iPhone hacker Jay Freeman (aka saurik, author of such iPhone programs as Cydia, Cycorder, and WinterBoard) has successfully managed to get a Debian distro running on the G1.
And the best part? It runs in full harmony with Android – you lose no functionality.
Why? Seems a lot of people’s first response to jailbreaking the G1, or even something as huge as installing Debian to it is “Why?
Android is open source, right?”
The same reason we “jailbreak” the G1 in the first place – while Google is non-evilly open with Android’s source, they most certainly have not allowed anyone to get root on the G1 and use the device to its full potential.
Without full access to the phone’s software and hardware, a lot isn’t possible, notably video recording (“there’s no way in hell you could do video compression fully in software fully on dalvik” is how Saurik put it) as well as any type of graphical theming/skinning.
The process is a bit involved but easy enough to follow. If you’re not comfortable with the command line, you may feel a bit out of water here – you’re going to need to use it to make this happen. Of course, if you’re not familiar with the command line, there’s no reason for you to jailbreak your G1 anyway yet.
Note: The Debian image Saurik mentions hosted on RapidShare was coming down at around 25 kb/s for me, so we’ve mirrored it here for members and here for non-members.