Mobian: a Debian porting project for mobile devices

The developers of the Mobian project unveiled his work done for creating a version of Debian GNU / Linux for mobile devices, in which builds use Debian's standard package base, the GNOME suite, and the Phosh user shell (developed by Purism for the Librem 5 smartphone). In turn, Phosh is based on GNOME technologies (GTK, GSettings, DBus) and uses the Phoc composite server that runs on top of Wayland.

Far Mobian has so far limited itself to building assemblies just for the smartphone "PinePhone", which is distributed by the Pine64 community, although they do not rule out the possibility of adding some other models later.

About Mobian

In the project, highlights the inclusion of different applications offered, of which are the Eye of Gnome image viewer, the GNOME ToDo note system, the interface for configuring GSM / CDMA / UMTS / EVDO / LTE modems ModemManager, the GNOME contact address book, the sound from the GNOME sound recorder, GNOME Control Center configurator, Evince document viewer, gedit text editor, GNOME software application installation manager, GNOME Geary email client program, fractal messenger ( based on the Matrix protocol) usage monitoring, calls call management interface (using oFono phone stack).

In addition, Mobian developers plans include the addition of MPD Client, programs to work with cards, the Spotify client, programs to listen to audiobooks, night mode, the ability to encrypt data on disk, among other things more (and boy they have to do it, since they must work on incorporating many popular applications, otherwise the project could have the same destination as Firefox OS).

On the part of the applications that are already available, it is mentioned that are compiled with the patches from the Purism project, whose objective is to improve the operation of the interface on small screens.

In particular, the Purism project is developing the libhandy library with a set of widgets and objects to create a user interface. The library includes 29 widgets that cover various typical interface elements such as lists, panels, edit blocks, buttons, tabs, search forms, dialog boxes, etc.

The proposed widgets allow creating universal interfaces that work organically on both large PC and laptop screens as well as small smartphone touchscreens.

The application interface changes dynamically based on screen size and available input devices. The key goal of the project is to provide the opportunity to work with the same GNOME applications on smartphones and PCs.

Similarly for those who are interested in the project, You can find more information about it at their Official website or in some media such as Matrix, you can also consult the source code in GitLab or in its wiki where you can find more information.

Download image for Pine Phone

Finally, for those interested who have a Pine Phone, they can obtain the image of the system in the download section of the website.

Or if you prefer, you can get it directly from the link below.

To extract the image, you can do it with any application of your choice or from the terminal by executing any of the following commands:

gunzip mobian-pinephone-YYYYMMDD.img.gz


gzip -d mobian-pinephone-AAAAMMDD.img.gz

Once the system image has been obtained, it should be placed inside an SD card or directly to the internal eMMC storage (although the first option is recommended).

To display the Mobian image, the device connected to the target must be identified.

In the pinephone, we can find the image in the following paths: / dev / mmcblk0 for the SD card or / dev / mmcblk2 for eMMC and the size of eMMC must be 16GB.

Finally, it must be flashed with the following command

sudo dd if=mobian-pinephone-YYYYMMDD.img of=/dev/mmcblkX

After that it should be able to boot from the device.

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  1.   qtrit said

    Some time ago I saw the access to Librem5 (PureOS) frustrated due to tariffs and the stupidity that remained in the final price. [€]

    Reading this is wonderful to me, I would love for this project to work and it really works well! I do not care to put my mobile terminal at risk if I have the opportunity to put DebianPhone XD into it