Chapter 6. Palmtops, Personal Digital Assistants - PDAs, Handheld PCs - HPCs


Palmtops and PDAs are currently not much covered in this guide. Anyway it may be useful therefore, too. I just include some links, most of them are from Kenneth E. Harker's Linux on Laptops page :

  1. Highly recommended is the page by Russell King ARM Linux about PDAs with ARM CPU and with links to other Linux related PDA sites.

  2. For more information on Virtual Network Computing, see VNC .

  3. PDAs and infrared remote control, see Hiromu Okada

  4. AFAIK you can run Linux on the IBM™ PC110 (a tiny PC handheld that's no longer manufactured). There's a HOWTO on it running around somewhere but I don't have an URL, instead I found a description in LINUX REDUX July 1997 by Alan Cox.

  5. There is also the Handheld Systems(TM) On-line Archives and a search engine about palmtop related topics Palmtop.Net/ .

  6. I have setup a page about Linux with PDAs and Handheld PCs, too.

  7. These newsgroups for PDA application developers are available:

    codewarrior.embedded codewarrior.linux codewarrior.mac codewarrior.palm codewarrior.unix

PDA Distributions


Midori Linux is an Open Source project for delivering system software on small devices. It includes a build system, a Linux kernel with memory- and storage-conserving features, and system-level support for normal Linux software on platforms which might otherwise require custom "embedded" applications.


"PocketLinux is a complete operating system solution targeted at small, Internet-enabled devices. The PocketLinux "application framework" gives developers options on how they deliver content and application services to their target consumer market. It makes it possible to develop applications using the best tool for the job. Developers can use XML to easily develop applications that integrate cleanly and completely into the PocketLinux environment. For more advanced needs, the full power of the Kaffe Java Virtual Machine is available and exposed, making available all the modularity, portability and elegance that is the hallmark of Java. "


vhl-tools, a SourceForge project, works on utilities, patches, documentation, and integration of Open Source software for Linux on the VTech Helio PDA.

General Hardware Information

From devices.txt
    block	Generic PDA filesystem device
     0 = /dev/pda0	First PDA device
     1 = /dev/pda1	Second PDA device

   The pda devices are used to mount filesystems on
   remote pda's (basically slow handheld machines with
   proprietary OS's and limited memory and storage
   running small fs translation drivers) through serial /
   IRDA / parallel links.

     0 = /dev/pda	first parallel port IDE disk