Maemo5 linux on N900

Thank you Womworld/Nokia for the trial edition and making my choice a lot easier.This post is curated entirely on N900 notes with microB browser.

I can’t help it!! Its the brick of its time, has always been from the 770, 800, 810 era.
Obviously nothing much to complain, but maybe a little too much to ask from the flimsy Kickstand or just save me the tekken numbness!!
Forget about reading articles in bed, its too dangerous! Don’t worry though you ll get used to the weight, its full qwerty keyboard ll even the weight.

N900 provides a clean HILDON UI with crisp fonts on butter smooth touch. Maemo had done well to mask the complexities of the Linux GUI, yet have been able to provide the clear control as expected from Linux community.

Greetings from the fast 7 sec boot-up time with serene splash image, usual.. but not blasting this time! You touch the device and you feel the back-cover, no glossy palm prints (thank you!). It doesn’t leave any trace at all, even better. Its quite important for me and others with sweaty palm, which bound to be if you look at a platform than a beast. Yes we haven’t went to the beast yet!!

If you are looking at the status area (desktop you might call, eh!!), you ld be admiring its beauty. The views (multiple desktop) organisation with contact, widgets and shortcuts keeps your life within your reach.

Swipe clearly indicates the openGl graphics accelerator and codec supports makes the Multimedia Editition Extraordinary. Video Calling and HDMI TV Out ll keep you tingling. Its packed with all you need for the lazy afternoons!!

The multimedia feature set of the stylus, and the sleek touch screen are A Pair. You ll surely be reaching for the stylus everytime, its definitely the best feature to complement her. The stylus is long enough and flat to slip between the fingers while editing with ease.
Well its resistive touchscreen so no finger swipes. You can be sure no productivity issues are ever going to hinder your progress ever.

The interactive Text is complete with space after word completion. Search is aptly integrated in file manager with ease. The accelerometer transitions are a bit rusty though.

Its a edition with precision that can challenge the Ipad too! Capacitive is not that big issue with me. Its the best series Nokia has ever produced.

Yet the gloomy tale ends with the horrible battery life. I couldn’t keep the device up for more than 4 hrs!! It just isn’t just..
But CA-101 and the DC-11 can atleast promise peace while you are at it!!

With absolute best features in the market and rock solid platform its sure a watch-out in multiple categories. Couldn’t tag it myself! But have to add the serious missed oppurtunities in the tablet section, with Booklet3G.

The rock solid Linux Core, with busybox implementation. GNU/Linux is the miss of this edition. The coreutils-gnu isn’t builtin, its in repository download if you want. But the Xterminal doesn’t do any justice with busybox. Its okay with sh, but bash shortcuts are very hard to loose. Key-placement awkwardness is plain owtright visible and very difficult to manage the terminal shortcuts. Physical keyboard is definitely not my favourite.

Though I couldn’t find anything that is impossible in Maemo. But the devious scarcity of quality utility apps is a concern. Its fairly new and hope it will get share of mods. The application market is based on the Linux repository distribution model.

We are thankfull and support the nokia’s decision to keep Meego for smartphones.

This device is a powerhouse, and a full-time insomniac’s unrest. I hope everyone ll agree, its the best series garnished by Maemo linux community.


How to get help?

The best community help can be marked here with the Linux Community.

You are looking forward to the mediums grouped according to the response and interactivity:
IRC channel [#ubuntu]
Community pages(moderated) [ubuntu community,gentoo and others too]
Un-moderated Forums
Magazine archives [linuxjournal]
Blog archives
personal blogs

and of course your friends journal documenting your circle of technology groups.

But the content can be relatively scattered compared to any text-book/manual provided. O’REILLY has long been the reputed brand and on-spot delivery on any Linux technology.
The texts will however be a few months late perhaps. Social networking forums and IRC channels are best to depend.

The best place to start is the man(1) and info(1) pages in every Linux comp pre-installed.

man(1) notifies a section 1 documentation. read $ man man

nothing better than the command line help form /doc pages.

Task Priority::

File System Hierarchy.

Terminal Usage.


File System Hierarchy

Acquaintance with the Unix/Linux file system hierarchy is necessary. The hierarchy doesn’t change often, but some Distributions(distros) prefer their unique blend.

Derivatives from a particular architecture like fedora from RedHat, Ubuntu from debian, doesnt change much.

Man pages like hier, proc will help a lot. Invoke as
$ man [hier/proc]. They will work with all major distros.

The most important are the configuration files for various packages like Apache, Grub, Fluxbox, Emacs..

terminal shortcuts usage:TAB

It is just one to just know it but another to know its perfect usage. I will try to cover its usages on my daily administration in this log. Any suggestion on the perfect or possible usage is welcome in the comments.

The most used would be the TAB auto-completion technique:

NOTE:: BACKSPACE to exit from the system manual pager.

Command completion:: If you want to find the list of any device information then you would look for ls(list) command. just type ls and press TAB twice.

You will get the short list of possible completion, try $lsusb for list of detected USB devices.

File-name/Directory completion:: You never have to write your complete file-name again. It will manage even if you are in a different directory. try looking for your wvdial.conf(/etc/wvdial.conf) file, easiest way- type $vim -v /e+TAB(2)+wv+TAB(2) ,you got through.

LOOKOUT:: TAB completion is smart enough to distinguish among a file to a directory. Use vim -v(or any editor) for file-names and  cd(or any directory related command)  for directories.

Environment Variable completion:: try $+TAB(2) for full list of variables. For anything particular or use it for digging deep into linux try some sequences like $PA+TAB(2) for $PATH


Linux is easy on your task right?? It takes a sh** load of your job off… 😛

linuX User communiTy

The requirement of this hour is Linux acceptability and linux branding.

Multiple distributions of LINUX in the market is our biggest problem. There is no face which can command respect of this beautiful community. But the worst we could do, is tame the beast. Linux was never meant to be closed or confined. We thrive on its Free nature.

The two needs are entwined in its prosperity, one leads to another…

If we cant brand the LINUX , then we can definitely brand the Protegé….  ,the LINUX USER COMMUNITY.

#solution:: we just need to build the linux user community to cater to a broader spectrum, than confined to any linux distribution or vendor. We need to show what linux can bring to our lives.

Linux Professional Institute course looks definitely a right investment.

I took the liberty to comment on this pressing topic, I am a linux user for quite long to see the deficiencies clear. My intentions are in best interests to the community.

consider the TAG or comment on this post to stage further solutions.

wvdial configuration

This configuration is valid for 1.56 and 1.60 version. Most common mistakes in configuring the dialer configurations are worked out.

NOTE:: The semicolon should be removed and append stupid mode =1 at the end of wvdial.conf. The /etc/ppp/pap-secrets and /etc/ppp/chap-secrets need to be modified only once, so dial as (root) for first time. You can run as normal user and lock the root account, it will give a permission denied error, its fine(stupid mode =1 will do the job)

wvdialconf – will detect the settings and edit the wvdial.conf.
wvdial – is the dialer.

$ wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf #run as root/normal user. (no need for the path if its a fresh installation or unedited conf file)

Check the wvdial.conf for the resolved modem and detected the initialization strings. ENCLOSURE:: wvdial.conf
# wvdial&; #run as root only for first time, push the job to background.


  • enable root: $ sudo passwd root (for debian users)
  • disable root: $ sudo passwd -l root (for locking the account)
  • job control: append ‘&’ at the end of the command, bring back by using fg or fg %n(process number, not PID) and press CTRL + C to safe exit.

Conprehensive linuX terminal shortcuts

Improve Your interaction with the terminal by these: Command line shortcuts::

Ctrl+A – move to the start of the line (alternate HOME).
Ctrl+E – move to the end of the line( alternate END).

Ctrl+U – delete/cut from the cursor to the beginning of the line.
Ctrl+K – delete/cut from the cursor to the end of the line.
Ctrl+W – delete/cut from the cursor to the start of the word, space delimited (removes the last word in the command line, place cursor after the word).
Ctrl+Y – paste the cut from CTRL+U , CTRL+W, CTRL+K.

Ctrl+B – Moves the cursor backward one character (alternate: BACKWARD arrow).
Ctrl+F – moves one character forward (alternate: FORWARD arrow).
Ctrl+H – erases one character (alternate: BACKSPACE)

Ctrl+L – clears the terminal screen (alternate: clear).

Ctrl+G – sound the BELL

Ctrl+R – reverse search among your previous commands (use backspace to search again and ESC to quit action).

Ctrl+P – previous command (alternate: UP arrow).
Ctrl+N – next command (alternate: DOWN arrow).

Ctrl+Dlogout of current session (alternate: exit).
Ctrl+Cprocess interruption, halts the current command(safe quit).
Ctrl+Zstops the current command, resume with fg in the foreground or bg in the background (useful to stop the process and complete the work in the terminal and press fg).

^abc^xyz – replace first occurrence of ‘abc’ with ‘xyz’ in last command and execute it.
!! – repeat the last command.
!$ – substitute last argument of the command last used.(not last occurence of same)
~ – users HOME directory.
– previous working directory (usage:: #cd -).

CTRL+I/TABauto-completion based on the typed sequences (double click on TAB) for commands and Environment variables too

The following shortcuts will only work in terminal window, while all the previous will work in X window system also.

Shift+ pageUP – scroll terminal output UP.
Shift+ pageDOWN – scroll terminal output DOWN.

hopefully this will help YOU… Atleast It did ease my wrist pain ;-

Further reference::

  1. Rute’s command-line editing keys.
  2. Keyboard shortcuts for Xwindows and basic command line
  3. Learning the SHELL