maemo SDK+ Installation Instructions for Debain GNU/Linux

Release Information

Project:           maemo SDK+ 
Version:           RC-3
Baseline:          None. This SDK is baseline neutral.
Date:              2009-02-06

This document explains how to install and set up the maemo SDK+ development environment on your Debian GNU/Linux computer. This document is targeted for maemo application developers.

This document covers the following steps:

  1. Understand
  2. Install maemo SDK+ build environment
  3. Setup maemo development targets
  4. Test maemo SDK+


The maemo SDK+ build environment is designed to use scratchbox version 2. This is installed separately from earlier versions of scratchbox. Also targets' files and configurations are stored elsewhere. Therefore the maemo SDK+ can coexist with an existing maemo SDK environment, such as scratchbox 1.0.8 'apophis' with maemo 4.2 'diablo', and these environments will not conflict.

IMPORTANT: There is no need to change or remove your existing scratchbox and maemo SDK environments.

The maemo SDK+ in itself does not contain any rootstraps. The same rootstraps are used than in maemo 'scirocco', maemo 'bora' and maemo 'chinook' releases.

This RC-3 version of Maemo SDK+ has been tested on several Ubuntu and Debian distributions running on 32bit i386 architecture. This document explains how to set up Maemo SDK+ on Debian.


The installation process requires networking access. Please, set up proxy settings first if your network access requires it.

In order to install maemo SDK+, set up the following entry to your /etc/apt/sources.list file on your Debian host. This will add the maemo-sdk repository. Note that you need to log in as root user in order to edit apt repositories.

If you have Debian Lenny, please, add the following line:

   deb debian-lenny free

If you have Debian Etch, please, add the following line:

   deb debian-etch free

Next, run the command 'apt-get update' using sudo to update available packages list:

   [Host:root] $ apt-get update

Now install the packages by running 'apt-get install maemo-sdk' using sudo. This will install the requisite packages:

   [Host:root] $ apt-get install maemo-sdk

The following packages will be installed:

   - maemo-sdk
      * metapackage with core utilities
   - maemo-sdk-libs
      * selected precompiled libsb2 libraries
   - maemo-libtool 1.5.26-2
      * libtool source which is compiled with target setup
   - sbrsh 7.6maemo1
      * run binaries on target device with automated mounting
   - sb2-qemu-arm 0.9.1-9
      * Qemu ARM CPU emulator (with some patches) 
   - scratchbox2
      * cross compilation environment


3.1 Build tools Distribution

Remark: maemo SDK+ RC-3 release adds a new command maemo-sdk which is capable of executing all maemo SDK+ administrator use cases. You can launch the tool simply by typing maemo-sdk on your host terminal. You can then select the operation from the menu and continue from that to more operation specific menu selections. Note that some operations may require that you run maemo-sdk under sudo (i.g. sudo maemo-sdk). The old maemo-tools and maemo-rootstrap based interface is, however, still available and documented here.

It is recommended that all maemo software should be compiled using Debian/Etch tool set. maemo SDK+ provides a command sudo maemo-sdk install tools which will set up these Debian/Etch tools under /opt/maemo/dists directory. They will not interfere with tools already installed to your host, or, tools you will later install to your host. By providing an isolated set of tools we just verify that we can have uniform set of tools regardless of the host environment.

Please, note that this command will take some time to complete. In order to speed up the download you might want to add --mirror url option between maemo-sdk and install where the url is the Debian mirror nearest to you. The list of Debian mirrors can be found here.

    sudo maemo-sdk install tools etch-2008

3.2 Cross-compiler installation

maemo-sdk automatically installs two toolchains: arm-2005q3 and i386-2007q3. You can check what toolchains you have by typing:

    maemo-sdk list toolchains

If you want to try Fremantle Alpha rootstraps, you should install arm-2007q3 toolchain as well. This can be done with the following command:

    sudo maemo-sdk install toolchain 2007q3

Again, please, note that the cross-compiler is a large package and it might take some time to download.


A rootstrap provides header files and libraries that match one or many maemo based product software images. These are required to build software that is compatible with a specific maemo based device, such as Nokia N800 or Nokia N810. Development targets are user specific.

The maemo SDK+ provides just the build environment and the tools to setup the relevant maemo development targets.

Use the rootstrap and development target that correspond to the operating system on your target Internet Tablet device. Currently the following development targets are available:

    - diablo4.1.2_armel
       * maemo 4.1.2 'diablo' armel SDK for OS2008
    - diablo4.1.2_i386
       * maemo 4.1.2 'diablo' i386 SDK for OS2008
    - diablo4.1.1_armel
       * maemo 4.1.1 'diablo' armel SDK for OS2008
    - diablo4.1.1_i386
       * maemo 4.1.1 'diablo' i386 SDK for OS2008
    - diablo4.1_armel
       * maemo 4.1 'diablo' armel SDK for OS2008
    - diablo4.1_i386
       * maemo 4.1 'diablo' i386 SDK for OS2008
    - chinook40_armel
       * maemo 4.0 'chinook' armel SDK for OS2008
    - bora31_armel
       * maemo 3.1 'bora' armel SDK for OS2007
    - bora30_armel
       * maemo 3.0 'bora' armel SDK for OS2007
    - scirocco22_armel
       * maemo 2.2 'scirocco' armel SDK for OS2006
    - mistral20_armel
       * maemo 2.0 'mistral' armel SDK for OS2006

When started the maemo-sdk tool does not download the latest rootstrap index file from the server. You can download the latest up-to-date rootstrap index file with the command maemo-sdk reload catalogue.

The maemo SDK+ itself does not contain any rootstraps. The same rootstraps are used than in releases maemo 'scirocco', maemo 'bora' and maemo 'chinook'.

4.1 Installing the latest maemo 4.1.2 'diablo' rootstrap

To develop for the current maemo 4.1.2 'diablo' (SDK for OS2008) you will need to install diablo environment with armel CPU emulation. Run the following command to setup maemo environment for the current user:

   [Host] $ maemo-sdk install rootstrap diablo4.1.2_armel

This will download the rootstrap, setup the development target and extract the rootstrap. The development target root will be located under the following directory:


You can now start development for maemo 4.1.2 'diablo'.

4.2 Installing the latest maemo 4.0 'chinook' rootstrap

To develop for an earlier maemo 4.0 'chinook' you will need to install chinook environment with armel CPU emulation. Run the following command to setup maemo environment for the current user:

   [Host] $ maemo-sdk install rootstrap chinook40_armel

4.3 Installing binary-only packages

The maemo-sdk tool can install the Nokia binary-only packages as well. Run the following command as user to setup the binary packages for diablo4.1.2_armel roostrap:

   [Host] $ maemo-sdk install binaries diablo4.1.2_armel


After you have installed the SDK you can try a small test compilation with maemopad source package. In this example we are using maemo 4.1.2 'diablo' rootstraps.

Make sure that you have installed the Diablo armel rootstrap and using diablo4.1.2_armel as the default target. After that go to your normal linux home directory and run the following commands:

   [Host] $ mkdir -p ~/src/mytest
   [Host] $ cd ~/src/mytest
   [Host] $ sb2 -eR apt-get update
   [Host] $ sb2 apt-get source maemopad
   [Host] $ cd maemopad-2.4
   [Host] $ export SBOX_REDIRECT_FORCE=/usr/bin/perl
   [Host] $ sb2 dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot -d -b
   # compilation and package building should start normally now.
   # if configure fails please check that you have installed the right tools to your host

You should now have the maemopad .deb binary package in parent directory:

   [Host] $ ls -lt ..
   total 412
   -rw-r--r-- 1 you     you        512 2008-12-18 14:13 maemopad_2.4_armel.changes
   -rw-r--r-- 1 you     you      18318 2008-12-18 14:13 maemopad_2.4_armel.deb
   drwxr-xr-x 6 you     you       4096 2008-12-18 14:13 maemopad-2.4
   -rw-r--r-- 1 you     you        476 2008-11-29 18:14 maemopad_2.4.dsc
   -rw-r--r-- 1 you     you     383834 2008-11-29 18:14 maemopad_2.4.tar.gz

You can now try the newly compiled maemopad in the Internet Tablet. Just copy the maemopad_2.4_armel.deb file to the device and install it using the Application Manager.

On the other hand, if you want to install the package into the diablo4.1.2 rootstrap just go to the parent directory (note that sb2 ../maemopad_2.4_armel.deb does not work) and type the following.

   [Host] $ sb2 -eR dpkg -i maemopad_2.4_armel.deb

You might also want to play with the maemo SDK+ runtime emulation. Just start it by typing:

   [Host] $ maemo-sdk start gui

When the start up procedure is complete you are ready to launch the maemopad application on your emulated runtime.

To stop the maemo UI runtime inside the Xephyr window use command:

   [Host] $ maemo-sdk stop gui

After installing the maemo SDK+ please also read the maemo SDK+ User Guide.

Happy Hacking !