Running Garnet VM Beta on Nokia N800


Rather than wait until the end of the year for the final release of Garnet VM, the Palm OS emulator designed for the Nokia Internet Tablet series, I decided to take the beta version for a spin.

Read on for an overview and my early impressions of the virtual machine running on my N800.


Garnet VM Beta is available for free download at the ACCESS website.


A personalized link that leads to your chosen device’s download page is emailed to you within minutes of submitting the request form. The DEB file is 1.4MB and should be saved to an SD card for installation on the Nokia Internet Tablet.


Installation takes about two minutes and is easy for even Linux newbies (like me) to understand. Here’s a quick rundown of the process to prove it.


After inserting the SD card into one of the slots, open the Application Manager (Main Menu -> Tools -> Application Manager).



Select "Application" from the drop-down menu in the Application Manager and choose "Install from file."


Find the SD card you just inserted in the left pane of the "Select application" window and select "garnet-vm_1.0b_n800" from the right pane.


Decide where you want the application to be installed (the default location is the "Extras" folder) and tap or click OK.


And you’re done!



Garnet VM will appear wherever you chose to install it. I left its default location alone, so for me, it’s accessible by going to Main Menu -> Extras -> Garnet VM.


Bundled with the virtual machine are an address book, calculator, calendar, memo pad, and preferences application.



These apps look and function exactly as they do on a real Palm device, so anyone familiar with Garnet’s menu system, icon layout, and Grafitti will immediately feel at home despite the extra space flanking the 320 x 480 Garnet VM  interface.

Install Again

One reason many are so excited about this emulator is that Palm’s current catalog of applications is absolutely enormous. Thousands and thousands of freeware, shareware, and other software titles are already available all over the Internet. ACCESS doesn’t guarantee that every program will be compatible with Garnet VM, but they’ve already "achieved 80% compatibility validation with hundreds of best selling Garnet OS applications."

To install a Garnet app (PRC only) that has been saved on an SD card, tap the Install button on the right side of Garnet VM.


Find the SD card in the left pane and select the application you want to install from the right pane.


Installation, if successful, takes a few seconds. Garnet VM refreshes and an icon for the newly installed program appears.


If the installation is unsuccessful, as is the case with EXE files, an error message will appear instead.

Launch Again


The new applications appear alongside the preloaded titles in the Garnet VM Launcher (the "home" screen with all the icons).


Depending on your chosen settings, the programs will launch in either portrait (uncheck "Fullscreen") or landscape (check "Fullscreen) orientation with a customizable background image behind it.


Some programs allow you to hide the Graffiti input area.


And some don’t.


PC users can perform a HotSync operation if their computers and Internet Tablets support TCP/IP.


I haven’t tested the feature because I don’t use a Palm device anymore (my Treo 650 has been replaced by an iPhone and the HTC Advantage X7501), Palm Desktop isn’t installed on any of my computers, and I don’t need anything synchronized (I use other devices for PIM data).

I may have to attempt a HotSync eventually, though, as I’m not able to correctly register the programs I purchased. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a way to input a HotSync ID, which is "tied" to each program’s registration code. I didn’t install many apps, but those I did either have a blank space or "Emulator" listed as the HotSync ID (neither of which are correct, unfortunately).


How different will Garnet VM be when it drops its beta status in the coming weeks/months?

Assuming it’s not just an oversight on my part, I’d definitely like to see the HotSync ID issue resolved in the final release of the virtual machine.


I don’t mind the wasted screen space on the sides, but I think an option for a scaled resolution that takes advantage of the Nokia Internet Tablets’ 800 x 4 80 display would be nice. I’d also like to be able to return to the Garnet VM Launcher by pressing the Home icon at the bottom of the emulated screen rather than the "Back" hardware button on the device itself.



Garnet VM Beta isn’t without its quirks, but most are really just minor inconveniences that are easy to overlook in exchange for the ability to run thousands of Palm applications on the Nokia 770, N800, and N810 Internet Tablets.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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18 thoughts on “Running Garnet VM Beta on Nokia N800

  • Avatar of Jonah
    November 14, 2007 at 8:29 am

    So I gave it a try last night and it installed and worked perfectly. I went on a huge hunt for Palm apps and games to fuss around with. I installed a bunch that I downloaded before I went to sleep. I woke up this morning and turned on my apps to play with and all the ones I installed last night were gone. ??? One thing I thought of is that I should not have deleted the .prc file, but my thinking was that I “installed” the program and it would retain it in the VM. Is this false?

  • Avatar of Jenn
    November 16, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Thanks, Ben. I’ll give it a try.

    @ Jonah: Hmm. Even when I remove the SD card from the N800, I can still run the apps with no problem. Maybe you deleted the files from the system itself?

  • Avatar of Rob
    November 24, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Strange, I didn’t have any problems like you had, Jonah. But, even though I have the Palm software installed on my computer (and I had a Palm TX till the piece of garbage stopped functioning entirely), I can’t get Hotsync to connect at all.

  • Avatar of harry
    November 25, 2007 at 11:02 am

    I can’t access any media or other files on my sd cards etc. for use in programs like pocket tunes and kinoma player

  • Avatar of Roberto
    November 28, 2007 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for the info, this is really exciting stuff. Palm has tons of excellent apps that I’d sure like to use with my n800. If I can get my favorite apps/games to work on the n800, I wouldn’t have to carry my T-C around anymore and could just use my n800.

  • Avatar of weatherman
    November 29, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Jonah: the Palm OS doesn’t work like Windows – in Windows (and Linux) there is an installer file that unpacks the program files and updates the system according. After that the installer is just wasted space, really. In the Palm OS though the PRC file is the program, and there is no “installation” – you put the PRC in the system and run it directly. So if you deleted the PRC, you deleted the program.

    Obviously you posted this some time ago so you probably figured this out already. But maybe others will have the same question.

  • Avatar of Christopher Davis
    December 6, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Does the Garnet VM see any “external” storage? I have a bunch of e-books for eReader and Mobipocket and use an SD card to carry them around on my Palm TX, since they won’t all fit in the 128MB of internal storage. (They are smart enough to look in /PALM/Books and /eBooks, respectively.)

    I’m seriously considering replacing the TX with one of the Nokias now that the Garnet VM would give me a transition aid, but if it can’t use external storage that makes it far less useful to me.

  • Avatar of Jenn
    December 6, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    I haven’t installed an ereader so I’m not 100% sure, but considering that Garnet VM and all the Palm apps are stored on and installed from an SD card, there shouldn’t be any problem. You may want to double-check with the Internet Tablet Talk forums before you buy.

  • Avatar of M Nofier
    December 27, 2007 at 3:21 am

    I’ve tried to install the app and I get an error message saying some application packages are missing, namely hildon-fm1; hildon-libs0; and libdbus1-2.

    I’m new to the N800, so maybe this is something basic, but I can’t find a way to download these apps. I do know they’re associated with the old platform, but I just downloaded OS2008.

  • Avatar of Mike Hoskinson
    January 10, 2008 at 8:30 am

    I had the same problem with missing packages on my OS2008 N800. The install for the N810 is what you need. You can get it by changing the URL that they sent you from “N800”.

    I tried an old favourite palm app Converter 2.2. Unfortunately, it gives garbage conversions. Sigh. I had no trouble setting up a hotsync with a WinXP desktop using TCP/IP, except that the Datebook never synced properly.

  • Avatar of Martin Shaw
    June 12, 2008 at 7:06 am

    I have an N800 running and cannot get it to hotsync. I used my desktop’s IP It produces an error msg to the efect that it is running a thread, but ultimately will not connect. Can you help me?

    With thanks in advance,

    Martin Shaw

  • Avatar of Tom Lassiter
    July 24, 2008 at 3:36 am

    I’ve loaded Garnet VM version 2 and Kinoma Player, hoping to play QuickTime VR on my N800. But Kinoma Player doesn’t recognize the SD cards in the N800, as others have noted.

    Has anyone found the answer?

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