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Official Tools

This page provides pointers to the current stable development tools and other essentials (kernel, firmware) for the StrongARM NetWinders.


The nw-9 image contains our most current and best-tested toolchain. This includes gcc-3.3 and binutils-2.13, and kernel-2.4.19-rmk7-nw1. This toolchain was used to build all of the packages in nw-9, except for the kernel, which was built with the toolchain from dm-3.9-28. There are a few optimizer bugs which can be worked around by disabling or reducing optimization for affected source files.

Sources and binaries for this toolchain can be found on the FTP site in the pub/netwinder/SRPMS/nw/9 and pub/netwinder/RPMS/nw/9 directories, respectively. Updates to it will appear in pub/netwinder/updates/nw-9.

Note that no firmware (nettrom) is included in the nw-9 release. This is due to a licensing issue, which has forced the removal of all firmware from the netwinder.org site. We recommend using nettrom-2.3.3, wherever you might get it from.


The dm-3.9-28 image enabled versioned symbols in glibc, making it largely incompatible with the previous dm-3.1-15 image. The toolchain is based on gcc-2.95 which is solid but does not have a fully conformant C++ environment. This leads to problems building many recent GUI packages, eg. qt, KDE, Gnome, mozilla.

The image originally shipped somewhat buggy toolchain. Scott Bambrough fixed many of the problems; his most recent toolchain updates can be found at users/s/scottb/current which includes binutils-2.10, gcc-2.95.2, and glibc-2.1.2, all with various netwinder patches applied. Rod Steward issued a minor update to the compiler, it can be found at users/s/stewart/new-gcc. Source packages are included in those directories; beyond that we unfortunately do not have sources as they were lost in the Rebel bankruptcy.


We do not recommend doing development on this image anymore. Porting current software packages is simply too difficult.


Official Linux kernels for the NetWinder can be found on the FTP site in pub/netwinder/kernel and its subdirectories. Be sure to read the README file before installing a new kernel.

The dm-3.1-15 image and its OfficeServer derivatives, ship with a 2.2.14 linux kernel. The 2.2 branch has not been maintained in several years.

The dm-3.9-28 also ships with a 2.2 kernel, but it is easy to upgrade to 2.4. One must upgrade the modutils package, also to a 2.4 version, and its associated dependencies.

The recommended kernel is presently 2.4.19-rmk7-nw1, which can be found at pub/netwinder/RPMS/nw/9. Note that this kernel is suceptible to a local root exploit. See the advisory for an updated 2.4.19-rmk-7-nw2 version.

The 2.6 kernel series reportedly works on netwinder. I have not had a chance to try it out yet.


Firmware for the netwinder used to be found at pub/netwinder/firmware. Unfortunately, due to legal issues the binaries have been removed for the time being. Work is underway to construct a fully-open replacement.

Be sure to read the README before installing new firmware.

The recommended firmware for all StrongARM netwinder models is nettrom-2.3.3 (which has been removed).