What Do You Really Want To Run On Your iPod? Why, Linux, Of Course

So you have an iPod, but you arenit satisified with playing music on it, or maybe breaking out the occasional game of Breakout, or even looking over your list of Contacts. Whatis an intrepid hacker (in the real use of the word) going to do? Why, get Linux to run on it, of course!

At least thatis what one apparently talented hacker is working on. ZDNet is reporting on Bernard Leachis efforts to get the uClinux version of Linux running on his iPod. Mr. Leach has succeeded in getting the kernel for the OS to run, and is working on adding further funcitonality. From the ZDNet article:

In recent weeks, computer enthusiast Bernard Leach has been able to get Appleis digital music player to run basic parts of the uClinux version of the Linux operating system. However, in running Linux, the device sacrifices many of the iPodis key features.

Leachis Linux-equipped iPod can play audio or display simple graphics, but it canit use the iPodis scroll wheel or remote control, and it canit access the FireWire port -- the iPodis only means of exchanging data with other devices. And although the Linux-equipped iPod can play audio, even its MP3 playback doesnit live up to expectations, Leach said in an email interview.

"What you are looking at now is the very beginnings of something that could be quite useful," Leach said. As for why he did it, Leach said there were "a number of reasons, but mainly because it (is) there."

In theory, Leach says, an iPod running Linux should be able to do anything a PC running Linux can. However, Leach concedes, the current incarnation is far from that reality. "What can it do well? Well, other than run the kernel, at this point not a lot, unfortunately," Leach said.

There is additional information in the full ZDNet article, which we recommend as a good read.