Opie General FAQ

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What is Opie?

Opie is an Open Source graphical user environment for PDAs and other small form-factor devices running Linux. For more details, see WhatIsOpie.

Will Opie run on my device?

The first and most important question is, does Linux run on your device? If the answer is yes then there is a good chance that Opie will also run on it. Where device support needs to be added to Opie is for for components (eg. hardware buttons) that are specific to the device.

If you are an end user, the best way to find a definitive answer to this is to look for a Linux distribution that both supports your device and includes Opie.

Some of the devices has been run on are listed on the Hardware page, although this does not guarantee that there is a distribution containing an up-to-date version of Opie supporting all of those devices.

Note that if your device is a mobile phone, assuming you are able to run Opie on it you will lose the ability to make phone calls as Opie does not currently contain a phone application.

How do I install Opie onto my device?

Opie is just a graphical environment and a set of applications rather than a complete operating system, so you don't really install Opie, you install a distribution that includes Opie. The installation process will be different depending on the device model and distribution.

For various iPAQ and Zaurus models, the Ångström Linux distribution now officially supports Opie.

For Palm devices, the team over at Hack&Dev have produced some images that include Opie 1.2.3. Visit their site for further details.

The Familiar distribution includes Opie, however it is now quite outdated (version 1.2.1) and there have been no announcements of any plans for future work.

If your device is not supported by a distribution you may still be able to build Opie for your device using OpenEmbedded (not for the faint of heart, however).

Applications / Features

Is there a web browser available for Opie?

Yes - KonquerorEmbedded is the recommended (third party) browser.

Can I synchronise my addresses, calendar etc. with other software?

Yes, although currently it can be a bit tricky to set up. See SyncingHowto.

Can I run X11 / GPE applications under Opie?

Not directly, since Opie uses the framebuffer to display graphics and does not use X. However there is a compatibility layer called Xqt.


Do you officially support running third party applications under Opie?

If the software is open source, then to the extent possible, yes. This is largely an issue to be dealt with by Linux distributions that include Opie and third party applications, however the Opie team provides support and assistance to distributions where possible.

Running closed source applications may be possible, although many of those available are now quite old and may not be compatible. The Opie team cannot provide technical support for running these applications unless they are made open source.

What are the future plans for Opie?

See OpieRoadmap.

Why is Opie still based on Qt Embedded 2.x when Qtopia 4 is now available?

The short answer is that Opie cannot practically be migrated to Qtopia 4 - it would basically require a complete rewrite. All Opie and third party applications would be lost along the way unless they were rewritten. Needless to say this would require a significant amount of effort.

Opie as it stands still provides a useful platform, particularly for replacing the existing software on older PDA devices with something that is actively maintained. The Opie team wishes to retain the work and time already invested in the Qtopia/Opie platform and applications, and will continue to maintain Opie while demand remains and resources allow.

However, the Opie team would be happy to see a new project formed around community development of Qtopia 4, with a view to eventually replacing Opie (at least in spirit).

How can I get involved?

If you're interested in helping out with development, translations, artwork etc. please feel free to Contact the Opie team. Your help will be greatly appreciated :)


What's the Opie mascot called?

The Opie mascot (also formerly the OpenZaurus mascot) is called Pingizauru, or Opiezilla depending on who you talk to.