Installing Google Android on the OpenMoko

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Been waiting ages to give Google Android a test drive on any mobile phone, when I got my hands on the OpenMoko Neo FreeRunner first thing I could think of was installing Google Android.

Installing Android on the Neo Freerunner
Installing Android on the Neo Freerunner

Installing Android on the Freerunner was pretty simple all that was needed was a micro-sd card, Android-on-Freerunner and a computer that you could connect the SD card and the OpenMoko too. In my case it was a MacBook Pro which has USB (of course) and an SD card reader.

  1. Format the Micro SD card for Android to work properly the Micro SD Card in your FreeRunner needs to have 2 primary partitions. The first needs to be a VFAT/MSDOS (16 or 32) partition which is used is mounted as ‘/sdcard’, this is used as a storage area (for pictures, movies, music, etc). The second is an ext3 partition which Android mounts as ‘/data’, this is where it stores settings, caches, etc. I only created one partition using Disk Utility, worked fine ๐Ÿ™‚
  2. Download the latest build version of Google Android for OpenMoko here , un-zip/tar and copy it to your Micro SD card (to the FAT partition).
  3. Safely eject (Unmount) your micro SD and insert it into the neo.
  4. The neo freerunner only has 2 buttons: power and aux. Hold aux then press the power button. You should now see a menu with several choices, keep pushing the Aux button until you highlight the Option to “Boot from microSD card”. While this option is highlighted push the ‘Power button’ again.
  5. Now you’ll start seeing several messages on screen while Google Android is being installed on the OpenMoko.

That’s it you’re good to go. You have now successfully installed Google Android on the only truly open source phone. FOr a more detailed step-by-step guide to installing Google Android on your OpenMoko Neo Freerunner check the Google Code page or the OpenMoko Wiki

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