Put Linux on an iPod

Anthony Caruana
10 December, 2007
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The tips that follow only relate to iPods with a screen — sorry Shufflers.

It’s possible to get more out of your iPod by installing a second operating system. There’s an open source project that has created a port of Linux for the iPod called — you guessed it — iPodLinux. However, beware as device support is patchy and not all features work on all iPod models.

There’s a Mac installer for iPodLinux that installs a modified OS called uClinux and a user interface called Podzilla alongside the iPod’s own software. Each time you restart your iPod (by holding the Play and Action buttons simultaneously) you can choose whether to use Linux or the original iPod OS. If you ever want to remove Linux, connect your iPod to your Mac and use the Restore feature in iTunes to get everything back to factory condition.

Once you install iPodLinux, you’ll be able to install a mountain of new applications such the classic first-person shooter Doom or Mplayer for playing back video on any colour-screen iPod.

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