Palm Linux Environment

2003-05-06 - Rui He sent me a prc file for the m500. Download Here. It may work on m505 and m515 models. Please test carefully! Here is his email which will explain mostly what he did to get it to work.

I (Rui He) did some Dragonball MC68VZ328 hacking and generate a new uclinux 2.0.39 kernel + sash prc image for Palm m500(I only tested it on my Palm m500, but should work on other Palm m5xx models). I was really excited when I first saw linux running on my Palm V after I downloaded the prc image from your website( Thank you a lot!

The image doesn't work on my Palm m500, after some hacking, I found the reasons:

  1. CPU difference: MC68VZ328(33Mhz) vs MC68EZ328(16/20Mhz)
  2. DRAM difference: EDO DRAM vs. SDRAM
  3. Serial Port difference: Palm m500 is using UART2 as serial hotsync port, UART1 is for Infraread. Palm V/Vx has only one UART.

I modified the Palm Loader a little bit and finally the new prc image works on my Palm m500. Since Palm m500 comes with USB cradle, user has to get a serial cradle or cable. 9600-8N1 settings and I only put a sash in the romdisk, proc filesystem will be mounted automatically, type 'reboot' to go back to Palm OS.

Basic Steps: This information is OLD... take w/ a grain of salt and check FIRST for the latest versions of things.

  1. Download uClinux-dist-20011112.tar.gz from here.
  2. Install the m68k-elf tool chain available here.
  3. Install prc-tools available here.
  4. Make sure both of these are configured properly and that the executables are added to your path.
  5. Run a make config and a make.
  6. Hotsync the prc file to you device.
  7. Setup a direct serial connection at 9600baud in a terminal program and turn of your HotSync (if windows).
  8. Execute the PalmLoader app and watch the kernel startup on your terminal program.
  9. You should either be at a shell prompt or gotten a "Fatal Exception".
p.s. Sorry this isn't more organized and well documented. I simply don't have the time to work on this stuff... Cheers, have fun, and send an email to (archive) or (archive). Thanks!

-Craig Comstock

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Hardware Status

LEGEND Green indicates functional. Red indicates non-functional. Blue indicates needs testing, Volunteers Please!

HardwarePalmOSPalmLoaderFlashableBootsShell via CradleFramebufferTouchscreenStandby/Sleep
Pro w/8MB "LinuxLoader" TRG card3.1?no, Fatal Exceptionyesyesserialyesnono
Pro 1MB3.1?no, Fatal Exception
III?no, Fatal Exception
m100?yesno (applicable?)yesyes,but gives flood of garbage when running commands.yesnono
Visor Deluxe3.1Hyesn/ayesserial-yes,USB-noyesnono
Visor Prism3.5.2H1.2no, Fatal Exception
TRGpro3.5.2no, Fatal Exception
CLIE PEG-S300/E3.5.2no, Fatal Exception


WARNING. The PalmLoader (which uClinuxPalm.prc uses) erases all of your handhelds RAM. It doesn't however touch your ROM/Flash, so regardless you can "reset" and get back to a "factory" PalmOS with no data. Always do a complete backup before running. This is alpha software and as such comes with no warranty of any kind.

uClinux_Palm_m500.prc (PalmLoader built by Rui He for the m500 model.)

uClinuxPalm.prc (PalmLoader built with uClinux 2.0.38 kernal and minimal filesystem/distribution)



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