Michael Sheldon's Stuff

Michael Sheldon (mike at mikeasoft dot com)

June 30, 2007

Im in ur Treo, Linuxin’ ur phonez…
Mike @ 7:42 pm

With much help from the chaps in #hackndev I managed to get Linux installed on my Treo 650:

Linux Treo 650

You can see a video of it booting and running a few applications here:

http://elleo.blip.tv/file/get/Elleo-LinuxOnATreo650996.ogg (Ogg Theora)

For anyone else wanting to do this, the steps are as follows:

  1. Download and unpack P3t3’s Treo image.
  2. Overwrite the zImage with my version. This is a more up-to-date kernel and has the initramfs built in to the kernel image (because of some buggyness in the MMC driver loading an initrd image from an SD card can be unreliable).
  3. Copy AngstromOPIE_t650-v01.ext2, linux.boot.cfg and zImage to the root of your SD card (make sure you unmount it cleanly after you’ve finished).
  4. Download P3t3’s Treo version of cocoboot and install it to your Treo.
  5. Run Cocoboot on your Treo, replace the line saying “init=/linuxrc” with “mem=32M”, then hit “Boot”.
  6. Enjoy the geeky goodness :).

For people asking about the 680, I don’t own one but you could try using the latest zImage and cocoboot version from: http://www.palmlinux.cz/p3t3/treo680/.

It’s still not amazingly fast, but adding the swap makes it just about usable (see update), and there’s still a lot of work needs doing before it can actually be used as a phone. I believe P3t3 has worked out how to switch the GSM chip in to AT mode (PalmOS uses some odd binary mode for talking to the chip), but I don’t think things have gone much further than that yet.

To get back in to PalmOS just hit the reset button. It shouldn’t touch any of your files in any way, but it might be a good idea to backup first just in case ;).

Update: The speed can be increased greatly by passing the parameter mem=32M in Cocoboot, for some reason without this the kernel only makes use of about 16MB of RAM.

Update 2: Fixed dead links, added links for Treo 680, removed swap info (not needed with the mem=32M parameter).


  1. Great OS For the 650 now trying to get it to run on the 700w

    Comment by Brian — August 28, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

  2. It’s very good…

    Comment by Edu — September 23, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

  3. where AngstromOPIE_t650-v01.ext2 store in sd card

    Comment by deshbir — September 26, 2009 @ 2:40 am

  4. cocoboot is not working when i give command they show failed
    please sir help me how i can use the cocoboat to install linux

    Comment by deshbir — September 26, 2009 @ 2:51 am

  5. la configuracion para calls cdma requerida no es aplicable a este sistema^

    Comment by one — January 3, 2010 @ 4:23 am

  6. tengo un problema me dice kernel panic y no puede seguir con la instalacion en mi treo 680 necesito ayuda tengo el cocoboot del pingüinito hehe muchas gracias

    Comment by pipe — January 29, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

  7. has anyone gotten this to work…I got the thing to load the zimage but it won’t go any farther… i tried just using what he told me tried using what the other guy had nothing works….little assistance if its not too much trouble

    Comment by Belgadro — March 1, 2010 @ 9:10 am

  8. Man, thanks for this.

    You’re my damn hero!

    Comment by Framp — March 4, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

  9. Hi guys, has anyone ever had the strange behaviour i had on my treo 650? I put all files where they belong, installed cocoboot and when i tapped on “boot!” it loaded the zimage and then the screen just faded slowly to white beginning at the top of the screen to the bottom, until the screen was completely white! Then, after a minute or so the leds at the top left of the device flashed one time, the vibration once buzzed and then nothing… sounds very strange but that was what it did… lucky enough after a soft reset everything was working as it should in palmOS, so at least i didn’t brick the device…

    Comment by dcp — March 25, 2010 @ 1:43 am

  10. Links are dead. Can anybody upload image file?

    Comment by Vaganovitz — December 24, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

  11. hello, i want to bue treo 750, how adout linux on it? its real? because i’m moder of linux community of uzbekistan and my phone on winmo )) its strange)
    sorry for my english, im russian

    Comment by chestr — February 18, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

  12. oh mean… lot of mistakes…

    Comment by chestr — February 18, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

  13. Hello Mike,Greetings from India. Can i use the linux solution as above for palm treo 750 which now has windows 6.1.thanks.shiv

    Comment by kumar shiv — April 7, 2011 @ 7:47 am

  14. […] on from yesterday’s post I now have have OpenMoko running on my […]

    Pingback by Michael Sheldon's Stuff » OpenMoko on a Treo 650 — June 23, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

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