back to article Debian delivers FreeRunner open-phone package

Olympics aside, summer 2008 will be remembered for at least two other reasons. It will be seen as a time when the noise over Linux as a platform for mobile devices reached a crescendo. Second: it marked Debian's fifteenth anniversary. Bringing both together, Debian developers have delivered a version of their Linux distro for …


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  1. David Hicks
    Thumb Up

    I'm particularly interested in Debian on Freerunner

    As I have lots of other debian machines, and the Openmoko firmware seems to be in something of a state of flux at the moment. Not only that but unreliable and unresponsive.

    Time to give one of the major players a go on the hardware.

  2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Desktop linux has been delayed because...

    ... Microsoft took ages to ship Vista.

    Manufacturers are targeting markets that cannot afford Vista capable machines. To do that, they are finally selling (small) Linux machines. Get cracking MS and release Windows 7: If it requires a higher spec machine than Vista then manufacturers will be selling powerful Linux desktops.

    PS - I have been putting Linux on embedded systems for over 5 years. The only difference now is that journalists report on it.

  3. Drak

    finally someone gets mobile linux right

    Clicking on the Openmoko link I see that on Openmokos webpage that this Debian version is already available to install on the Freerunner phone. Im going to look into getting one of these. Now this is something that has the potential to blow away the iPhone and flush down all this Android nonsense.

  4. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton


    So it begins , when will hardy ones be offering an open source Ifoney free of open back doors and windows to freak out the pirates of Cupertino , that be the question ?

  5. Patrick Ernst

    Linux expecations

    "apparently having taken the baton from the desktop, which has failed to live up to years of expectations and promises."

    Linux has not failed to live up to expectations and promises. It works perfectly fine in desktop capacity, whether that be for personal or business use. Its use in a business desktop setting requires an IT Dept with sufficient knowledge and commitment to facilitate a migration. It requires management that will commit to financing a migration and it requires training of end-users. Obviously in any company this becomes a major project which requires thought, testing and cost-justification, especially if core applications have to be modified, migrated or replaced.

    This has nothing to do with the ability of Linux to perform. At a personal desktop level, I only recommend Linux now to people who want a new PC. I can't be stuffed supporting them when windows fails to perform adequately due to some action on behalf of those users. Windows does not adequately protect inexpert users from their own actions. When will it live up to expectations and promises? :)

  6. Lewis


    Debian, anything else is a corner case.

  7. James Bassett

    The problem with Linux on the desktop

    I've lost count of the number of times I've installed Linux on the desktop. Everything looks great. Almost all the applications and functionality I need are there. Almost. So, I start fiddling. I decide to install an OSX style App doc, a new media player, some MP3 tagging software, some Open Source mapping...oh shit. I've killed Linux again.

    [so the problem with Linux on the desktop is me]

  8. andy rock

    @ James Bassett

    no offence but you don't appear to be doing it right. it's easier to recover a knackered linux box than it is a knackered windeez box. 'make uninstall' is a damn sight easier than hacking registry entires which are so cryptic they mean nothing to me.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    The OpenMoko people took on the developers of the OpenEmbedded project, which grew out of a Debian-like system in the first place (apt,dpkg etc.). There isn't a lot those guys don't know about putting Linux on small devices, so overall I can't really agree that this is a significant event. Sorry to any Debian developers that worked hard on this; I'm speaking from end-user frustration and I don't mean to diminish your achievement.

    The whole point of the OpenMoko endeavour is to make a consumer device that people can change. It already RUNS linux, it HAS a development tree behind it. Putting Debian on it is reinventing the wheel. The next step is the end user experience. Going back to the beginning is like bringing your cucumber sandwiches to an all you can eat buffet.

  10. Gabor Laszlo

    Happy Neo

    Been using it as my main phone for over a month now, and every time I flash a different image on it for testing it's like getting a whole new phone :) This week I'll try Debian, but then I'm probably going back to ASU/2008.8

    Wait until the firmware settles and the hardware hacks start appearing!

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