Let’s see what happens!

NOTE: Mer 0.7 is very outdated. To keep up with the newer versions you can follow it at talk.maemo.org.

So, I have had the Nokia N810 for quite some time now and I’ve been thoroughly impressed with this little device.  When the Deblet project came around, introducing a FULL debian based OS on this little device I was all over it.  I setup my own repository and even configured KDE4 and Enlightenment for it.

With a bootable debian this device surpassed anything you could want for a pocket device.  It’s like having a full computer that fits in your pocket – SSH, Remote Desktop, Software Compiling, games, chatting, and even a full Firefox 3.  But considering this device is only a 400mhz ARM processor, and only 128MB ram for memory – the expectations of what this can do is like trying to remember what your PC could do 10-13 years ago.

During the deblet craze, and when it finally got bootable and installable, the people making the project shifted to this new and “improved” OS that they are trying to build for the tablet – Mer.  Mer is basically taking the OS that is on the N810 (codename: Maemo) and making it a truly Ubuntu based system with all the bells and whistles you get from the default Maemo.  Full Ubuntu, with ease of use for a Tablet.  It is actually sort of heading off the next  version to be released on the next tablet, codename: Fremantle. BEAUTIFUL IDEA.  Or so we hope.. this project is very alpha, and is still undergoing major reforms, but lets see what I can do with this.

Being that everything related to this tablet is typically found at iTT.. I’ll pull up the thread about Mer 0.7.  There isn’t much in the way of installation how-to’s but we’ll see how I do.  Since I have an N810 I’ll follow his link for this installer.

Note here that I will not be doing the Easy method, nor will I be using this installer to partition or format my card (if possible).  I have already formatted my card the way I wanted.  If you don’t know how to do that, I suggest you select the “Simple” method and erase all your data on an SD card.

So, here we have the website in a full screen N810:

Mer Site

Mer Site

And now we click on the “.install file” and then, of course, Open:

Download Screen

Download Screen

I guess we need to add a repository:



Mer Install

Mer Install


Note: Here it failed on me because I had “conflicting packages”.. ended up being becomeroot.. So… Remove Becomeroot??

Now we come to:

select_location success_install

W00T!!!  We did it! … Uh.. What did we do exactly?? Let’s go see!

Well… now THIS is cute!!!


Yes, you’re seeing that right – MY ICONS ARE GONE!!! *gasp*.  What Happened?!?!?!

Dun Dun Dun…

Ah Ha!!  Well it appears I got myself hit with This Bug.. so here’s a reminder: Make sure you have enough free space before doing this :D.

Ok, now.. the next step on the website is to do the “Install Bootmenu” icon.. so let’s go find it and do so!


I won’t screenshot all of these.. but basically a Terminal window will open, like so:


Do the following options:

Continue: yes

Backup: yes

Continue: enter

Remove: yes

telnet: no

dropbear: no

bootmenu.conf: yes

Flash Image: yes

Reboot: enter

And you’re done so far.

Note:  If you are doing this from an SD booted or “cloned” OS, you will need a bootmenu item!  If you don’t know what I just said – Ignore me!

Ok.  Now the instructions tell us to launch the “Install Mer” icon.. it will look like this:


Well now.. if this doesn’t give you the heebie jeebies:


Well.. we made it this far right?  Let’s see what happens..


I chose advanced – If it’s at all possible NOT to lose all my data on my external card I would appreciate it.. STSKeeps had the deblet installer that good – lets see how good this one is (my options are highlighted in blue)..

external partition select filesystem

Read on to see what’s next!!

swap swap_select

Note:  I only select cancel because I was not smart enough to make a FAT partition as the first partition on the SD card; therefore I get an annoying message everytime I boot.  STRONGLY recommend you do this (if you get here).


At this point it will download for some time to get the latest Mer Armel image from the website.

Just be patient! We’re waiting here… 53%!

Alright!! We’re done!  Would you like to see it?? Well – let’s go then!

Now we need to set a root password!! Make it good, or the linux zealots will track you down and reformat your PC! *gasp*


It appears at this point… it wants to run the flasher utility – again!  Just keep saying yes on this one.  It will make you reboot! How nasty!

So, did it work?!?! Let’s find out!

Welcome back! So you want to find out if all our work has paid off?? Well, on the reboot you select the “Mer on xxx” option and… HOLY CRAP!

A truly beautiful Mer splash screen shows up with a loading bar!! Woohoo!  So far so good right??

After a while waiting for it to load you will see it generate an RSA key.. and then it will ask you for a Name, and then a Username, and then – of course – your password!  I wish I had screenshots of these procedures to show you but I could not find a way to make one since network was not online and I don’t know of any hotkeys for it on an N810/Mer.  Just trust me, it does :).

So, after you input password you then meet…………..


OMG! It’s Maemo’s ugly second cousin 4 times removed!

But it WORKS! The fact that we’ve got a full blown Ubuntu system, with the specialized gnome-based libraries that make-up the Maemo Desktop is pretty damn cool if you ask me!

“BUT!” you ask, “Just HOW much Ubuntu is this, really?” — Well, I will answer that question in my next entry.. where I transform this very alpha staged and rather cool (albeit pretty useless) Desktop into a fully functional LXDE system that looks just like a home computer!!  Stay Tuned!

And seriously… A HUGE HAT’S OFF to all of the members on the MER team!  This was a pretty straight forward install, with my only problems being of my own making – and not the process.  It gives a fully functional desktop that even connects to wireless networks!  At this time it doesn’t do much else, of course, but I must say…