ARM Linux Port

Discussion in 'Application Ideas' started by FluxBox, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. FluxBox

    FluxBox New Member

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    Alright, I decided to post this under ideas, because, as stated, this is just an idea. An idea that I've started tinkering around with.

    I have a basic ARM-CPU based Linux kernal, version 2.6, downloaded right now, that I am attempting to apply to the iPod.

    At first, I highly doubt a UI would be possible, so a command line controlled from a Linux-box would be the only possibility.

    But hopefully, over time, I could implement in everything, from a GUI to porting over many GNU and X applications, along with KDE or GNOME.

    Porting Linux as a command shell will be difficult enough, getting it to boot along with the Apple firmware will be another story, and porting the X Window System along with GNOME or KDE or Fluxbox or IceWM, etc. will be the hardest of all.

    Also, running a full-blown GUI at that resolution is insane. Try running GNU GIMP at the iPod's resolution. Or any other application. They have to scale so much that the tools would over-power the workspace. So basically, I'd have to modify source code on those applications for them to work, as well.

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    But, once I get the ARM kernel installed onto the iPod, it'll be easier to get stuff ported. I just need the base system installed in order to keep this up.

    And, everything would be transferred and installed wirelessly, so this will take a whole lot of time to install and download packages if I get this finished.

    You won't just go into Installer.app and install a "Linux" package. You'll have to go to a mirror that I'll set up, download a kernel and install it on the touch's hardware. It just won't be worth the user's time.

    And, obviously, over time, it'll get much easier to install these things.

    I can't even guarantee that it'll be done in a month, two months, three months, etc. This is just a huge project that I'm undertaking, trying to piece together a little bit.

    Also, anyone that decides to come in here and flame me for being fake, note how I'm clearly stating how primitive my actions are, so far. I haven't gotten anywhere with this yet. I've only just begun looking through the sources of this Linux kernel. I'm not saying that this will ever get done, this is simply an idea.
  2. jfb392

    jfb392 New Member

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    I think nightwatch and some others from the dev team were working on this, I just can't remember how far they got..
    Good luck though, it'd be really cool to see something like this, even at a low level.
  3. JonSingh12

    JonSingh12 New Member

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    Hey man i like how your going at this i have some experience with working with these type of things if anything i could chip some info in i usually help coding for the iPod Video Linux project. Not the best at underestanding all thats going on but i do know a bit. Good luck on this i'm hopping this pulls though. To run linux or any other os on the ipod we need to get into the bootloader and modifiy it. But what i heard is that it's encrypted so maybe the only step to take would to be virutalizing the operating system through the mac os x mobile os. Maybe a program that runs off the springboard however the avliable amout of resources left for the user after the os is booted up isn't much. So maybe before the program is fully executed write a little script that closes all processes in the background to free up resources and so forth but thats far away porting this to fully work on this hardware might take quite a bit of work, sure it's truly no where close to being an easy job but i like ur idea and ur enthusiasm keep it up !
  4. FluxBox

    FluxBox New Member

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    I'm not really gonna try to virtualize or emulate the operating system. I want to see how far I can go natively.
  5. iclone

    iclone New Member

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    i would more like to see if u keep working on your audio tools
  6. RedLink

    RedLink New Member

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  7. Parm289

    Parm289 New Member

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    GNOME/X/KDE on ipod touch. 400-something MHz processor. Porting it by yourself.

    Do you know how hard it would be to control these environments with the ipod touch, especially with the touchscreen? Just because the screen is scaled doesn't mean interaction will automatically fix itself - unless the kernel supports zooming in on parts of the desktop like safari. How will you click the Applications menu panel in gnome when it's impossibly tiny? You would have to rewrite the desktop to allow for this type of navigation, or else it is not going to be user-friendly. You would also probably have to edit or rewrite some of the apps to support features on the ipod touch, unless there is a kernel for this specific board that is made for the touch's features.

    I don't want to shoot down the project or insult you personally, and I would very much like to see this happen. However, I can't visualize it unless you somehow incorporate one of the teams behind a linux distro in development. This comes very very close to developing/coding/designing your own distro, which is obviously much more work than a single person can handle.

    I would concentrate on finishing a native app like itouchband before attempting this.

    P.S. I didn't even mention hardware, dirvers, or wifi once in this post.

    Edit: Just reread your post.
    Ok, so you have the idea about the gui. I don't know how much work it will take to modify the source for loads of linux apps to make them available for touch, but i can assure you it will take up huge amounts of time.

    Also, I don't know how large an installation would be, but since the average ubuntu install is ~4gb, a mini install would probably range from 500mb-1gb (unless a bare distro like puppy dogs was used as the base. 50 mb lol). How would I expect to take up that much space with a linux os when i have my media and a sexy apple os already on my touch?

    Just some thoughts, don't get discouraged.
  8. simonrichards150

    simonrichards150 New Member

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    This is too much. For a start, I am apparrently at the same stage you are, as I have compiled a linux kernel for ARM. But to make it run on the iPod Touch, you would need to change the bootloader. Which would involve getting inside the case and figuring out how to flash the appropriate chip.

    Also, drivers. I don't think so.

    Lets leave it as a dream for now

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    Yes theres ipodlinux, which I have on my 1st gen nano, but the touch is a whole different animal.

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