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Optware for Android

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Welcome to an early version of optware for android

Optware was originally developed as a distribution mechanism for software for the Open Source Linux project for the Linksys NSLU2 (a small low cost network storage device). That consumer storage device ran on Linux, and the community opened it up, but they needed a lightweight distribution mechanism for their lightweight devices.

Since 2004 Optware has been adopted by a variety of Linux communities and device developers including the webOS community working on the Palm Pre and Pixi, and developers for devices as diverse as Asus WL-500g,WL-HDD, WL-500gx, WL-500gP routers, the Synology DS-101 and DS-101g+ NAS devices.

At its core, Optware is a package manager to allow you to easly install and uninstall cross-compiled linux applications on your device over the internet. At this time, optware supports the automatic download and installation of over 1500 programs. (See the list at the end of this article.)

Contents

Why should I use Optware?

Like the original slug, android devices lack a distribution mechanism to install Linux/command line tools programs and utilities. Many in the Android community who want or need to do command line processing on their device use a chroot of some sort (Debian seems popular) to get their distribution and package management tools. With Optware, it becomes possible to simply run whatever utility or program you want on the native Linux.

Additionally, Optware For Android installs openSSH making it possible to access your Nook from any PC with SSH capability, and sets up a normal username/password login system for the device at the command line. All in all then, since it can be installed with a single script, since it's lightweight, and since it's designed for small and embedded devices, Optware is a perfect fit for the Android community.

Optware for Nook is the first Optware for Android release by the Novaports team and is their gift to the Android community members who have helped them so much with information on Android devices.

What does it do?

The Optware bootstrap installed the IPKG package manager. It installs the optware Busybox. It installs openSSH and makes the ssh demon persistent. It creates an unprivileged user with a username and password you choose.

Requirements

  • Rooted NookColor
  • Wifi connection
  • Working adb on your desktop.

Installation

To install, ensure that your NookColor is attached to wifi, plug in the usb.

Download the Optware package zip file.

(Note: as of 2011-Nov-18, the file is no longer available at this link. Can anyone provide an updated link?)

(Note: 28-Nov-2011, Found a version of it at [1], but don't know if it's the same files.)

Unzip it with your favorite utility. Then:

$ adb push optware-bootstrap-0.0.1.shar /data
$ adb shell
# sh /data/optware-bootstrap-0.0.1.shar

When the script has finished,

adb reboot
Although you can find the Nook's ip address with command line tools, we strongly suggest that you install Kenneth Cheng's Copy IP utility which simply displays your ip address in a window on the screen.

Connect to the device via SSH

Now ssh to your device's IP address. You may want to prevent your device from sleeping or keep a running ping to google.com or similar to keep the connection alive for your ssh session.

On Linux or on a Mac, at a console, type

  ssh UserName@aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd 
replacing a,b,c and d with the ip address from above. If you have set a root password, you can also log in as root by typing
ssh root@aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd

On Windows you will need to use putty.exe. If you don't already have a copy of Putty, right click that link and save it in the same folder as your adb.exe. Now, navigate to that folder and open putty.exe. It does not need to be installed, it just runs.

  • In putty, in the host name field, type the NC's IP address from above
  • In the menu on the left, under connection choose Data, and in the auto-login username type the username you set up in the optware install.
  • Press the open button.

You will now be in an ssh session connected to the nook running a bash shell.

Connecting via adb

You can connect to the nook's optware shell via adb for a usb connection.

adb shell login -f YourUserName 

or

adb shell login -f root

after logging in, you will need to

 export TERM=linux   

to get normal terminal information sent to the command window, but it's almost as good as an ssh connection on linux. On windows, the command window ignores esc commands, so putty is your only decent option.

How to use Optware

  • You can update your ipkg database on the Nook with ipkg update.
  • You can ensure you have the latest (and greatest?) versions with ipkg upgrade.
  • To check out a list of available packages, use ipkg list.
  • To see the packages you already have installed, use ipkg status.
  • To install a new package, use ipkg install <package name>.
  • To uninstall a package, use ipkg uninstall <package name>.

Participate in the Project

Optware is an Open Source project. The Nook android Optware port is available at https://github.com/optware4android/nook-color. Feel free to clone the project and participate.

A small list of packages installable with Optware

Note that many many more (over 1500) native packages are available. This is just a quick list of some of the more popular. A complete list is available at the NookColor's optware packages feed.

  • Apache - Popular heavyweight web server
  • Bash - Bourne Again SHell
  • BitTorrent - mainline python BT client packaged as py-bittorrent (launch by btdownloadcurses.py)
  • BusyBox
  • calculators - bc, calc, nickle
  • castget - a command-line podcast downloader
  • cpio - CoPy In/Out file archiver
  • CUPS - CUPS printer system.
  • diffutils - GNU Diffutils
  • emacs22 - OS^h^hEditor, see also jed, joe, jove, mg, qemacs, uemacs, zile
  • erlang - concurrency oriented language and runtime
  • git - distributed version control tool
  • irssi - console IRC client
  • less - Less is more file pager, see also most
  • make - GNU make tool
  • MediaWiki - The Wiki software used to run Wikipedia
  • Mt-daapd - iTunes Server
  • MySQL - The most popular Open Source SQL Database
  • Nano - Pico like Editor
  • ncFTP - A user friendly FTP client with background spooling.
  • Nethack - Greatest RPG of all time
  • ntfsprogs - NTFS filesystem libraries and utilities
  • OpenSSH - the recommended SSH server
  • python - An interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming language
  • samba - Samba 3
  • samba2 - Samba 2.2.12
  • screen - persistent console session
  • SWAT - the Samba Web Administration Tool
  • svn - Subversion version control system
  • tar - Heavyweight version of the tape archiver
  • vim - Vi iMproved, see also nvi
  • X11 - X Windows for your Nook. --warning: it's remote access only.
  • zip - a compression and file packaging utility
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