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iPod Linux

July 23, 2009

For those of you who don’t know, Linux is an open-source kernel (that’s the meat of your operating system) with tons of different flavors, originally developed by a guy named Linus Torvalds.  People all over the world contribute to the actual development of all different types of operating systems.  Using an iPod as a starting point is just as valid as a regular old PC.

Why would anyone actually want to do this?  Who would go through the effort to actually change everything on their iPod?  Well, me, of course, except that I couldn’t get it to work.  I’ll explain why later…BUT in the mean time, I want to explain what one could do.

More after the jump.Check out the Wikipedia page for iPodLinux.  It’s pretty cool what people have been able to develop.  Mind you, these are not employees of some magical company, but freelance software engineers and programmers.  Open source software is just that, open, and most importantly, it’s free.  That means that while we all get to play with it, no one gets paid for it.

Apple’s main operating system on iPods, iPhones, and iTouchs (heh) is incredibly easy to use and navigate, but with all of the restrictions in place regarding licensing and other applications, EVERYTHING costs something.  Want a new game?  Pay.  Want some cool application for your iPod?  Sorry, Apple doesn’t have a way to do it so you might as well go buy an iPhone:  I’m still thinking about it… I digress.  If you put Linux on your iPod you can put almost any program on it.  Some guy got Doom II to work!

Quickly searching iPod Linux games, I found one of many guides on how to do this.  It basically involves putting a version of the Linux kernel on your iPod, installing some firmware (the actual stuff that can process and play your music), and then spicing it up to your heart’s every desire.   This guy has figured out how to install Wikipedia!

So I sit down and start tinkering with my iPod (it’s important to note that not all models are supported as of yet), installing Linux, trying to install Rockbox (the firmware), bootloaders, configurations, yada yada.  And every time I attempt to seal the deal, no program will recognize my iPod.  iPod Generations 1-5.5 are supported and that’s fine, that all checks out, but for some reason none of it works.  I discover that http://www.ipodlinux.org, the site for iPod Linux has disappeared so now it’s up to me to find someone smarter than me to figure this all out.  I find a few guides, tinker for a while more, and still no luck.

On Tuesday night, Mike and I went on the pretzel ride here in Philadelphia.  If you don’t know what that is, check this article out.  This was my fourth ride and Mike’s who-knows.  He’s been a lot more than I have and introduced me to it.  We all meet at the Art Museum at around 11:45 PM with some time to spare and start talking about my iPod Linux exploits.  We bicker a little  bit until he informs me that what I’ve been thinking for the past year was absolutely wrong.  For whatever reason I was under the assumption that my iPod was a 5th Generation Video iPod.  Boy was I wrong.  Turns out I have an iPod Classic…no wonder nothing worked.  Model list is here.

I openly admit that Mike was right and I was wrong.    As much as I would love to, I don’t know everything 🙂

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2009 1:44 pm

    You’re the meat of my operating system, Avrin

  2. August 5, 2009 9:20 am

    Hello,
    I have an Apple iPod nano 1G, i have successfully installed iPod Linux in my iPod and played doom, played even videos (which my iPod do not support), a ton of games and all.
    There is another project going on http://rockbox.org . You can also install Rockbox into your iPod or any other supported PMPs and enjoy. For a guide to install both of then in a iPod along with the defauld apple Os , you can check the guide in my blog

    http://phoxis.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/triple-boot-your-ipod

    i think you will like it

    Thus you can triple boot it with 3 oses and then select one when turning it on.

    Enjoy!

  3. ryan permalink
    September 23, 2010 2:31 pm

    does linux works with 6G ipod classic?

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