1. Gregor Richards
  2. pandebian


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PanDebian is a system for making Pandora's Angström and Debian play together. It is not a dual-boot but a chroot; other terms include "extend" or "overlay". It will install a debootstrap-generated chroot of Debian to a loopback file or ext{2,3}-formatted SD card and give you direct access to it (no additional X11 instance, no separate window manager). It has a simple (albeit long, multi-step) installer, and once installed it presents itself as a PND launcher, which loads a menu in the upper-left-hand corner (provided by lxpanel) to access Debian's menu.

For the time being if you want to do on-Debian dev I recommend Debian lenny because its libc is older than the Pandora's, but if the Pandora's is brought up to date then maybe squeeze. For other uses, you can install whatever Debian you want.

If you're interested in getting Debian on your Pandora, give it a shot. Please note that since this isn't a prebuilt image, it will take a LONG time to install, on the order of four to five hours.

The only packages the install comes with besides the base ones are lxpanel, lxterminal and the synaptic graphical package manager. Of course, with that last one you can easily install virtually anything else you can imagine. It links in your very-important resolv.conf, /var/run/ppp and .Xauthority files so that you can always access networks and X from within Debian, as well as assuring that your user can use audio. It also comes with a tool to allow you to share host SD cards into the Debian image, which isn't done automatically.

I am not liable if your Pandora blows up :)



  • As of version 0.3.0 I am maintaining PanDebian on BitBucket.
  • Updated debootstrap to 1.0.32, added wheezy as a Debian version option (untested).
  • Made the installer support an update mode, to update all the PanDebian files without doing a full reinstall.
  • Linked /var/run/ppp to the host's /var/run/ppp.

Bugs/Feature requests

Found a bug? Know a feature that PanDebian should have? Report it on the OpenPandora forums, http://boards.openpandora.org/index.php?/topic/1474-pandebian/ .