Hackers port Linux OS to iPhone--Android next?

A hacker has successfully ported the open source Linux kernel to Apple's iPhone, a significant step in creating a true alternative software platform for the iconic device. The Linux on the iPhone blog announced the port late last week--hacker Planetbeing writes "I'm pleased to announce that the Linux 2.6 kernel has been ported to Apple's iPhone platform, with support for the first and second generation iPhones as well as the first generation iPod touch. This is a rough first draft of the port, and many drivers are still missing, but it's enough that a real alternative operating system is running on the iPhone." The blog entry note that the port features a framebuffer driver as well as a serial over USB driver, while missing features include touchscreen support, sound, baseband and WiFi support, and accelerometer drivers. A custom bootloader offers users the choice between Linux or the conventional iPhone OS at startup.

The Linux on the iPhone developers said their future plans include porting Google's Linux-based Android mobile operating system to the Apple device. Ars Technica reports that Android was recently ported to the BeagleBoard, a hackable ARM board designed by TI for the hobbyist market. Open mobile product manufacturer OpenMoko project is additionally to port Android to its Neo FreeRunner handset. Of course, developers seeking to port Android to new devices must first address some of the nascent operating system's current limitations, including the absence of an onscreen keyboard.

For more on the iPhone hack:
- read this Ars Technica article

Related articles:
What's new and what's missing in iPhone OS 2.2
Apple revises iPhone NDA, debuts developer forum

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