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Download a new keymap so the keys work correctly in X/Qt into the folder {{{/home/zaurus}}}{{{
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  xmodmap /usr/mnt.rom/[cf or card]/debroot/root/.xmodmaprc

These instructions were to install PocketWorkstation with X-Qt on the SL-6000 Sharp ROM. It will probably work on most of the other Zaurus models, but not positive.

Before you can begin, a method of transfering files from the internet to your PDA must be established.

The most convienent and straightforward method is to just have Internet available on the PDA itself. That will allow you to use the ipkg package manager. There are many ways this can be done, for example using the built-in wireless, or masquerading through the USB TCP/IP connection.

It's also recommended to install a copy of !["OpenSSH"]. It will be a great deal easier to install packages, edit config files, and any other preporation work needed remotely.

Installing X/Qt

The first step is to have a working copy of X/Qt installed. X/Qt must be installed onto an ext2 formatted filesystem, the internal memory will work fine.

If the PDA has access to the internet, the easiest way to install is to use the testing feed available from the X/Qt sourceforge site.

  1. Open a terminal
  2. Add http://xqt.sourceforge.jp/feed-testing/ to the end of the file /etc/ipkg.conf

  3. Type ipkg update
  4. Type ipkg install xqt-server xqt-fonts-misc xbase-etc xqt-startup-scripts

If internet access is still unavailable, download/copy to the PDA all the following packages from http://xqt.sourceforge.jp/feed-testing/.

  • xqt-server 0.0.10 (1.9.0 doesn't work)
  • xqt-fonts-misc
  • xbase-client
  • xbase-etc
  • xlibs
  • blackbox
  • rxvt
  • xqt-startup-scripts

Open up a terminal and install each of these packages.

  ipkg install xqt-server_0.0.10 xqt-fonts-misc_X.X.X... etc

Now there are two new icons available under the Apps tab of your Zaurus, X/QT Server, and Start X.

Installing Debian GNU/Linux

PocketWorkstation will need to be installed onto a ext2 filesystem with at least ["195MB"] of free space for the big package. When you start to install more software and libraries, another ["200MB"]-["300MB"] will quickly be needed.

Because more space is needed then is available on the internal memory, a memory chip will need to be formatted and used. Refer to the following table when needed.



Mount Point

SD Card



CF Card



Formatting a memory card

1. Open a terminal.

2. Unmount the filesystem being used.

  umount /usr/mnt.rom/[cf or card]

3. Format the filesystem as ext2.

  mkfs.ext ''dev''[mmcda1 or hda1]

4. Remount the filesystem.

  mount /usr/mnt.rom/[cf or card]

Extracting Debian

Plug your Zaurus into AC Power while extracting! You don't want the unit to suspend in the middle of all your hard work.

Copy the following files onto the ext2 filesystem you just formated.

Change to the directory with the above files and type:

  1. gunzip gnu-tar.gz
  2. chmod 755 gnu-tar
  3. mkdir debroot
  4. ./gnu-tar -C debroot -xvzpf zaurus-debian-big-v0.17.tgz

Final setup procedures

Download a new keymap so the keys work correctly in X/Qt into the folder /home/zaurus


Open /home/zaurus/.xinitrc and modify the LANG variable to look like this (if you speak US english):

  export LANG=en_US

then remove the last two lines

  rxvt &

All X software will be run under the chroot environment, so this software is useless. It was only installed to give the .xinitrc file to work from. Now add to the bottom of the .xinitrc file:{{{

  • xmodmap /usr/mnt.rom/[cf or card]/debroot/root/.xmodmaprc

    su -c 'chroot /usr/mnt.rom/[cf or card]debroot /startd'

}}} Create a new file /usr/mnt.rom/[cf or card]/debroot/startd

  #Startup Commands
  export DISPLAY=0:0
  swapon /swapfile
  #Shutdown Commands
  swapoff -a

Fix the permissions on the new startd file

  chmod 755 /usr/mnt.rom/[cf or card]/debroot/startd

Create a swap file

  1. Change to your debroot directory
  2. dd if=/dev/zero of=swapfile bs=1024 count=65536
  3. mkswap swapfile

This will create a ["64MB"] swap file.

Now it's time to start X/Qt. Click on the !StartX icon and wait for !["IceWM"] to appear.

The first time you chroot into debian you should create a link between /root and /home/root

  ln -s /root /home/root

Other Resources: