View source for Om 2008.8

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Return to Om 2008.8.

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Om 2008

Om 2008.8 is one of the many distributions that currently work on the Openmoko phones. You can compare a distribution with an Operating System on normal computers. It gives the phone all the software needed for operating. For more information about the different flavors, see distributions.


Om 2008.8 is the successor to Om 2007.2 and had ASU as a codename. It was released on August 08, 2008 (+ update "stable" releases starting from August 26, 2008). Om 2008.8 uses EFL for the launcher, custom UI applications and Qtopia on X11 for telephony. The distribution is the first step from GTK+ on x11 to using multiple toolkits in combination.

Compared to 2007.2 that had a longer development history, Om 2008.8 was definitely a .0 major release. So think KDE 4.0 vs. 3.5, not Linux 2.6.23 vs. 2.6.22. There were daily updates, some good some bad. The official life of Om 2008.8 was terminated with the release of a minor update, Om 2008.9 Update. However, since the minor update introduced no new major changes, most of the following remains true for 2008.9 also.

What was new compared to 2007.2 ?

The main user-visible changes introduced in 2008.8 were:

  • The user interface has been fully revised with a new window manager illume. It is visually much richer, and can be customized further by using your own Edje files.
  • A graphical installer allows to add easily new applications, Themes and functionality.
  • A new Locations application is provided, to save your favorite spots and share them with friends via sms.
  • Power management has been improved: The Aux button now locks the screen, the Power button suspends and the red LED behind the Aux button lights up when charging.
  • The keyboard is now the Qtopia one (whether this is an improvement has been hotly debated).

For developers, the main changes are:

  • Multiple toolkits: Om 2008.8 supports EFL, Qtopia and GTK+ applications.
  • A Community Repository has been set up, it is integrated in the (Installer).
  • Source Codes are publicly available, allowing for customization all the way down to low level systems.

For more details, see the Om 2008.8 Guide and the Om 2008.8 Feature Plan.

Om2008 home.png
Om2008 installer1.png
Om locations4.png

Known Issues

This is only a subset, and some of the bits reported below may have been fixed by stable updates (see Alasal's test reports as well as the "Updates" section below). See all tickets with 2008.8 in the bug tracker.


Builds from the last days of August tend to suspend after 30s no matter what you set in settings. Switching the screensaver off with `xset s off' disables suspend completely. Note that this command must be typed into the terminal application on the phone itself; if you try to run it from an ssh session it fails with the error `xset: unable to open display ""'. This is because ssh sessions change the display settings expecting you might want X11 forwarding. In fact if you are using X11 forwarding with ssh -Y, the command won't fail over ssh, but it still won't do what you expect, as xset will assume you're talking about the forwarded X11 session, and thus doesn't affect the X11 session on the phone. Therefore if you use a ssh session you need to enter `xset -display :0 s off'.

Alex reportedly solved the problem going into Illume Settings, then Power, and setting to OFF the 2 parameters. He still gets the screensaver, but can reactivate easily just by touching.

If resume breaks audio (the ringing of the phone or for calling someone) a very probable reason is that the pulseaudio sound server is installed. This happens e.G. when openmoko-mediaplayer2 is installed. There seems to be activity to fix this application already, though.



Audio quality

System Software

QPE high cpu usage

  • qpe does scan whole filesystem ( including SD card ) for documents , mp3 files , etc. If you don't want it you can edit /opt/Qtopia/etc/default/Trolltech/Storage.conf and disable Sd Card scanning ( overwrite 1 by 0 ), i.e. the section in the file should read like this after aplying the change to Om2008.9:

Name[] = SD Card
Removable = 1
Applications = 0
Documents = 0
ContentDatabase = 0


  • No Updates/Installation are possible or pings to domains because DNS is not working. This problem occurs because the /etc/resolv.conf is empty by default.

Add these lines in /etc/network/interfaces:

up echo nameserver > /etc/resolv.conf
up echo nameserver >> /etc/resolv.conf

This is to be inserted below gateway address and above the bluetooth networking. After this it will be set on every reboot. Note that sending all DNS traffic to these servers lets their administrators follow each and every web site you visit. You might want to consider using the nameservers of your real ISP instead since they can already do such tracking.

For resolving DNS without restarting, run the following commands:

echo nameserver > /etc/resolv.conf
echo nameserver >> /etc/resolv.conf

This should solve most of your moko side networking issues. If you need any other help please refer to USB Networking

NOTE: resolvconf is installed so should probably be used

Problem: parts of resolvconf are missing: without the scripts under /etc/network/if-{up,down}.d, and /etc/resolvconf/run/enable-updates and /lib/resolvconf/list-records it does nothing, and even then, /etc/resolvconf/run should probably be a symlink to /var/run, or /etc/resolv.conf needs to be pointed at /etc/resolvconf/run/resolv.conf -- once all that's done, it seems to work as long as you add something like this to /etc/network/interfaces at the end of the usb0 stanza:

dns-nameservers dns-search

and add usb* above eth* in /etc/resolvconf/interface-order

NOTE: Solution: Steps to add missing resolvconf script:

touch /etc/resolvconf/run/enable-updates
cd /etc ; rm resolv.conf ; ln -s /etc/resolvconf/run/resolv.conf .
mkdir /lib/resolvconf/ ; cd /lib/resolvconf/

chmod +x list-records
Edit /etc/network/interfaces and remove the lines:
If we need to use the usb network more then just locally from the computer in the other end of the USB-cable, login with ssh and add a default route like this:
route add default gateway

  • Usb-networking will not work until rebooted after initial boot.


  • The Pin-Dialog by default just shows letters. You have to slide your finger up/down over the keyboard to make the numbers/uppercase/special characters appear.
  • The installer app doesn't release administrative rights which results in not being able to use opkg. Solution: run "killall packagekitd" (on the freerunner or when ssh'ed in).
  • The installer app doesn't release administrative rights which results in not being able to use opkg. Alternate Solution: On the FreeRunner, use the drop-down menu to close all open applications.
  • The keyboard may not be adapted for all uses. See Keyboard Debate for a full discussion and options.

Subsequent upgrades

Posterior to the Om2008.8 release made on 2008/08/08, development has been split in two branches aiming respectively at the next minor and major releases.

Direct follow-up for 2008.8 occured on the org.openmoko.asu.stable branch, with the short term goal to improve stability and useability, keeping the same features set. Official updates are available in the 2008.8 packages repository feeds. Since this repository is already configured in 2008.8, using 'opkg update; opkg upgrade' is sufficient to stay up to date. Two subsequent "point upgrade" named Om 2008.9 Update and Om 2008.12 Update have been released.

The long-term development branch is named, this is where most activity happens. This branch has refocused on the base system functionalities, no applications are installed by default. Critical bugfixes from that branch are eventually ported to the .asu.stable branch. Using binaries updates from that branch (or any other non-2008.8 repository) on a 2008.x stable base is likely to send you in Dependency Hell, you have been warned.


From: Openmoko
To: openmoko-community mailing list

Om 2008.8 was designed to be empty, for the very purpose of showcasing your ideas.

Think of our products as galleries. We're building the environment.
Each one different from the next. You'll get all the free art supplies
you could imagine because we want you to add your own meaning.
You choose: consume, create, or both.

Either way you create your own meaning. It's about you.