Installing Mobian on the Pinephone. A Guide and Review

Hey everyone! Thanks for checking out my guide / review of Installing Mobian on the Pinephone!

The process we’re going to follow is going to be pretty much the same as we did to try out Manjaro Phosh beta 10 ( https://fossingularity.com/2021/05/31/installing-manjaro-phosh-beta-10-on-the-pinephone/ ).

Grab –

An SD card

A USB C cord

A copy of Jumpdrive –

https://github.com/dreemurrs-embedded/Jumpdrive/releases

A copy of Etcher (You can also do this via DD in the terminal if you’d like) –

https://www.balena.io/etcher/

The latest version of Mobian –

https://images.mobian-project.org/

The default password is 1234

What works, what doesn’t, and Mobians default apps

Location services work

Megapixels is still on an older release from what I can tell

Default Terminal – kgx (King’s Cross) touch scrolling works

Default Music Player – Lollypop

Default ‘App Store’ – Software

Default Web Browser – Firefox ESR, Web

Flashlight – Has a torch app that works, pull-down menu icon not working

Default Photo viewer – Image Viewer

Notable Pre-installed Applications – Weather

What works, what doesn’t

Bluetooth – buggy, but worked

Cellular –

Calling – incoming calls show up immediately, locked or unlocked, mildly static-y

Outgoing calls work, also static-y

Texting – receiving -works

-sending – works

MMS – not implemented yet

Web data -buggy and unstable.

Display Rotation – Works

Proper default display scaling – No. Not for many applications.

Installing Software from Software ‘center’ – Pages are slow to load, but do load. Installation did not show the application had finished installing, and no icon appeared. Only ‘launch’ or ‘remove’ options after I clicked ‘Cancel’. Still no App icon after restarting. The second attempt worked a lot better, I told the phone to install the same program as before and left it alone for about twenty minutes. Twenty minutes later and the ‘Documents’ app has installed the Libre Office suite on the phone along with a ‘Documents’ app. So, a success I suppose.

Re-scaling with gsettings – Successful.

WiFi File transfer via Warpinator – Successful

Installing Flatpak – Successful

sudo apt install flatpak

sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

restart

Installing Snap and the Snap Store

sudo apt update

sudo apt install snapd

sudo snap install core

(Setting up core took about two minutes.)

sudo snap install snap-store

Success.

Installing Snap support
    

Installing a manually compiled arm64 AppImage – Failed. Error while loading shared libraries: libz.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file of directory.

That’s it for now!

That concludes the testing I did on Mobian, I found it to be okay to use. I’d like to see Mobian adopt some more recent versions of software into their image, and work on implementing autocorrect and adaptive input as options for their keyboard. What did you all think? what Pinephone distro’s currently your go-to? Do you use your Pinephone as a daily driver yet? let me know!

Published by Cara Oswin

I write about Linux Software and devices. My hobbies include writing, DnD, reading, playing videogames, and chugging energy drinks to pump out software and tutorials!

2 thoughts on “Installing Mobian on the Pinephone. A Guide and Review

  1. I haven’t been able to use my Pinephone CE as a daily driver just yet. My main hurdle is battery life. I usually take my phone off of charge at 11AM when I get up and it doesn’t go back on charge until 3AM when I go to bed. Right now a half hour phone call drains my Pinephone by 17-25 % and even basic web browsing and mastodon use can drain another 20% over 4-6 hours. I think a Librem 5 with it’s 4500 mah battery may be in the cards for me. As it is I use Mobian as my OS on the Pinephone CE and test other distros on my Pinephone Braveheart. I prefer Mobian because it’s the only distro to offer startup encryption thus far. I do feel I need to give Manjaro Arm Plasma another thourough test though as it’s been a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like Mobian.
    It is very stable and Debian based d’Istria are the best for me.
    Phosh is very cool too.
    I don’t use the PinePhone as a daily driver because the battery doesn’t last that long but in future I think it is going to be better and better.

    Liked by 1 person

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