Your Palm Pre Can Now Run Basically Any Linux Application

iPhone OS is on perpetual lockdown. Android hacking's boring, considering the platform's Linux credentials. It's webOS, Palm's Linux-based OS, where some of the best gratuitous, for-the-hell-of-it hacking is taking place nowadays. Exhibit A: OpenOffice, running on a Pre. A Pre!

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This hack is about 23 sweaty steps more obscure than your run-of-the-mill webOS Quickinstall homebrew app routine, but it's not impossible. Here's the routine, in abstract, by PreCentral user BoraWare:

- Install Debian Chroot Environment (wiki available at webos-internals)
- Install X Server package from the preware testing feed
- Install Window Manger (not required, but very difficult to use without one)
- Modify X Server startup scripts to load Window Manger
- Use Debian environment to install new apps (google will help you there)

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Right, so you've got to root your phone, install the entire UI system that Linux typically runs on, and install a new Windows manager. As is, the hack isn't something most people will be able to try, which is fine, because it doesn't really do much—it's a proof of concept.

But! But. Imagine if you could port any Linux application to the Pre. A music player, a video player (with a gajillion codecs, like VLC), or as seen above OpenOffice, albeit with a custom interface. Once the installation routine is simplified, this is all within the realm of possibility, which is a hell of a value-add for webOS users who're worried the development is going to stall for their lovely—but possibly doomed—OS. [PreCentral via Mobiputing]

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DISCUSSION

adamdoesthings
Adamdoesthings

The more I look at the Pre, the more I wish I had considered it before settling on the BB Curve.

When I went into the main Sprint store in Encino, I was initially considering going to the Palm Pre (I was a loyal Treonaut for 6 years, and Kyocera 6035 Palmphone user for 2 years before that). I asked the Sprint rep about it, he told me, verbatim: "That thing's garbage, it's a piece of sh*t. You won't like it, try this [keyboardless android thing] instead."

Couldn't behavior like this from employees have some effect in the sales?