New users

Note: Fleshing out as we go along, please help if you'd like to make it clearer! Note that this doesn't actually bring anything new per se, but hopefully starts putting it in a single place. Or something.

Welcome to, the heart of the Maemo community, and the central clearinghouse for things related to the Maemo operating system, and the devices that run it (including the 770, N800, N810 and N900). You may have come in here from the intro page, or from a web search, for from a link to the New Users page someplace. Wherever you came from, here's hoping this little page can help satisfy your needs.

If you're new to Maemo, thinking of buying a device like the N900, or just interested in whether or not this is for you, you've come to the right place. Here, and in the pages we point to from here, we'll try to answer your questions and concerns. If we don't, then all you need to do is ask (we'll tell you how to do that too).

There's now an unofficial Newbie Helpers Organization - look at the thread for now (later we'll have a page up here for you to see) and feel free to ask the people who have spoken up there questions if you need a helping hand.

Ready to dive in?


What is Maemo

Best answered by having a look at this page: Maemo basics and then here if you feel adventurous!

What Devices does Maemo Power?

Maemo was originally created to power Nokia's entry in to the Internet Tablet market. The first device to make use of Maemo was the Nokia 770, followed by the Nokia 800 later renamed to the N800. Both the 770 and the N800 made use of high resolution touch screens and a stylus. The N810 was subsequently introduced with a slide out keyboard as well as the touch screen.

You can find out more on the History of Maemo here and for an overview Internet Tablets click here.

If you want to know more about the N810, N800 or 770 Internet Tablet, the best place to start is here and follow the links.

Because the latest device is likely why you're here, let's talk about that.

The N900

The N900 is the first iteration Nokia's Internet Tablets to incorporate full Phone functionaility. It is due to be released to the public in the last quarter of 2009. We'll also sketch out some details here, and try to answer some of your more immediate questions. Meanwhile Nokia's Official N900 page has a great overview you might enjoy reading.


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]


The N900 runs the Maemo 5 Operating System. Maemo 5 is often referred to by its release name "Fremantle". You might be interested in gaming, or office applications, scientific applications, social media, movies or tunes. There will be specific Fremantle versions of your favorite applications.

If there's not an app yet, there almost certainly will be one at some point (you could also write it or port it yourself...). Of course the N900 comes with a collection of built in applications that handle most mobile computing needs.

If you want an easy intro to many of Maemo5's features you might enjoy the videos on the [Maemo5 101 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.


As well as native applications via the repositories Maemo also supports applications from a range of Emulators.

-Flash Games. As the N900 supports Flash 9 and has a hardware keyboard, many flash games should just work

-Garnet the Palm Emulator

-SNES Nintendo Emulation. nice video [here]


What are some basic questions that keep coming up regarding software? Answer them here

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

Where can I get applications from?

Whats the diiference between the Ovi Store and applications?

The Can the N900...? list

The idea of this list is to try to answer some of your up front questions about the N900. Hopefully we can help you understand what it can or can't do right now. Bear in mind (see the Software section) that it can certainly do a lot more potentially as time goes on. Watch this space to see whether the answers change!


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?



What games run on n900?

I’ve heard it can be used as a wiimote: how do I do that?

Will n900 play games from big companies?

What if I want a game not yet available?

All my previous phones have run java games: why can’t I play them on n900?


How good is the GPS on n900?

What’s the difference between GPS and a-GPS?

If I only use GPS (not a-GPS) will I still burn my data plan?

What map programmes can I use?

The N900 comes with Ovi Maps. Other map programs from third party developers will be available for download later.

As of October 2009, none of the "big names"--Garmin, Google, TomTom, etc.--have announced any plans to release software for the N900.

Does n900 support google maps?

Can I download Ovi-maps when I’m on wifi, and store them for use so as not to burn my data plan? If so, how much space do they need?


Does n900 need a firewall?


Does n900 need an anti-virus?

No. The N900 runs Linux, an operating system for which few to no viruses exist. Beyond that, the N900 uses a processor (CPU) not used by desktop and notebook Linux machines. This means it's unlikely a (mostly theoretical) virus for desktop Linux could infect the N900.

Can I block adverts?

Adblock Plus is being developed for the Maemo browser on the N900 and will be available as a free download.

Does n900 play YouTube?


Does n900 play video from places other than YouTube?

Does n900 run BBC iplayer?

Does n900 have any ‘parental control’ settings?

Media player

Does n900 support itunes?

Will n900 play all my downloaded music? What if it has DRM?

How does n900 get the album art?

What video codec does n900 support?

How do I rip a dvd for playing on n900?

How big a file would an hour of dvd be?

Can I download other video to play?

Are there ways of securing the video I’ve downloaded, so I can still give my n900 to others?

What connectors do I need to connect to a TV? What if my TV doesn’t have the right connections?

The N900 comes with a cable to connect it to a composite input on a television. This connection is sometimes called an "RCA" connection and uses a yellow connector for video and a pair of connectors (red and white) for stereo audio.

The video out on the N900 may be switched between NTSC and PAL via "TV out" in the Settings application.

For televisions without a composite input, an adapter will be required. The specific adapter required for a given television will vary according to the input or inputs it accepts.

What can I play over TV out? Will it only play video, or can I view whatever is on screen?

MSN Messenger

Please see MSN messenger -article.

Phone use

Does n900 have speed dial?

Does n900 have voice dialing?


How do I access my carrier’s answering service - it used to be speed dial set in my old phone?

Does n900 log calls for length?

Can I sort calls by received/sent/missed?

I can use the phone in portrait mode: why can’t I use that for other things?

N900 doesn't currently support portrait mode beyond the phone use. It is expected this will arrive in an update before the end of 2009, and some developers are working on applications that use portrait mode. Watch this space.


I hear n900 doesn’t have MMS: is this true?

N900 doesn't support MMS at release. This is because MMS uses the old 'WAP' form of connection, which n900 doesn't do. It only has GPRS internet connection. There are developers working on finding a work-around right now. Watch this space.

Does n900 have message receipt?

Conversations, the SMS and IM application, can optionally "Receive text message delivery reports". This option is disabled by default, but may be enabled in the Settings area of Conversations.

Can I use an onscreen keyboard?

An on-screen keyboard is available. It is disabled by default, but may enabled via "Text input" in the Settings application.

The on-screen keyboard is landscape in orientation and alphanumeric. Its layout is QWERTY, QWERTZ, etc. as is regionally appropriate.

Is there a portrait mode keyboard?

There is a portrait mode dialing pad for making calls. Beyond that no, there is no portrait mode keyboard. One or more third party developers may make add-on portrait mode keyboards available for download later.

Is there T9 entry?

No, though this could be added by a third party developer later.


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

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

In case of trouble, you should start by reading article Troubleshooting through. It has both cases <bove covered.

There’s a light flashing on my n900

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.

Other Applications

Does n900 run Office files?

N900 comes with datavz's Office 'Office to Go' reader, so you can read office files. It's not clear yet whether they will release a pain upgrade with editing facility. KOffice is available here (need link!) and will view and edit Office files.

Can I edit Office files?

Yes, using KOffice from here. (need link)

Does n900 view pdf files?


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

Where do I find other applications and widgets for n900?

What do I do if the app I want isn’t there?

First follow instructions from Downloading apps page. If not found, 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 programme in Maemo or Qt yourself. There's an easy beginners guide here.(Yes, I know that's not the link - it's a hint to create the link!)

See e.g. here and here and here.

No, but seriously, what's the mapping like?

How do I find more information?

If you're into reading FAQs, we have one here.

Then, say hello, then you can post a message (question) here, or perhaps just read on!

The site is a community-based discussion (bulletin) board with a great many knowledgeable users, developers, and just plain curious types. It's a great place to find answers to your questions, but you should be sure to use the Search facility first.

Who can I ask?

We can put something related to greeters of helpers here, including the possibility of asking a helper directly? Perhaps a text entry box to ask the burning question? (If you wanted to know one more thing, what would it be?)