Maemo basics

This is a brief introduction for people who are new to Maemo and considering buying a device with the Maemo operating system (OS). The goal of this page is to explain to someone with no prior knowledge about Internet tablets, operating systems, Linux, or software development, what they need to know to appreciate the merits and uses of Maemo.


What is Maemo?

Maemo is the name of an operating system and application platform based on Linux which Nokia introduced in 2005 to run on its Internet tablets. Maemo is more than just that! It is the community and tools and devices—everything—to do with the operating system. This is the home of the Maemo project. The resources here consist of downloads, communal documentation, development resources, news and a discussion forum.

  • Downloads is a showcase for applications and other software, some of it developed by Nokia, and some of it from members of the this Maemo community.
  • Community is a collection of useful information and links for both developers and users. For new users the wiki can be especially useful for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and general information.
  • Development is a resource for developers. If you are interested in writing code for Maemo, there is a wealth of information and downloadable resources there to help you get started.
  • News is a blog containing the most significant items of Maemo-related news.
  • Talk comprises a number of forums about Maemo. Some are technical forums for developers but are for ordinary users. There are forums for the Maemo operating system, for specific hardware devices which use Maemo, and for applications written for Maemo.

Why Maemo?

It is a complete, full-featured and open operating system that runs on a portable computer.
It is a collaborative effort using the resources and backing of a successful, for-profit company (Nokia) and the talents and resources of an enthusiastic community of volunteers.
It is a Linux distribution. The main competing mobile operating systems are: built on Linux, but deliberately restricted (Google's Android), cut down and closed (Windows Mobile), or closed and deliberately limited (Mobile Mac OS X).

How can I run Maemo?

Maemo runs on Nokia's Internet tablets. The most recent Maemo release is Maemo5 and it runs on the Nokia N900.

What can I do with Maemo?

You can do almost everything smartphones do now with no extra software installed. There is no MMS for now.

In downloads - section one could see software for os2008 (Nokia N800 & N810). And Maemo5 subpage shows software for Maemo5 (Nokia N900). And remember also the instance that collects the best of the best software ( & ovi): Maemo select

Software can be easily installed by opening installer with your Maemo - device.

What next?

If all your questions wasn't answered, Frequently asked questions could do it. If not, feel free to join maemo talk! And there is allready a thread for newcomers