We’re just over a week removed from the launch of the Palm Pre and it looks to be shaping up as a fairly hacker friendly device. Within a few days users had figured out that the famous Konami code (“upupdowndownletftrightleftrightbastart”) enables dev mode on the device. Then it was found out that by holding the volume up button while booting would allow the user to flash their own custom firmware onto the device.
Now some crafty users have figured out how to gain root access to the Palm Pre. The process requires a PC or Mac (a Linux solution has yet to be determined) and requires the user to be comfortable with light command line usage. Getting root access allows the Pre devs to enable hidden features such as displaying call duration in the call log, install and delete (or hide) apps. It’s only a bit amusing that the only hide/delete article is how to delete the NASCAR app. The process is fairly involved, but it might be worth it to get back however much space the app takes up for those who aren’t fans of turning left for hours.
Of course, now that they have root access one of the first moves was to put Linux on the device, or more correctly, to put Debian Rootfs onto the Palm Pre. With the Debian Rootfs the Pre can be turned into an official hacker’s toy. Debian allows the device to do NES emulation as well as play Doom. Of course it’s not recommended to try these things if you’re not comfortable with the command line or fear you might brick your phone. The ultimate goal of the project looks to be to enable tethering, and we can always hope that the group will get together to make a simple way of doing these things eventually, like QuickPwn for the iPhone/iPod touch.
Read [Pre dev wiki]