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#1 2012-06-17 17:02:35

Cilph
Member
Registered: 2011-05-01
Posts: 28

Fashioning an old HTC Desire into an Arch box.

After getting my new HTC One X I had planned on giving my old phone to a friend of mine, but that never went through. I now have an unused HTC Desire just sitting here and I feel bad for it. I've decided to run a small isolated web development server on it for when I play around with Django. However I have no experience with installing Arch on other architectures, so I have a few questions I'd like answered.

  • Should I configure and compile the Archlinux ARM kernel, or use one from CyanogenMod? I'd like to have as little of the Android layer as possible.

  • How would I go about actually getting the kernel to load on the device?

  • When building a custom kernel, how would I ensure hardware compatibility? Can I just 'copy' the device tree and blobs from a working Android kernel?

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#2 2012-06-21 16:43:35

darkreaper476
Member
Registered: 2010-05-17
Posts: 98

Re: Fashioning an old HTC Desire into an Arch box.

Good luck man, I've been on and off about trying this on my Droid one... heres a post I started that I couldn't follow too well.. the guy "gtan64" helping me just gave up on me and his work was sloppy... lol there are probably some other links in there that might help you out some more. I'd recommend digging around on XDA more, maybe some new break through has came about.. 

I don't know how "unlocked"or "open" the desire is but if the boot loader isn't locked it shouldn't be much different then any other phone.
There are "easier" ways to just run linux on a "loop" in android but thats more like emulation, then your stuck with using a VNC viewer as a desktop environment controller and its also sharing resources with android. the good thing about that is you have a working network. sooooo again good luck lol post any progress you might have, I'd still love to do this my self on my Droid 1.


I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position. -Mark Twain

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#3 2012-06-21 16:51:22

skanky
Member
From: WAIS
Registered: 2009-10-23
Posts: 1,840

Re: Fashioning an old HTC Desire into an Arch box.

The desire will need to be made S-Off, but I'm guessing you knew that already?

There are guides to getting various distros (Ubuntu is common) running under Android, but I've not yet seen one for running one without Android.
If you find one, I'd be very grateful to get a link as I might have two spare Desire's by next Spring, and the idea of running them as simple servers is appealing.


"...one cannot be angry when one looks at a penguin."  - John Ruskin
"Life in general is a bit shit, and so too is the internet. And that's all there is." - scepticisle

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#4 2012-06-21 19:04:12

Cilph
Member
Registered: 2011-05-01
Posts: 28

Re: Fashioning an old HTC Desire into an Arch box.

I've managed to get it running under a chroot using a minimalist Android ROM but I have limited knowledge of how the kernel works (hardware init, device tree, etc) so I'm reading up on that for now.

For those interested in the chroot process: You can create an empty image on your SD card, create an ext2fs on it, and mount it via loopback. Copy a basic ArchARM version, chroot, bootstrap, and done.

Warning though, chroot is completely useless for a small embedded server because most ROMs switch off wireless when idle.

Last edited by Cilph (2012-06-21 19:06:38)

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#5 2012-06-22 05:46:10

darkreaper476
Member
Registered: 2010-05-17
Posts: 98

Re: Fashioning an old HTC Desire into an Arch box.

I cant believe I posted all that and forgot the link XD.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthr … st18732920


I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position. -Mark Twain

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#6 2012-06-22 11:11:26

skanky
Member
From: WAIS
Registered: 2009-10-23
Posts: 1,840

Re: Fashioning an old HTC Desire into an Arch box.

Most people are using an emulator (eg QEMU) or chroot. That might be useful as a first stab to see what's possible - it would also mean the phone can be used as a phone again if needed.
The wireless off can be gotten round, esp. while the device is on charge (mine is always on when on charge, for example).

On some tablets, there has been some dual booting set up but I don't know if their bootloaders are similar.

Just did a very quick search on XDA and these threads *might* be useful:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthr … ?t=1444792

These two are device specific, but they may give an idea of what needs to be done.
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthr … ?t=1667193
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthr … ?t=1158260


"...one cannot be angry when one looks at a penguin."  - John Ruskin
"Life in general is a bit shit, and so too is the internet. And that's all there is." - scepticisle

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