Linux Userland for Jornada 820
Whereas the kernel is specific to the model,
most any Linux distribution for any ARM platform will work on
any other ARM platform that has sufficient memory and persistent storage.
You may have a look at userland distributions for other ARM devices:
the most promising project is
Apart from that, see pages about the
HP Jornada 720,
And if you have big enough a CF memory card (or a CF harddisk!),
you can even install debian-arm
(e.g. bootstrapping from
For more information, ask Google,
or see on handhelds.org, etc.
- If you lack space, you can do as I do:
mount stuff from the ramdisk and have a script create symlinks
to those few programs your CF provides
in addition to the minimal runtime from the ramdisk.
This way, I have XEmacs, zsh and GNU clisp on my CF,
plus all my personal files.
- If you have a bigger CF, you can save that precious RAM
pivot_root to chain into your favorite distribution.
The ramdisk provides hooks for that
and will even do a
if it detects the thing to be possible and unless you create
a file or directory
Check the startup script
etc/functions for details.
- You have to choose your distribution depending on the available CF space.
- If you're very tight, you might have to compile just the few programs
you need with the uclibc toolchain
(I have a 32MB CF with XEmacs and GNU clisp).
- If you want to run many programs, or big programs, then you'll need swap.
- If you have a linux workstation and a pcmcia network card for your j820,
you can use the workstation as a NFS file server -- it works great for me.
- You may even use your linux workstation as a swap server using nbd
(untested - send us feedback).
chroot(2) is your friend. Yes it is.
However, note that you might need to mount a copy of
under the point you chroot'ed.
- You can extract (on your NFS server or your CF)
an archive from
or Oleg's tarfile
as the basis for a debian installation.
- I installed debian that way on NFS,
and then copied the installation over to CF, excluding "non-necessary" files.
- You can make an ext2 partition either by using a CF reader on your
workstation, or by chrooting into NFS installation that has the ext2 tools.
- When hacking software packages on your Jornada820, you can use distcc
so as to delegate the compilation to a machine with more RAM and faster CPU.
- You might even be able to use qemu so as to cross-install your distribution
from a fast desktop computer with lots of RAM.
- You can also start from images designed for other ARM-based PDAs,
such as Zaurus, iPAQ, jornada720, etc.
- We're sorry not to have ready-packed solutions for your problem yet.
- Please send feedback to the
when you get something running!