Maemo is mostly based on open-source code and has been developed by Maemo Devices within Nokia in collaboration with many open-source projects such as the Linux kernel, Debian, and GNOME.
Maemo is based on Debian GNU/Linux and draws much of its GUI, frameworks, and libraries from the GNOME project.
The four-way handshake is designed so that the access point (or authenticator) and wireless client (or supplicant) can independently prove to each other that they know the PSK/PMK, without ever disclosing the key.
Instead of disclosing the key, the access point (AP) and client encrypt messages to each other—that can only be decrypted by using the PMK that they already share—and if decryption of the messages was successful, this proves knowledge of the PMK.
The PMK is designed to last the entire session and should be exposed as little as possible; therefore, keys to encrypt the traffic need to be derived.
It provides four fully customizable (with the ability to add/remove widgets, move widgets around, change the background and customize shortcuts to applications/contacts) "Home" screens, Switching from one desktop to the others is done by sliding one's finger horizontally on the background.
The dashboard is accessed via the upper left icon and shows all the running applications, in a manner similar to the Exposé feature in Apple's Mac OS X operating system.
It is capable of receiving text input through handwriting recognition, two different sizes of on-screen keyboard and hardware keyboard input with the N810.
The user interface in Maemo 5 is different from its predecessors.