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What are the differences between the various Zaurus ROMs (e.g., QTopia, OPIE, OZ, PDAXRom, Sharp ROM, The Kompany's tkcROM)? Does Cacko count as a ROM too or is it just a major hack?What are the advantages to having one or the other? Why are they not compatible with every Zaurus model with similar processors?

I thought that I'd have answered these questions myself after getting my Z and becoming a regular on these forums, but I'm still no closer to figuring them out than I was two months ago. The descriptions I've read of the ROMs on the individual threads only confuse matters: OPIE is a fork of QT but integrated with OZ? What??

And what does the release of Qtopia PDA 2.1 mean for all of us? Will it make for better compatibility -- even interoperability -- between Linux PDAs and the commercial world of Palm OS and Windows Mobile? Or is it much ado about nothing?

Once I've figured this out, I'd be happy to put together an FAQ for other newbies (and confused veterans).
OK Quick Breakdown :-

ROMS generaly com under two or three criteria

1. The Hardware they are built for SL5500 ect

2. The Linux Kernal they use

3. The GUI Opie / QPE ect

4. What applications come in the image.

So for example the TKC v1 ROM for the SL5500 is a SHARP 3.1 base rom with QPE and lots of bundled SHARP software left out of the image. This means you can install the apps you need.

Alterativly the OPIE ROMs dont have full compatibility with qpe / sharp / hancom apps. But you can chuse how the ROM uses the memory on your Z ie how the internal memory is split between "RAM" and File storage. The Crako ROM is another SHARP 3.10 derivitive which is why in the forums the breakdoun is the way it is.

The XpdaROM does not use qpe or OPIE but uses the same (ish) GUI as most linux distro's ie X windows so in theory has a much wider number of applications to choose from although they will still need to be recompiled for the ARM processor.

Probably the best think to do would be a matrix of ROMS what they offer HW / SW ect
There are 3 Major ROMs

Sharp ROM

from the sharp rom you have your "major hack" ROMs (tkcROM, Cacko ...)

Open zaurus has two gui formats (opie and gpe)

Why are roms sometimes not compatible? CPU, screen size (640x480 vs 320x240), memory layout and different ports (usb host). The main reason is that developers develop mainly for the devices that they have. tkc's was on the 5x00 series, most of the pdaxrom developers have the 7x0/860 clamshells and few of the developers have the 3000 or 6000.

ROMs AFAIK are comprised of the kernel, gui, and apps. Sometimes people make their own kernels or upgrade their gui.

qtopia is the gui for the sharp rom. opie is based off qtopia and is used with openzaurus. A new qtopia would hopefully mean a better and more uptodate gui. I'm not sure how much compatibility would remain.

I hope I got that right and that it helps you
Is there a comprehensive/detailed table that shows which ROM's are for which hardware, what they include, and where to get them?

Maybe this is something we can put together if it's not currently available. If this useful information was put in one place, it would reduce a lot of the confusion...especially over the difference between OE and OZ! wink.gif

This forum or seems to be the likely candidate for such a comprehensive list.
OE is a build system. you compile stuff in it. OZ is an operating system that can be built using OE.

--thought I'd save mickey some time wink.gif
Some things are certainly clearer now. Open Embedded being a "build system" as opposed to an OS framework had really thrown me for a loop, as did the various GUI options for OZ.

If someone could do a rough table of which ROMs are available for which models, I can draw up something a bit nicer and post it to a sticky and/or FAQ wiki. Some representative screenshots would be nice too. I'd also like to outline what the advantages and disadvantages are. For example, I noticed that with OZ the driver support can be shaky (no offence to the developers) and this might be a problem or an all-out sacrifice when flashing to different ROMs.

The reason all this came about was because I was trying to find the best ROM for my 6000 and my "novice tinkerer" type of usage. I found that if I wanted the robustness of OZ and the various apps that are compiled for it and not the Sharp ROM, I might have driver trouble for my Bluetooth cards down the road -- that is, if OZ were even available for the 6000 to begin with.

Thanks to everyone who answered so far.
You guys gave me a great idea of creating a hierarchy chart "The Evolution of Zaurus ROMs". From the first Sharp ROMs for 5000D and Open Zaurus 2.x to pdaxrom, latest OZ and Cacko smile.gif
If you have a 6000 your only options are OZ or Sharp ROMs. Most of the ROMs (pdaXrom and cacko for example) are for the C series Zaurus's from Japan.
Perhaps we need more pages like this:

with some updates and links to the ROM homepages.

It would be best to do this on the OESF wiki so it is in a central place that any registered user can edit.

There are some ROM pages for other devices that need filling out more:
QUOTE(maslovsky @ Feb 12 2005, 06:50 PM)
You guys gave me a great idea of creating a hierarchy chart "The Evolution of Zaurus ROMs". From the first Sharp ROMs for 5000D and Open Zaurus 2.x to pdaxrom, latest OZ and Cacko smile.gif

Great idea. Let me know if I can help in any way!
stupkid... right now.

pdaXrom on 5500 (6500?) & 6000(??) soon?

ps: ya, ya, ... soon.
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