ALIP on n8x0

ARM and Movial announced a second stable release of ARM Linux Internet Platform (ALIP) generic repository. ALIP got other updates as well, see a blog post about them in Movial’s Sandbox or the actual release notes.

The Kaze project for n8x0 devices was updated to use the generic-2 branch as well. There are no built images provided, but ALIP is relatively easy to compile if one is already familiar with Scratchbox. The ALIP rootfs works with the Maemo kernel and initfs and it can be booted nicely from an MMC/SD card, so no need to destroy the Maemo from the device just to test ALIP.

Kaze on n8x0

ALIP requires newer SB components (and specific toolchains) but the newer SB components should work just fine with Maemo targets and Maemo toolchains. Or the newer SB can be installed in a different directory from tarballs and used concurrently with the Maemo SB.

Follow the From scratch instructions but replace alip-project with kaze-project and don’t pass the -cbeagleboard. You should pass -c multimedia to include 3rd party provided (by me actually) gst-ffmpeg to the build.

If you want to include WebKit engine and Midori UI to it, add “midori” to the components file.

Unfortunately the X driver for OMAPs (xf86-video-omapfb) in the stable branch in omap-repository has a bug concerning n8x0 devices and you should use master branch of it if you want to test video playback. The easiest way to switch using master branch for this component is to clone the n8x0 configuration repository and switch the branch before running the matrix install.

git clone git://
vi n8x0/suite/n8x0-recommended
# Add the branch: Component("xf86-video-omapfb", branch="master")
matrix install -c multimedia

After the install you should include the binary DSP tasks from the device (they are proprietary and cannot be distributed). Use the helper script ( in src/platform-n8x0 that fetches them from the device over ssh and reinstall the component before creating the rootfs image:

matrix install-only -c multimedia platform-n8x0

Lots of things are still broken:

  • Power button tries to suspend, which fails and does nothing.
  • WLAN encryption keys are not stored succesfully.
  • WPA doesn’t work (WEP and unencrypted do work).
  • Midori should be started after networking.
  • There’s no ssh client (but dbclient as it’s dropbear).
  • Power management.
  • Default XFCE theme doesn’t look cool.
  • Etc.

But I believe that with some work Kaze on n8x0 will become decent enough for everyday use and will provide up to date components long after Nokia has dropped the n8x0 support.

If you have any questions, visit #alip @ freenode.

PS. If you want an open source media engine with D-Bus API checkout the Octopus. It’s a work in progress but handles basic audio and video playback on n8x0 just fine :)