Is Debian 6.0 a full distribution?

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Hello, to answer your question, yes the Debian is the full distribution for MIPSel. Than being said, one has to add on everything he (or I think in your case she, if you have a purse) wants with apt-get or dpkg. I myself run Debian Sid on my Nanonote and have not wanted to put anything graphical on it , but you could. A thing to remember is that you are working with only 336 Mhz of MIPS hardware and 32MB SD RAM. So LibreOffice is out of the question although Abiword may work albeit slowly. Debian is not as optimized as Qi-OpenWRT, or even JLime, so I am not sure what to expect in that regard. For a pocket word processor, you may want to consider getting a low-cost phone and leaving it unactivated. As long as the phone has a microSD slot, that may work for you at a more manageable cost. I plan to get an LG500G phone, which can be had for under 20 USD, for this very purpose. It even has a blackberri like keyboard and I'm sure it would get great battery life.

Jane02:37, 6 July 2012

Does Debian for MIPSel have a graphical desktop such as GNOME? How can Debian 6.0 be a full distribution for MIPSel without a graphical text editor such as Abiword? Does it have gedit at least?

Are you saying that the LG500G will boot to Linux preinstalled on a microSD card? Will it boot to Debian for MIPSel?

Or are you saying that the LG500G has a preinstalled text editor and to copy my text files on a microSD card?

Freebirds10:30, 6 July 2012

Debian for MIPSEL does not come with anything but the core OS and bash shell but that is considered complete. It is possible in theory to add GNOME, but I would not even try as it would take weeks to show anything. Some more likely candidates for a GUI environment would be: Ratpoison, dwm, Icewm, Matchbox, or the Gmenu2x that OpenWRT uses. The reason it is considered complete is because all the graphical stuff is actually extra, one can hack around quite thoroughly using only a shell. I do. It does not come with Abiword or Gedit.

What I am saying abou the LG500G is not that it will boot GNU/Linux at all, but that one can load copyleft GPL software onto the phone as-it-is that will give much functionality such as text editing/saving, reading EPUBS, etc. The programs install the same way downloadable games install and are written for Java J2ME. As such, the source is easy to read and modify and the programs should work on MANY phones. I already have a $5 Motorola em326G that I have set up with many such "apps" . So there is no operating system change on the phones, they just must come with Java preinstalled and then you can work with it from there. If this accomplishes your intended task sufficiently, then great because as a low power device, the battery life will be great (I get over 3 days of light to regular use of my Motorola phone!) Since you do not sound like a hard-core hacker, that may be better for you as the Java text editors/apps are inherently more visual, and there is no need for GNOME as the GUI on most phones is OK, at least liveable. Let me know if you are interested. Hope I was of some help.

Jane07:17, 7 July 2012

Great idea. Could you please identify the java apps and where to download them? Thank you.

Freebirds11:22, 7 July 2012

Sure. First of all, in general if you want to find more such apps, look for them by using the key words "J2ME [type of app you want] [possibly "open source"]

Sourceforge is a great place to look and you can use J2ME or "java phone" or MIDLET as a keyphrase.

J2ME just means Java Micro Edition. Java is a well established and ubiquitous language so if you wanted to learn it , it would be rather accessible. I recommend only programs that are Free Software because: you can usually email the developers and get great support source code is provided so you have the "four Freedoms" the quality of Free/Open Source software is virtually always higher.

I have ended up deleting all the "freeware" programs I have tried that are not Free Software because they have no support anymore and cannot be changed to get better so they in effect have no future.

For text editors only, here is one SourceForge text editor I use

you download the zip, unzip and place the .jar file in the Java directory on the microSD that is to go in the phone.

I strongly urge you to email me at ( so that we may talk at leisure and so that I do not appear to be plugging any particular brand or product and so I do not look like the big bad wolf trying to dissuade you from getting a Ben. I know of about 4 or 5 devices that would likely suit your needs better well below the current price range. I await your mail, thank you.


Jane22:08, 7 July 2012
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