A milestone has been reached in iPhone firmware modification on Friday with the first alternative operating system for the hardware, Linux, now running on the device.
The first build created by Dev Team is now running on iPhone, iPhone 3G, and the original iPod touch in what’s considered a "draft" version.
The software primarily includes the main Linux 2.6 kernel as well as rudimentary graphics, serial, and other functional drivers that are just enough to get a command line running when input is sent over the USB interface; the accelerometer, audio, networking and even the touchscreen have yet to receive any kind of software support.
Developers have also made a basic multi-boot front end known as OpeniBoot that lets users toggle between Apple’s own operating system and an alternative platform.
While only just beginning, the project is the first known instance of a non-OS X operating system running on Apple’s touchscreen devices where previous modifications have so far been limited to jailbreaking and unlocking handsets.
It also promises to expand in the future: the Dev Team is hoping to run Google’s equally Linux-based but more complete Android mobile operating system on the iPhone and is searching for programmers to help with the project.