In its original form, the project was a repackaging of the SharpROM, the Zaurus's factory supplied kernel and root filesystem image. In order to make the Zaurus's OS closer to the needs of the developer community, the SharpROM was altered through the use of bugfixes, software additions, and even removals in order to make the package more open.
The OpenZaurus project was revamped completely, becoming Debian-based built from source, from the ground up. Due to the change in direction, OpenZaurus became quite similar to other embedded Debian-based distributions, such as Familiar for the iPAQ. OpenZaurus, in its current form, facilitates an easy method for users to build their own custom images. The efforts of Openzaurus, along with other embedded Linux projects, were integrated into the OpenEmbedded Project, which now provides the common framework for these projects.