Announcing the Mobian project
#1
Dear all,

It's been a little more than 3 months since I started hacking a Debian image for the PinePhone, by (manually) adding new software and fixing bugs step by step. Others have joined me in this effort, and a small team has gathered and did a great job at allowing the PinePhone to be used as a daily driver, at least as long as you don't have extravagant expectations such as "decent battery life" or "working camera" Wink

We keep moving on as we're announcing the Mobian project, aimed at bringing Debian to mobile devices with as much upstream components as possible. We're focusing first on the PinePhone of course, but we plan to extend support to other devices, the next ones on the list being Purism's Librem5 and the PineTab (that is, as soon as we gets our hands on these Wink )

Still, Mobian is not a distribution, but only an overlay to Debian, bringing you instant access to tons of existing packages, while making things easier for us as we try to keep as few custom packages as possible. This means working with the goal of upstreaming almost all of our work to Debian, and this is already going on quite well, as the base phosh packages (phoc, phosh, squeekboard and a few others) should reach the archive soon, and work on bringing phone-specific apps (such as calls and chatty) to Debian is well under way.

With this focus change in mind, we spent the last few weeks creating an infrastructure for the project, both to ease our work as developers, and to provide better user-facing services. The Mobian project now has:
With this announcement comes the first PinePhone image available for download.

Most of the work has been going on under the hood, as nearly all patched software have been updated to their most recent upstream version and rebuilt for several architectures (x86-64, arm32 and arm64) in order to ease porting to other devices in the future. There are also a few (small) cosmetic changes, including renaming the default user from "debian" to "mobian".

This release also enables gnome-initial-setup on first boot, fixes wifi stability by disabling power saving in the driver (which should make your battery a bit unhappy, but greatly improve your connectivity), and brings a whole lot of small bugfixes.

New images will be automatically built on a daily basis starting next week, so you'll see fewer release announcements here as I plan to only highlight when major progress is being made, but the releases will keep rolling, and you'll keep the ability to upgrade your system using apt Smile
(although not this time, as you'll understand switching to this new infrastructure requires you to start from a fresh image)

Of course, we're always welcoming new contributors, as there is still plenty to do: improve hardware support, package new software, improve existing ones to fit the PinePhone's screen, improve the wiki, help with our infrastructure and CI, and so on...

Enjoy!
  Reply
#2
This is most exciting imho! Very glad to see that there has been enough interest and support to set an official plan together.
  Reply
#3
Outstanding !

This seems an appropriate time (I've been thinking it and failing to say it for weeks now) to say thanks to you, a-wai, and to everyone on the debian+phosh team, for what I consider the best PinePhone package available for both function and stability.

On my way to download the new image now ! 

Big Grin !
  Reply
#4
Great news!

Have you spoken with some Debian folk on whether all of it could eventually get into official Debian?
  Reply
#5
Big Grin 
Great news! A big thank you to all developers for their great work.
  Reply
#6
Thank you so much guys! That is amazing news! You have all my support!  Shy
  Reply
#7
(05-14-2020, 11:15 AM)wi_badger Wrote: Outstanding !

This seems an appropriate time (I've been thinking it and failing to say it for weeks now) to say thanks to you, a-wai, and to everyone on the debian+phosh team, for what I consider the best PinePhone package available for both function and stability.

On my way to download the new image now ! 

Big Grin !

Likewise! I've been using Debian in my servers for over 2 decades, but I never expected to find it on a phone and see it working so well!

One question regarding wifi PM and battery life: is there any chance we'll see general battery improvements in the future? Alternately, would it be possible to put a PM toggle in the driver code for those of us who are mostly using mobile data rather than wifi? I think the biggest obstacle to many people making the switch to a daily driver is not being able to hold a charge for a full working day with semi-regular usage.

Thanks again debian+phosh team!
  Reply
#8
Great news - thread stuck!
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter


  Reply
#9
(05-14-2020, 09:46 AM)a-wai Wrote: Dear all,

It's been a little more than 3 months since I started hacking a Debian image for the PinePhone, by (manually) adding new software and fixing bugs step by step. Others have joined me in this effort, and a small team has gathered and did a great job at allowing the PinePhone to be used as a daily driver, at least as long as you don't have extravagant expectations such as "decent battery life" or "working camera" Wink

We keep moving on as we're announcing the Mobian project, aimed at bringing Debian to mobile devices with as much upstream components as possible. We're focusing first on the PinePhone of course, but we plan to extend support to other devices, the next ones on the list being Purism's Librem5 and the PineTab (that is, as soon as we gets our hands on these Wink )

Still, Mobian is not a distribution, but only an overlay to Debian, bringing you instant access to tons of existing packages, while making things easier for us as we try to keep as few custom packages as possible. This means working with the goal of upstreaming almost all of our work to Debian, and this is already going on quite well, as the base phosh packages (phoc, phosh, squeekboard and a few others) should reach the archive soon, and work on bringing phone-specific apps (such as calls and chatty) to Debian is well under way.

With this focus change in mind, we spent the last few weeks creating an infrastructure for the project, both to ease our work as developers, and to provide better user-facing services. The Mobian project now has:
With this announcement comes the first PinePhone image available for download.

Most of the work has been going on under the hood, as nearly all patched software have been updated to their most recent upstream version and rebuilt for several architectures (x86-64, arm32 and arm64) in order to ease porting to other devices in the future. There are also a few (small) cosmetic changes, including renaming the default user from "debian" to "mobian".

This release also enables gnome-initial-setup on first boot, fixes wifi stability by disabling power saving in the driver (which should make your battery a bit unhappy, but greatly improve your connectivity), and brings a whole lot of small bugfixes.

New images will be automatically built on a daily basis starting next week, so you'll see fewer release announcements here as I plan to only highlight when major progress is being made, but the releases will keep rolling, and you'll keep the ability to upgrade your system using apt Smile
(although not this time, as you'll understand switching to this new infrastructure requires you to start from a fresh image)

Of course, we're always welcoming new contributors, as there is still plenty to do: improve hardware support, package new software, improve existing ones to fit the PinePhone's screen, improve the wiki, help with our infrastructure and CI, and so on...

Enjoy!

enjoying it , well done guys
  Reply
#10
Does the project accept donations? i will like to support the project, better in bitcoin if possible hehe
  Reply


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