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Linux on your iPod


© December 2004 Tony Lawrence

Referencing: iPod Installer

The original project mentioned there is dead but Rockbox still exists.

I spotted this at Slashdot and almost didn't read it because I thought it was just something that would let you USE an iPod with Linux. No, no, no - this puts Linux in the Ipod's firmware.

Hey, why not? I only use my pod for data storage anyway, so why not let it run Linux? My only concern was the less than helpful warning in the Readme:

You may use this program to install linux on your Mac formatted first, second, or third generation iPod. Your iPod should have the newest apple firmware on it. DO NOT try to install this on an iPod mini, fourth generation iPod, iPod Color, or Windows formatted iPod.

So how would I know what "generation" my iPod is? Model numbers would be more helpful, I think.

If you are similarly confused Identifying iPod models can help.

Satisfied that my iPod was of the proper vintage, I proceeded with the install. After it finishes, there's a brief blurb that tells you to reboot and hold down the rewind button (|<< on mine) to boot Linux. Indeed, Tux appeared on the screen and a typical Linux boot sequence flew by. A menu then appeared, and checking "File Browser" showed me that all my data files were still there and accessible. I chose "Reboot", and the "normal" iPod operation came back. Other than a quick look at the Calculator, that's about all I've done so far. Could you actually telnet to this? Yes, indeed.

Of course, you can also install OS X on an iPod, which might be one way for those unfamiliar with it to learn a little bit about it - with the warning that the poor little thing wasn't really designed for this sort of use: Install and run OS X on an iPod .


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Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Sierra: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of High Sierra

Are Your Bits Flipped?

iOS 10: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of Pages




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