Doing things differently: ‘Easy Debian’ on Nokia N900

Easy Debian is a comprehensive script package that basically downloads and installs a desktop Linux OS on your N900. And why not? The N900 is already considered a mobile computer more than a smartphone, so why to go one step further and have a full blown OS in your pocket?

The install package of Easy Debian can be found in Extras repository via N900’s App manager. Altogether it can take up to 1.5 hours and will use 2.5 GB of free space either on the mass memory or microSD card storage, so to avoid any possible interruptions during the process (which is quite straightforward at least),  I recommend hooking the N900 to a power outlet and leave hanging there until it’s finished.

Once installed, there’s no need for complicated dual boot procedures since Easy Debian can be launched from the main menu like any other app. Once started, the main drawbacks become apparent: the N900 is not quite up the task with it’s hardware resources, and the 3.5 inch screen requires some precision work even with a stylus. But the way it opens new horizons and possibilities shouldn’t be understated, it’s a quality that secures a spot in my growing N900 apps catalog.

As an appetizer, here’s screenshot from my Nokia N900 showcasing a number of pre-installed applications running directly in Easy Debian.  Right out of the box you get useful apps like GIMP ( a free alternative to Photoshop), document editor, Iceweasel (aka Firefox for Debian) or Leafpad.

A good friend of mine, Aston (@lifenexus) has recently started teasing with even more impressive pics from his own custom Debian image he is currently working on. He has promised it should run better on the N900, and it should come loaded with a number of useful 3rd party applications. Excited? I’ll write down more of my impressions once I get to try Aston’s work on my N900.

For now, however, I’ll let these screenshots speak volumes for what the N900 can do differently.

Aston’s Easy Debian setup

Rhythmbox music player

UFraw – for editing RAW image files

Transmission – a torrent client

A set of video players

Audio editing using Audacity

Qwit a twitter app

Exaile media player

Gpodder podcast manager

So far it looks extremely promising, even if  certain things are prone to change before the release. But on it’s own, Easy Debian is another solid proof that N900 is a versatile little machine where user can explore as far as his curiosity allows.


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  • roro
    September 7, 2010 - 8:21 am | Permalink


    i’ve tried to install rhythmbox myself and it failed,

    a simple investigation showed that python2.4-gtk2 package is missing

    how did you do it

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