17 May 2005

[REQ] Possible to Run Linux off an iPod Shuffle?


Photo by Dawn Endico

CJ Forbes sent in this reader request:

I had the idea of running linux from an iPod shuffle. I did a quick google seach (run linux on an iPod shuffle) but nothing came up. I then thought I'd find the answer at shufflehacks but nothing. I was wondering if you knew of any site where I could make this possible. I do not want to run linux on the iPod shuffle but from it. That means I can plug the shuffle in and I can have linux boot up from the shuffle. I am not looking for somthing like ipodlinux.org.

Anyone got any ideas? If so please post them in the comments. Off hand I think there are a few Linux distros built specifically for USB jump drives. Perhaps one of these could work. Comments anyone?

13 comments:

Robert C. Kalajian Jr. said...

There's instructions on how to install feather linux on a usb flash drive here: http://featherlinux.berlios.de/usb-instructions.htm

I would think that since you can use the shuffle as a flash drive this would work.

Craig said...

I have installed Linux on a 256mb flash drive before. The distro was called Slax. Have a look around here: http://slax.linux-live.org/
search the forums

CJ Forbes said...

Thanks. I'll give them both tries!

Anonymous said...

The DSL distro would probably work pretty good. Copy of it along with syslinux 2.X and you should be able to get it going quick. Only takes up 50 meg. I haven't tried it on an iPod Shuffle, but it should work.
http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/

txGeek said...

I keep a copy of Puppy Linux on my 1Gb. I use 256Mb for the "Live-CD" image, 256 for various files I keep with me, and the rest for tunes. It comes in really handy when I am on the road and need to use a desktop I can trust.

Anonymous said...

Well, you can run feather linux or some usb stick distro on it, but you're not really running linux off of it in the sense that iPod Linux is. The linux kernel is actually being run on the iPod, whereas on a usb stick linux is being loaded onto the host computer and then run. Unfortunately, I don't think that the Shuffle is capable of running linux due to the lack of cpu power (all that the shuffle probably has is a decoder chip, some memory, and a microcontroler to connect the two.)

Sphillips said...

DSL (damn small linux) will run on a Usb Thumbdrive
If you also install Qemu on the Shuffle you can run DSL linux in windows with out rebooting.

Anonymous said...

Yes, running Linux off an iPod Shuffle. But you cannot run Linux on the Shuffle itself like on a HD iPod. The shuffle has to be formated in Fat32 to be able to play music though...

The Sigmatel SMTP3550 has a DSP core which is programmable, but is too specialized to run an OS like Linux. The STMP36xx series will have an ARM 9 processor core and maybe Apple will use it in a future iPod.

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HubmaN said...

actually, i use SLAX all the time-especially my MySLAX Kill Bill distro.

Anonymous said...

Same here I'm running Slax Kill Bill on a 512 shuffle, works like a charm.