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Monday, 07 September 2009 10:15

Bloke gets Linux onto Kindle

Written by Nick Farell

Image

Not sure why


A bloke
with far too much time on his hands has managed to get the open source operating Ubuntu to run on Amazon's ebook reader Kindle 2.

While we understand the logic of wanting to get value for money from the expensive e-reader, we don't see the point of ending up with an epaper PDA which is incredibly slow when you can probably pick up a machine from the 1990s that does the same thing for $10.

Jesse Vincent managed to get Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope running on the Kindle 2 by using some fairly geeky hacking tools. He was showing it off during a talk at OSCON 2009. Vincent said that his Kindle 2 has an Ubuntu 9.04 port to ARM running in a chrooted environment.

He said that he used the USB networking debug mode Amazon left hanging around when they first shipped the Kindle 2, a statically linked telnetd and a cross-compiler to provide the bootstrap. From there, he built a daemon that can convert DRM-free PDFs and ePubs into something Amazon's reader on the Kindle can deal with.

“Mostly, the Kindle is a lovely little Linux box. Getting X working took a bit of hacking, but everything else "just works" with very little configuration,” he said.

Nick Farell

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