PEBKAC S01E03 Manjaro ARM Interview
Hello hello and welcome to the PEBKAC Show. The last two weeks have been packed with so much Stuff, including an interview with the head of the Manjaro ARM project, Dan Johansen! But before we get to that, there are a couple of things to get out of the way first:
Before anything else, I made a mistake last episode. When I originally announced the first show on the Fedi, I made the promise I wouldnt tag everyone again. By the time I released the second episode, I had completely forgotten this, and tagged everyone I mentioned in the episode. I was reminded in no uncertain terms, of my error. Rather than apologise and make any more promises, I believe actions speak louder than words. Starting from this episode, you will see a distinct difference in how I approach this issue. Hopefully, it will meet with your expectations.
Secondly, There is literally so much that has happened in the last two weeks, that I’m going to have to shorten each item down the minimum amount of info, just to be able to get through it all! So please forgive me if I skip over whichever project you are involved with. It’s not any less important than any other project, it’s just with the limited amount of time I have, I struggle to get it all together, and easily miss some of the project announcements.
Finally, some people have taken issue with the volume of the sound effects of previous episodes, so I’ll try and balance them better in this episode.
Don’t forget, that if you have any interest in the main driving force behind Manjaro ARM, stick around until the end, to catch the interview with Dan!
So lets get into it!
UBPorts has received a ton of new apps, An HTML5 Word Processor called LightP; OnionSurf which is a fork of Morph Browser that includes a partial implementation of Tor; A Transmission client called Transmission Remote; GemFork, an updated Gem and Gopher Browser, and MultiMaps that displays images from sattelites.pro. OTA-20 gets a critical bug fix for an evolution-sync when used with servers using Lets Encrypt. User facing improvements include the ability to customize almost ALL of your notification sounds. And lastly, Vibration and LED notifications.
A final note here, It’s been confirmed that OTA-21 will not contain 20.04.
Purism has had a bumper fortnight. Nicole Færber discussed the future of Smart Phones with some interesting people of various projects, including Cyrcle; Samsung and Protocol.
With the upcoming 5.14 and 5.15 Kernels, the Librem 5 camera stack gets some improvements, and they’re planning on adding the MIPI CS11 reciever and controller driver to the Linux mainline.
The SD Card reader now supports full runtime suspend, to help with power saving.
The Battery management and charge prediction also gets some much needed cleanup with some minor updates.
Gardiner Bryant has released a 5th episode of his “Video editing on Linux” series of videos, covering Audio capture and editing.
Phosh 0.14.0 also has some great progress, with Launch Splash support, and a Media Player widget that has proper seek buttons, and a hotspot notification in the top bar!
Phoc gets bumped up to 0.9.0, but it comes with a note to devs, that how application ID’s are reported for GTK3 applications has changed. This may affect scale-to-fit applications, and it may require configuration changes. The release notes have more information.
PinePhone Daily Driver
Fellow Kiwi, Camden Bruce of DahliaOS fame, wrote up a nice blog reviewing the PinePhone, and its progress over the last year of daily driving. His experiences seem to mirror most other users, with both achievements and the pitfalls that distros tend to fall into. He also quickly states his opinions about all of the different distros available. Definitely worth a read, just to get a rough idea of how the PinePhone could be viewed by new users.
Pine64 are experiencing some difficulties with shipping again, Logistics in China and the US have pushed up delivery times dramatically, with the US copping it the hardest. There are no particular reasons provided by Pine, but an influx of support tickets has forced them to respond.
The Raspberry Pi CM4 pin compatible SOQuartz should be available for purchase this coming week, available in 2; 3 and 8GB models for 35; 50, and 75 dollars respectively. These models do not contain eMMC, but do contain a WiFi/Bluetooth Module. Models without this wireless module will be made available later.
The PinePhone keyboard should also be entering the PineStore in November, available for both models of the phone. The initial sale price is set to around 50 dollars.
The PinePhone Pro has been withdrawn from pre-orders. Apparently, there have been upwards of 4 times the amount of applications that there are actual units. Applications are still open, and processing is set to start this week.
I2C on PinePhone
Paul Von Zimmerman posted a great article about connecting external preripherals to the PinePhone, using I2C over the Pogo Pins. Using I2C; Rust and D-Bus, he shows how after connecting a small display, he got it to display the cellphone signal level. Great work!
UNISOC Kernel Patches
Raffaele over at TuxPhones wrote up an interesting post about how UNISOC Chips have had some patches accepted into the upstream kernel. These include patches for the UNISOC drm kms module; Regulator support, and Clock support. Links out to the patch sets are available in the post.
Linmob has been going hell for leather again! Another two Linbits are up on his site, with some really great info about the PinePhone Pro, and links out to resources and updates.
LinBits 67 covers some really great points from Pine64’s Lukasz Reddit AMA; A big list of video responses; blog posts and general sentiment surrounding the PinePhone Pro announcement.
LinBits 68 gets more into software, listing off a nice page full of software releases and updates.
Don’t forget, he’s always looking for contributions to LinmobApps, so if you have a bit of free time, give it a go!
Also, congratulations on making it to 3000 followers on Twitter!
JingOS & Android
JingOS has posted a video demonstrating running Android apps on JingOS 1.0. The speed of launching and displaying of apps seems to be very good. Also in the video is a Jingpad running Android as a comparison.
A second video posted earlier in the month showed Kodi running on JingOS as well. While not buttery smooth, it is looking good none the less.
This bodes well for other projects as well. If JingOS can utilize Android apps at near native speeds, then it helps show that Mobile Linux as a daily driver, may be closer than we originally thought.
The team behind Precursor, the RISC-V based SoC Dev Kit, announced some interesting new info on their CrowdSupply. They’ve finally got some basic networking setup, with the ability to utilize DHCP on an IPV4 network, answering ARP queries and a framework for packet filtering.
They’ve stopped short of TCP because they’re not comfortable with how immature the network stack is at the moment.
Their CNC shop is already spitting out product based on the new PVD process.
Bunnie notes that they definitely have enough hardware to produce the needed stock to send out to backers, but that it’s unlikely they’ll be able to source any parts for new business. He states he’s definitely working on it though.
This Week in GNOME has a great post pointing out som major updates. Including two style classes for libadwaita, .card and .opaque.
Mousai is now in GNOME Circle, an app capable of listening via your microphone that can identify songs and artists.
NewsFlash has dropped support for Feedly in the flathub release, because of an expired API secret. Custom builds still have the code present, so you can add your own secret if needed. Instead, NewsFlash 1.5.0 includes support for Inoreader.
Fragments, the BitTorrent client, is being re-written in Rust using libadwaita. Support for magnet links and queue re-ordering is on the way.
A great report coming out of Mauikit, highlighting the vast improvements to startup times on ARM devices. Improvements have made it possible to load most Maui based apps in under 5 seconds on even the slowest devices.
Clip is now capable of using either MPV or GStreamer backends, and the UI has been updated to bring it into line with other Maui Apps.
Any Mauikit Framework can use the Qt Quick Compiler now, to precompile the Qml.
Hopefully, in the upcoming 2.1.0 release, Strike and Sol should be moved to stable, and Booth is likely to move to Beta.
Index; Vvave; Nota; Buho; Pix; Station; Clip; Shelf, and Communicator all boast large improvements to boot times, and general improvements.
Developer Clau Cambra live streamed a session showing his work process while working on a critical bug in KDE Kalendar. He goes over some important issues, and provides some insight into how these problems are resolved. He answered a lot of questions from viewers, and gives great explanations about the project and processes behind it all.
Lup Yuen Lee has been experimenting with I2C on the PinePhone, and has posted some great pictures showing the layout of the LoRa Backplate.
He goes on to literally build the driver, showing all of the steps he took so anyone can follow along! He breaks the whole process down, reading the SX1262 registers, transmits messages on the USB dongle, and shows how SDF Radio helps with troubleshooting LoRa devices.
Gamey has done us proud once again, with one hell of a post writing up a review of practically every major Matrix Client available for Linux Phones.
The main review consists of Fluffychat; Hydrogen; Nheko; Neochat; Fractal, and Chatty. He lists off his impressions of each, and links out to their respective Source repos.
There are some interesting notes in there, especially about how push notifications are still lacking, but there has been some work done on Unified Push for Linux, but it’s still very much a Work In Progress.
PinePhone Pro & Numberstation
In “Things that make me jealous” news, Martijn Braam posted a video showing Phosh running on the PinePhone Pro. It looks really nice and snappy. Obviously there are improvements to be made, but even in it’s current state, it looks hella good. He points out that launch speeds are likely to be slower, as he’s running a slow SD card. Animations look as smooth as silk, definitely getting closer to mid range phone worthy. Performance improvements are a real step above what we’re used to on the original PinePhone.
Along with this video, he’s also released version 0.6.0 of Numberstation, which brings with it, the ability to import and export.
Arch Linux ARM
Danct12 posted an update with details about the Arch Linux ARM release. The Kernel is bumped up to 5.14.13. Mesa; callaud; purple matrix and purple telegram all get number increases. The Plasma Mobile image gets a couple of needed updates as well, including the wayland backend for Firefox.
Also, out of the blue, they go and drop an sxmo image!
As a side note, Danct has also sent out an alert for a known issue upstream with updating. There is an unsatisfied dependancy, and he advises that it may be best to hold off until the issue is solved up stream.
Mogwai, the lead developer of KDE Kasts, has announced that Kasts is now capable of syncing subscriptions, and episode play positions with gpodder.net, and the NextCloud gpodder app. You can look forward to it in the upcoming Plasma Mobile Gear release 21.11.
In Mobian news, Chris has had vvmd and vvmplayer accepted into Debian Unstable. This is awesome news! Congratulations mate!
He’s also working on Phosh Antispam, which should be available in the upcoming 41.1 GNOME Calls release. The UI is looking really slick.
Also from Mobian, they’d like to remind everyone that they’re dropping support for Bullseye, and ask everyone to upgrade to Bookworm as soon as possible. There’s upgrade information on the blog, but a more comprehensive guide will be coming shortly.
That about covers the news for this last fortnight. Remember that if you participate in a project, and would like to have me include any announcements or news, just tag the official pebkac show account in your post, and I’ll get in touch!
Now, with a small note about how Manjaro ARM Phosh 17 was released this last fortnight, onto the interview with Dan!
And with that, I call an end to another fortnight. Thanks to everyone in the community for your support, and especially to Dan for giving me some of his time to answer a few questions and have a laugh with me. If you’d like to hear a behind the scenes unedited version of the interview, I’ll be posting it soon.
Don’t forget, the podcast is now also available on Anchor; Spotify; Breaker; Stitcher and PocketCasts. The MP3; AAC; OGG; FLAC and Opus feed s have also been updated with new redirects, and the PeerTube feed is available for those who prefer video! All links are available on my homepage pebkac dot show.
Thanks for another great fortnight, and see you again on the 15th of November!