MeeGo ported to Android handsets

September 27, 2010 | 09:26

Tags: #android #dell-streak #google-android #maemo #moblin #nexus-one #port #smartphone

Companies: #dell #google #htc #intel #meego #nokia

MeeGo, the Linux-based operating system born out of an amalgamation of Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin, might not be available for that many handsets just yet - but a group of hackers is looking to change that, porting the OS to a series of Android-based devices.

According to Android fan-site AndroidPolice, a project to port the operating system to selected handsets based around the Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 - namely Google's own Nexus One, Dell's Streak mini-tablet, and the HTC Desire - has started to bear fruit, although it's still early days.

Images of the operating system booting on a Nexus One smartphone, which ordinarily runs the equally Linux-based Android mobile platform, were posted to micro-blogging service Twitter by developer vgrade - and although it's hard to tell just how usable the device is, the very fact that the OS boots at all is impressive.

Sadly, there are various stumbling blocks that prevent Android owners from playing with MeeGo right now - not least of which is lack of device support in the OS. Although the computing chipsets of QSD8250-based devices are supported, hackers working on the project are likely to find that basic handset functionality - including the 3G transceiver, the touch-screen, and even the audio chipset - aren't included in a standard MeeGo build. In many cases, this means developing drivers from scratch - or waiting for a chipset manufacturer to release the required code.

Indeed, vgrade reports that his work on porting to the Nexus One has stalled owing to a lack of glibc 3D drivers for the Qualcomm-based chipset, and that work can't continue until the company releases redistributable drivers that can be ported across.

Nevertheless, it's an impressive project - and one that could one day mean that Android fans can give MeeGo a try without having to shell out for a brand-new handset.

Are you pleased to see Intel and Nokia's MeeGo getting some love from the hacker community, or merely confused as to why someone would want to replace Android with a hacked-about port on their expensive smartphone? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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