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N810 gains Android installer

Jul 8, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 33 views

Hackers have posted an installer that streamlines the porting of Google's Android software onto Nokia's Linux-based N810 and N800 Internet Tablets. Android has yet to appear on a cell-phone development platform, so the installer could play a key role in expanding Android development.

(Click for larger view of Nokia N810 (WiMAX version))

In his recent post on Internet Tablet Talk, “Penguinbait” provides the installer download and detailed instructions for the Nokia N810 and earlier N800 Internet Tablets. The author notes that he is just one a number of collaborators on the project, including “Qwerty12” and “b-man.” Penguinbait also notes that the installer has only been proven on the newer N810 model running Diablo (version 4.1 of Nokia's Maemo Linux distribution). The N800, meanwhile, was only tested on Chinook (Maemo 4.0), and may still have some issues, he says.

Linux hackers have claimed to have ported early versions of Android to other devices since shortly after the open source mobile phone stack was announced in November. By January, Android had been ported to Atmark-Techno's Armadillo-500, a development board based on Freescale's i.MX31L mobile applications processor, as well as to the Sharp Zaurus and Sharp SL-C3100. By April, Nokia's N810 had also been hacked. However, porting Android is such a tedious process that Android developers have been looking for an installer to cut to the chase.

Nokia's N810 lacks a cell phone, but developers can use Android's interactions with WiFi and Bluetooth connections. Early forum posts appear to indicate that the port works fairly well.

In his installation instructions, Penguinbait instructs users to back-up their data in case of a reflash, and then store the provided android.img.bz2 file on a memory card, with at least 110MB of free space on whichever card is holding the image. Next, Penguinbait instructs users to “install the deb, which will flash your kernel and give you an icon in extras menu to start Android.” After rebooting, Android should start up in about a minute. The author also posted a subsequent incremental upgrade to the startup script, and offers instructions for uninstalling Android.


Download instructions and links for the Android-to-Nokia N810/N800 installer should be available here. Further coverage of the installer can be found on eWEEK, here.

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