How to install Linux on a HP Palmtop 620lx or 660lx
(or better: how to install Jlime on a HP Palmtop 620lx or 660lx)
How to install Jlime on a HP Palmtop 620lx or 660lx

How to install Jlime on a HP Palmtop 620lx or 660lx

by Rafael Ignacio Zurita


Before starting: I think it is a good time to write a mini-howto about the neccesary steps to get Linux running on a HP Palmtop. This mini-howto applies to HP Jornada 680/690 too, but my work on Jlime kernel is focussed on HP Palmtop 620lx/660lx (*), and we (Jlime dev team) have now reached a point where I feel that we have the best Jlime kernel for 620lx/660lx so far.

Note: This doc is a devfile documentation and could be out of date. To know the current status and our most updated distribution, you should read our web site Jlime (Jornada Linux Mobility Edition) You have been warned :) (At the moment to write this we use the 2.6.24 Linux kernel and the current userland is vargtass 5.0.)

Anyway, I like to help, so feel free to mail me at if you have suggestions or questions. Also if you find mistakes I would be grateful if you let me know so i can correct and improve this documentation.

    (*) Only for the differences because 620/660 is quite similar to 680/690 where Kristoffer does almost all the work. Although I have been working on 680/690 lately too.

What works?

This is the Jlime Linux kernel 2.6.24 for HP Palmtop 620lx/660lx status:

  • Everything work (touchscreen/pcmcia/sound/keyboard/compact flash)
  • Suspend: there is not real suspend. Power buttom turns off the screen and puts hd64461 companion chip on standby.

Jlime distribution userland preinstalled applications

Dillo, Sylpheed, Abiword, Xpdf, Gimp, Konqueror, Emelfm, GuiTAR, GQview, Gtkedit, X-Chat, Tightxvnc, Minesweeper, Finch, various Linux and GNU tools, and many other interesting ones.


Obviulsly you need a HP Palmtop, but you also need a Compact Flash, of at least 256 MB in order to create partitions and file systems for Jlime.



Divide the Compact Flash into 3 partitions:

  • /dev/sdc1 : FAT, 8MB is ok.
  • /dev/sdc2 : ext2, 90MB or more. Better more.
  • /dev/sdc3 : swap, 32MB or less.

    (Note: the sizes are specific for the userland file mentioned below)
    (Note 2: the name of the device files (/dev/sdc1, /dev/sdc2, ..) above are only examples. I assume that the Compact Flash is /dev/sdc, but it could be different in your PC, check that before and use the proper names of the device files.)

Creating the file systems

    mkfs.vfat /dev/sdc1
    mkfs.ext2 /dev/sdc2
    mkswap /dev/sdc3

Downloading the neccesary files

    (*) If you have a HP Palmtop 660lx edit shlo.txt and change "mem=16MB" at the bottom to "mem=32MB".

Installing the system

Put files below on FAT file system (/dev/sdc1):


Install the Jlime userland on ext2 file system (extract the file as root only):

    mount /dev/sdc2 /mnt
    cd /mnt
    tar xvjf /tmp/jlime-userland.tar.bz2
    umount /dev/sdc2

Booting the system

Put the Compact Flash into your Jornada. Boot into Windows CE. Tap "Start", "Run", "Browse". Find the storage card and double tap your bootloader­'s name (shloCE200.exe in this case). Confirm, then wait a short while, and JLiME should boot.

(HINT: You can skip the Windows CE startup wizard by pressing the Window_key+E to bring up the file browser, and using the arrows buttons to navigate through.)

If after a few minutes the system is not booting, reset again keeping hold the reset button for a while (10 sec. is ok) and re-try.

Tips and notes

  • Configuring wireless. The wireless connection is auto configured. Only insert the wireless network 16 bit card on PCMCIA slot and all should work automatically. If you have problems these are the manual commands:

    ifconfig eth0 up
    iwconfig eth0 essid essid-name
    dhcpcd eth0

  • Calibrating again:

    ts_calibrate (from console only)

  • Playing sounds:

    aplay file.wav (only 8k8bit)
    madplay file.mp3 (only 8k8bit)
    You only should try to play 8k8bit sound files (the hardware supports that only).
    If you want to convert any sound file to 8k8bit mono sound file use ffmpeg:
    ffmpeg -i input.file -acodec pcm_u8 -ac 1 -ar 8000 output.file

  • Adjusting the brightness:
    "Ctrl+Alt+plus/minus" in IceWM, or with brightness command:

    brightness off (don't do it :), it is screen off)
    brightness up (more brightness)
    brightness down (less brightness)

  • Installing software (you need internet connection):

    ipkg update
    ipkg install "ipkg package name"
    for example:
    ipkg install libsdl-mixer

    /etc/ipkg.conf is the configuration file.


There are many Linux games under the feed and under
I have found funny nethack (of course) and snes9x (nintendo emulator). Are not those enough?. Well, I have built Duke Nukem 3d :)

How to play Duke Nukem 3D on a Jornada 6xx

You need the SDL libraries, so install in your Jlime's distribution the next libraries:


Maybe you need their dependences too.

If you are running X stop your IceWM or whatever: starticewm stop

After that wget your neccesary files from this .tar.gz:


    tar xvzf duke3d-jornada6xx.tar.gz
    cd duke3d

enjoy it!! :D

You could modify options editing duke3d.cfg file. Perhaps ScreenWidth for example.

All the files and extra information:

I have used the shareware version to get the maps. If you have the comercial version you could use that on Jornada too.

More information here :
and here (spanish only).
Both have instructions for duke nukem 3d for PC, but these were useful for my on Jornada.

Official and interesting sources of information

You should browse the resources under
The main source to find useful information is the "Knowledge Base" :

Actually, you should find these howtos:

  • Configuring Ethernet
  • Configuring Wifi
  • Improving JLime Security
  • Using Network Time (ntpdate)
  • Introduction to IceWM
  • Package Management Overview
  • Error on bootup: "VFS KERNEL PANIC, ROOT NOT FOUND"
  • PCMCIA Overview
  • Compact Flash Overview
  • FAQ - Start Here
  • Features
  • HOWTO Create and Submit Patches into jlime-current / vanilla
  • [GIT] - Building a fresh kernel using sources from jlime-current.git
  • [GIT] - Howto use JLIME-STABLE.GIT
  • Getting Involved
  • Developers
  • Manual Installation Guide (Partioned Method)
  • 16Bit PCMCIA CardList with Drivers

Of course, the above list could be different in the future.

This page is maintained by Rafael Ignacio Zurita

The web site was created using a creative commons licensed html. Original design by Dan Hersam