Pinebook Pro Initial Impressions
Happy Birthday, Pinebook Pro!

(10-01-2019, 04:03 PM)kunger Wrote: Well, it's finally here. And, it was well worth the wait.

Well, I am 1 day too late. 1 Year and 1 day ago, the first non-developer received his Pinebook Pro!
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just received the pbp crazy fast, yesterday shipment started in hong kong, today I received it in europe including customs at noon. wow.

unpacked, everythings fine and charged, setup, update, set drive encryption für sd -ok, setup vpn (cisco) channel for my home network - ok.

pub ready netbook to go Big Grin

I really like the manjaro desktop slick slim and nice to work with. All the critics about fingerprints and brightness simply dont have the right focus on whats important and what you get

I like the pbp, great stuff thx pine64 ! just waiting for my pinephone to come soon Wink
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I received my PBP yesterday -- pretty exciting but also intimidating although I'm a software dev albeit new to linux OSes.

I had a hard time setting up some basic apps I work with such as bitwarden password manager, until I was able to set up various package installers.

Now I'm really stuck on having the USB-C external display work, and installing additional apps I need like the Tor browser, Signal messaging app, standard notes and electron mail.
I tried multiple ways described online to install the tor browser but they all fail, including installation from source AUR package which says it's not compatible with the aarch64 architecture. The same happened with a couple of other apps.

How can I install such apps as Tor and Signal etc?
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I just got my pbp today and it's very promising! I liked the pinephone so much, I thought I'd give this cool laptop a try and, so far, I'm not disappointed!  I'm looking forward to delving into the Linux world even deeper and having fun with you all.
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update

after being able to successfully destroying the shipped OS I started a more thorough investigation. since already on it:

- encrypted the ROOT partition (left BOOT uncrypted) (through sd booted manjaro with arm installer onboard). here I did all steps separately as root (export CRYPT="y" and bash manjaro-arm-installer). all this mentioned sudo and su sudo was crap. 1. su, 2. export crypt 3. install -> works fine
- backup strategy with rsnc (ssh) failed (due to modified file attributes) so I applied clonezilla and built eMMC images (worked quite fine) (rsync now for /home data only). Restore tested ok, including the encrypted ROOT
- cisco VPN via sudo vpnc and networkmanager-vpnc -> ok. both available via pacman
- firewall ufw via pacman worked out of the box

took me two days to crash and rebuild (partime) and I learned a lot about the ARM based "PC".

And yes: I do enjoy the simplicity Big Grin

Drawbacks:
- the trackpad is crap. I dont mind because I alsways work with Mouse. hopefully a software weakness that will be improoved one day (not a showstopper, but nothing for the dayly work).
- I am not able to warmstart the system ("reboot"). when rebooting the system stops with dark screen. If I apply power cycle/cold start everything works fine.


Next steps will  be to try it as dayly driver for mobile situations (netbook applications)

My work for a living (SW-Architect) will remain on my thinkpad extreme G2, but I am looking forward to enjoying the pine in other allday situations.
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(10-24-2020, 06:37 AM)MrFriendly Wrote: update

after being able to successfully destroying the shipped OS I started a more thorough investigation. since already on it:

- encrypted the ROOT partition (left BOOT uncrypted) (through sd booted manjaro with arm installer onboard). here I did all steps separately as root (export CRYPT="y" and bash manjaro-arm-installer). all this mentioned sudo and su sudo was crap. 1. su, 2. export crypt 3. install -> works fine
- backup strategy with rsnc (ssh) failed (due to modified file attributes) so I applied clonezilla and built eMMC images (worked quite fine) (rsync now for /home data only). Restore tested ok, including the encrypted ROOT
- cisco VPN via sudo vpnc and networkmanager-vpnc -> ok. both available via pacman
- firewall ufw via pacman worked out of the box

took me two days to crash and rebuild (partime) and I learned a lot about the ARM based "PC".

And yes: I do enjoy the simplicity Big Grin

Drawbacks:
- the trackpad is crap. I dont mind because I alsways work with Mouse. hopefully a software weakness that will be improoved one day (not a showstopper, but nothing for the dayly work).
- I am not able to warmstart the system ("reboot"). when rebooting the system stops with dark screen. If I apply power cycle/cold start everything works fine.


Next steps will  be to try it as dayly driver for mobile situations (netbook applications)

My work for a living (SW-Architect) will remain on my thinkpad extreme G2, but I am looking forward to enjoying the pine in other allday situations.

Can you expand on the root encryption process (or link to any tutorial you used)? And how you then install the new manjaro?
It would be very helpful! Thanks
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Thumbs Up 
so far so good running manjaro xfce. I have also installed nvme and the  128g emmc. I am going to install the manjaro xfce on the emmc and get the nvme working. I lost a screw so I have to figure that out too.
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Well who wouldn't love this thing?   Please make a fancy one with expensive components, take my money, I would pay any price! Big Grin
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I just got my PBP purchased used and am very happy with it! Since my Linux journey has been with Debian forks I opted to flash Armbian's PBP Ubuntu based distro to it to get it up and running with tools I'm familiar with. It works out of the box for what I need, though I hope to port Debian over soon. As a terminal this thing rocks, allowing me to remote in to my desktop, but for a daily driver this is on the low end of the spectrum and would be suitable for a limited range of tasks. For those who are realistic about their expectations this is a fantastic machine. I already have a RockPro64 so knew what to expect.

The speakers do not work well for me, I think to save money they should not be included. The headphone jack gives me noise over 60% volume level, with the occasional popping at any audio level. Not sure if this is a physical hardware issue or on Armbian. Not a big issue for me since I prefer my bluetooth speakers anyway. I love how light this thing is, and that aluminum bottom panel is nice. I've been in and out of the case several times today and assembly and disassembly was easy, though some skill is required to get the case to fit together nicely. I figured out the trick for getting the aluminum panel in place correctly is to pull up on it in the middle from the hinge side after getting one side fitted into place and using one's forearm to apply very light pressure on the other side. Think of it like doing a bridge shuffle with playing cards. Putting light upwards pressure in the middle sucks the sides in. Then start with the middle long screws on opposite sides. Putting one screw in, changing sides and doing another, then changing sides and doing another, working towards the middle.
Linux is a hobby. I can quit anytime for good just like last time, I swear!
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After I traded my PBP for something else, I do not think it is a bad hardware. It is really nice laptop and I understand why the development took so long, cause there are still issues with build quality and software support. I was just disappointed that after some playing with the chasis was quite damaged, the SD card slot did not hold the SD card inside, the chasis is very fragile, the bottom cover did not hold some screws, etc. I am looking forward to new Pinebook release with stronger hardware and better support. Also hope the chasis will be full metal (300 USD would not be a bad starting price) with touchscreen support. Now I use just my Teclast F6 Pro ultrabook, which is smaller than PBP and the experience is very similar, it is just faster.
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