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Openmoko is basing on the (FSO) middleware. FSO will be in the forthcoming Om 2009 distribution. For more information see,, and Openmoko is working on a stable system services back-end. Focus is on stable highlevel services that you can access from whatever language or UI that supports dbus. FSO is all about middleware, but if one stacks a bootloader+kernel under it and telephony applications on top, one gets a functional distribution. These are made available as FSO-image milestones.



  1. Phase I is about getting the APIs right.
  2. Phase II is about getting the right APIs fast.

Timeline (Phase I)

Timeline (Phase II)

... to be defined ...


  • Give people the infrastructure to create solid and exciting software products based on the Openmoko platform
  • Support competing UIs while collaborating on developing services
  • Encourage framework users (e.g. application developers) to also contribute to the framework


  • Make it simple
  • Concentrate on core services
  • Be programming language agnostic
  • Be UI toolkit agnostic
  • Try to reuse existing technologies as much as possible, but not at the cost of a bad API

How to achieve that technically

  • Choose D-Bus as the collaboration line. Below dbus, we can work together. Above dbus, we can differentiate
  • Expose features through dbus APIs implemented by UI-agnostic and language-agnostic services (daemons)
  • Optimize for Openmoko devices, but support multiple architectures and purposes through plugin interfaces and suitable hardware abstraction mechanisms
  • By not being afraid of reinventing the wheel for a wheelbarrow if all the existing wheels are made for sports cars

Mandatory Reading

What this is NOT about

This initiative does not cover low level services such as

  • Bootloader, Kernel, or System Init.

This initiative does not cover high level services such as

  • X-Window-System, Window Manager, UI Toolkits,
  • Application Launchers, Applications, or Fancy UIs.

Architectural Overview


Software Components

Please see the description at

Known API Consumers


  • mdbus -- a dbus introspection and interaction utility,
  • cli-framework -- a python dbus command line interface.
  • mickeyterm -- a MUXer-aware minimal terminal emulator.


  • Example Scripts that work over dbus

How to debug

  1. log in via ssh
  2. killall python
  3. edit /etc/frameworkd.conf and add to the frameworkd section:
    1. log_level = DEBUG
    2. log_to = file
    3. log_destination = /somewhere/where/you/have/space (preferably SD or NFS, etc.)
  4. Read our documented frameworkd.conf configuration file to learn about the other options.
  5. relaunch frameworkd (/etc/init.d/frameworkd stop; /etc/init.d/frameworkd start)
  6. log in via ssh (yes, again)
  7. export DISPLAY=:0.0
  8. run your favourite client (zhone, cli-framework, ...)

Attach the logs to the tickets, please.

The role of Python

Where we write new code, we will use Python to implement the dbus services. The reason for that being the rapid prototyping nature of Python and the emphasis on the D-Bus APIs. Using Python, the turnaround times to experiment with APIs are incredibly faster than for using a compiled language such as C or C++.

Once the APIs have been used by application programmers, we can start profiling and possibly reimplement some of the services with daemons written in Vala, if necessary. We might as well succeed in improving performance by using Pyrex/Cython/Ctypes to keep the benefits of Python.

Team & Roadmap



The milestone releases are combined Openmoko Framework and Zhone releases. Remember: A feature that isn't visible, working, and tested in our framework testing application (Zhone) does not exist. Until Framework 1.0.0 (early 2009), we will not use any versioning in components. Afterwards, individual components may see individual releases.

Note: The milestones and tasks moved over to our issue tracker.

Download and see also