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Old 05-14-2021, 02:14 PM   #1
Tonus
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What and how to install on PinePhone ?


Hi all,

Made myself a great gift : just bought a PinePhone to tinker with

It came with Manjaro preinstalled but I'm already bored with it

I am wondering what to install on it (aarch64 ? slarm64 ?) and am still a bit confused about all this arm stuff even if I already run the amazing Sarpi flavors on my RPis...

Any advice would be great !
 
Old 05-14-2021, 05:06 PM   #2
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On the Pine64 site there are forums and wiki pages, and some discuss the distribution images that you can download, drop onto a micro-sd card, and boot your phone into. I would start there.

I have read elsewhere, that the most functional and fun are Manjaro and Fedora, but I have not used them on the phone myself.
 
Old 06-08-2021, 11:49 AM   #3
slac-in-the-box
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I'm gonna try it today!

I have one called the UBports Edition (I think it was the second edition right after Braveheart).

This one came with Ubuntu! Behold, pine64 community distro-hops, and now they're on Manjaro. After we trick out our slarm64 pinephones, maybe they'll become slackers...

I'm going to try what I did on pinebook: a manual install. Since it already has a version of ubuntu linux working, I'll leave that one alone, put in the microsd, format it, mount it and install slarm64 to this microsd with the --root /microsdmountpoint flag given to installpkg, which is just a script, and will work on ubuntu, after creating symbolic links to du, which ubuntu stores in a different place than slackware... I have to have downloaded the slarm64 tree first. If there's not enough space on pinephone's internal drive from slarm64 tree, then I'll use a usb-c to ethernet adapter, and mount a NFS share with the slarm64 tree on it instead.

When formatting the microsd, I will use dd with internal drive as input file, and microsd as output file. I don't need to image the entire internal drive, but only enough to capture the partition table and the early partitions that have the u-boot image. Then later when I'm in gdisk, I can customize the later partitions leaving those early ones alone.

Once slarm64 is installed on the mounted microsd, I will copy ubuntu's kernel config over to the mounted slarm64's /usr/src/linux, and then chroot into mounted slarm64, and build kernel, modules, dtb, etc. With the usb-c to ethernet, I'm hoping to offload some of the workload of the kernel build with distcc to nearby cpus.

That worked on pinebook pro last year.

Then I discovered that mara/sndwvs, in both pine64 and slarm64 community, also had kernel, and that they were booting more slackishly, the way slackware-arm boots--specifically configuring u-boot... when u-boot is specifically configured (over serial port), then it can boot MBR, formatted with fdisk, the way slackware always has been... But if you use gdisk and GPT, and have labeled efi partition, u-boot will auto look for /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf file and boot the image defined there, so rather than debate on merits of MBR/GPT, I've been using the GPT, out of laziness and ease of just editing the one file.

If the microsd card boots after that, I pop open a beer, and then dd the microsd to internal drive, mount it and edit that extlinux.conf file again to point back to internal drive. Bye bye ubports, hello slackware.

That's a way of going about it manually.

But if you don't want to do all that, Mara's slarm64 image, has an install script. Last year's image defaulted to runlevel-4, and I had to mount it and change /etc/inittab to runlevel 3 before trying to boot pinebook off of it. Then it worked great, and there was a script that auto-wrapped initrd for u-boot into uinitrd.

So I'm embarking on pinephone install attempt 0. It's 9:45 am. I'll take some notes. If I'm successful, I'll post back, with links to whatever was required.

Last edited by slac-in-the-box; 06-09-2021 at 10:13 AM.
 
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Old 06-08-2021, 12:36 PM   #4
drmozes
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Hi Tonus

What is the use case here? Slackware isn't targeting phones (although years ago somone got Slackware ARM running KDE on a Compaq PDA and sent me photos!) and doesn't seem the right fit for me.
Is it purely because you can, or some other more compelling use case?

Cheers
s.
 
Old 06-09-2021, 11:36 AM   #5
slac-in-the-box
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I grew weary of typing on the pinephone's tiny touchscreen, so into its usb-c port I connected a USB hub with a regular keyboard attached, and this UBports edition did not detect the hub, because, I subsequently learned, there was a mistake in the selection of VCONN switches that wasn't detected yet when they made both the Braveheart and theUBPorts editions: the switches they had selected did not ground according to usb-c specs, to top and bottom of usb-c port, needed to detect orientation. The solution is de-soldering old switches and re-soldering replacements. The proper switches are in all subsequent editions, so Tonus' phone is probably good.

I am trying to slack the pinephone, for sake of homogeneity across devices, and to connect pinephone to services running on slackware servers: openvpn server , offline certificate authority, and asterisk. Asterisk can serve SIP audio and video calls to and from pinephone, over the openvpn tunnel, assigning Direct Inward Dial phone numbers (area code and number) that makes pinephone reachable from ordinary phones. These DIDs and the termination service (calling out) have to be leased from a SIP provider. I've been routing calls to my laptop for some time, dreaming of small portable handheld device running slackware, in that it has been inconvenient to always have the laptop out and setup ready for receiving calls.

Running such an asterisk service is a target for hackers, as it can provide free long distance, if the dial plan isn't correctly configured, etc. I've had to learn the hard way a few times, causing better precautions, and better. I've had to make custom slackware setups for those Linodes that are not full installs, and thus aren't fully supported here. Those be another thread, perhaps in the security forum someday. With security, I never actually feel expert enough to author such a thread, but I have patched up my own bad practices from my own hard knocks. I'm glad the slackpkg mirrors are moving to https, and I am going to do more crosschecking of checksums of the gpg key before updating.

On the pinephone, I was going to experiment with paulownia, a common lisp window manager for wayland. I'm not going to mess with gestures. I only want the minimum necessary for a touch device: a way to launch and close applications, and a way to easily see and kill running processes, a way to scroll and position cursor, and the touch keyboard. Common lisp has bindings to tk, qt, as well as ncurses. So I was basically hoping to program front ends for the aforementioned services runnning on slackware. There's more servers on the vpn: astrogeek's email setup, dns, https, and everything else I thought I would need on a slackstack.

The end game is equipping children and parents with pine64 and other open hardware devices and providing these services to our home school group in a non-profit fashion, with main goal of providing iptables with age-appropriate whitelists that the parents can add urls to. As soon as pine device connects to openvpn, its name server and gateway can be updated from using whatever hotspot's config, to using gateway and name servers on the tunnels. The average child in USA is exposed to inappropriate content by age of 9, and the content seems even more inappropriate than the magazine we might of found when we were 9, uh-hum... Parents fear online hackers and employees of service providers stalking their children's devices, listening in... watching... Most parents don't know how to sniff packets and see what's actually going through the pipes. I've been moving towards non-profit techno-support for families, in which I supply devices pre-configured to access said services as securely as I can configure, which is most likely more securely than the plans that are currently draining their wallets.

I don't expect these users to be able to configure pine64 devices, let alone solder on the motherboards. I'm going to have to tool up before trying to tackle that project, as well as order the proper VCONN switches. However, because pine64.org frequently is out of stock of pinephones and pinebooks, I ordered more earlier this spring, with some beta testing families in mind, and so also have two PinePhone Beta Editions before me to try while waiting for tools and parts. I just started with the UBports edition proceeding in the order received.

When you slack, you can't go back. I've learned so much from this slackware community, I guess I didn't really want to learn ubuntu or manjaro just because they support phones... Hope it's OK to try. I'm not much of a business man or lawyer, so don't know if it's OK to use slackware in such a non-profit way. The devices are aarch64, but the Linodes are x64. I suppose it would be nice to proceed with blessings from our benevolent dictator, who I don't want to bother during the slackware-15 quickening.

Last edited by slac-in-the-box; 06-09-2021 at 02:45 PM. Reason: corrections
 
Old 06-09-2021, 04:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmozes View Post
Hi Tonus

What is the use case here? Slackware isn't targeting phones (although years ago somone got Slackware ARM running KDE on a Compaq PDA and sent me photos!) and doesn't seem the right fit for me.
Is it purely because you can, or some other more compelling use case?

Cheers
s.
You're right, just because I can. And might be also that slackware is my best ! Btw, I would like to have it with slackware when plugged to keyboard and screen.

Unfortunately got my plans delayed for now...
 
Old 06-09-2021, 09:09 PM   #7
wpeckham
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Does SLACK even have a phone app so you can make calls?
 
Old 06-10-2021, 09:17 AM   #8
slac-in-the-box
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpeckham View Post
Does SLACK even have a phone app so you can make calls?
I've been receiving and placing calls with Linphone on Slackware for over a decade.

Linphone is available on Slackbuilds, and is quality telephony. However, the maintainer hasn't updated its sources in some time, and the build script needs to be modified for the current linphone sources, but once built, it is fine telephony client, capable of both sip and iax protocols.

I'm not going to put a simcard in these phones, but just use wifi calling with linphone.

I remember when alienbob slacked an asus transformer tablet... The pinephone is a very small tablet with a simcard slot that I'll never use. I would have purchased pinetabs, but they're always out of stock.

Last edited by slac-in-the-box; 06-10-2021 at 09:18 AM. Reason: I turned an "as" into an "is"!
 
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:09 PM   #9
Mill J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonus View Post
Hi all,

Made myself a great gift : just bought a PinePhone to tinker with

It came with Manjaro preinstalled but I'm already bored with it

I am wondering what to install on it (aarch64 ? slarm64 ?) and am still a bit confused about all this arm stuff even if I already run the amazing Sarpi flavors on my RPis...

Any advice would be great !
Bored with a Pinephone? try some different distros! You might start with megi's multiboot image, he just updated it the other day. There's a lot to play with. As far as I know there is no slackware port. Yet. Maybe you need to start porting?

If you have a version => PostmarketOS CE then convergence should work out of the box. I just got a cheap dongle off of 3b@y and had no trouble with Phosh. Still didn't try it with Plasma Mobile.

First thing I did was write a simple mobile app for it using the desktop development stack... how simple and invigorating after dealing with the Android development stack.
 
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:04 PM   #10
slac-in-the-box
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In this pine64 forum thread, Acid Andy reports slarm64 running well on pinephone!
 
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