User FAQ

FAQ will be merged to this page.

If your question is not posted here, try the search tool in this wiki, full search, search, or Google ITT search (or your preferred Internet search engine).

If you are looking for information about the Autobuilder, try the Autobuilder FAQ.


Principles of Frequenty asked Questions

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  • Use links to content where possible (including
    • Especially if the answer is more than a couple of sentences (one paragraph max) - in this case, make a page if necessary and point to it.
  • Continually update (needs a FAQ editor)

Open to suggestions...

Frequently Asked Questions - Users

Please note, you can also use the search facilities:

Note that there is a separate FAQ for those interested in Development.

New to Maemo? There's a New Users page and a Greeters Organization.

I can't read through this! I'm in big trouble... Need big help...

Are you sure? You might want to check below in the Troubleshooting section.

But... If all else fails, and you just can't see a way out, updating the tablet firmware is the last straw. It deletes all user data and reverts all settings to default.



The N900 is a pocketable computer with plenty of power (speed and memory) for running many demanding applications.

The Nokia N900 hardware page can be found here

(Older) Internet Tablets

The Nokia N810 Wimax Editionhardware page can be found here

The Nokia N810 hardware page can be found here

The Nokia N800 hardware page can be found here

The Nokia 770 Internet tablet hardware page can be found here


Do I have to charge it fully before first use?

No. It will come with some battery charge so you can play.

Do I have to discharge it fully each time?

No, n900 has a LIon battery, which doesn't need this. Older NiCad batteries did.

Can I use the device while it’s charging?


Is it safe to leave it charging overnight? Will it stop charging itself when it’s full?


Software and Usage

Operating System

The Nokia devices run on the Maemo Operating System, but there are alternatives.


The N900 runs Maemo 5 out of the box. See the Maemo 5 Introductory pages for details, movies, and advice.

Maemo 5 is also known as Fremantle

Will Maemo 5 run on the Previous Internet Tablets?

Not officially but perhaps through the Mer community project. Maemo 5 is optimized for the OMAP3 architecture, the N810 and N800 are based in OMAP2 and the 770 in OMAP1 (discussion).

Earlier tablets ran earlier versions of Maemo. Links to details will be provided as time progresses.

What are the 'Alternatives' to Maemo


Click on the link above for more questions and answers.

Other Applications

Where do I get Software (apps) from?

See also Downloading_apps page.

Internet Tablets use the concept of software repositories, a concept carried over from Linux. You can tell your N900 where these repositories are via the Application Manager. The Application Manager automatically then presents you a list of available applications that can be installed on your device, and takes care of any dependancies that may be required.

There are multiple repositories available for the N900:

  1. Nokia's Ovi Store
  2. Commercial Application Vendors
  3. Community Applications

The Application Manager also allows you to uninstall applications as well as keep you notified of updates to your installed applications.

You will also find One Click Install Applications on the web for instance in the Downloads section of this web site.

If you can't find what you want, sign up to Maemo Talk and ask. If a few people are interested, or if a particular developer sees value in your idea, it's likely someone will write you an application to do what you want. And yes, that really does work.

Or you can learn to program in Maemo or Qt yourself.

There's a good set of tutorials here, with a Hello world app too... and there's a separate Developer FAQ on this site.

How can I encode video files for playback on the device?

See video encoding for information on encoding media for playback (or streaming to) the Maemo device.

How do I get more memory to install applications?

See booting from a flash card to find out how to gain extra room by moving the system to a flash card.

How do I get root access?

See root access for information on how to get superuser permissions.

How can I monitor my disk usage and how much space I have left?

To be answered

Can I edit Office files?

N900 comes with datavz's Office 'Office to Go' reader, so you can read office files.

Editing them is a slightly more interesting prospect, but has become a much more exciting one with KOffice from here.

Easy_Debian has OpenOffice installed and on the N810 (at least for this author) has been used very successfully to edit Office files.

Does n900 view pdf files?

There's a built in application for that.

Does n900 have a book reader? Will it run Kindle?

To be answered

Can I do email?

If you're using an N900, the N900_Email_Options page can help.


What is the difference between Maemo and

Maemo refers to the Open source software platform for mobile devices developed by Nokia in collaboration with the Maemo community and some of the best open source upstream projects. is the home of the Maemo community, and is a gathering place for people interested in this platform and related software and devices (more).

Where should I report problems?

Software problems are reported as bugs - please be gentle with the Bugsquad team. Contact Nokia Support for serious problems with your device during the warranty period. In case of doubt use the Talk forum.

What is the Community Council?

The Community Council is a team of volunteers representing the community and interfacing with Nokia.

How can I help with software development?

To be answered

Troubleshooting and Optimization


My tablet is slow and unresponsive. What can I do?

Look at the Troubleshooting page for help.

I have run out of disk space. How can I add more?

My system is unstable and applications crash a lot. What's wrong?

Look at the Troubleshooting page for help.

I have trouble connecting to the internet over wifi

I installed something and now my n900 isn’t working right.

I installed something and now my n900 isn’t working at all.

To be answered

I have trouble connecting to the internet over wifi

There’s a light flashing on my n900

Look at Maemo5 101 for further info about what different colour and blinking means


How can I get root access?

See root access for information on how to get superuser permissions.

How can I improve battery life?

Read article How To Make Your Battery Last Longer.

How often do I need to update? And why?

N900 is 'updatable software', so it will go on getting better. Your device will check for updates once a day, and tell you when it needs to update by putting a little yellow icon on the screen. Then it will walk you through the update process. You can wait to update when you are somewhere where it's beter to download - for example your using your home netwrk rather than your data plan.


What is Maemo 5 / Fremantle?

Fremantle is the codename of Maemo 5, which is the next major release after OS2008 / Maemo 4.1 / Diablo

What is Maemo 6 / Harmattan?

To be answered