Maemo 5 alpha on BeagleBoard

March 13, 2009 at 19:11 | Posted in hardware, sdk | 9 Comments
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After the release of the Maemo 5 alpha SDK, I’ve been working between my other duties on getting it running on the BeagleBoard. The Maemo on BeagleBoard project site has today been updated to include instructions for anyone to do the same.

BeagleBoard running the Maemo 5 alpha Application manager

BeagleBoard running the Maemo 5 alpha Application manager

The alpha SDK has released some content in the form of closed binaries. You are required to accept an EULA to gain access to the closed content and that means a ready-made rootfilesystem cannot be offered as a part of this project.

Instead a full set of instructions on how to build your own rootfilesystem using the Scratchbox1 based SDK is provided. The kernel image and modules are available for download and the kernel build process is documented. I’m not entirely happy with not providing a ready-made rootfs, but the closed binaries prohibit me from doing so. I hope you can understand this.

The provided kernel is buildable from the Maemo 5 alpha kernel sources (2.6.28) plus a sizeable patch which reimplements the display subsystem for BeagleBoard. The dss2 patches originate from the Ångström distribution‘s efforts available in the OpenEmbedded git, but within this project they are provided as one file.

The project’s default kernel configuration includes modules for USB HID, USB ethernet devices and USB mass storage devices. This means that you can use a mouse,  a keyboard, a USB-Ethernet plug or even a USB hard disk with your Maemo powered BeagleBoard — if you also have a powered USB hub, that is.

I was able to install packages from the Fremantle extras-devel repository directly to the BeagleBoard using apt-get. Someone had already uploaded a fun puzzle game Hex-a-Hop and it runs perfectly on this setup 🙂





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  1. […] The new Mameo 5 SDK Alpha release runs on BeagleBoard now too – Juha wrote a blog entry about this in the Maemo DT group blog. […]

  2. Are there any videos floating around? Should be interesting.

  3. I’ll try to make a video next week if I get my hands on a video camera.

  4. if i have a powered hub, is it possible to use mouse/keyboard/HDD AND usb-ethernet-adapter at the same time ?

    N8x could become a small NAS then


  5. kimi, I’m not sure if you can use those with N8x.

    This blog entry is about Maemo on BeagleBoard hardware and I’m able to use all those peripherals at the same time with it.

    BeagleBoard is a low-cost single-board computer built around the OMAP3 processor ( In the picture above it’s the plastic box next to the USB hub.

  6. And BTW, all kudos and credits belong to my namesake Juha K. I did not post this blog although Planet Maemo claims so (I did file a bug to on this 🙂

  7. Juha, I know. I tried to look at how the feed is aggregated to planet, but couldn’t figure out how to make it identify Juha K. So I’ll ask someone who knows better.

  8. Guys, don’t put too much effort into getting the aggregated author right. It’s not a big deal 🙂

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