My sanity is at stake here. I need root but I don't have access to any fancy proprietary OS.
I'd appreciate any help.
I have a T-Mobile G1 running 1.6-donut. I rooted it this weekend from my Ubuntu laptop. Here's what I did:
Then I had root. I installed the BusyBox Installer from the marketplace (note: there's a $0 version but donating is nice, too) and used that to install BusyBox. Note that I wasn't able to install BusyBox (you install the installer from the marketplace, but then you use that app to install BusyBox itself) until I'd not only unmounted my phone from my laptop but actually pulled the cable. My phone didn't want to re-mount the SD Card with the cable in.
PS. The relative "fanciness" of a proprietary OS is debatable but also offtopic.
Well, the one click root method requires Windows. You could try running a Windows VM in Ubuntu?