Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kernel Patches For AxDroid Alpha

Finally I had some spare time again to work on what I promised. Not much of an improvement here, but at least I want to share my kernel patches that made AxDroid Alpha image possible. Please be warned that the patches are mostly "dirty hacks".

I used some code and knowledge from various sources including;

The patch applies to the "android-2.6.29" kernel branch. You can get it with the following command:

$ mkdir android
$ cd android
$ git clone git://android.git.kernel.org/kernel/common.git kernel
$ cd kernel
$ git checkout --track -b android-2.6.29 origin/android-2.6.29

Then download the AxDroid patch:
Then you can apply this patch to your local kernel source:
$ git am 0001-AxDroid-Dell-Axim-x51v-patches.patch

To build for Axim X51V:
$ make aximx50_static_defconfig
$ make

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First AxDroid Alpha Image

I know it has been a long time but finally I was able to prepare an alpha image of AxDroid. It's basically the same thing that I showed on my video. I worked on bluetooth and sound for some time, but still they don't work.

So to summarize this alpha has the following basic features:
- Tested and works only on Dell Axim x51v (Please be careful about the exact version!)
- Based on Android Cupcake 1.5-r2
- Kernel 2.6.29 (original cupcake has 2.6.27)
- Boots through HaReT from WinMo
- Touchscreen works (can be improved a little bit)

Not working:
- Power Management
- Audio
- WiFi
- Bluetooth
- 3D Chip
- Compact Flash (actually did not try this)

Basic Instructions:

WARNING! - All of the information, instructions, and recommendations on this web site are offered on a strictly "as is" basis. This material is offered as a free public resource, without any warranty, expressed or implied. In particular, any and all warranties of fitness for use or merchantability are disclaimed. By installing and running AxDroid, you accept all the responsibilities, including damaging your device.

This process could probably be made easier for you to try the alpha image, but right now this is what I can do with my limited time. First of all Linux is your friend. Probably you won't be able to install this image without Linux.

You will need a spare SD Card of at least 250 MB to try this. I recommend you format it completely. You have to create the following 3 partitions on your SD Card.
If you have a larger card you can increase the EXT3 partition freely, which will be the root partition.

/dev/sdb1 - 40 MB FAT32
/dev/sdb2 - 150 MB EXT3
/dev/sdb3 - 64 MB Linux SWAP

The following files should be downloaded and copied to your FAT32 partition on the SD Card (sdb1).
The following file is to root filesystem. You should download and extract it in the EXT3 root partition on the SD Card (sdb2).
You can use the following command to extract (assuming sdb2 is mounted on /mnt/sdb2)
# tar -C /mnt/sdb2 -zxvf axdroid-0.1-alpha.tar.gz
Now insert your SD Card into your Axim x51v. You must enable Mirror Mode from WinMo Settings before starting HaReT or you will only get black (or white) screen.

Now start the haret-0.5.2 executable from WinMo. Then press RUN and enjoy AxDroid :)

That's it! I hope it's helpful.

About the future of the project

I have bought myself a shiny new HTC Magic :). So I lost some of my enthusiasm for working on this project. But I will provide the source code, in case someone else is interested in working on it. Anybody has some idea of how I can provide the code? Basically I have some changes on the android source code base (it's huge! Talking gigabytes...). But most of the patches are on my local git repository of the android-2.6.29 kernel branch. Any suggestions would be helpful for that matter.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Update On Progress...

Just writing to update you guys on the progress so far. I have been very busy with work commitments lately, so there's not much progress. But now I'm trying to cleanup my work and will post an experimental image and some instructions soon (I hope :)). Just need some more time.

I also want to clarify some things that are asked:

1. I use HaRet as it's seen in the video. (Don't know how to make it work by flashing the rom yet)

2. I tested this only on x51v (that's what I have). It would certainly need some minor modifications to work on x50, x50v or x51.

3. I will make the source code available.

There's lots of interest in this project and there are really kind words towards me. I appreciate it. Up until now I refused some donations that were kindly made to me, because I didn't want money for something that I cannot promise. But if you feel you really want to contribute, I will accept them from now on.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Android is working!

My Dell Axim x51v was a precious device when I first bought it. But with the recent developments in the mobile devices, it became old fashioned. But it is still one of the best devices out there with VGA screen and 624 Mhz CPU. So for a few weeks I was trying to run Android on it. I chose the "cupcake" branch, which contains a software keyboard. Without it Android would be useless on my Dell Axim.

And finally, I was able to make it boot. The touschreen works! The keyboard works. I mapped some keys to act as the Menu and Back buttons. Also the D-Pad is fully functional. Of course the device is not yet fully functional, WiFi, power management etc... There are still problems. But I am happy with the progress so far.

Check out the video:

AxDroid - Android on Dell Axim x51v from Ertan D. on Vimeo.