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Nokia N900 for an admin

Provides ssh and vnc. Nice features, gps, wlan, sip. My hints here are focused on getting the device to fill my admin-needs. I want to listen to the podcasts from .

  • pro: when buying this you actually get root without having to break in or something (hi iphone-slaves..)!
  • pro: has a keyboard
  • pro: contains complete linux-box, think of encrypted homedir, mobile notesbook with revisioncontrol, read ebooks (FBReader)
  • cons: heavier than android phones (but still lighter than my Nokia E90)
  • pro: many videoformats out of the box supported
  • pro: One of the things i really appreaciate is to use approaches well known from linuxworld to solve problems. Want the N900 act as wlan-station and NAT traffic to internet for other computers? Loading iptables-kernelmodules, activating routing, running dhcpd - all the known steps.

comparison n900 vs. desire/android

Wondering if you should get an N900 or an Android-phone? The whole concept of these devices is different: the n900 is more a standalone linuxbox, you have root by default, can offer services, play easily with things. Android-devices are meant as consoles to use services from somewhere else - which isnt necessarily bad, depending on your requirements.

  • pro android: much bigger base of contributors
  • pro android: you have better chances of getting newer releases of android to run on your device - if you buy the right one, widely spread like G1, nexus 1, htc desire. Vendors of android-phones as well as nokia have no intention to support newer major-releases for their phones.
  • pro n900: root by default
  • pro n900: recent discussion on what phones are nice for using ssh:

first things

  • terminal is part of the default installation, notes for usage:
  • datatransfers with linux:
    • bluetooth network works, ofcourse also usb-storage - but makes the files inaccessable for the n900 while shared
    • i use an ad-hoc network and mount the n900-filesystem via sshfs onto my linux-laptop - but not media-transfers like sounds
  • ipv6:


  • many apps available, some already 'extras-repo' you just activated:
    • vncviewer, openssh server/client, nmap, mplayer, vim
  • emulators: bochs (x86 emu), scummvm, dosbox (run dos software), pearpc (there is a video showing mac osx 10.3 running on this), emus for maeme/c64, psx4all emulates playstation
  • amiga emulation:
  • 'Extra Decoders Support' provides additional codecs, there is even 'TeX Live 2009'
  • x11vnc: install it and access the n900-screen via 'vncviewer ip-of-n900:0' from a i.e. a linuxbox
  • mailing:
  • games: activate extras-devel, 'apt-get install sense wormux freeciv-client-sdl prboom doom-wad-shareware', 'bounce 3d' from the nokia shop
  • even more apps: EasyDebian
    • install this to get a 4GB file-image, inside a complete debian with many more applications
    • openoffice/iceweasel are there by default, vpnc available for install.
    • dont forget to reboot the n900 after installation of the 4gb debian-image
  • alternate syncing with google-calendar-accounts: erming-ng,
  • Hauke Lampe packaged the unbound DSNSSEC resolver:
  • packbart als nicely documented video stream transcoding so the n900 can display it: here
  • browsers:
    • the internal browser is quite usable with the adblock plugin
    • opera10 runs on maemo

N900 for routing/NATing to the internet

  • unsing wifi: The idea is to have other devices/computers via wlan connect to the N900 and enabling them to access the internet (so NATing their connections).
    • the current wlan-driver has no code to work as AP-point, ADhoc should work thou
    • the default kernel is missing iptables-kernel modules, kernels providing this can be installed from repos
  • using usb: After connecting linux-computer and n900 via usb-cable select 'pc suite' as operationmode on the n900
    • Now i.e. on gnome the n900 can be configured and used as modem.
    • Here on debian loading of modules cdc_phonet and cdc_ether is triggered and 'dmesg' tells that device /dev/ttyACM0 is now available. Will use wvdial with it:
apt-get install wvdial
cat >/etc/wvdial.conf<<EOT
[Dialer Defaults]
Modem = /dev/ttyACM0
Phone = *99#
Username = t-mobile
Password = t-mobile
Dial Command = ATDT
Baud = 460800
Init1 = AT+COPS=0
Init2 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"ip","internet.t-mobile"
# Init2 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"ip",""
  • using bluetooth: Havent used this yet.


  • accessing the cameras:
mplayer tv:// -tv device=/dev/video0 # back camera, 848*480 - 0.4 megapixel
mplayer tv:// -tv device=/dev/video1 # front camera, 640x480 - 0.3 megapixel

other OSs on N900

hardwarerelated/nokia_n900.txt · Last modified: 2015/08/11 20:32 (external edit)