Using the N8x0


[edit] Upgrading to the latest firmware

There are instructions for upgrading to the latest version of "Diablo", the final Maemo release for the N800/N810.

After following them, you can continue upgrading to the Diablo community project, which fixes some bugs found in the latest official firmware.

[edit] Obtaining root access

Use rootsh to obtain root access. Parts of this guide assume you have root enabled.

You may also want to install the package 'sudser' to enable use of the sudo command in the shell.

[edit] Enabling more repositories

A lot of the instructions in this guide ask you to install programs for the Extras repository, so enable it.

Other repositories are listed, and can be directly enabled, here. It's recommended to add Browser Extras and FBReader Repository.

You should also temporarily enable Maemo Extras-Devel to perform some tasks explained on this page, but it's best to disable it when you're finished (go to the Application Manager's menu, ...).

[edit] Asian languages support

If you need to use Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, you will find that there is no such provision built into Maemo.

Fortunately, there is a third-party project: just download the relevant package, reboot, and you'll be able to type in your language.

[edit] Icons on the home screen

A useful applet for your home screen is Personal Launcher, which lets you have an arbitrary number of icons for arbitrary programs. You can find it in the Extras repository.

After installing it, click on the Home menu, Applet settings, Personal launcher to add and organize icons for the applet.

Note that the applet is resizable by gripping the small triangle visible at the bottom right.

[edit] Improving the browser

The standard Maemo browser, MicroB, is still usable, but you might want something different and more modern.

One choice is Tear, a WebKit-based browser that comes with kinetic scrolling and other goodies. You can install the 'tearbookmarks' package, and then go to the Panels settings of Control Panel to enable it, to replace the standard Maemo bookmarks icon. You may need to reboot before this works.

If you want WebKit but like MicroB, you can install the 'webkit-eal' package (from the same repository as Tear, so follow its instructions to enable it), then go to its settings and enable WebKit. Note, however, that this project is abandoned.

You can potentially improve your browsing experience, on both MicroB and Tear, by changing your useragent string: for instance, you could pretend to be an iPhone or an Android devices, and have mobile-optimized pages automatically sent to you. With Tear, you can achieve it by going to the menu, Tools, Options, user_agent; with MicroB, you need to install the User Agent Switcher.

Common strings:

  • iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A543a Safari/419.3
  • iPad: Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; U; CPU OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B334b Safari/531.21.10
  • Android: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 1.5; en-us; T-Mobile G1 Build/CRB43) AppleWebKit/528.5+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.2 Mobile Safari/525.20.1

[edit] Using YouTube

YouTube can be used from MicroB (but it may not work in WebKit mode, or under Tear), but it's awkward to use and doesn't play smoothly.

There are plug-ins for various media players in Extras, but none of them work correctly at present. A solution involves installing the MyTube player and then patching one of its files.

  1. Download this file
  2. Open an X terminal
  3. Untar the file:
    tar xf /home/user/MyDocs/.documents/youtube-dl-x.tar
  4. Gain root access:
    sudo gainroot
  5. Copy the file to its destination location:
    cp /home/user/MyDocs/.documents/youtube-dl-x /usr/bin/
  6. Copy the text found here
  7. Paste it into its destination location by typing:
    cat >/usr/lib/python2.5/
    then going to the menu, selecting Edit, Paste, and then hitting Ctrl+D
  8. Start MyTube, go to the menu, Settings, more..., youtube-dl, and add the option « -f 5 », making the command line as follows:
    youtube-dl-x -f 5 -o %d -- %s
    Then hit apply.

You need the package 'mplayer' for MyTube to play your videos.

TODO: make a fixed package of MyTube

[edit] Using more IM protocols

Maemo supports Jabber natively, which has provisions for gateways to other protocols.

However, it is also possible to enable more protocols (MSN, AIM...) directly in the Chat application, by installing the package 'account-plugin-haze' from the Maemo Extras Devel repository. Alternatively, you can follow these instructions to obtain a more recent version of it, that includes more protocols (including IRC).

[edit] Links

Hard-to-find software not on's list (not everything actually works!):