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Linux Solutions on Handhelds

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip

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Posted: 1 Sep 2004

Looking for a Linux way to replace Pocket PC on your handheld? Here are some places to start with.

The GPE and Familiar projects are specifically targeted at the iPaq.


The GPE Palmtop Environment aims to provide a Free Software GUI environment for palmtop/handheld computers running the GNU/Linux? operating system. GPE uses the X Window System, and the GTK+-2.2 widget toolkit.

GPE is not a single piece of software, but an entire environment of components which make it possible to use your GNU/Linux handheld for standard tasks such as Personal Information Management (PIM). GPE makes it easy for developers to create powerful programs, by giving them the infrastructure they need.

Familiar Project

The Familiar Project is composed of a group of loosely knit developers all contributing to creating the next generation of PDA OS. Currently, most of our development time is being put towards producing a stable, and full featured Linux distribution for the Compaq iPAQ series of handheld computers, as well as apps to run on top of the distribution.

Any other suggestions? Let us know what you like for your handheld and we'll add it to the list.


Try this one:

Danny J. Wall

I am surprised you did not mention the Sharp Zaurus (, since it is a commercial solution. A listing of apps is available here.

In addition to your listed free projects, you should mention:

Maybe someday, we will see a Novell/SuSe handheld OS (hint). That would make integration with ZENworks for Handhelds easier.

Roger Thomas

When it comes to having a complete Linux Distro on a PDA, it's also worth looking at the near future hardware platforms that are coming to market

With these, we should see feature rich environments with the power to run a complete SUSE 9.1 distro if you want.

These units are often known by a the acronym UPC (Ultra-Personal Computer).

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