Thursday, September 03, 2009

Yes Virginia, Linux Runs on Kindle

With Sony and other e-readers breathing down their necks, what could Amazon do for the Kindle to ensure it's still the e-reader to beat? We don't know, but we guess running an OS on it may probably interest some people. That's exactly what Jesse Vincent decided to do for his beloved Kindle: he hacked the Kindle to run Ubuntu 9.04 AKA Jaunty Jackalope.

Ubuntu Jaunty has an ARM target. It's a fairly similar linux to the OS shipped on the Kindle 2 and the Kindle DX. A little bit of fiddling and an NFS export later, I was able to chroot into an Ubuntu environment on my Kindle.
That was when I discovered that Lab126 have built the Kindle's kernel without CONFIG_VT...and really wants a tty or virtual terminal, but not for any particularly good reason.
This evening, I managed to bludgeon into submission and found myself face to face with everybody's favorite checkerboard background.
After that, it was just a hop, skip and an apt-get until I was watching the mesmerizing transitions of xdaliclock.
Now if only Amazon picks up on this and makes a Kindle MORE than just an e-reader, then they may just have something new on their hands.


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