Qtopia / Qt Extended on FreeRunner

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This page provides instructions on how to install Qtopia/Qt Extended (proper, not the ASU or QtopiaOnX11 efforts) on the GTA02 (FreeRunner) phone. It is similar to the Qtopia on Neo1973 page.


Current status

NOTE: The most recent version is Qt Extended Improved. See Qt Extended Improved (named also QtEI or QTEi) page to get more information on this updated and improved version Distro based on Qtopia.

  • Qt software announced that has discontinued QT Extended as a standalone product, integrating it into QT.

Check QtExtended 4.4.3 for more info on the latest (and final) release.

On 31 October 2008, Trolltech released the Qtopia ROM flash image containing the rootfs for the Openmoko Neo FreeRunner (gta02) containing the Qtopia 4.4.2 release (GPL version). This runs on the mwebster ROM flash image containing the kernel. At release time, 4.4.2 & current mwester's kernel mismatched, please clarify the previous sentence. Hypnotize has released Qt Extended 4.4.2 images for the Neo FreeRunner that work better.

This image can successfully make and receive calls and text messages. It can read all contacts from the SIM card (which the updated 2007.2 does not appear to be able to do). It contains apps that appear to be more stable than the ones found in the 2007.2 image. It has multiple input methods that appear to be more mature. It does have a webkit based web browser and an GPS "Mapping Demo" application.

There are other third-party GPS applications available:

(TangoGPS does not work on QtExtended, because it depends upon an Xserver)

You can find all the Qtopia images here (including Qtextended/Qtopia 4.4 for FreeRunner and Neo1973!)

What is in the latest release (QtExtended 4.4.2)?

Qtopia 4.4 has been released with the name of QtExtended 4.4.

Qt Extended will be discontinued as a stand-alone product March 2009 after the release of version 4.4.3 and selected features will be migrated into the Qt framework.


Installation option 1: Flash Qtopia to FreeRunner

Download the image mentioned above, then follow the instructions in the

Main article: Flashing the Neo FreeRunner

Installation option 2: Install Qtopia on a microSD card

Installation Requirements:

  1. SSH shell access to the FreeRunner through USB interface or WLAN.
  2. A Desktop Linux distro (to unpack the .jffs2 image, I ran Ubuntu under VMWare)

Prepare the SD card

See the Preparing the SD Card section of the Booting from SD page for partitioning and formatting instructions. After you complete the "Formatting the SD Card" steps, return here and execute the following:

mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /media/card
mkdir /media/card/boot

mkdir /media/mmcblk0p2
mount /dev/mmcblk0p2 /media/mmcblk0p2

This will set you up properly for the installation of the root filesystem and the kernel in the steps below.

Unpack the Qtopia Root Filesystem Image

Download the Qtopia Flash image to your Linux box and extract its contents:

tar xzf qtopia-4.3.2-gta02-flash-*.tgz

You should now have two files:

  1. uImage-2.6.24+git18+9c058ff0d2641df3c36fc3300acb72078d2c41d4-r0-om-gta02.bin
  2. qtopia-4.3.2-gta02-rootfs-07172049.jffs2

Now, mount the root file system from the jffs2 using the commands found here. However, in the mount command, substitute the image filename for "/dev/mtdblock0".

Create a compressed tarball

Next, tar up the root filesystem:

  1. tar czf qtopia-4.3.2-gta02-rootfs-07172049.tar.gz -C <mountpoint> .

Where <mountpoint> is the location where the jff2 filesystem was mounted. Note the space and the period after the mountpoint.

Install the root filesystem

Transfer this compressed tarball to the second partition of the MicroSD that is mounted on the FreeRunner:

scp qtopia-4.3.2-gta02-rootfs-07172049.tar.gz root@

Log in to your FreeRunner and unpack the root filesystem:

cd /media/mmcblk0p2
tar xzf qtopia-4.3.2-gta02-rootfs-07172049.tar.gz
rm qtopia-4.3.2-gta02-rootfs-07172049.tar.gz
rm -f /media/mmcblk0p2/boot/*

Note: the last step removes the kernel image from the second partition. For some reason, U-Boot cannot find the uImage.bin file in the first partition if a kernel image exists in the second partition boot/ directory.

Install the kernel

From your Linux box, rename uImage-2.6.24+git18+9c058ff0d2641df3c36fc3300acb72078d2c41d4-r0-om-gta02.bin to uImage.bin and copy it to the boot directory on the first partition of the MicroSD card. Depending on the version of U-Boot you have installed, this may not work. To prevent any possible issues, copy it to the /media/card directory as well. There is plenty of room on the first partition to have uImage.bin in both locations.

Some versions of u-boot look for uImage and not uImage.bin you may have to remove the .bin extension to get it to boot.

mv uImage-2.6.24+git18+9c058ff0d2641df3c36fc3300acb72078d2c41d4-r0-om-gta02.bin uImage.bin
scp uImage.bin root@
scp uImage.bin root@

Tell Qtopia it is running from the SD Card

Lorn Potter on the mailing lists pointed this out:

Qtopia was designed to be run from the root partition on a flash chip, not from a removable sd card.

You would have to edit the etc/default/Trolltech/Storage.conf file to make it forget about the sd /dev node, to be able to run it this way

Another user's solution to this is the following:

Edit this file: /opt/Qtopia/etc/default/Trolltech/Storage.conf (the file path seems to have changed to /opt/Trolltech in newer versions) And change the [MountPoint0] section so it resembles this:

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

Installation option 3: alternative procedure to install Qtopia on a microSD card

As in option 2, the goal is to install Qtopia on a microSD card. We describe the complete procedure using:

  • Ubuntu 8.10
  • SanDisk microSD to USB adapter
  • Qt Extended 4.4.2 2008/10/31

Format the microSD card

The first step is to create an 8 MB partition for the kernel and use the remaining space for the root file system. Proceed as follows:

Insert microSD card into adapter, and plug adapter into Ubuntu computer. If any partitions on the microSD card mount automatically, unmount them.

CAUTION: Make sure you know which device your microSD card is. You don't want to perform these steps on your main hard disk!

sudo umount /dev/sdb1

sudo fdisk /dev/sdb

I assume you know how to use fdisk. Delete any existing partitions, then create two new partitions, the first of size +8M, the second using all remaining space. Set the file system type of the first partition to FAT16 (type '6'). Your partition table should look like this:

  /dev/sdb1               1           9        9040+   6  FAT16
  /dev/sdb2              10         984      982800   83  Linux

Save your partition table and quit fdisk. Format the partitions appropriately:

sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1
sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb2

Download the latest Qt Extended

Visit [1] and get the appropriate file. The Qtopia ROM flash images contain both the file system and the kernel image:

wget http://qtextended.org/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=98
tar -zxvf qtextended-4.4.2-gta02-flash.tgz

Copy the kernel image to the microSD card

First mount the first partition, which is the boot partition, of the microSD card, and make a /boot subdirectory:

sudo mkdir /media/card
sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /media/card
sudo mkdir /media/card/boot

Depending on your version of U-Boot, the kernel image might be expected at the root of the boot partition, or in the /boot directory. Also, the image file name might be expected to have a .bin extension, or not. We create all four variations:

sudo cp testing-om-gta02-20081029.uImage.bin /media/card/uImage.bin
sudo cp testing-om-gta02-20081029.uImage.bin /media/card/uImage
sudo cp testing-om-gta02-20081029.uImage.bin /media/card/boot/uImage.bin
sudo cp testing-om-gta02-20081029.uImage.bin /media/card/boot/uImage

Wait for data to be written to the microSD card and unmount the first partition:

sudo umount /dev/sdb1

Copy the jffs2 root file system to the microSD card

That step is a bit complicated. First we need to make a fake MTD device in RAM so that we can mount the jffs2 root file system:

sudo modprobe mtd 
sudo modprobe jffs2  
sudo modprobe mtdram total_size=59024 # default is 4 MByte - set to max.
sudo modprobe mtdchar 
sudo modprobe mtdblock

Next we're going to copy onto this fake device. Make sure there are no other MTD devices on your computer and change the device numbers below as necessary:

cat /proc/mtd
  dev:    size   erasesize  name
    mtd0: 039a4000 00020000 "mtdram test device"

Now copy the jffs2 file system to the fake MTD device:

sudo dd if=qtextended-4.4.2-gta02-rootfs-10302135.jffs2 of=/dev/mtd0

Create a mount point, mount the fake MTD device, and check that the content seems right:

sudo mkdir /mnt/tmp
sudo mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock0 /mnt/tmp
ls /mnt/tmp
  bin/   dev/  home/  media/  opt/   sbin/  tmp@	var/
  boot/  etc/  lib/   mnt/    proc/  sys/   usr/

Mount the second partition of the microSD card and copy the root file system to it: copy root file system to sd card using tar

sudo mkdir /media/rootfs
sudo mount /dev/sdb2 /media/rootfs
cd /mnt/tmp
sudo tar -cf - . | (cd /media/rootfs && sudo tar -xpvf -)

Warnings about "implausibly old time stamp" don't seem to cause any trouble.

Use "sync" to make sure that all data is written to the microSD card:


Inspect contents of second partition:

  ls /media/rootfs
  bin/   dev/  home/  media/  opt/   sbin/  tmp@	var/
  boot/  etc/  lib/   mnt/    proc/  sys/   usr/

Note: There was a report that some versions of U-Boot cannot find the kernel image file in the first partition if a kernel image exists in the second partition boot/ directory. I have not confirmed this but there is no need for it so it seems safest to delete it now:

sudo rm -f /media/rootfs/boot/*

Wait for data to be written to the microSD card and unmount the second partition:

sudo umount /dev/sdb2

Test Qtopia

Remove the microSD card from the USB adapter, install it in the Neo FreeRunner, boot into U-Boot, and select the option to boot from microSD card.

Installation option 4: updating from source

NOTE: This will upgrade only opt/Qtopia directory, you should use opkg update/upgrade for the rest

Original Qtopia images (the distribution released by Trolltech, not ASU) are rarely released as a rootfs image, but the source code is often updated. If you want to reflash your OM with the latest version of Qtopia you might build it from sources. This has been explained in this thread of the community mailing list. Summing up:

Download files

cd /
wget http://qtopia.net/downloads/neo/arm920t-eabi-ficgta01-toolchain.tgz
tar xvzf arm920t-eabi-ficgta01-toolchain.tgz

Since qtopia was renamed in qtextended you could find the snapshots on http://qtextended.org/downloads/snapshots/

  • once dowloaded untar it
tar xvzf qtopia-opensource-src-4.3.2-snapshot-20080806.tar.gz

Download Updated Version of QtEI

You can find sources and binary based on Qtopia, daily updated and improved, also in this semi-official Trac repo of Qt Extended Improved :

Or in the GITHUB of Qt Extended Improved :

Build Qtopia

  • make a "build" dir
mkdir build
cd build
  • configure and make:
../qtopia-opensource-src-4.3.2-snapshot-20080806/configure -device ficgta01

This will take some time (couple hours). Note that the option "-device ficgta01" should work for both neo and freerunner. Then:

make install

will make a root directory into the build directory. There you can find an image that directory should be copied to /opt/Qtopia of your phone with scp. once done restart qpe or whole phone.

For compiling qt-extended 4.4.2, you may need to use the following commands:

* cd build
* $QTOPIA_DEPOT_PATH/configure -device neo -verbose -build-qt -force-build-qt
* bin/qbuild image

This forces building qt as well which resolved problems with the qbuild test using all the system ram.

Booting into Qtopia

Now shutdown the FreeRunner

shutdown -h now

Log into U-Boot in the NAND Flash to boot from the MicroSD card: (instructions from Booting the Neo FreeRunner)

  • Press and hold Power button
  • Then while still pressing the Power button, press and hold AUX button for 5 to 8 seconds.
  • A boot menu will appear.
  • Press the AUX button to select "Boot from MicroSD" and then press the Power button to execute.

Qtopia should now boot.

Note: you may get a kernel panic which says that "optional features not supported". If this is the case, boot back into 2007.2 and run

umount /dev/mmcblk0p2 fsck.ext3.e2fsprogs /dev/mmcblk0p2

This will clean up the file system and clear recovery flags in ext3 that ext2 does not support, then try booting from the MicroSD again.


Qtopia comes with support for German and American English, and users from other countries will find that Qtopia's predictive keyboard makes writing in another language near impossible. One way to disable the predictive keyboard is to simply replace /opt/Qtopia/etc/dict/en_US/common.dawg and words.dawg with empty files (after backing them up). Qtopia normally looks in these files for words to suggest, and if it doesn't find any words that fit, it simply shows what you actually wrote.

Adding characters to the keyboard requires modifications to the source code, as described here.

Software packages feeds

Installation of more software packages with the package manager tool found the Settings folder needs servers, which offer these packages, like

Install packages into Qt extended through the package manager, which only allows packages via web servers, seems to be the only way at the moment. (No way to download a package seperately and install the file.)


See Trolltech's tracker (Qtopia Tracker).

Bug reports should be sent to qt-bugs@trolltech.com or by web form at http://trolltech.com/bugreport-form.

Suspend /Resume [Now Solved]

It seems that suspend/resume only works when the FreeRunner has been connected to a powersource (only a few seconds if sufficient). If you boot from battery, it will never suspend until you have plugged it in at least for a couple of seconds.

Bugs in 4.4.1

  • Boot and Shutdown Splash will not work because splash-write was not compiled into Busybox
  • Timezone & time on latest Qt 4.4.1
  • The first item in a list is missing the top half

Bugs in 4.4.2


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