Linux on iPod Project


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Linux on iPod

Please note a new wiki is under construction, please play nice!

This site provides details of my venture into porting Linux to the iPod.

Unfortunately the iPod is considered a "closed-platform" by Apple and technical info is virtually non-existant so this has involved a fair bit of guess work, reverse-engineering and experimentation! But the end result is a Linux kernel (based on the uClinux port) running on the 'Pod.

I hope that this initial port provides some inspiration to others out there to see what more they can get the iPod to do!

If you're new here, the FAQ may be a good place to get started.


Saturday 3rd April 2004

  • A release version of the 2.4.24 kernel is now available for download! This version includes full support for first, second and third generation iPods (no iPod mini support) including audio, firewire and remote.

    The other important inclusion with this release is the demo podzilla program. Podzilla is a basic GUI demo similar to the native Apple firmware, it has a very simple mp3 player which can be run by running the file browser and selecting a .mp3 file, during playback the pause/play button will pause and menu will exit back to podzilla.

Saturday 7th Feburary 2004

  • Its been just over one year now since this site went live and with over 1/2 a million page views and over 2000 downloads it seems there is still some interest here which is great.

    The CVS version of the port has been updated to 2.4.24 which isn't too exciting but does add HFS+ support. Firewire is still not working on 3rd gen iPods but we're still looking. SBP2 support is getting better and hopefully will be working soon.

    Some work on GUI development is also underway. Something should be demo'able shortly.

Tuesday 18th November 2003

  • After long time Tux is back on the iPod! New comer to the iPod Linux team Daniel Palffy has put in a great effort and written a boot loader which, when combined with my eye-candy image loader lets you not only see Tux but boot either the Apple or Linux without modifying hard-drive.

    Check out the iPod Boot Loader in the files section on sourceforge for more information.


Last updated: 7th Feburary 2004

Currently the kernel (2.4.24) includes the following features:

  • Frame buffer
  • Audio device (44.1kHz 16bit little-endian)
  • Firewire
  • Directional buttons, scroll wheel & hold switch via tty interface
  • Remote control
  • Piezo
  • HDD support
  • FAT (and UMSDOS) filesystem support
  • HFS+ filesystem system

The following features are not present:

  • Power Management (suspend etc)
  • Battery Status
  • Flash support

Many other features are supported in the beta release. Check in the forums for more information.

Getting Started

Please note, this software is experimental, it is not for the faint of heart, if you are concerned for the well being of your iPod you probably shouldn't proceed any further!

Please see the Building uClinux for iPod page for instructions.

iPod Technical Info

If you are interested in the iPod hardware you can find some of the technical details the here.