How does Plasma currently stack up against the competition?
Honestly? Pretty well.
Plasma’s UI is still a piece of beauty to behold in the world of open source UIs for mobile Linux.
Window-display is still slightly buggy, but rotating your phone to landscape and back is generally good enough to fix this. The installation process took a little bit, but went relatively smoothly.
The keyboard has some-level of auto-correct implemented which is super nice to see, and something I’ve yet to see implemented on other mobile linux UIs.
Grabbing-and-pulling the keyboard works to slide it out of view and access your *home / open apps / close* . The vibration-on-keypress works well. Sometimes text entry begins to fail and you have to close and restart the application.
Plasma also supports widgets! on the homescreen you can touch-and-hold in any empty space to pull up the widgets option.
Cellular connection –
Sending and recieving calls worked pretty well, calls are still a little crackly but work well.
Texting mms doesn’t work
texting emojis kind of works.
How to Install –
We’re going to use the same tools as with installing Manjaro Phosh beta 10;
A USB-C cord to plug your phone into your computer
A Micro SD card that’s at least 8gb
A copy of Jumpdrive from – https://github.com/dreemurrs-embedded/Jumpdrive/releases
A copy of BalenaEtcher from – https://www.balena.io/etcher/
(You may also install the image to the SD with dd in the terminal if you’re so inclined, however I’d like this guide to be as new-user friendly as possible, so I won’t be covering that here yet.)
A copy of Manjaro Plasma beta 5 for the Pinephone from – https://github.com/manjaro-pinephone/plasma-mobile/releases
Lets begin –
Once you have all your downloads ready, extract everything and de-compress all your images.
Next, launch BalenaEtcher, and Flash the Jumpdrive image to your micro SD card.
Once it’s finished flashing, which shouldn’t take long, insert the SD card into your Pinephone.
If your phone is already on, restart it with the SD card inserted.
Now, plug your rebooted phone into your PC with your USB C cord.
Go back into BalenaEtcher again, and flash your Manjaro Plasma beta 5 image to your Pinephone. It’s the ‘emmc’ option, in case you don’t know.
This is going to take awhile. Once it’s started, go do something for about 10 minutes and let it finish.
Once Balena is done flashing the image, unplug your phone, remove the SD card, and start it up.
On its first boot, things are going to take a little to setup everything, that’s normal, just wait.
The default password is 123456
New things in Plasma Beta 5 –
AppImageLauncher is now a pre-installed utility.
The latest (to the best of my knowledge) version of Megapixels installed.
*EDIT an update a few hours later removed AppImageLauncher
Additional information –
*gsettings set sm.puri.phoc scale-to-fit true
Does not work on Plasma out of the box. I am unsure if Plasma supports this command at all, I believe that this command is exclusive to Phosh.
Attempting to install flatpak support
sudo pamac install flatpak did not work, pamac is not in Manjaro Plasma beta 5 from what I can tell.
Installing snap support and the Snap Store –
sudo pacman -S snapd
sudo systemctl enable --now snapd.socket
sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap
sudo snap install snap-store *
*This last command did not work for me, I rebooted and tried several times, if I figure out *why* I’ll update this guide. *Edit:After the update that occurred a few hours after this review, the snap stores icon appeared on the launcher.
To wrap up –
Installation went reletively smoothly and you shouldn’t have to expect any big errors.
Plasma is a fantastic-looking UI that clearly has a lot of thought and design going into it; and is continuing to evolve as it’s developed further.
I hope everyone enjoyed this and found it interesting.