Maemo Leste - fourth update (July + August) 2018

Merlijn Wajer, Fri 31 August 2018, News

alpha, connectivity, icd, keyboard, n900, networking, wifi

It's been a while since our third update and there's quite some stuff to talk about!

First of all, we now also have a mailing list. Be sure to subscribe for updates, questions and development. We hope to add a bit more structure to our development by not just relying on IRC, but also mailing lists, acknowledging that this is likely a more widely accepted method for coordinating development. We'll see how that pans out!

Software additions

The last two months were focussed mostly on wrapping on some projects and integration, we hope to close the N900 Alpha release milestone soon.

Virtual keyboard

The virtual keyboard implementation is now usable, and works (almost!) out of the box on the latest Nokia N900 images. We've added the hildon-input-meta package, which, together with some files from Fremantle, makes the virtual keyboard work:

If you want a virtual keyboard on the Nokia N900, take the latest image, boot it, then reboot it once it has fully booted. After that, go to Settings, Text Input and check the Use virtual keyboard option. In future releases, this likely will not be required, and we should able to close issue #17 soon.

The special keys virtual keyboard (the one that complements a hardware keyboard, if present) does not yet show up when the keyboard slide is open, unless this gconf key is set:

gconftool-2 -s /system/osso/af/slide-open -t bool true

osso-xterm now also supports the virtual keyboard, before this didn't work.


Wifi integration in the images is now also completed, when using the latest Nokia N900 image (or any device, really), wireless should work out of the box. See our previous update on what is supported or not, and also check out the Wifi connectivity improvements milestone!

EAP PAP for TTLS is now shown by default


Some work has been done exploring our options for GPS, in issue #57.


Speakers are no longer muted by default on the Nokia N900, see issue #58. Additionally, and largely because of fixing this issue, status-area-applet-battery will no longer warn about low battery levels if the battery is not (yet) calibrated (and thus no longer make sad "low battery" sounds every minute or so).

Touch input

Support for capacitive touch devices has been improved a lot, previously some buttons and menus simply did not respond to touch events on capacitive screens, notably the hildon application menu and the controls of hildon-home.

This has now been fixed, with changes to libmatchbox2 and hildon-desktop to support touch events:

Power usage

Some initial research is being done on power usage/saving, it is reported that Maemo Leste currently uses about 90mA, versus the 10mA that Fremantle uses. We hope to bring down the power usage a lot while more hardware components get supported. See issue #170


There are now new (pre-alpha) images available for the Nokia N900:

Open issues

  • Lock screen and related functionality does not work yet. The issue here is a race condition in our startup script and X session scripts. The issue is documented in issue #83, and a temporary workaround is to issue these two commands after booting:

    dbus-send --system --type=signal /com/nokia/startup/signal
    dbus-send --system --type=signal /com/whatever
  • For virtual keyboard to work, you have to reboot once after booting the fresh/new image. Then the virtual keyboard can be enabled from the settings Text Input applet.


The amount of people actively contributing code is still only two. We need more testers and developers.

If you're interested, please join the mailing list, check out this thread on

Additionally, more work has been done on our Wiki, with device status tables per device, as well as some additional instructions.

Here is an example of the current Nokia N900 page:

What is next?

The one big remaining item before we will reach the N900 Alpha release milestone is Qt. Previously, we anticiated we would port over Qt4, but for various reasons (gstreamer 0.10 vs 1.0 support being one of them) we will instead attempt to port the Maemo Qt4 work to Qt5. This means that in the future any software using Qt4 will have to be ported to Qt5.

issue #83 causing the lockscreen not to work on boot will also need to be addressed, possibly by drastically changing our X session startup scripts.

Once the Alpha release milestone has been reached, we will focus our attention towards the Beta release for the N900, which should bring:

Maybe, if we need a distraction, we will look at Wireguard integration.


If you're interested in specifics, or helping out, or wish to have a specific package ported, please see our bugtracker.

Please also join our mailing list to stay up to date, ask questions and/or help out.

If you like our work and want to see happen and continue, join us!

We're currently on in #maemo-leste, but also hang out in #maemo. We also monitor the mailing list and github issues closely.