Monday, November 07, 2011

Free software mobile phone galore

Almost forgot to post this. My mobile phones running free software in photos. From left to right:
  • Neo FreeRunner (GTA02a5) running QtMoko
  • Neo FreeRunner (GTA02a7) running Debian
  • Nokia N900 running MeeGo CE (now Nemo Mobile)
  • Nokia N950 running Meego CE (now Nemo Mobile)
  • Nokia N9 running Harmattan (stock software)

All of that software running on the devices is more or less free software, with Harmattan obviously being by far the least free, especially applications, but still better than any other on-the-shelf phone software *), and the others being 99% or "Ubuntu like" free ie. possibly with firmware and a few driver exceptions. N9 needs some bootloader work still before Nemo, Debian, Ubuntu etc. can be run there. I've collected a few things about N9 from this point of view at a wiki page.
*) Not sure about every Android phone, but Android is not openly developed anyway so it's hardly a similar free software project such as projects or Qt

I gave my N900 away now since obviously I cannot make full use of each one of these. I'm multi-SIMming my N9 and the GTA02a7 Neo FreeRunner for daily use, while the other FreeRunner and N950 are purely for tinkering related purposes. The development FreeRunner will get on upgrade to GTA04 once it's available, and then hopefully that can be made into a daily usable phone as well.

By the way, see you in FSCONS in Gothenburg next weekend. Even rms will be there, which is always interesting of course :)


Anonymous said...


would you have any pointer to a good tutorial on N9 development, especially using ubuntu as a development platform ?


TJ said...

alci: If you mean N9 development as in applications for the Harmattan software, see for example + (Qt SDK). When you use Qt + QML for application development, you can simultaneously also target for example Mer/Nemo users or Debian/Ubuntu users since Qt works there as well. Harmattan platform has a few things of its own, but you need to consider if you will use plain QML or for example widgets from Qt Components.

If you mean N9 development as in working on alternative system software for the N9 like Mer Core or Debian, it involves deeper system knowledge and has no one guide. See eg. + for starters on Debian (which is a _huge_ system), or on Mer Core and contributing to code there.

Anonymous said...

timo: thanks. I was meaning, "N9 development as in applications for the Harmattan software", as I realize core hacking is far from what I can and would do for now.
More specifically, would installing qt-creator package on ubuntu 11.10 be siffucient to do qt+qml and cross compilation, or should I follow the instructions on and install the "raw" sdk and scratchbox ?

TJ said...

alci: Hi. I haven't actually installed anything in a while myself, but it looks like the Qt SDK should include (it has an installer where you can select various things) everything needed for application development, cross-compilation and creating installable packages with a click of the mouse. The Harmattan Platform SDK is only if you want to contribute into the platform itself instead of applications.