Installing MeeGo for Nokia N900

Currently Nokia N900 has the latest official release of its Fremantle software back in October 2010, version 1.3. It would seem that there will be no additional releases after that.

MeeGo instead is steadily improving and it is about time to try it out on this device. Recent relatively stable version, is available for testing. This by far is not intended for production use.

Installation instructions via microSD card are available in the MeeGo wiki, specifically the option via N900 itself. A recap of the commands needed in the terminal are listed below, assumed that the raw image has been uncompressed to the root directory while connected to a PC:

sudo gainroot
cd MyDocs
umount /dev/mmcblk1p1
dd if=meego-handset-armv7l-n900- of=/dev/mmcblk1

It will take some time to write the data on the memory card, and since it is rather power consuming task, it is suggested that the charger is connected.

Final step is to boot the device with the given kernel. Depending of your platform, it is either easy (Linux) or slightly harder (Windows), but whichever the case is, you will need to install the Maemo Flasher 3.5, of which the latest version is 2.5.2 (24 Sep 2009 or 23 Oct 2009). Confusing isn’t it?

While attaching the device after issuing the following command, the “u” key on the N900 keyboard might need to be pressed, in order to enable the flashing mode, at least in Windows this was required, while in Linux it was not. Flashing command follows:

sudo flasher-3.5 -l -k meego-handset-armv7l-n900- -b

Explanations for the different attributes given to the flasher:

  • l - Write the image only to memory, not to hard drive
  • k - Use the given kernel image
  • b - Boot the device

For more permanent use, but still to have the official Fremantle software as default, there exists an application called uboot-pr13.

More information of that approach available at the MeeGo wiki.