Maemo 5 Alpha SDK Release Notes

This release includes:

  • x86 development environment for compiling and running applications
  • armel development environment only for cross-compilation
  • Maemo SDK installer
  • Scratchbox1 installer
  • Nokia closed binaries
  • Maemo 5 UI framework with some modifications. Missing features:
    • Desktop edit mode
    • Status area
    • Task switcher
  • Kernel upgrade from 2.6.27 to 2.6.28
  • PulseAudio upgrade from 0.9.13 to 0.9.15
  • Telepathy-glib upgrade from 0.7.19 to 0.7.25
  • GStreamer0.10 upgrade from 0.10.21 to 0.10.22
  • Farsight2 upgrade from 0.0.6 to 0.0.7
  • BlueZ upgrade from 4.26 to 4.29
  • Updated scratchbox components
  • Source code for open source packages
  • Changelog since the pre-alpha2 SDK release
  • Content comparison between Maemo 5 pre-alpha2 and alpha releases

Installation of Nokia Binaries


Nokia has changed the process of distributing closed source binaries in the SDK. Developers are required to accept the EULA, as before, in order to obtain them, but no additional approvals will be needed for future updates. In the new process, the SDK user accepts the EULA on a Nokia domain page, then they are given access to the Nokia binaries repository with a specific token. With this token, there is no need to accept the EULA again for subsequent updates of the SDK. Please note that such updates will be subject to and governed by the EULA. The token is only for your personal use—do not distribute it in any way.

Installation of the SDK


It is recommended to perform a fresh install of the alpha SDK rather than upgrading the exisiting pre-alpha scratchbox targets. Refer to the installation instructions for a step-by-step guide.

Hardware and software requirements

Recommended hardware setup can be found at

Software requirements: Scratchbox1 Apophis R4 cross compilation environment or later. Please read the installation instructions for exact versions of the packages.

This release has been tested on Ubuntu Intrepid and Debian Lenny.

SDK content

The SDK contains a large number of headers, libraries and tools that are needed to develop software for the selected target system. It is installed inside the scratchbox1 cross compilation environment. It includes two targets for two different architectures and purposes:

x86 - The x86 environment is used during the development stage of the software. Majority of the development work is done in this environment inside scratchbox1.

armel - The armel environment is used for cross compiling software for the forthcoming device with Fremantle software.

The different components present in the SDK are listed below:

Hildon application framework subsystem

  • UI framework libraries

  • Hildon Desktop
  • Hildon Home
  • Hildon Application Manager
  • Hildon Input Method Framework
  • Hildon Control Panel
  • Clutter
  • Tracker
  • Matchbox library
  • Games wrapper library

Multimedia subsystem

  • PulseAudio sound server
  • libcanberra
  • Bellagio OpenMAC IL implementation library
  • Speex audio codec library
  • gUPnP
  • GStreamer
  • Media Application Framework
  • FM Transmit API*

Connectivity subsystem

  • BlueZ library
  • WLAN library
  • GW OBEX library
  • wireless-tools library

Real-time communications subsystem

  • Glib telepathy connection manager library
  • Farsight2 library
  • libnice library
  • Addressbook API*
  • Accounts API*
  • Event logger API*

System software subsystem

  • HAL library
  • Battery query interface API*
  • Vibra service API*
  • Device orientation API*

Core subsystem

  • X Window system libraries
  • Kernel
  • Open GL ES drivers*

Application interfaces

  • Calendar API*
  • CityInfo API*
  • Location API*
  • Time API*

Full package management, apt support

  • Required tools included

*Provided by Nokia closed binaries

Known limitations

  • The SDK is currently not fully usable with only open components. There a few open-to-closed dependencies which makes the installation of Nokia-closed binaries crucial.
  • hildon-home process is not started by default in the script. It needs to be manually started in this release as stated in the installation instructions. This program is needed if you intend to try out custom home applets.
  • Task switcher is not present in this release either. Hence you can only run one application at a time from the UI. The final release will, however, include the task switcher.
  • The armel target is not recommended for running applications due to many user mode qemu related problems (mainly unsupported syscalls). To list a few known issues:
    • The Hildon UI does not come up in the armel target (this is being worked on).
    • Threading is not supported in qemu-arm-cvs-m.
  • Unnecessary warnings and debug messages are printed when the UI framework is started in the x86 target.
  • On Debian Lenny (x86 scratchbox target), the response time of actions on using the UI framework is known to be high.

FIXED Maemo Official Platform Bugs that are RELEASED


  • Busybox
    • #2084 using /bin/cp file /media/mmc1 gives a strange error message
    • #3132 Busybox 1.6.1 "sort -k" only sorts the first field
    • #3265 Packages' install scripts try to use md5sum which is not present on device
    • #3917 Missing Large File Support (CONFIG_LFS) in Busybox
    • #3968 grep -r can output corrupt data in error message if file cannot be read
    • #4079 busybox df does not handle root filesystem on command line
  • Kernel
    • #1601 Support swap partition in internal memory card

Desktop Platform

  • File System UI
    • #2221 Device name change not reflected in home background image chooser
    • #2569 "File open" dialogue box is too small compared with screen size
  • General
    • #3400 Update libglade to at least 2.6.1
  • GTK
    • #2281 Accelerator Labels not shown in menus created with GtkUIManager
    • #2469 GTKTextView scrolls to cursor on size change even if text view non-editable
  • hildon-libs
    • #924 Hildon widgets doesn't support RTL mode
  • startup-shutdown
    • #2837 osso-gtk.defs assumes that user is the only valid user
  • Task navigator
    • #1455 application names are not translated in the menu
  • Themes
    • #3737 hildon-theme-cacher is run after installing, instead of while building

Development Platform

  • General
    • #3312 Nokia proprietary binaries in a "maemo-explicit" package
  • SDK
    • #4127 License numbering off


  • General
    • #3981 liblocation possibly relies on application using the default GMainContext
    • #4013 After connection signal 'changed' to LOCATION_GPS_DEVICE constantly polling for address


  • GStreamer
    • #4011 Provide gstreamer plugin wavenc (normally part of gstreamer-plugins-base)

Release feedback

General feedback on this release can be sent to

Maemo 5 related bugs should be reported to