PumpkinOS: A Modern Reimplementation Of PalmOS For Today’s Platforms


In a world where the personal digital assistant (PDA) has become yet another retro computing system, it’s always nice when experiencing the software for such platforms can be done in a way that does not involve hunting down original hardware of questionable functionality. Here PumpkinOS is a PalmOS-compatible project by [migueletto] which runs as a regular application on modern systems and allows for  original PalmOS applications for the Motorola 68k to run on x86 and ARM host systems.

On start-up the Launcher shows up first, just like with PalmOS, from which the four standard PalmOS applications (AddressBook, MemoPad, ToDoList and DateBook) can be launched. Due to endianness issues (m68k being Big Endian), files created by these applications cannot be shared between PumpkinOS and PalmOS, and as noted on the GitHub page, it’s still a far from finished project. That said, it appears to be able to run quite a few original PalmOS applications from sites like PalmDB, and compatibility should get better over time.

The author maintains a development blog as well, for those who are interested in the more in-depth details of this project.

25 thoughts on “PumpkinOS: A Modern Reimplementation Of PalmOS For Today’s Platforms

        1. My Samsung phone has a graffiti like gestures built into the keyboard which kick in if I drag my fingers too much while typing causing heavy use of the backspace key….all I can say is….

          Thanks life is concrete

    1. Grafitti and Jot, the most amusing method humans have developed for causing cognitive impairment to date. (Some very heavy users of these text-entry methods apparently lost the skill to scan their hands over a writing surface from left to right when writing in a distracted state. One use was shocked to find that instead of the handwritten notes he thought he had been taking, there was just an overscribbled blot of ink. The solution to this bizarre issue was to use the Palm less and write in English more for a couple of weeks.)

  1. I think that’s cool, I have fond memories of using my Handspring Visor. There was so much homebrew software back then! The expansion slot was cool, too. I fondly remember running the Palm OS emulator on my Windows 98 PC and trying out new PalmOS applications before using them on my Visor. I’d often think about that and how I’d be glad to go back to these times, if it was possible. Back then I was still excited about how things were developing.

    1. I feel like software overall back then was less bloated, not only taking up less space than software does now, but was also more streamlined to specific tasks. Things like games and office software didn’t need internet connectivity and didn’t include it. Often using the same software that came on a disk was okay without checking on a weekly basis for updates. Social media was less in your face and demanding. The only time you saw advertising on you PC was a banner advert in a web browser or an annoying email, and those back then seemed less invasive and easier to ignore.
      Technology as a whole also didn’t feel like it had taken over your life like it does now. I feel like back then it was easier to use it when I wanted to and then afterwards I just shut it off and walked away to do things offline and unplugged.
      Now our phones are always on and always connected…

    1. Not without writing them anew from scratch. These included apps had source code publicly distributed at some point and didn’t require being rewritten from scratch.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.