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  • How to install Linux on the Psion Netbook Pro

    Psion Netbook Pros can be had for under US$100 on Ebay.


    Unfortunately, they come with an outdated version of Windows CE, which makes them less useful than they could be.


    But fear not, salvation, in the form of Linux is at hand.




      1. 1. Download this: (For some reason, Firefox keeps trying to open this as a text file when I left click on it, so Right Click and save it as an “all files”, not a “txt file” if you have this problem.


    2. There are also two versions of Linux to try.  The official Psion Beta version which was never released (but is apparently more stable) is here:


    3. Alternatively, you can try GDE, which you can get from here:


    4. Now you have to create two partitions on a Compact Flash (CF) card, on e in FAT16, one in EXT2.  You will need access to a machine already running Linux to create the EXT2 partition.  Otherwise, you’ll have to get Linux running on your PC to do this.  If you are using an x86 machine and need a quick and easy version of Linux to run, I recommend Puppy Linux.  At about 100MB, it’s a pretty small download and you can burn it to CD and boot directly from it.  You can get Puppy Linux here:


    5. Whichever version of Linux you use, you should be able to create and format the partitions using the command line (google for how), or better, using a GUI tool like GPARTED (which comes with Puppy Linux – Yay!). Make the FAT16 partition about 100MB or so.  The EXT2 partition can take up the remainder of the room on the card.


    6. Once your CF card has been partitioned, copy the file from 1 above to the FAT16 partition.  RENAME IT “nBkProOs.img”.  This is very important, or Linux won’t boot.

    7. Then, unarchive the contents of either 2., or 3. above (either, NOT BOTH) to the  EXT2 partition.


    8. Insert the CF Card into the Netbook Pro. 


    9. Do a Hard Reset (use a paperclip to press the Hard Reset Switch on the Psion, which is in a little hole just under the Enter Key – see picture).

    DSCF5103 Immediately after the reset, press CRTL-D-Esc together, and the Psion should boot into Linux!


    10. Don’t worry if it takes awhile, because it does.  The Psion may appear to just sit there – don’t panic.  Go watch some Youtube, and in about 10 minutes, Linux should be up and running:



    (The above instructions are based on Boobyshane’s post here: Many many thanks, Bobyshane.  This is the easiest Linux wrangling into unhappy hardware I’ve ever done, thanks to your post!! )


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