Reflashing and Setting Up My Nokia N800/N810

This page contains instructions for myself, but they might be useful for others as well.

These instructions are for flashing OS2008, and take advantage of new conveniences (such as the backup/restore app reinstalling your applications, or openssh being installable without red-pill mode).

Older stuff reflashing OS2006 on a Nokia 770.

Backing up stuff before reflashing

  1. Use the Backup/Restore application to create a backup.
  2. Run my backup-to-mmc shell script in an xterm (warning: it is very strongly tailored to the set of files I keep in my home directory).
  3. You'll also want to put in the 'backups' directory in your MMC card.


  1. Make sure you have flasher-3.0 for Linux.
  2. Make sure you have the OS image for the N800 (or for the N810)
  3. Make sure the battery is fully charged.
  4. Disconnect the charger.
  5. Power off the device.
  6. sudo ./flasher-3.0 -f -F RX-44_*.bin -R (replace RX-44_*.bin with the filename of the OS image).
  7. Connect the USB cable.
  8. Power on the device.
  9. Wait for the flasher to do its job.
  10. Disconnect the USB cable when the device reboots.

Restoring stuff after reflashing

  1. Go through the 4-step setup wizard.
  2. Answer OK at "Restore backup data?" prompt.
  3. Wait a while. Answer the stupid "OMG the SUPER IMPORTANT cached feed icon in you backup is OLDER than the NEW cached RSS feed icon in your new OS image, what should I do???" questions.
  4. Watch it reboot.
  5. Let the Application Manager try to reinstall your old applications. It will most likely fail to reinstall most of them, so go to the application catalog and enable Maemo Extras that somehow became disabled. Then use Tools -> Restore applications to try again.
  6. Make sure openssh-server is installed.
  7. ssh root@mg-n810 (replace mg-n810 with the IP of your device).
  8. Enter the root password (the default password in older OS versions was 'rootme'; nowadays openssh-sever asks you to set the root password during installation).
  9. EDITOR=vi visudo (if you don't know how to use vi, this page is too technical for you!)
  10. Add the following two lines:
    user ALL = (ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL
    root ALL = (ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL
  11. sudo -u user sh /media/mmc1/backups/
  12. vipw and make sure the user entry reads 'user:*:...' (no password, ssh key logins okay), instead of 'user:!:...' (locked account, no logins allowed)
  13. Log out from the ssh session.
  14. Verify that you can now log into your N810 with the SSH public key: ssh user@mg-n810 (replace mg-n810 with the IP of your device).
  15. Verify that you can now use sudo: sudo -s
  16. Lock down the root account: passwd -l root
  17. Exit from the root shell and log out from the ssh session.

Installing avahi-daemon is also recommended, since then you won't need to look up IP addresses when you want to ssh into your Nokia.