Bringing Debian APT to the iPhone


The iPhone (or iPod Touch) is a 667MHz computer (albeit one that is only running at 412MHz) with 128MB of RAM and between 4 and 32 GB of flash. For software, it is running a pared down Mac OS X with its standard complement of a FreeBSD-based userland over a Darwin kernel. While some people wonder why anyone would attempt to use it as a Unix workstation, to me and many others it seems ludicrous not to. It is little wonder, then, that one of the first packages that was available for the device was "BSD Subsystem": a set of standard Unix utilities to make your average developer feel right at home. From grep and sed to vim and pico, this package provides the base of many a late-night coding session. Unfortunately, actually using your iPhone in this fashion for even a short period of time quickly becomes infuriating due to a number of oversights in the configuration and compilation of these fundamental utilities. While it was commendable that someone managed to accomplish this at all, the work shouldn't have stopped at "it installed" and should have continued until "it works".

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Bringing Debian APT to the iPhone