Build linux from scratch on a smartphone

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Ulysses_, Aug 16, 2014.

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  1. Ulysses_

    Ulysses_ Registered Member

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    Is there any smartphone that anyone can build linux for themselves from the source code?

    Ideally with all the features of a smartphone?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  2. x942

    x942 Guest

    You could get a Nexus phone and build android from scratch which is based upon linux. If you want a more "pure" linux you could pick up a Nokia N900. The N900 is a few years old but it ran a debian variant out of the box. You can still pull the sources and compile. It also can run Ubuntu, Arch, debian, and a bunch of other non-phone specific distros. I actually have on and love it. You can still find them on eBay or amazon for around a $100-200 depending on the month.

    There is even an effort to remake the N900 as the Neo900 (http://neo900.org/). They are estimating a release of Q4 2014. It is basically a modern version of the N900 with better hardware and newer OS. Just as open though! :)
     
  3. Ulysses_

    Ulysses_ Registered Member

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    Any idea what percentage of desktop debian applications would also work on the N900 or Neo900?
     
  4. Ulysses_

    Ulysses_ Registered Member

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    Wow, this Neo900 smartphone has impressive security:

    ● Counter-surveillance rather than audit and trust
    ● Everything not 100% in control is considered rogue
    ● Rogue stuff is sandboxed and constantly monitored

    ● If the modem is compromised, the main system remains safe
    ● If the modem is supposed to be off, but it isn't – we know that and can react accordingly
    ● If the GPS is in use when not requested – we know that but the antenna will be disabled
    ● If the modem tries to record audio when not requested – we know that but it won't be able to do it
    ● When modem acts badly, user is notified and automatic hard reset via emergency_off line is applied

    Source: http://neo900.org/stuff/piwo/piwo.pdf
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2014
  5. x942

    x942 Guest

    Pretty much any that are compiled for ARMv5. I personally use mine for a password manager. Setup with LUKS encryption and keepassX for password manager. Removed all networking and it's airgapped! :)
     
  6. Ulysses_

    Ulysses_ Registered Member

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    Have you cut off the RF IN or RF OUT pins of the GPS chip or something?

    Did you do anything to the WIFI chip too?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  7. x942

    x942 Guest

    I did. Also flashed an invalid firmware to the radio so it can't work at all. WiFi is still in place but disabled. I could de-solder it probably if I had the time or was worried about it. This is why I can't wait for Google's Modular phone. At any time I could add or remove components. I'm at home - Remove 3G modem as I can use WiFi for everything. In a highly sensitive area remove the camera. So on.
     
  8. Ulysses_

    Ulysses_ Registered Member

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    What's a good place to ask for details of such things as de-soldering the WiFi chip, specifically whether such an intervention is known to work on some android or iphone smartphone?

    Then any spyware features in android or iphone are not so much of an issue, any sync with a pc for backup purposes or whatever could be done with a virtual machine that is air-gapped (virtually or physically).
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
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