Linux, here we come!

This week’s funday is today!  Devteam member planetbeing has done a phenomenal job reverse engineering Apple’s hardware drivers and now for the first time ever, linux is available on the iPhone and first-gen iPods.

The official announcement is here. Video, downloads, and instructions….all included.

(P.S. Feel free to digg this to help get the word out!)

Now, Linux has been in the works for quite awhile, but progress seemed to be slowed for it is a monumental task. Today, planetbeing (the lead developer) announced quite a breakthrough.

Linux on the iPhone!

I’m pleased to announce that the Linux 2.6 kernel has been ported to Apple’s iPhone platform, with support for the first and second generation iPhones as well as the first generation iPod touch. This is a rough first draft of the port, and many drivers are still missing, but it’s enough that a real alternative operating system is running on the iPhone.

What we have:

- Framebuffer driver
- Serial driver
- Serial over USB driver
- Interrupts, MMU, clock, etc.

What we have in openiboot (but hasn’t been ported yet):

- Read-only support for the NAND

What we don’t have (yet!):

- Write support for the NAND
- Wireless networking
- Touchscreen
- Sound
- Accelerometer
- Baseband support

The current userland we’re using, in the interest of expedience, is a Busybox installation created with buildroot, but glibc works fine as well, and we’re going to build a more permanent userland solution.

A demonstration video can be seen here:

Instructions here:

Download here:

Project lead: planetbeing

Contributors: CPICH, cmw, poorlad, ius, saurik

If you’re experienced with hacking/porting Linux and especially if you’re experienced with porting Android, I’d definitely like to hear from you. Come chill in the #iphonelinux channel on If you’re not experienced, and still want to help, you can digg/slashdot this posting to heaven so our little project gets more visibility. Thanks. :)


As of now, it is obvious that Linux is nearing its course for  a full release, but it is lacking a few key features/drivers as seen above.

- Write support for the NAND
- Wireless networking
- Touchscreen
- Sound
- Accelerometer
- Baseband support

It seems though that a bulk of the burden has been lifted by the kernel being ported and Open iBoot released. This is of course indicitive of a Linux release, but also opens the door to the future.

Open iBoot allows a dualboot between the iPhone’s software and a console to manipulate the hardware of the device thus the boot into Linux or another of your choice (As seen, linux is the only alternative available now).The announcement also requests any with experience with porting Android, so this shows our beloved device has the capability of also becoming so much more on the iPhone/Touch platforms.

Overall, a huge development has taken place before us. This has the opened the door to what I believe is the future, and it’s going to be one hell of a ride :)

Much thanks should be given to planetbeing and his team for all the hard work.
Remember to digg it to spread the word.

Note: If there any discrepancies or errors, please post in the comments and it’ll be taken care of. Technical jargon and all this, I don’t pretend to be any expert just my interpretation and limited understanding ;)

2 Comments on “Oh so much to cover – Major Developments (Linux/DualBoot)”

  1. Raseel says:

    Awesome. Can’t wait for advances in this.

  2. Kiks52 says:

    This is very cool!