Thursday, August 13, 2009

Setting Up the Palm Mojo SDK on 64-Bit Ubuntu 9.04

I'll probably be buying a new Palm Pre next month. As such, I've been tinkering with webOS, Palm's new Linux-powered mobile platform, the Palm Pre emulator, built on VirtualBox, and Palm's Mojo SDK. The Mojo SDK lets developers create Palm apps using ubiquitous web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) so it's an attractive choice for web developers looking to get into mobile development.

Here's what I had to do to get everything working on 64-bit Ubuntu 9.04.

First, the Palm Pre emulator requires VirtualBox 2.2+. If you're already running version 1.x, included in the Ubuntu repos, uninstall it.
$ sudo apt-get remove virtualbox
Download and install the latest 64-bit version of VirtualBox from I found a debian package for version 3.0 here.

If you're upgrading from VirtualBox 1.x, you'll need to convert your settings.
$ VirtualBox --convertSettings
Next, you'll need to download and install the mojo and novacom packages as noted in Palm's setup instructions.

But wait, what's this? There are only 32-bit packages available! What should we do? Luckily, someone has already run into the problem. Read this excellent post from the "Tried It" blog here, and apply the author's script to both the mojo and novacom packages. At that point, they'll install successfully.

Now, you can finish following Palm's installation instructions. It's time to start buildin' apps!

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