Give Your Matrix Inspired N900 Application Manager – The Red Pill

Note: This mode has been disabled since the PR 1.1 firmware.

First things first, I absolutely DO NOT encourage you to give the Application Manager on your N900 the Red Pill treatment. Red Pill is an Application manager mode that disables certain safety features, and allows access to certain additional settings.

It changes the way Application manager behaves, primarily by removing many of the safety locks that prevent users from installing harmful packages, or upgrading or replacing important system packages (which can result in reboot loops). As you can probably gather, it is not intended to be used by normal users and according to the wiki, not even by power users and the vast majority of developers.

That being said, it is incredibly useful for one thing – installing .DEB files. With the N900, Nokia has hidden the mode that allowed you to install .deb files directly and now you can only install applications via various repositories, this is done so that various application dependencies are automatically installed. However, at times there are occasions when you need to directly install an application and that is where the Red Pill mode comes in.

Yes, its the Matrix all over again and you have got to admit, it does sound cool. Here is how you can enable the ‘Red Pill’ mode and avoid using the complicated Terminal method of .DEB installation.

  • Open Application manager and go to “Tools -> Application catalogue”
  • Click “New”

Install DEB Files On The N900 - RED Pill Mode

  • Type “matrix” into the “Web Address” field
  • Tap outside the window.
  • Tap “Red” in the dialog to enabled Red Pill mode, or “Blue” to keep the Application manager as-is or to disable Red Pill.

Install DEB Files On The N900 - RED Pill Mode

  • The Red-Pill mode is not persistent after being enabled. Closing the Application manager, disables Red Pill.

Once you have the “Red Pill’ mode enabled, you will see an option titled ‘Install from file’. Click on it and navigate to the .DEB you have on your N900. Select and the Application Manager will automatically install it.

Install DEB Files On The N900 - RED Pill Mode

I would once again like to emphasize, please don’t play with these settings as you could end up bricking your N900.

5 thoughts on “Give Your Matrix Inspired N900 Application Manager – The Red Pill”

  1. So if you have updated your N900 to the latest software form Nokia then you can no longer activate Red Pill?

    I had to flash my N900 and wipe it clean due to an error during upgrading form OVI Suite that disable my mobile facilities on it and used RX-51_2009SE_10.2010.19-1_PR_COMBINED_MR0_ARM.bin and then RX-51_2009SE_10.2010.13-2.VANILLA_PR_EMMC_MR0_ARM.bin .

    From what I understood by the opening of this article I this is the reason I cant activate Red Pill. Any way around it or should I re flash my N900 with the oldest version software in order to activate red pill?

    Please advice as the reason I bought the N900 was is linux environment and the idea I could play with it not to have just a mobile.Also I like the amiga emulator in it and can expand on that as a project.

    Thank you for your time


  2. this method for activating the red pill does not seem to work on my n900 and my keypad arrangement is not proper i.e instead of the QWERTY it is AZERT replacing dont know why but every other ting seems to be pls help!!!!!!!!!!!

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