what about Linux on iPod

  • pimpinblk

    pimpinblk - 2002-06-24

    iPod on Linux sounds awesome.  If the project gets goin and stuff, I would definitely buy and iPod for my Woody iBook.

    However, has anyone thought about Linux on an iPod.  From what I determined in the hardware specs, the iPod runs dual ARM processors at 90 mhz! With the 5 or 10GB hard drive, sound output, really nice screen, and firewire, this sounds like a prime candidate for an embedded Linux system!  Wouldn't it be easier anyway to just reformat the iPod in a different file system and use that?  Then you could port an already existing embedded system to the iPod.

    Let me know what you guys' opinions are about this.

    • Grant Jones

      Grant Jones - 2002-06-25

      Linux  on an iPod would be pretty cool... So are you volunteering your iPod for experimentation? Thats probably what is stopping a lot of people from modding their iPod, fear of destroying this $500 peice of equipment (and not know whether it could be fixed or sent back to Apple for repair).

      The other thing is that we really don't have that much information on that actual implementation of the portal player stuff in this circuit.

      The easiest thing to do, would be to get the portal player dev kit :-) Good luck.

      I would personally LOVE to see someone try and do what you are saying.. that would be soo cool. but it would also be a lot of work, seeing as how Apple has 4 developers for the iPod. (1 from Portal player co. and 3 from Apple)

      So are you willing to buy an iPod and hack it to run Linux? (More power to you if you are!)
      BTW: Maybe I'm just stupid, but what is a "Woody iBook"?

      • Anonymous - 2002-06-28

        A "Woody iBook" is an Apple iBook with the Debian "Woody" distro on it.  Frankly, though, OS 10 with Xwindow seems better.  What a GUI!

        Good luck with the project!

    • pimpinblk

      pimpinblk - 2002-06-29

      First thing: OS X with Xwindows is worse.  I did have that installed (XDarwin it is called) but it was just too slow.  So, I decided to install Debian, and boy am I gald I did.  Debian is faster than Mac OS 9 and more stable than Mac OS X.  I can run a hardware-accelerated OS, which I need since I have the lowest iBook2.

      Secondly:  I am in contact with a Portal Player VP trying to see what I can get in terms of info about the iPod.  That info is protected, so I know it will be a non-profit project, which doesn't bother me.  What does bother me would be if I couldn't release any info publicly once/if I get anything.  Cross your fingers.  I do agree.  Linux would be way sweet on an iPod.  Dual processors and a 10gb hard drive would blow any Pocket PC or Palm out of the water.  It would be a perfect system for a tiny embedded Linux, with an embedded XMMS or something and ability to store any data you want.  Input, possibly the iPod's only downfall, would be similar to that one-handed Linux PDA.  You would scroll through the "character rows" with the wheel, use the forward/reverse for going up or down a "character column" and press the middle button to OK.  While this seems a little much for input, it is probably just as bad as cell phone entry, which many people write text messages on and surf the web with every day.  I'm excited to hear back from the Portal Player rep, hopefully he'll be willing to let the public improve on the iPod and give us a chance to knock Apple upside the head so they can release another sweet PDA :).

    • Grant Jones

      Grant Jones - 2002-07-01

      Let us (or me) know when you hear any more!! I'd love to help you if you need it.


    • Anonymous - 2003-06-25

      They got it working... no Xwindows though.

      • Grant Jones

        Grant Jones - 2003-06-27

        I am familiar with this project. Even had Linux on my iPod for awhile... But I have some issues with the management of the group, and stayed away from it.

        Its very cool what they are doing. However, they haven't documented what they have done very well. It would be nice to know if it would be possible to write a custom OS (that isn't Linux). Without some of the hardware memory management (I believe) that Linux is dependent on it seems that using linux is just a cool factor and isn't viable for a practical.

        Ahh well... off my soap box...
        [its nice to know there are people who actually look at these forums]



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