OpenTom – roll your own TomTom distro

TomTom already runs Linux. The OpenTom project has documented the TomTom hardware and software to allow custom software builds to run. The Wiki covers everything from build tools to hardware connections. So far, a mp3 player has been released using the build tools. Hmm, I might have to pick one up to develop on myself. Thanks to [kniVes788] for the tip.


  1. Ryan Nelson says:

    nice. im gona look on ebay for a tomtom now.

  2. TJ says:

    Always interests me how many consumer devices run Linux and the world at large has no idea about it.

  3. alex says:

    i did something like this on a tomtom i got for xmis once i solber up enu to find ausb cable ill upload the mp3 player
    ps YAY 3rd POST

  4. knives788 says:

    Ha, I’m kind of surprised my tip made it up here. I put it in while bored at work, and only half expected it to even be seen.

    I was looking for a reason to justify my buying the tomtom, and this really seems like a reason. The 910, though expensive, could be made into an entire mini-linux enabled system. It has alot of potential I think.

    Wardriving on it would be the killer app though.

  5. steve says:

    no leds? now i#m a sad sad steve

  6. Seidleroni says:

    I have a tomtom and although its great for GPS, the MP3 player functionality of OpenTom is quite awful. It doesnt save your playlists from one session to the next, and it is painful to add playlissts as you have to add one MP3 at a time, can’t add whole directories and it has trouble playing things with low bitrates (like audiobooks). If anyone can (or has!) developed something that does these things, it would be quite incredible!

  7. @2 — I agree. The linux kernel has been so important in the consumer device world that it would be terrific to see a “built on linux” sticker on these devices. I think such a campaign would go a long way toward consumer adoption of the OS.

  8. TJ says:

    That is certainly an interesting idea. They had “Intel Inside”, so why not a similar advertisement campaign for devices that use the Linux kernel?

    Of course, I guess the issue is the lack of one large entity controlling and pushing to get the kernel into as many devices as possible. Intel had a whole advertising department that came up with and implemented the stickers.

    Best they could do with Linux would be to amend something onto the license. “All embedded devices using the Linux kernel must clearly display clever stickers.” Worth a shot.

  9. @7 — you’re almost there. You’re right in comparing it to “Intel Inside” — that was a brilliant campaign and set AMD back years. AMD did ultimately gain through a superior product line (at least briefly) but it took a long time.

    Intel Inside actually made consumers care about having a particular kind of processor when in fact it make no difference to 99% of them.

    The only place you lose me is when you want to amend the agreement to force the issue. I think if you did something a like a small, understated version of the penguin with a ‘built on linux’ slogan you could get plenty of volunteer compliance.

  10. DJ-Q says:

    Hey I also posted the opentom project to hackaday. THe only problem is you either have your tomtom act as a satnav product or an MP3 player, it cant do both together which seems a bit pointless, dont you think???

  11. ViceVirtue says:

    @9: It looks as though, in the screenshot, there is functionality to run the GPS and the mp3 player without a reflash…
    @10: The mp3 player is just a proof of concept, not to be taken seriously as of yet

  12. ala says:

    hello i want to know is anyone now how to hack a tomtom map australia v7.20 update please thanks my email address is thanks

  13. Free TomTom says:

    This is interesting. I didn’t know the tom tom could be programmed for using linux

  14. doc says:

    heay is there anyone who cn help me find a free tomtom one map download for south africa?if there is plz drop me an e-mail and tel me hw i gc get it.

  15. Jamz says:

    Anyone fancy making a tomtom software that will data log for track use… so you can download data from the TomTom onto your computer and get things like lap times, top speeds, track, track lines…

    I cant find anyone else that has done it, and im not too good at coding with Linux, so someone out there must be able to do it.

  16. Paul Breedlove says:

    if you’re looking for a map, good luck. Seriously.

    To the linux thing, that is awesome. I remember I had a sanyo easystreet that did the same thing, except with windows. ran windows ce 5? i think? and I used miopocket to give me a decent GUI, although the basic windows 98 style GUI was available. Very cool tech.

  17. Sad that OpenTom isn’t available anymore. I just dug out my old and useless Tomtom XL and i’d like to play with it. My cellphone has a better navigator.

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