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Maemo Leste development is split up in a few different places.

Communication and organising

Task Summary

For current (semi) impactful tasks, see



  • Maemo Leste is currently based on Devuan Beowulf, which is based on Debian Buster.



All our git repositories can be found here:


To aid development and provide "continous integration" we have a build server, which takes a git repository and builds software and packages it, and will automatically make said package end up in Maemo Leste repositories. This is done by Jenkins, and the instance can be found here:

Developing on a device

Actual development is mostly done from within Maemo Leste itself. (For Maemo Fremantle developers, this might sound weird, but there is essentially no need for a 'scratchbox' type VM)

The current developers mostly work in a Virtual Machine or on a Raspberry Pi.

Building a Maemo Leste image


List of Programs/Daemon specific to Maemo


Multiarch is an ability present on modern Debian systems that allows you to build native packages for different architectures. This is nice because you can build packages for an ARM based phone using the full power of your x86 based PC/Mac/Notebook or a server.

Here we show how you can easily setup a multiarch environment and build a native package for Maemo Leste running on Nokia N900. We are going to make a container (chroot) for this job. It's because we don't want to pollute our main system.

# Make a container for our development system
sudo apt-get install qemu-user-static debootstrap systemd-container &&
sudo debootstrap --arch=armhf stretch $DIR &&
echo "strech_cross" | sudo tee $DIR/etc/debian_chroot &&
sudo systemd-nspawn --bind /usr/bin/qemu-arm-static -D $DIR

# Setup build environment inside the container
cat >> ~/.bashrc << EOF &&
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/lib/pkgconfig
export CC=arm-linux-gnueabihf-gcc
export JOBS=$(grep processor /proc/cpuinfo | wc -l)
dpkg --add-architecture armhf &&
apt-get -y install --no-install-recommends build-essential crossbuild-essential-armhf ca-certificates &&
cat >> /etc/apt/sources.list << "EOF" &&
deb ascii main contrib non-free n900
deb ascii-devel main contrib non-free n900

deb-src stretch main
deb-src ascii main contrib non-free n900
deb-src ascii-devel main contrib non-free n900
wget --no-check-certificate &&
apt-key add testing-key.asc &&
rm -f testing-key.asc &&
rm -f /var/cache/apt/archives/*.deb &&
apt-get update &&
exec bash

# Build Xorg for Nokia N900
apt-get source xserver-xorg-core &&
cd xorg-server-1.19.2 &&
wget &&
mv -v debian/patches &&
echo -e "# crossbuild fix\" >> debian/patches/series &&
apt-get -y build-dep -a armhf . &&
time dpkg-buildpackage -aarmhf -j$JOBS -b &&
echo OK || echo FAIL

To login the container later:

sudo systemd-nspawn --bind /usr/bin/qemu-arm-static -D /var/lib/container/stretch

To remove the container:

sudo rm -fr /var/lib/container/stretch

Cross-distro solution for development inside an ARM/ARM64 chroot on a PC

It's possible to set up an emulated chroot development environment for ARM on x86/amd64 that will work on almost any Linux distro with just a few simple steps. This will work for systemd-less distros including Devuan and even Maemo Leste on x86/amd64. This guide provides an example for how to set up a generic ARM64 development chroot on a Debian-based distro. This method can similarly be used with images (tarballs) for other devices.

1. Install the QEMU full system emulation static binaries and support for foreign binaries:

$ sudo apt-get install qemu-user-static binfmt-support

The installation should register ARM binaries for automatic execution via QEMU. You can verify this with update-binfmts:

$ sudo update-binfmts --display qemu-arm
qemu-arm (enabled):
     package = qemu-user-static
        type = magic
      offset = 0
       magic = \x7f\x45\x4c\x46\x01\x01\x01\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x02\x00\x28\x00
        mask = \xff\xff\xff\xff\xff\xff\xff\x00\xff\xff\xff\xff\xff\xff\xff\xff\xfe\xff\xff\xff
 interpreter = /usr/bin/qemu-arm-static
    detector =

2. Find the latest Maemo Leste ARM64 tarball and download and extract it:

$ mkdir leste-arm64
$ cd leste-arm64
$ curl | gunzip -c | sudo tar xvf -

3. From the same directory, configure the chroot with a few resources from your host system:

$ sudo mount -t proc proc proc
$ sudo mount -o bind /dev dev
$ sudo mount -o bind /dev/pts dev/pts

4. From the same directory, create a symlink for the mount table:

$ sudo ln -s /proc/mounts etc/mtab

5. From the same directory, set the locale, enter the chroot and switch to the unprivileged user:

$ sudo LC_ALL=C chroot . /bin/su - user

You'll now be ready to use your Maemo Leste ARM64 development environment:

$ uname -m

Once you have finished with it, you can exit and unmount the resources you previously mounted:

$ exit
$ sudo umount dev/pts dev proc


See Localization


  • Discuss where people look to pick up issues (clear answer is the bugtracker, but still)
  • How people can make changes and how to send them in