Accessing Linux Using Novaterm

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  1. Download the Palm sdk from and run it.
  2. Click through the installer.
  3. From the Pre desktop, with no applicatons open on the Pre, type in the Konami code on your Pre's keyboard. (upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart) to access the developer mode application. You do not need to press enter. When you press the "t" of start, the developer app will become visible.
  4. Open the DeveloperMode application on your Pre and enable the developer mode switch, resetting the device when prompted.
  5. Connect to your computer via USB cable. There is no need to answer the question on your Pre regarding mounting the drive or just charging. Don't select anything (or select "Just Charge" if not selecting anything really bothers you). Warning: Selecting a USB mode will turn off the Pre's WiFi & Cellular connections and mess up later steps by giving you a "wget: bad address" error when you try and install additional packages.
  6. Run Novaterm.
    • on Mac and Linux open a terminal, and type in cd /opt/nova/bin
      • Then type ./novaterm
      • (if novaterm is missing, locate the novacom binary (whereis novacom) and run novacom $* -t open tty://0)
    • On Mac, if ./novaterm results: in failed to connect to server, do the folllowing
      • sudo chmod 644 /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.palm.novacomd
      • sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.palm.novacomd
      • ./novaterm
    • on windows, run novaterm.exe or novaterm-1.exe from the palm/sdk/bin directory. (use explorer or a command line) (if this doesn't work, run novacom -t open tty:// )
  7. Click "Connect" with "localhost" in the field next to the button.
    • This is what you should see
    Assuming that worked, you are in as root. You can prove this by typing ls -al and hitting enter. You should get a directory listing.
    What You Should See: ==
root@castle:/# ls
bin         dev         etc         lib         md5sums     mnt sbin        tmp         var
boot        dspbridge   home        lost+found  media       proc sys         usr
root@castle:/# uname -a
Linux castle 2.6.24-palm-joplin-3430 #1 175.1.15 armv7l unknown
root@castle:/# whoami

Congrats, you are now in as root. Tread lightly.

Next Steps:

Your Linux-accessible pre is in a very sensitive and unusual state. There are several steps you should take immediately:

  • Create a new username and password so that you don't have to connect as root
  • Open up ports in the pre so that you can connect to it.
  • Create a secure connection so that your pre is not open to everyone in the universe. **If you do not secure the network, your device will be accessible by anyone on the internet until it is rebooted.**
  • Install the Optware package manager so that you can install software onto the Pre.

All this picks up in Next_steps.

Enabling Developer Mode As A Button

Having to type the Konami code every time is tedious so you can make the developer mode button visible by following the instructions at Unhide the DeveloperMode App - Works with 1.1