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N9 Kernel update project

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The N9 kernel currently used with various Mer images is based on old 2.6.32 maemo kernel. This page collects needed info for any developers who might want to help in updating that kernel to latest linux-stable version.

Note for N950 users: the N950 support is there but it's not tested very well as we develop with N9 mostly, so issues may appear. N950 patches also very welcome though.

Contact info

  • IRC: #mer and #nemomobile
  • Mailing list:


Development git:

git clone
  • master branch is the latest development branch
  • The git tree is public, if you want to contribute patches, read process below:
  • Patch process:
    • 1. Send patches first to relevant upstream subsystem list (like linux-omap, linux-usb, etc.)
    • 2. Once patches seem to be ok for upstream create a pull request in github like following:
      • NOTE: Pull request section below is under construction, instructions incomplete!
      • 2.1 fork the nemomobile/kernel-adaptation-n950-n9 tree into a personal kernel repo in github (use the "fork" button in github web interface)
      • 2.2 push your changes to your forked PERSONAL kernel github tree
      • 2.3 send a pull request from your personal repo to nemo-mobile/kernel-adaptation-n950-n9 tree (again from the github web interface)
    • 3. If the patch seems ok for N9 kernel, we'll take it in, if not, you will receive comments what to fix.
    • Exceptions:
      • Mer/Nemo specific patches (like config changes) can skip step 1.
      • Drivers that cannot be made upstream compatible, can skip step 1. (like PVR, etc.)

Build instructions from git

    • Use Mer SDK and SB2 to build. NOTE: install the nemo-n950 target to SB2.
    • Install needed packages (inside Mer-SDK chroot)
sudo zypper in make
sb2 -t nemo-n950 -m sdk-install -R zypper in perl ncurses-devel
    • Building (inside Mer-SDK chroot):
sb2 make n9_mer_defconfig
sb2 make -j4 zImage
sb2 make -j4 modules
sb2 make modules_install INSTALL_MOD_PATH=./mods

Deploying to device (kind of "flashing")

  • Pre-requisite: have MOSLO set up on your N9 like this
  • We use helper scripts that prepare the modules etc
  • Then use copy script (NOTE: do this outside Mer-SDK chroot)
    • Plug N9 to USB and let it boot so the filesystem gets mounted
    • Then "flash" the kernel (it's just a simple cp actually...)
sudo ./ /<path-to>/<mounted>/<N9 filesystem>


Packaging development project:

updating kernel package

osc co <kernel pack>
  • do changes in your local mer-n9-linux git master branch
  • tag the kernel:
git tag nemo-n9-3.5.3.YYYYMMDD.X # e.g. "git tag nemo-n9-"
  • create a tarball from the package (replace YYYYMMDD.X with date and a running number X for that date starting from 1)
git archive --format=tar --prefix=kernel-3.5.3.YYYYMMDD.X/ nemo-n9-3.5.3.YYYYMMDD.X |bzip2 > kernel-3.5.3.YYYYMMDD.X.tar.bz2
  • remove the old tarball in your local OBS checkout of kernel-adaptation-n950
rm *.tar.bz2
  • move the tarball to your OBS checkout of kernel-adaptation-n950
mv path/to/kernel-3.5.3.YYYYMMDD.X.tar.bz2 .
  • update changelog:
gedit kernel-adaptation-n950.changes # manually add changelog entry
  • update changes and commit
osc addremove
osc ci -m "latest changes from git..."

TO DO list for kernel update

Work item Person fixing it Other comments
USB networking phdeswer 2 different patches have been sent to linux-omap, can also be solved by using CONFIG_SOC_OMAP3430 (as it only influences USB and is in no way specific to 3430. This option will be removed though at some point in time.)
Display drivers jnikula DONE
PowerVR 3D drivers missing jnikula DONE
Audio driver parts missing filippz Commits to upstream repo pending: 1 2
CPU frequency tables missing, N9 running only at 600MHz currently Tieto DONE
CMT (cellular modem) drivers Tieto/filippz Reintroducing old Harmattan (H/SSI) framework: Part 1 - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Part 2 - 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Kernel report: ssi_protocol ssi_protocol: WAKELINES TEST FAILED (more info) is fixed since 24

Touch driver board configuration jnikula DONE - Driver merged, thanks jnikula :)
Volume buttons board config filippz Commits to upstream repo pending: 1
WLAN driver fixing (driver exists but no wlan0 i/f, could be missing board config) Tieto Driver merged, WLAN firmware package update ongoing.

Firmware package linux-firmware-ti-connectivity needs to be installed for WLAN to work

Nokia H4P bluetooth driver missing Tieto scan works fine. Connection established need to be tested.
RM-680/RM-696 board configuration filippz Commits to upstream repo pending: 1
GPS driver filippz Commits to upstream repo pending 1

HELP is needed as GPS requires nped binary and it's dependecies (possible workaround)

NFC driver filippz Commits to upstream repo pending 1
Proximity/ALS driver filippz Commits to upstream repo pending 1
Magnetometer (compass) driver filippz Commits to upstream repo pending 1
Camera drivers filippz Fixed in upstream (since [1])

Works only with libomap3camd3 1.126. Latest libomap3camd breaks with floating point error (it doesn't work under 2.6 kernel on nemomobile also). FCam 1.2.2 breaks with segmentation fault (once started, FCam spawns a few threads and then waits for scheduling properties of these threads to be changed - I used "chrt -f -p 1 <PID>" to do that)

USB charging filippz When PC is connected and usb gadget modules are used for the first time (g_zero & co) kernel is configured OK and draws 500mA from USB port, but on subsequent loading of gadget modules USB remains unconfigured and is limited to 100mA.

BME is used for charging, and while it works, caution is needed, as this could potentially damage the device.

Port needed Mer specific patches from old N950 kernel OBS pack deztructor There are not so much patches remained actual, see #2.6.32 Kernel Update

2.6.32 Kernel Update

Update to the 3.5.x series is a huge step. While it is going on 2.6.32-20112201+0m6 kernel used in Nemo Mobile is updated to the 2.6.32-20121301+0m8 (corresponding to Harmattan PR 1.3 N9 kernel, information about update can be found here.

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