In the land of Nokia N810

by on Jan.18, 2010, under Posts

Last December I acquired a Nokia N810 internet tablet. Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with this device, the Nokia N810 is an internet tablet that you can use for web browsing, listening to music, reading e-books, VOIP calls or what have you. In the end it’s basically a pocket sized computer.

For more detailed information please view:

The main reason why I had interest in this device, was due to a certain time when I was browsing the web, and I stumbled upon this Irongeek page.

I thought to myself, “Well how cool is that? This is essentially a poor man’s Iphone that has a keyboard and is Linux based. Also, getting one used on Ebay would cost < 200 dollars.”

After making the final decision and purchasing one for a mere $176, I quickly turned it into a portable pentesting machine!

To gain root is trivial, just install this:

Here’s a list of some of the applications that I’ve put on my Nokia N810:

nikto (downloaded from
ssh (client)

This device though, hasn’t been without its headaches. I remember reading a warning on a website, that warned about installing duplicate repositories on your OS2008 (Diablo). Also here’s a link to a huge list of repositories that have these oh so useful tools (which has the warning):

By mistake at a later time, I eventually did install a duplicate repository. After doing so, I wasn’t able to install anything and performing an ‘apt-get update’, would yield errors that pointed towards having duplicate repositories being installed. Along with that, the application manager and apt were incredibly slow to the point where I lost patience. It was time to take a peak at the sources.list and do some Googling.

Firstly, if you’re use to Debian based Linux distributions, you can find the sources.list file in /etc/apt/sources.list , but for Maemo, the path to the sources.list file is: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/hildon-application-manager.list

I also noticed that was not responding at all what so ever. Even now, you can’t resolve the host name. After some searching I found:

It seems silly, but to get to respond you have to do the following as root on your Nokia N810:

echo "" >> /etc/hosts

I also, noticed that a bunch of repositories were timing out when I would run ‘apt-get update’. So to do a quick test on the repository lists I wrote a very small one liner to ping each repository.

for i in $(cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/hildon-application-manager.list | awk '{print $2}' | cut -d'/' -f3); do ping -c1 $i 2>&1; done  >> repfix.log

I then, used ‘grep’ to look through ‘repfix.log’ and searched for ‘bad’, which revealed domain names that responded in the manner of ‘ping: bad address’. This gave me a list of repositories that were no longer up.

I used vi as root to remove the repositories that were no longer up in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/hildon-application-manager.list.

Lastly, I ran ‘apt-get update’ as root and I no longer had any issues. Along with that, I could install applications again!

Here’s a list of the repositories that are working for me, hopefully this might save you a head ache or two, if you’re a tweaker of the Nokia N810:

deb diablo user
deb diablo user
deb ./
deb diablo free non-free
deb chinook free non-free
deb diablo user
deb chinook user
deb maemo main
deb chinook free
deb chinook browser-extras
deb bora tkabber
deb chinook free
deb chinook free non-free
deb chinook user
deb chinook release
deb diablo free
deb chinook free non-free
deb chinook free non-free

Also, here’s a copy of my /etc/hosts file: Nokia-N810-43-7 localhost

Feb 13, 2010: UPDATE!:

Now it is unnecessary to edit your hosts file to mend the resolution issue.

host is an alias for is an alias for has address has address

3 Comments for this entry

  • Rachel

    lol. I had your blog still open in my browser, so I saw this post.

    I’ve been wanting something like a smartphone with wifi but without buyging a two year data contract, since I usually have wifi available. My sister suggested the new Ipod Touch, because it has wifi and is apparently similar to an Iphone minus the phone part.

    Anyways, your device sounds intriguing. I’ll have to look at it more later. I don’t think the Iphone has flash, which is a bit of a put off. But did I see that the N810 does have flash available?

  • zitstif

    If you mean by the Adobe Flash player, yes it does. So, you can view Youtube videos and what not.

    Yeah it’s technically not a phone, it’s more of a hand held computer that can be used as a VOIP phone. I’m planning on just subscribing to Skype so I can use it as a VOIP phone. Plus, Skype isn’t too expensive either.

    There are *free* VOIP services like VOIP stunt that you can use through a program called fring.

    But I didn’t have any luck with it (VOIP stunt that is).

    The big down side to having a wifi only VOIP device is finding a hot spot, but if you don’t mind hunting around for one or if you know decent spots you shouldn’t have any problem. (Plus if you’re hunting around for one, you can always install kismet to help you with your search. 🙂 )

    I should also add, that you can add additional storage to it via a microSD card, with a MiniSD adapter. I currently only have an 8GB one, but still 8GB is quite a bit of storage.

  • Glennie Kirkconnell

    I actually liked scanning your post!. Quallity content. With such a noteworthy web log i think you merit to be ranking still loftier in the search engines

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