Nokia N800

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Nokia N800 works pretty well as a LinuxMCE Orbiter. Its WiFi is much more stable than the Nokia 770. As of July 2008, the Nokia N800 was selling used on eBay in the US for around $200 USD and listed for $400 USD new.

Installation under OS2008 and OS2007

There are three main steps required to set up the Nokia N800 as an orbiter:

  1. Connect to the (correct) wifi network.
  2. Install the orbiter software on the N800.
  3. Set up an orbiter for the N800 on LinuxMCE.
  4. Connect to LinuxMCE with the N800.

Connect to the (Correct) Wifi Network

In order to download and install the orbiter software, you need to connect to the internet and browse to this wiki page that you are reading. Obviously, for that step you need to connect the N800 to a wifi network that provides internet access.

There is a little wireless status icon on the N800's desktop. Tapping that icon will allow you to configure the wireless connection.

Once you have installed the orbiter software on the N800, you need to connect to the wifi network that provides access to the media center. Remember that if this network connects to the EXTERNAL network port, you will need to configure the firewall on that port to allow the N800 to connect.

Install the Orbiter Software on the N770/N800/N810

This step is really easy thanks to the complete installers available here;

  • This site contains the latest versions. Convergent Home Technologies - Nokia Tablet Repository (Bora/Chinook/Diablo ready) [1]
  • Here is the older, original installer.

Just browse to the url's above from your Nokia Tablet and click the link for the OS you are currently running... and then follow the on-screen instructions

Running those installers will install all the needed dependencies on the N770/N800/N810.

Set Up the N800 Orbiter in LinuxMCE

LinuxMCE's orbiter setup for the N800 has to be configured manually. This is done from the admin page as follows:

1. On the Admin Page go to Wizard=>Devices=>Orbiters.

2. At the bottom of the page there is a listbox to the left of a button called Add Orbiter. Select Orbiter from the list and click Add Orbiter. This will add the new orbiter to the current page and refresh.

3. Find the orbiter you just created. It's description should be "Orbiter". Change the fields as follows:

  • Description: Nokia N800
  • Room: Select the room you will use the orbiter in.
  • Size: Nokia770
  • This device uses a Wi-Fi connection: check

4. Click Update. This will save the settings you just changed and refresh the page.

5. Find the Nokia N800 orbiter on the page again. Check the box beside Reset Router when done regenerating then click Full Regen. This will generate the screens for the N800 orbiter and reload the router.

6. Find the Nokia N800 orbiter on the page again. Note the number to the right of the Description field. This number is the orbiter ID. You will need it in the next section.

Now all that's left is to connect to LinuxMCE with the N800.

Connect to LinuxMCE with the N800

Connecting to LinuxMCE with the N800 orbiter software is accomplished as follows:

  1. Launch the orbiter software. (You may have to hunt around a bit to find where it is. A common place is off the "Start" menu under "Extras".
  2. You should see a screen asking for the LinuxMCE Core IP and Orbiter ID. Fill in the IP address of the core and the orbiter ID you noted when you created the orbiter in the previous section.
  3. Click Start Orbiter. After a few seconds you should see the first of a couple of progress bars begin to advance. (If the Start Orbiter button stays "pushed" (i.e. blue) for only a few seconds then changes back to normal, then something has gone wrong. Check your network connection and verify the IP and Orbiter ID are correct.)

Once the progress bars are complete, you should see the familiar orbiter screen on the N800.


Alternative Installation Method for OS2007

This installation guide is for the N800 with OS2007.

The Orbiter package and all dependences can be found in the Maemo garage, for information on how to use it read "Using Nokia770/N800 as a Plutohome Orbiter" on the SmartBlog.

Enable R&D Mode

Get the "flasher3.0" binary from the nokia page: Enter the following:

./flasher-3.0 --enable-rd-mode

Plug the N800 into USB and power on. After confirmation by the utility restart the device.

Enable "red pill" mode

Go to the program manager, go to the catalogs and add a new source. Put "matrix" in the adress field and push "cancel". Answer the question with "red pill".

Install dependencies

Define additional repositories to get development libraries (we need at least Maemo repository):

Web address
Distribution bora
Components free non-free extras


Web address
Distribution bora
Components free non-free

The following packages have to be installed manually (transfer to device and install via file or program manager:


Dependency availability

You can find all the dependencies directly on the Maemo Garage page of the orbiter.

Install the orbiter

Now install the orbiter package from the maemo garage:

linuxmceorbiter-0704-03_armel.deb (or later version)

Add new screen size to database

On the Core type the following as root:

use pluto_main
insert into Size (Description,Width,Height,ScaleX,ScaleY) VALUES('Nokia770',800,480,376,300);

Install fonts

Copy the Truetype fonts from the core to the N800 ("/usr/share/fonts/truetype/msttcorefonts/")

Quick'n'dirty on N800: sudo gainroot (or becomeroot) scp -r <user>@dcerouter:/usr/share/fonts/truetype/msttcorefonts/ /usr/share/fonts/truetype/msttcorefonts/

This will copy files from core to N800 in xterm (maybe only if you have ssh installed) <user> is the user you created when installing Kubuntu/core.

Somebody please code format the above command, posting from my N800 while its fresh and tired of pecking keys. dragon_788

Create the orbiter in the LMCE administration interface

Add a new orbiter and select "Nokia770" as the screen size. After generation do a quick reload.

Go to orbit

much phun..

A Note On Saving Battery

Locking the screen while not using the orbiter, helps to conserve quite a bit of battery for me.

See also:

Future Development

Currently developing orbitor to work on a N900. Please add comment on the status.