card, or must the phone be flashed?
    • Locking? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Del Vach (449393)
      I've currently got a 650 from our good friends at Cingular, who love tormenting me with their commercials about what great coverage they provide, despite the 0 bars I get at home. I'm curious to know:

      - Will a 650 running Linux still be locked to the provider's network?
      - For us lightweights, will it be possible to revert back to PalmOS after installing this?
      - Might there be a possibility of dual booting between Palm & Linux?

      Personally I'd love to finally get some use out of the 1
      • Re:Locking? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Rayban (13436) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @12:50PM (#14257420) Homepage
        I'll answer these one-by-one:

            - Will a 650 running Linux still be locked to the provider's network?

        Yes. The lock is enforced by the GSM radio, not PalmOS itself. If you have an unlock code, however, we can use it to unlock the radio for any sim card.

            - For us lightweights, will it be possible to revert back to PalmOS after installing this?

        Yes. It doesn't replace PalmOS right now at all - it runs entirely in RAM. See answer below too.

            - Might there be a possibility of dual booting between Palm & Linux?

        Yes. The plan is to replace System.bprc with one capable of booting Linux off the SD card when you hold down a certain key. This way you can just soft-reset into the other OS as you need.

  • I love my HP h6315, PDA phone, GPRS, WiFi, Bluetooth. Great apps, great screen, great battery life.

    Unfortunately HP & Tmobile discontinued it. I finally broke it (ripped out charging port) and can't find a replacement. The blackberry is a joke. Zero use for me, worst interface ever.

    The treo feels nice but that OS sucks. With Linux, though, everything changes.

    The only thing I need beyond that is 320x240 res, WiFi and Bluetooth. Any Treo users know if it's possible?
    • Re:Treo vs PPC (Score:4, Informative)

      by elleomea (749084) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:52AM (#14256929) Homepage
      The 650 has a 320x320 resolution and integrated Bluetooth support. Currently as far as I'm aware there's only an odd WiFi sled type device (hooks over the whole of the back of the Treo making it a fair bit thicker, but also supplying an extra battery).
      • Thanks. I'll pick one up today, doesn't hurt to be prepared.
      • Re:Treo vs PPC (Score:5, Informative)

        by Rayban (13436) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @12:09PM (#14257074) Homepage
        That's the Enfora WiFi sled. It's a nifty little device that works pretty well. The cool thing is that it uses PPP over the Treo's USB port, so it'll be supported under Linux with minimal work.
      • Re:Treo vs PPC (Score:5, Informative)

        by WhiteDragon (4556) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @12:09PM (#14257075) Homepage Journal
        As you said, the treo 650 has built in bluetooth, and 320x320 resolution. I think I heard about somebody (probably shadowmite again) hacking in some sdio wifi drivers... *checks google* yes, here [engadget.com] it is.
        • hacking in some sdio wifi drivers

          the last I heard, SDIO wasn't an open specification and there were doubts as to whether it would be "legal" for SDIO to be implemented by a GPL'd project.

          embwise have an SDIO stack but it's closed/proprietary

          as a Zaurus user (all the latest models are wired for SDIO, but only support SD memory [and max. 1GB because Sharp's driver is crap]) sdio in linux is eagerly awaited.

          Paul

    • Does anyone know about the h?4700 model?
    • I love my HP h6315, PDA phone, GPRS, WiFi, Bluetooth. Great apps, great screen, great battery life. Unfortunately HP & Tmobile discontinued it.

      Probably because HP released the i6325 to replace it. The i6325 is a nice piece of hardware, but Pocket Windows 2003 is just as flaky as Win95 ever was.

  • by Darius Jedburgh (920018) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:47AM (#14256887)
    I'm sure this will be yet another one of those ports where someone proves it can be done but nobody actually finishes the job to the point where someone could actually use it for something, let alone actually supporting it.
  • by deathbyzen (897333) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:56AM (#14256973)
    In the future, the proof of a person's technical skill will be based on their ability to boot linux on random objects. Those who are able to get a bash prompt on a toaster oven will be gods that walk among us, constantly harping on our choice of distribution.
  • pssh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by commodoresloat (172735) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @12:00PM (#14257003)
    This is cool and all, but for those who want to use unix on a treo now, check out pssh [sealiesoftware.com], which allows you to ssh into a functioning unix box from palmOS. It works quite well and, while it's not the same as having linux on the local file system, it allows you to use unix remotely without sacrificing the apps available on palmOS (e.g. the phone, the organizer, and everything else you probably bought the treo for in the first place). Not to put down this project -- I'm all for putting linux on anything and everything -- but this has a long way to go before you have a usable system.
  • Killer App (Score:5, Funny)

    by tinytim (25110) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @12:19PM (#14257156) Homepage
    Everyone seems to be missing the obvious killer app here...

    POSE

    http://www.calliopeinc.com/palmprog2/tutorial/s1-p ose.html [calliopeinc.com]test

    Emulate a palm, on your palm.
    • This would really make switching to Linux a whole lot easier - being able to keep the Treo working "as it is now" while improving the functionality significantly behind the scenes. Personally, I like a lot of the Palm interfaces and applications. As much as I prefer linux for about about everything else, I think I'd act with a less hesitation to make a permanent switch (or at least a time-consuming back and forth) if I could run a Palm emulator.
      -N
      • The company formerly known as PalmSource hopes there are many more like you out there. They intend their next OS to be a release of the Palm tools for a Linux core.
    • Of course, you realize POSE does not support OS5 devices or the ARM processor. It will only emulate the OS4 and earlier devices, of which the Treo650 is not.
      • > It will only emulate the OS4 and earlier devices, of which the Treo650 is not.

        Fine by me. I still use a Handspring and if I could have that environment on a newer bit of hardware that was running Linux I'd be tempted. You see, I think Palm OS was da bomb while it was small and simple. A PDA needs to be simple, it doesn't need to be a media player, web browser, etc. So having the old Palm OS would be a big plus for me. Let the Linux side do all those "PC" type tasks.
  • New slogan (Score:3, Funny)

    by giantsfan89 (536448) <linuxwebguy@gmTOKYOail.com minus city> on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @12:28PM (#14257228) Homepage Journal
    Can you GNU/Hear me now? Good!
  • I've got a novel idea, how about using it as a phone...? I know I'm kinda out there, but hey - We have the technology, and a talented bunch of developers out there in the OSS community. So what the hell, let's give it a shot...
  • This is quite a milestone, I can't wait to run Linux on my 650. Keep up the good work, and many thanks for the work you have done so far.
  • by squison (546401) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @01:06PM (#14257536)
    Here's the Proof! [sakeful.com]
  • And look forward to one day getting PalmOS off my Treo and putting a more capable and supported operating system in its place. Please be sure you get the bluetooth stuff working :)
  • by option8 (16509) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @02:15PM (#14258095) Homepage
    i have in my hand a device with a large, bright color screen, usb, a QWERTY keyboard and a processor fast enough to run all kinds of java apps. why is there no linux or bsd for this device?

    seriously, where is the *nix for blackberry devices? they've been out in various incarnations for a long time, and there's plenty of old ones lying around, just waiting for an open source OS to make them useful again.

  • [I'm an unsatistifed Treo 180 owner - mine cracked in half twice.] PalmOS is a dead platform as far as phones are concerned. The treo 700 uses Windows. At least Linux has a lifetime longer than what the manufacturer will support with their native OS.
    • PalmOS is a dead platform as far as phones are concerned. The treo 700 uses Windows.

      All of us third-party apps developers who sell Palm OS software got a little annoyed when that happened. But, they did send out a special message to all registered developers saying they aren't abandoning Palm OS (although that could be a total lie), and more importantly, there are rumors floating around that there will be a cheap Palm OS based phone coming out next. Cheap, meaning that it's not $599 like the Treo 65

  • The Treo 650 is fairly expensive for a Linux PDA because you pay a premium for the phone functionality, software, etc.

    I think something like the Zire 22 or Tungsten E would be a more interesting model to run Linux on.

    In any case, Palm will be releasing Linux-based Palms soon (or die trying).
  • When it's booted into Linux, can I actually use the phone? Say I want to dial someone, or a call comes in. Possible?

    If that's 17 driver versions away, I'm thinking it may sorta defeat the purpose of running Linux on a phone.

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