Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

Matthew Garrett Looks at the Palm Pre Code: Yep, It's Linux

Jun 10, 2009, 21:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matthew Garrett)

As others have figured out by now, the Pre is codenamed Castle and there's some references to another device called Pixie. This is presumably the Eos device that's expected to end up with AT&T. The other interesting thing is that the image contains modem firmware for both CDMA and UMTS. They're shipped as tarballs - extracting them gives you something that looks awfully like the firmware for the Qualcomm Gobi dual-CDMA/HSDPA chipset used in a bunch of modern laptops. The core firmware is an ELF object for 32-bit ARM. It's got references to Qualcomm in it and it's also got an embedded RSA signature which presumably cuts back on the potential for interesting hacking. The

/usr/bin/PmModemUpdater -e < /usr/lib/modem/castleumtsfw.tar

"command, executed as root, should flash the UMTS firmware to the modem (castlecdma_evt1_fw.tar is the CDMA firmware). However it should be noted that the MSM6801A baseband used on the Pre seems to be a CDMA-only chip and there's no obvious place on the board for a SIM socket. My assumption is that the GSM models will have a very similar baseband with different radios. Unlocking the device will presumably be similarly difficult to the iphone - someone will need to find a flaw in the Qualcomm firmware that allows the network lock to be skipped. The PmModemFactory command will let you unlock the phone, but you'll need the appropriate code to do so and can (I guess) permanently lock it if you enter the wrong code too often."

Complete Story

Related Stories: