New Life in Openmoko Phones

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at
Mon May 18 19:01:43 CEST 2009

Hi everybody,
(sorry for the cross-posting, I thought spreading the word about 
gta02-core and new stuff from Openmoko was worth it...)

Today Openmoko released additional pieces of documentation about 
Freerunner hardware: board outline, footprints and netlist.
Same as all other releases before - under Creative Commons Share-Alike 
Available at:

What is this and who is it for?
Well, definitely not for end users, not for software developers, not 
even the typical kernel hacker.
The release contains cryptic text files containing data points about our 
hardware - basically additional information complementing our 
PDF-formatted schematics release last year.

The reason we released this is to support an exiting new project that 
has emerged over the last few weeks - gta02-core.
"gta02-core is a community project to create a new hardware revision of 
the gta02 hardware"
They chose a 100% GPL layout tool, KiCAD 
(, which uses only text-based files 
hence they can be checked into typical revision control systems. Since 
they are text, they are also 'scriptable', i.e. scripts can extract and 
process data from the layout files.
Werner and Dave Ball got it rolling, and are currently working on the 
re-layout of gta02 (

The way I see gta02-core is that it opens up a path to new, fully open 
phone hardware.
For the future of the software we are all working on right now - whether 
it's the kernel, FSO, Paroli/Ophonekit, etc., we either need to design 
new fully open hardware specifically for it, or we need to find ways to 
hack into phones that are 'closed' by default (either accidentally or on 
gta02-core focuses on the first option, and I hope will receive more 
attention from the community, and definitely from Openmoko the company. 
The path is long, even KiCAD itself may need improvements, but if a few 
more people get interested and join, we may have new fully open phone 
hardware in 6-12 months. No worries, in all this time of course the 
Freerunners will remain available (we have enough in stock and are ready 
for new production runs if necessary), and hopefully they continue to be 
an interesting development platform for mobile free software projects.

Right now, if you want to join the revolution in open hardware 
development, read the gta02-core wiki page carefully 
(, and join the mailing list 
(slightly confusingly named gta03 :-)) at
Then see where you can contribute - it's a wide open field with many 
possible tasks, no matter which background you are coming from.
I'll see what I can do.
Best Regards,

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