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Running Linux on Your iPod

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Linux on your iPod? Beyond cool. Matthew David shows you what that little device with a huge hard drive can really do.
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I got to thinking: How do you set up Linux to push content out to your iPod (like iTunes does for both the Mac and the PC)? When I started digging around for info, I found something much more fun. How about running Linux on your iPod?

This article explains how you can run Linux on your iPod, what you can do when the Linux kernel is sitting on your iPod, and what it can lead to with future development.


Really big warning: THIS PROCESS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. The code of adding the Linux Kernel to your iPod is very experimental. Apple does not support any hacking of its iPods, and adding Linux will jeopardize your warranty. But, heck, when did that stop any of us?

Getting Around iPod Problems

There are several problems you run into when running Linux on your iPod. The first—and most important—is that the actual architecture of the iPod is very closed. You will not find any documentation on how to hack the processor or the OS that runs the iPod. On the other hand, iTunes has a lot of support.

The next problem is that when you have Linux on your iPod you are limited to the tiny two-inch screen. Not much to look at when you are trying to run a GUI environment!

The third challenge is that you are limited to the scroll wheel as your user input device. That may mean a lot of scrolling.

With that said, however, let's jump in.

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