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Hacking the iPAQ with Linux, for fun and profit

Dec 23, 2000 — by Rick Lehrbaum — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

This article is Part 2 of the exciting new series by Jerry Epplin that explores the history, status, alternative architectures, and future developments of Linux on PDAs and handheld devices. In this installment, we prepare for future exploration of three “off-the-shelf” iPAQ PDA distro's, by obtaining, installing, and testing the “generic” iPAQ Linux support from Epplin writes . . .

“In the first article of this series, we reviewed the architectures of several approaches to running Linux on the Compaq iPAQ PDA. Compaq ships the iPAQ with Windows CE, but they also sponsor an admirably open effort to port Linux to the PDA, at In addition to the effort, at least three companies have released GUI development environments and application suites designed to work with the kernel . . .

  • Century Software's Microwindows PDA Operating Environment
  • Trolltech's Qt Palmtop Environment
  • Transvirtual Technology's PocketLinux
At present, software development on the iPAQ is fairly daunting for those not comfortable with Linux cross-development methods, or with the array of GUI development tools available for Linux. Those familiar with one or both of these areas will be happy to find that applying them to iPAQ development is straightforward.”

“For the rest, this series of articles will cover the basics of iPAQ Linux software development. As always, in the open source world, there are many different approaches — each having strong adherents!”

“Before you attempt to use any of the add-on development toolkits, I recommend that you first install the environment, and become familiar with its resources. That's because the add-ons rely heavily on the environment as a base for many of their services.”

“In this article, then, I'll take you through the process of locating the required support at, downloading the iPAQ Linux environment, setting up your iPAQ for reprogramming, reprogramming it with Linux, and testing the result.”

“Ready? Let's get started!”

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