PEBKAC S01E04 Mid November Updates!
Hello hello and welcome to the PEBKAC Show. I just want to start out this episode by thanking everyone who’s been resharing and boosting my little podcast. It’s humbling and I truly appreciate it, particularly since I’ve completely stopped tagging people, and lowering my hashtag count which severely impacted the listenership. To be specific, I want to shout out Michael; JoJo Nintendo; Linmob; Gamey, and Public Nuisance, who all boost my posts without fail. You folks are awesome.
Moving on, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks, and there have been a few great developments that make this a great industry to follow. Feel free to send in your comments, on the fediverse, or through the website and tell me how you like the show, or what I can do to improve it!. Also, don’t forget to tag me directly if you have any news you’d like to include in the show!
Now, lets see what’s been happening!
First, a little side note. In case you missed it, I released the complete interview with Dan Johansen of the Manjaro ARM project, in its raw unedited state. Feedback has been great, and if you want to listen to it, it’s available for free over on my buy me a coffee page, link is available on the pebkac website and in the show notes. All free of course.
PostmarketOS has had a boomer of a fortnight, with a ton of stuff happening with development, and within their community.
On top of other things, Martijn has been working up an epic looking cheatsheet for users of PostmarketOS, that includes cli commands for common tasks like finding, installing and uninstalling applications; starting, stopping, enabling and disabling services; and installation. For anyone new to PostmarketOS and Alpine in general will find this super helpful. Kudos for a great Idea buddy.
The OnePlus 5 and 5T (cheeseburger) featuring the Snapdragon 835 now has a PostmarketOS port, thanks to the work of Jami Kettunen and several other developers. Over half of the hardware already works, and it looks like the rest might not be far away. Some of the show stoppers for now, are broken Audio; Mobile Data; SMS and Calls. But Wayland, the Touchscreen; Wifi, and 3d acceleration are all working.
PostmarketOS 21.06 Service Pack 4 was released on the 8th of November, with some great updates to Phosh 0.14.0 which includes the launch splash update, and the mediaplayer widget; Numberstation 1.0.0 which now allows import and export, along with the new HOTP support, and eg25-manager 0.4.1 which has gotten GNSS assistance support and some other minor improvements.
Finally, the Postmarket Podcast guys had an interview with Chris Talbot, the main force behind both mmsd and visual voicemail. They had a great chat that I really enjoyed listening to over the course of a drive today, and finding out the more technical details about how mmsd and visual voicemail were developed, and the motivations behind Chris’ work was a real eye opener. Keep up the great work guys!
PS. Thanks to @ollieparanoid for the shoutout at the end of the episode in reference to the interview with Arnaud during episode 1 of the PEBKAC Show. I’m glad you enjoyed it! I subscribe to your podcast on my phone to keep up with all the Postmarket OS news too!
UBports are readying thier OTA-20 update, which brings with it Khmer and Bengali fonts; custom notification sounds; vibration notifications; and support for the Pixel 2 in the UBports installer. You can help out with testing by switching to the Release Candidate stream in your System Settings, Updates, Update Settings, Release Channel then selecting “RC”, back out and install the updates. You can report issues in the GitHub and Forum, links are in the show notes. Any help with testing is welcome!
To all the Ubuntu Touch developers out there, the UBports team would also like help testing Clickable 7, remember to report that you’re using Clickable 7 when reporting bugs on the gitlab repo.
On Saturday, October 23, UBports will hold an informal meetup for users and developers for Ubuntu Touch from the Netherlands and surroundings. If you’re interested, you’re more than welcome! It’s happening in the (please excuse my pronounciation while I completely butcher this) Taperay De Poortvachter op de marki in Coolemborch. That’s about one and a half kilometers from the train station, so easily accessible by public transport. Feel free to join in on Saturday, October 23, from 1 pm to 5 pm. The only cost is for the snacks and drinks you buy on site. If you go, send me back some audio clips, or upload some video!
This fortnight brings some great improvements to Manjaro ARM, with the release of Beta 18. The kernel has been updated to 5.14.15; Posh is pused up to 0.14.0; Phoc gets a bump to 0.9.0; more SIP enhancements are packed into Chatty; Mesa is updated to 21.2.4; mmsd and visual voicemail also get new releases. Systemd and Pipewire get shoved up a notch, and Phosh Anti Spam now hits the 2.0 milestone.
Remember that MMS support is still quite new to the table, and may cause issues with Chatty. You can disable it if needed, information on how to disable it are in the announcement post, the link is in the show notes.
Sailfish gets a nice update to 4.3, which brings a few features and bugfixes. Android app support has been updated to be more integrated into the filesystems, and sharing is now possible with Android apps. Mobile data is more reliable when switching between wifi and mobile data. The browser menu is now swipeable and the settings have been moved around for usability, permissions have been updated as well. The Camera and Email apps now load quicker. Media indexing is faster, including Videos; Pictures and Music. App isolation has been prepared, and will be released in 4.4, where all apps can be isolated, but may require apps to be updated to support it.
As for bugfixes, the HEVC playback in the Gallery app has been fixed; Rooted phone errors in Android apps shouldnt occur anymore; The Android Firefox Copy Paste bug has been fixed; Predictive text issues have been resolved for affected languages; The calendar app has been updated, and support for MS Exchange has been improved.
Now the last little tid bit of OS related news, the new kid on the block, Arch based Kupfer looks to be shaping up well. Screenshots of it running on a OnePlus 6 have surfaced, and it looks to be running Kernel 5.14.0 with a GNOME DE. According to Tuxphones, Kupfer seems to have lifted a page out of PostmarketOS’s playbook, by working toward a set of tools based on kupferbootstrap, making it much easier to port to other devices. The Pinephone and Librem 5 don’t seem to have support as yet, but the OnePlus 6T and BQ Aquaris X5 seem to be on the list.
Peter keeps up his amazing weekly roundups, with so much information that I literally can’t include it all, without blowing out the length of the show. A few of the highlights include links out too: A Kasts update; Nemo Mobile getting a Package manager and Polkit; A major Maemo Leste update; Megi repairing a Pinephone; a video of stopcomputing running Elderscrolls 3 Morrowind running on the PinePhone; updates about enabling suspend on the Librem 5, and CyberPunked running Ubuntu Touch on the OnePlus 6, plus much more!
Thanks to some major changes over the last year, Peter has gone back over his phone setup and come to the realization that his setup is far different to what it used to be. He’s posted a blog article on the 6th, outlining what’s changed, and why he uses particular apps on his phone. Some of them were a surprise to me, but I’ve detinitely got a bit of research to do before I settle again. Have a quick look if you’re at a loss as to what apps might be worth using for your own Linux Phone.
Paul Miller from Cyberdeck Users Weekly, also interviewed Peter where they explored some of Peters history with Linux. It’s a nice long interview, coming in at just over two hours. They had a great discussion, and well worth a listen. There was a lot of nostagia for older technology, but also some great information about the future of Linux Mobile!
But that’s not all, Peter’s also co-hosting a german podcast called TechnikTechnik, where they’re doing a Linux challenge to switch to a distro that is not Arch or Fedora. Last time I checked, they top of the poll was Void Linux, with Gentoo and Slack in second and third place respectively. Head over to the strawpoll and have your say! Links to everything is in the show notes!
PureOS 10 has finally shipped for the Librem 5, bringing with it some interesting improvements. An Encrypted root fs is now available out of the box, and the ability to change the passphrase from the disks app. GNOME 2048 is now a default app, as is Deja Dup. Megapixels is installed by default, and so is GNOME Maps. Basic SIP; Matrix, XMPP and MMS support are included now, and High Contrast mode is now also available.
David is working on a Video Editor called Potatogram, and posted a video showing it working. Nice name by the way, I love it.
News out of Pine64 has been mixed, with some really interesting information about the PinePhone Pro, and a fair amount of hype around its higher speed. Unfortunately, there are still some glaring issues with Audio; calls and camera, but these are being worked on. General consensus from those who have actually got their hands on one, has been good, with most stating that it’s a vast improvement over the original PinePhone, though it does run quite hot.
The PinePhone Keyboard has been delayed again due to Quality of Life changes, but has been rescheduled for release in December. Apparently, the open firmware works out of the box, which is good news, and the brighter screenprinted keys definitely are an improvement.
The PineTime got a new release of Infinitime 1.7, which brings with it some great improvements like being able to set the date and time independantly.
PineDio also got some love as well.
Now for some extremely interesting news, a new hardware mod for the pinephone has been spotted, showing how a simple solder on the mainboard can improve the eMMC speed by up to 2x. This was originally posted by Frederico, and in his blog post, he explains how bridging R614 will force the eMMC into HS200 mode, increasing its potential speed to almost 200MB/s. While the mod is reversable, the Distro installed on the phone must also support it, as it requires software supportto take advantage of this speed. Booting a distro that does not support the mod is still possible from SD card, but it wont boot from eMMC without the required changes integrated into the OS. Currently, PostmarketOS is the only distro that has required package available. No doubt more will soon jump on the bandwagon!
And lastly from the manufacturer list, Volla is searching for a Embedded Software Developer for a 3 year research role. Responsabilities include implementing Volla Hardware interfaces; QA of dev results, and hardware adaption support for Ubuntu Touch on Volla hardware. Work from home is allowed, with biannual meetings for presentations and voting.
If that sounds like you, the link is in the show notes. Give it a go! This sounds like a great opportunity, that can also benefit the community at large!
Now for some software updates:
Calls 4.1 was released two weeks ago, with fixes for contact lookups, and timestamps. It also no fills in the domain properly when dialing SIP addresses.
Chatty 0.5.0 Beta has been released with a whole host of fixes. Just a sample, improved Avatar support; Indentation and memory leak fixes; MMS checks; Attachment views; translation updates, and general code cleanups. There is a ton more, check the changelog!
In GNOME news, Toasts are now available in libadwaita; the file conflict dialog got ported ready for the coming redesign; and the popover got a redesign.
Fluffychat can now do Push Notifications, using Unified Push and Gotify, a great tutorial is available over on reddit, explaining how to do it. Now we just need to get Gotify working on Mobile Linux!
Miles Alan released Mepo, and OSM map viewer for Linux. Version 0.1 should be available in PostmarketOS and Alpine Edge at the time this episode gets released.
Claudio Cambra has released Kalendar version 0.1.0, and version 0.2.0 in the course of the last fortnight, bringing big performance gains, iCal imports imporved sidebar, customizeable sync’d calendars and some Quality of Life improvements, along with a ton of bug fixes.
Glossaico, the language learning platform hit’s it’s 1.0 beta release, is designed for mobile platforms, and uses Python and QT. Currently, there are tree available languages for English speakers.
nachtandnebel has been working on a Signal client called Signal-RS using QML and Rust, and the general consensus so far has been that it is minimalist, but good.
And finally, Amazfish has gotten stepcounter support for the PineTime!
In community news:
Linux Lounge has posted a video explaining how the PinePhone isn’t quite ready to be used as a daily driver for most people.
Danct12 has uploaded a video showing his experience unboxing the PinePhone Pro, and a ton of pictures showing what’s in the box, and a comparison with the original PinePhone Dock. Damn, that keyboard looks nice.
Caleb managed to get his hands on Photon Q, showing it running Alpine Linux Edge, with XFCE and LightDM. Keep up the great posts!
And that about rounds out the show! It’s been another big week of coolness, and I’m glad you could join me. Remember to drop me a line on the Fediverse; shoot me a note on the website, or tag me if you have any announcements you’d like broadcast! Thanks again, and I’ll see you again around the 1st of December! Peace!