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Is this possible??

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  • 68kMLA Supporter

How do you mean, run?


Compile the kernel so that the processor could run it? Sure. I'd be surprised if the chip isn't readily supported, it's just ARM after all.


But compiling the kernel and having the eMate run it with its 3MB RAM would be tricky, and how would you load it? You'd have to make new ROMs.


That's before the issue of device drivers come into play. I don't think they're available... and I'm quite sure the hardware isn't documented in any way outside of Apple.


If what you're asking is if there's a Linux distribution for the eMate, then no. I'm quite sure there isn't.


You can use it as a terminal, though, to get a serial connection to a bigger box running Linux. I'd like one for that exact purpose (though I don't actually run Linux, as I prefer BSD).

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I've searched this once a few years ago to no avail. It might be possible but you might have to compile the kernel yourself to support the ARM 710a in the eMate.


This is all I've been able to find online regarding Linux on the Newton/eMate.



There was mention about something called the ARM Linux on Newton Project, aka the ALON Project. These are te only links I found on Google:



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  • 68kMLA Supporter
eMate has a PCMCIA slot, doesn't it? You could put in on a CF. And there is a version of Linux called TinyLinux that might work. It's designed to run on systems with very few resources.


There are plenty of versions of Linux that are designed to run in limited spaces, that's not really the point. The eMate has a PCMCIA slot, but I highly doubt that the boot routine in the ROM supports reading an operating system from anything other than the ROM.


Plus, what kind of file system would you format the card with? The Newton only reads one, and that's not really a file system. Certainly not something you could put a Linux kernel on.

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I reckon ucLinux might be a better bet, but yes, you'll most likely have to build it yourself, or round up some other nutters hobbyists to form a porting project.


Debian runs on the Psion 5MX, with a mere 32MHz ARM CPU, from a CF card, so in theory it's all possible

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  • 3 years later...

You certainly can't run anything inside the NewtonOS as it's structured very strangely. You'd need either new ROMs or some kind of bootloader that could load linux from the newton os (very unlikely given that the newton os has no design for that). Presumably you'd basically have to redesign quite a bit of Linux, or at the very least least develop drivers for the newton hardware using the arm-uclinux port. The ram upgrade chip would give one a little more to work with. I've heard of it being possible to get Linux down to 8 meg of ram. If you could make an ATA driver you could use CF as noted below or some of those old PCMCIA flash ssds.


Maybe you could netboot something thin clienty?

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