Installing OpenSSH on the HP TouchPad


[Russ] was lucky enough to get his hands on a deeply discounted HP TouchPad, and after hearing about the huge bounty being offered for getting Android up and running on the device, he decided to poke around and see if he could make some headway.

He started off by making a full backup copy of his file system using a tool HP has on their WebOS site, just in case anything unfortunate happened to his device in the process. He grabbed a copy of the ARM cross-compiler and set off to build a copy of OpenSSH for the TouchPad. Once he had the binaries in hand, he started what he thought would be the arduous process of getting SSH onto the TouchPad, but it turned out that it was a simple drag and drop operation.

After remounting the file system to allow write operations, he fired up the SSH daemon and hoped for the best. It worked like a charm, and while it’s a relatively small part of getting Android running on the TouchPad, every bit helps.


  1. OldMacBoi says:


  2. Colecago says:

    I wish HP would send my Touchpad already :-( Good work, I look forward to more Touchpad hacks!

  3. TheDman says:

    OpenSSH can be installed with Preware much easier.

  4. Chris Muncy says:

    I grabbed 4 of these for the family and am still looking for a few more.

  5. Andy says:

    @Chris Muncy: Still looking for more…? I read that HP produced something like 250,000 which were distributed to stores, but only about 20,000 have been purchased by consumers so far. I read that Best Buy was trying to return their stock to HP even. You also might want to look into HP’s recent announcement about leaving the mobile market. Scares me away from HP products… combined with past experience.

    • MobileWill says:

      Its all about getting the hardware cheap and then throwing Android on it. Other tablets are just way too much money. This is more like it.

    • ed3rd says:

      HP had a firesale last weekend (8/19). I think those numbers were before HP dropped the price to $99/$149. They are now out of stock almost everywhere (at least at the places which actually followed the repricing). And while HP announced they were dropping mobile devices, they have since stated they will continue supporting WebOS.

      I’m just glad they didn’t pull an Atari/ET or GM/EV1.

      The lesson here is don’t sell a non-iPad device at iPad prices.

  6. Troy says:

    OpenSSH has been in Preware by webOS Internals for a long time.

    webOS homebrew has been around for a while. Check out what else you can do.

    • fahhem says:

      I’m surprised this made it to Hackaday, I could send in a hundred tips about installing nginx or dropbear or any other optware, or even patching the launcher and stuff, but really all I’m doing is using Preware…

  7. Bob Hooper says:

    Or he could have saved himself the trouble and installed the preware app from precentral which has an OTA package for OpenSSH.

  8. Chris Muncy says:

    I got mine from Aarons Rents and Sells in San Antonio while I was there on a trip. I hit up 3 different shops. They had the 16gb version bundled with a hard case for $149.00 plus tax.

    They can check stock at surrounding stores.

    • Pete says:

      I just tried calling the local Aaron’s. They said they have one in stock that they would rent to me for the low low price of $109/mo, or sell to me outright for only $800. I tried explaining that that price was way out of line, but the bored guy on the phone had no interest in listening.

  9. Craig says:

    As a longtime webOS user, this guy went the long way round.
    It’s in PreWare already. He could have just downloaded it to the TouchPad.

    While I think the people trying to put Android on the TouchPad are misguided (the hardware isn’t that great, but the OS is), I’ll support anyone’s right to hack.

    • gabriel says:

      how waiting 3 to 7 sec for the new browser process to start (under a 1.5 overclocked cpu) everytime you open a link in another ‘tab’ a ‘great os’?

      i got one for 99 because of the hardware firepower. not the os.

      i did have a good surprise when i saw how easy it was to access linux from the usb… easier than my factory unlocked nexus one! but after that, nothing impressive on the software.

  10. robbo says:

    Better yet, install Preware on it, then go to Optware and install it.

    Much easier than screwing around with source / etc. :)

  11. Tel says:

    So, 99% of the comments mentioning this ‘preware’ shit, some minutes apart, some hours apart. You guys could quit spitting out the same comment, when you see them already being made. It’s about as redundant as posting “FIRST!” or what ever. It was helpful the first time, redundant the second, and just insulting the rest of the way.

    I was under the assumption that Hack a Day was for thinking outside the preexisting methods and doing something useful. So what if this guy’s end result came from something he could have done in a few minutes with another program? He had the initiative to do it himself.

  12. Blacksecond says:

    @Tel, agreed.

    Stop bashing someone for doing the legwork and figuring something out for him/herself. Sure, he could’ve just done what almost everyone who replied here said and installed it through preware. But he wouldn’t have learned anything more about webos.

    Sounds like yall are just mad because he figured it out manually instead of clicking “download.” And yes, this post is redundant.

    • Jamiethehutt says:

      Well look at it this way, if this was a story about how someone installed OpenSSH on Ubuntu by compiling it from source you’d expect a lot of responses saying “Why didn’t you just use apt, you know the easy, supported and maintained method?”…

      Preware is homebrew apt for WebOS and the first thing that turns up when you do a couple of searches about hacking WebOS. By all means it’s cool to compile and install your own version but I don’t think it’s really news worthy, not because it’s not cool but because it’s redundant. There are far more interesting hacks going on for WebOS (like the X server port) that are part of what the community is doing.

      Also if you’d like to hack your TouchPad then compiling OpenSSH probably isn’t the place to start, and this implies it is. Instead installing Preware is what you should do first.

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