The barebones port includes framebuffer driver and serial drivers and memory management unit (MMU), but doesn't enable higher-end features like touch screen, wireless networking and sound. Still, the iPhone Dev Team says the port represents the first "real alternative operating system" to run on the iPhone.
The IPhone Dev Team posted a video demonstration showing the functions of the Linux-iPhone port. On the page, team member 'planetbeing' said the Linux port is a reflection of the group's admiration for the iPhone's interface and integration, and isn't an example of malicious hacking.
"I think iPhone Linux has a future as an operating system that you can use alongside the existing iPhone OS," wrote 'planetbeing.' "I also think this will let iPhone users see what the open-source competition is offering, and perhaps choose to purchase it as their next phone."
Michael Oh, president of Boston-based Apple reseller Tech Superpowers, said Apple probably won't support the Linux port, but will also take care not to respond in heavy-handed fashion.
"Apple definitely realizes that because OS X has Unix underpinnings, any move to shut down the open-source community won't be well received," Oh said. "There could conceivably be an incremental increase in iPhone sales because of increased open-source community interest."
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