Nokia N900 has been out for a while, and after N8 was released, everybody is now waiting for N9 which will be the first mobile to use the new MeeGo OS. However, MeeGo has already been officially ported to N900. From their set up instructions, this practically sold me on the phone already: “The ‘scp’ and ‘ssh’ tools should be available from within the device and you can transfer files in and out with them. You should also be able to run ‘yum install’ now, to install packages.“. That’s something users of all other phones cannot and probably will never be able to do.

I thought I’d have a look at which packages are available for the ARM7 architecture. The packages specific to ARM7 are not that surprising; just the basic stuff. However, looking at the repodata/patterns.xml file, it starts getting interesting. The package called meego-handset-devel-support has some very welcome dependencies, including: wget, openssh-server, rsync, screen, qt-devel, make, gcc, strace, valgrind, powertop.

All these can be found in the core section. However, the packages there are also available for other non-handset form factors, and might not be installable on a phone. We will just have to wait and see.

So although this looks very promising, I’m still holding on to my N80 for a while. Even after four years of use, it’s the best phone I’ve had. I’ll let others take care of the early adoption and testing.