The network infrastructure comprises three groups of hosts and several peripheral
hardware. Among this hardware, the network components shown in the thumbnails
have been used to implement the local Intranet Configuration described below. In
detail these are:
- D-Link 8-port Gigabit Switch DGS-1008D
- D-Link 5-port Gigabit Switch DGS-1005D
- Allied Telesis AT-MC15 Media Converter
- Allied Telesis AT-MX10 Transceiver (T)
- AVM FRITZ!Box 7490 - VDSL/WLAN Router
- Apple Time Capsule and Wi-Fi Base Station
- Belkin 7-port Ultra-Slim USB2 Desktop Hub
- Apple Ethernet Adapter USB2 to RJ45 (A)
The unmanaged switch DGS-1008D provides communication services on the
intranet to a group of hosts located in a superior floor. I.e, a LACIE 500GB network
hard disc, an ASUS Dual Boot PC running Windows and LINUX, a P2015n Hewlett
Packard network printer, as well as two Symbolics NXP1000 workstations, Venus
and Mars, connected to the intranet each via a Allied Telesis AT-MX10 Transceiver
(T) and an AT-MC15 Media Converter, which handle the communication traffic
between main RJ45 intranet and BNC subnet, respectively. Also on this floor, an
Apple Airport Express Base Station provides the capability for mobile devices to
access the intranet via Wi-Fi standard 802.11 b/g/n.
A second unmanaged switch DGS-1005D provides communication services in an
intermediate floor to a VAIO computer running Windows 7 and handles all intranet
communication traffic to and from the internet, via the AVM router FRITZ!Box 7490.
This router also provides name and network configuration services to all hosts on
the intranet and via a firewall handles port forwarding requests from the internet.
Further on, a third managed switch, i.e an Apple Time Capsule configured as a
bridge, provides communication services in a first floor to an Apple Mac mini Server
running Debian Linux, and to several other hosts connected to the intranet via a
subnet to the main RJ45 intranet. Among these hosts are a LACIE P9220 500GB
hard disc, a LACIE DVD, a 8GB TDK USB flash drive (F) and two Nokia N900
tablets running MAEMO LINUX with a single shared USB2 mouse (M) and
Finally the Apple Time Capsule also includes a full-featured 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
base station with simultaneous dual-band support and an embedded 2TB hard disc
that is used on the intranet for backup purposes. Both Apple Time Capsule and
AVM FRIT!Box additionally offer network services to Nokia N900 Maemo tablets
and VAIO PC according to Wi-Fi standard 802.11 b/g/n.
USB Host Mode
Connection of the N900 tablets on the USB2 subnet is implemented the following
way. Tablet N900-1 is connected on the Belkin USB2 Hub via the master port, thus
acting as protocol master. The tablet N900-2 and all other devices are connected
via standard ports, acting as slaves.
The connection of a tablet on the HUB requires a Nokia Connectivity Cable CA 101,
power-cable, allowing to power the device directly from the HUB. The LACIE hard
disk and the DVD are connected using the USB Y-power-cables supplied with the
devices. The Apple Ethernet Adapter, TDK USB flash drive, mouse and keyboard
are plugged into the HUB as usual.
To enable USB Host Mode on a Nokia N900 tablet the following Apps are required:
Enables root access via "sudo gainroot"
- Kernel Power
Enhanced Linux kernel for power user
USB Host Mode GUI for the N900
Scripts for Bluetooth HID devices
rootsh is available in Extras, and can be installed from the Application manager if
you have the Extras repository enabled. It is also available directly from maemo.org.
After installation run in a Terminal App the following command:
$ sudo gainroot
for short. This will give you a root shell.
Kernel Power is also available in the Extras repository. The installation of the stable
kernel is recommended and should be performed as described in the Kernel Power
H-E-N, the USB Host Mode GUI is currently in beta stage. It can be installed from
the Fremantle Extras-devel free armel repository. To perform the installation, enable
Extras-devel under the Application Manager, i.e go to Application Catalogues and
enter the following Catalogue details::
bt-hid-scripts, the scripts for Bluetooth HID devices (keyboards & mice), is available
from the Fremantle Extras-devel free armel repository and can be installed onto the
N900 from the Application manager if you have the Extras-devel repository already
In the following a few screenshots show how to use the USB Host mode in order to
benefit from a higher USB2 data transfer rate between N900 and other devices on
the intranet and USB2 subnet, respectively, instead of using the much slower WI-FI
connection according standard 802.3.
As an example we will consider connections between N900-1 and USB mouse (M),
Flash drive (F), the P9220 had disk including the partitions Backup, LaCie and LA-
PUBLIC, as well as the Apple Ethernet Adapter (A), which enables to access the
Internet via the AVM Router 7490 through the Belkin USB2 HUB, the Apple Time
Capsule and the D-Link switch DGS-1005D, respectively. For better understanding
and for details regarding the connection of these devices on the USB2 subnet, see
thumbnail Intranet Configuration.
Activating USB Host mode on the N900:
If not already done, connect the two ends of the USB Y-power-cable to the HUB and
the female to female USB adapter. Do not connect the other end of the Connectivity
Cable to the N900 for now.
Launch the MouseCursor App from within the N900's File Manager. MouseCursor is
part of bt-hid-scripts and provides the driver for using the mouse from within the App
h-e-n, i.e the USB Host mode GUI.
Start h-e-n from within the File Manager and wait a few seconds until initialization
completes before taking other actions. You will get the screen Ready - Hostmode
After about 10 seconds, select the tab High Speed hostmode and you will see the
screen High Speed hostmode enabled.
Wait another 10 seconds and select the tab VBUS boost on. You will get the screen
Let another 10 seconds elapse and connect the other end of the Apple Connectivity
Wait another 10 seconds and select the tab Enumerate. The screen High Speed
hostmode - Enumerate will be displayed. You will notice that the mouse pointer is
now working, the LED on your Flash Dive lighting and the LED of your Hard Disk, if
any, flashing shortly. Should the mouse pointer appear frozen, e.g at a screen
corner, just tap the screen once to move the pointer somewhere inside the N900's
Now select Mount , using the mouse, in order to mount the Flash Drive and Hard
Disk File Systems on the N900. The screen will change to High speed hostmode
enabled - Mount and the tab Unmount will appear on the display. You can check
for mounted File Systems by clicking the h-e-n menu at the top of the screen with
the mouse and selecting Kernel Messages. You will see a screen with a content
similar to the one shown in h-e-n kernel messages.txt. Alternatively you may start
the N900's File Manager App and obtain a screen similar to Mounted File Systems
or to the following screenshot showing the devices where the single File Systems
have been mounted. With this information you will be able to access mounted File
Systems on a N900 while in USB Host mode also from within Debian. See section
Nokia, subsection Maemo for details regarding Debian. As an example here is the
content of the mounted Flash Drive.
To unmount all mounted File Systems at once just click the tab Unmount. This will
result in the following File Manager content with all previous mounted File Sytems
Finally, two examples to show how to mount NTFS and FAT32 File System volumes
onto the N900 from within a Terminal App.
To mount the NTFS partition LACIE of the hard disk P9220 onto /media/ntfs proceed
as follows. First find out the user's uid and gid by executing the command:
$ id user
and then, run the command mount accordingly, as shown below:
$ mount -t ntfs /dev/sda1 /media/ntfs -o uid=29999 , gid=29999 , utf8 ,
dmask=027 , fmask=137
To mount the FAT32 partition BackUp of the hard disk P9220 onto /media/fat32,
execute the command:
$ mount /dev/sda2 /media/fat32
The results are shown in the screenshots File system volumes mounted on N900,
and FAT32 volume mounted on N900, respectively.
Charge N900's battery in USB Host mode:
N900's battery consumption in USB Host mode may be a critical issue depending
on the type of attached devices, the number, and the way they are powered. Hence,
it is highly recommended to start charging the battery as soon as possible, following
the activation of the USB Host mode and after all connected devices have been
mounted successfully. Here is a guide how to proceed.
All you will need to enable battery charging in USB Host mode are the commands
boostoff and booston, which are provided with H-E-N, and the script file charge.sh
or better its newer version charge21.sh. The main difference between these two
shell scripts is that the first charges the battery starting at a current of 1100 mA while
the second starts at 950 mA. Copy the script you want to use into the folder /root of
your N900, rename it to charger, and change its file permissions as shown below:
$ chmod 775 charger
Once done, log into the N900 as root either locally in a Terminal App running on
the device or via SSH from a remote host and launch the following command:
Wait about 15 seconds until the N900's notification LED lights yellow and launch
the following command:
The script will start working and you should get a status line as shown in screenshot
boostoff - charger start. Should, however, the second line in output after executing
the script /charger be rather like this:
Status: 0x20 Mode: STANDBY Full: 0 WallCharger: 0 Battery Voltage: 3903 NAC:
1011 Battery level 50 %
Then, kill the charger script by pressing CTRL C and execute /charger in the same
Terminal App a second time, as shown in screenshot boostoff - charger restart. This
time it will do the work for sure the right way. See associated thread in Maemo.org
Alternatively, you may start charging N900's battery in USB Host mode from another
host via SSH, as shown by the screenshot Charging in USB Host Mode via ssh.
Stopping Charger and USB Host mode
Before terminating USB Host mode, stop the shell script /charger by pressing CTRL
C, and in the Terminal App displaying the status of /charger, execute the command:
The result will be the display shown in screenshot charger stop - booston.
As next, press the H-E-N soft-key VBUS boost off. The result will be what is shown
Finally, terminate H-E-N, the MouseCursor App if not more required, and disconnect
the Nokia Connectivity cable from the N900. If required, you may continue charging
the N900 by using the stock power supply.
Accessing the Internet via USB - Ethernet Adapter
Activate USB Host mode and mount devices as described above. Log as root into
the N900 in a Terminal App and execute the following command:
$ route -n
This command outputs the Kernel IP routing table, as shown on the N900 locally
and in a Terminal App via SSH, respectively. As next, execute the commands:
$ dmesg | grep usb
These commands may alternatively be executed also from within a X Terminal App
and you will get the displays shown in screenshot Ethernet Adapter - udhcpc and in
the Terminal App output file Ethernet connection via USB, respectively.
As you may notice, in the end of last screenshot the Kernel IP routing table after the
execution of udhcp also includes the route to the Intranet Gateway, in this case the
AVM Router 7490, which now is accessible also via the USB2 subnet and Intranet,,
You may, therefore, deactivate N900's WLAN connection to the Router Gateway via
WI-FI 802.11n and use solely the route via the USB2 subnet and Intranet, as shown
in screenshot Kernel IP routing table.
Now, as an example, in a X Terminal running on the N900 execute the command:
$ ping google.com
The display you will get will be the one shown in the screenshot ping google.com,
and may be interrupted by pressing CTRL C. At this point you are ready to launch
on your N900 an Internet browser and do whatever you want. For example connect