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!

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)


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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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?