Hacker installs Debian onto G1

November 11, 2008 // 2:07 p.m.

Tags: #android #arm #debian #g1 #hack #hacker #htc-dream #jailbreak #jail-break #jailbroken #jail-broken #linux #rc29 #t-mobile-g1

Keeping the good-post bad-post Google Android theme alive, today we bring to your attention the news that an enterprising hacker has successfully installed the Debian distribution of Linux on his jailbroken T-Mobile G1 handset.

The hack, reported over on Engadget yesterday, is the brainchild of Jay Freeman – perhaps best known for creating the Cydia third-party App Store clone for the iPhone – who wanted something a little less restrictive than the default Android platform supplied with the handset.

Full instructions are provided on Jay's blog, and while they're not for the faint of heart neither are they beyond the realms of the possible: the hack requires nothing more than a jailbroken handset and a copy of the Debian distribution compiled for the ARM architecture to match the CPU used in the G1.

If you persevere through the required steps, you'll be rewarded with a device which is capable of running both Google's Android and the Debian install, giving you the best of both worlds: an unrestricted OS with a massive selection of applications available, and a specially designed mobile 'phone platform with all the tweaks one would expect.

G1 owners hoping to give Debian a go are advised to do so sharpish: the RC30 firmware release due from Google any day now to fix the embarrassing security hole still extant in the Android platform will prevent the jailbreak from succeeding, so it would be a good idea to have a play now before an over-the-air update is foisted upon your unwilling handsets.

Tempted to have a Debian 'phone simply for the geek points, or is it not worth the risk of losing all your hard work in the next firmware update? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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