[maemo-users] Getting Easy-Debian to work

From: Qole qole.tablet at gmail.com
Date: Sat Apr 4 20:59:39 EEST 2009
I just realized I only sent the following to John. It might be interesting
for others, too, so here it is:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Qole <qole.tablet at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 4:48 PM
Subject: Re: Getting Easy-Debian to work
To: "John B. Holmblad" <jholmblad at hotmail.com>

Hi John,

On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 3:57 PM, John B. Holmblad <jholmblad at hotmail.com>wrote:

> I am still interested to understand how this "app" relates to the N800
> OS. Does Debian run as an app, a VM, or something else?

My project uses an entire installed Debian root file system, placed into an
image file.

This image file is mounted on a very fast loop device, and then the Debian
applications are run in a chroot.

As I explained in my Summit presentation (see below), a chroot isn't a
virtual machine, it is a virtual environment. The applications within the
chroot use the files and libraries within the chroot (Debian) instead of the
files and libraries in the primary environment (Maemo). This way, any
generic Debian app can be installed with an apt-get command and run without
any porting efforts, as long as they use the same basic technologies as the
tablet (eg. they need to have ALSA/ESD support for sound, v4l2 support for
the camera, GTK+ support for tap-and-hold right-click, etc)

My chroot environment is not supposed to be a "jail" like so many other
chroot environments (eg Apple iPhone). It is quite "porous" by design, so
applications within the chroot can access many parts of the Maemo system,
including devices (like SD cards, sound, camera, network, etc), the temp
folders, running daemons (including hildon-input-method and dbus), the
system tray, the task switcher, etc.

I have some more technical details about my chroot scripts in my blog, so
you can use them to run applications from any reasonably compatible Linux


Jamie Bennett recorded my goofy presentation at the 2008 Maemo Summit and
posted it here:


I have a thread at ITT about using my scripts to run Ubuntu Jaunty apps
(like OpenOffice 3.0) instead of Debian Lenny:


Qole: fanboy, wacko, and maemo.org junta member
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