Intelligence is simply talking to many people


Suggestions for improvement, hardware:

  • Two microSD card slots. Since users often run their OS with one, how are they to move documents to their PinePhone. Currently, they would have to take their OS microSD out, plug it into a computer, and put the files on, or transfer over internet. Better solution is a second microSD, so they can add to their mp3s, pdfs, etc.

Suggestions for improvement, software:

  • shortcut for screen resolution. Currently, if you want to switch to 100% from the 200% resolution best for apps designed for the phone screen, you have to go through Settings etc. But this is a task you want to just click a button. A toggle could be added to the top of screen menu. Ideally, you should be able to make shortcuts in the top slidedown screen for anything you want (more or less)
  • Processing indicator animation icon. On PinePhone, sometime things seem to be taking a long time, and you don't know if the machine or process is frozen. Even on Terminal. It would be better to have some kind of indicator to show things were still happening and it's not frozen.
  • Image viewer should hold the 'left' and 'right' icons for longer. It currently displays them for like 2 seconds before they disappear, and you have to click twice to scroll to next image. It should hold for 15 or 30 seconds, and/or should be an option users can set. Also currently to swipe to next image, you have to place your finger basically off the screen and swipe. You should be able to place your finder on the left 5 or 10% of the screen and swipe.

PINEPHONE - INSTALLING AN OS (this also shows how to check the .img is authentic)

Method1 (boot from microUSB): use a microSD and put an OS on it and boot from it on your PinePhone (PinePhones boot from microSDs inserted in them before they boot from the internal (eMMC) memory, so anytime there's a microSD in them they'll try to boot from that first.

Method2 (install on phone): use a microSD and put the 'jumpdrive' on it, which allows you to then plug in your PinePhone to your computer with a USB and treat the PinePhone internale (eMMC) memory as a drive (then you write an OS onto that drive).

Method2 directions:

If you make a folder in your Downloads folder and name it PinePhoneStuff (you can do it otherwise, but this will make it easier to follow the code below). When you enter lsblk you can see by the size of the 'drives' that sda is my PinePhone and sdb is the sd card inside my PinePhone right now (an 8gb microSD). Therefore, I'm going to target sda when I do the dd command below (to write the .img file to the drive.

Download the jumpdrive from the internet onto your computer (mine looks like mobian-installer-pinephone-phosh-20210516.img) and then unzip it into a folder on your computer (I used a folder inside Downloads called PinePhoneStuff, as you can see in the code below). Put your microSD into your computer, delete any partitions and content on it (using Disks), and use Disk Writer to write the mobian-installer-pinephone-phosh-20210516.img to the microSD (right click on mobian-installer-pinephone-phosh-20210516.img then select Disk Writer (program), then (BE CAREFUL YOU CAN DESTROY YOUR COMPUTER HERE IF YOU SELECT YOUR COMPUTER'S HARDDRIVE) select the microSD from the dropdown be looking at the size). It will take seconds to write because it's small. Now put the microSD into your PinePhone and start your PinePhone. You will see 'Jumpdrive is running' if everything is working so far.

Now you can plug your PinePhone into your computer with a USB. Open Gparted and select your PinePhone from the dropdown (select by size again BE CAREFUL YOU CAN DESTROY YOUR COMPUTER IF YOU SELECT THE WRONG ONE). You'll probably see 2 partitions now. Delete them each (you might have to unlock them first, which probably means just going to your folder view and right-click unmount them). Once deleted, you can proceed (because you have nothing on your PinePhone's internal (eMMC) memory now. So open Terminal and type lsblk. (Notice that I put 'computername' and 'username' but yours will say something specific to your computer.) ANOTHER TIME it showed a Fat32 partition which had no 'delete' option (greyed out), but I just wrote to it anyway with Disk Image Writer.

computername:~$ lsblk

sdb 8:16 1 7.5G 0 disk
└─sdb1 8:17 1 49M 0 part /media/username/SDNAME nvme0n1 259:0 0 238.5G 0 disk
├─nvme0n1p1 259:1 0 512M 0 part /boot/efi ├─nvme0n1p2 259:2 0 732M 0 part /boot └─nvme0n1p3 259:3 0 237.3G 0 part
└─sda3_crypt 253:0 0 237.2G 0 crypt ├─vgubuntu--studio-root │ 253:1 0 236.3G 0 lvm / └─vgubuntu--studio-swap_1 253:2 0 976M 0 lvm [SWAP]

username@computername:~$ sudo dd bs=64k if=~/Downloads/PinePhoneStuff/mobian-installer-pinephone-phosh-20210516.img of=/dev/sda status=progress

(note that it might be sda, sdb, sdc, depending where your phone is mounted. Run lsblk without the phone plugged in, look at the sizes of the media, then plug in and do the same. Don't forget that your microSD that you have in your phone for JumpDrive will be found as yet another drive by lsblk.)

[sudo] password for username:

(wait a while, maybe 5 minutes ... then see:)

7997816832 bytes (8.0 GB, 7.4 GiB) copied, 404 s, 19.8 MB/s 122070+1 records in 122070+1 records out 8000000000 bytes (8.0 GB, 7.5 GiB) copied, 619.432 s, 12.9 MB/s

Then it'll return to the ready to accept a command state (Terminal will, I mean). Unplug your phone, remove the microSD, reboot the phone (by holding down the power button for several seconds each way). It should now bot into a Mobian screen (it might show a screen asking for a password, but just wait a bit and I think it'll just bypass that). You can select you install options. Then it will 'unpack' which takes about 15 or 20 minutes I think.


Blinking blue light? Known issue. Turn it off:

echo '0' > /sys/class/leds/blue:indicator/brightness

(replace 0 with 1 to turn it on)


  • nautilus (maybe not necessary if using Thunar. I forget why I installed it)
  • musescore or musescore3
  • musescore3: sid (unstable), bullseye (testing/Debian 11), buster-backports (stable/Debian 10), stretch-backports-sloppy (oldstable/Debian 9)
  • musescore: buster (stable/Debian 10), stretch-backports (oldstable/Debian 9), jessie-backports-sloppy (oldoldstable/Debian 8)
  • mpv
  • ddgr (duckduckgobrowser)
  • falkon browser (for direct connection)
  • firefox (torified browser with settings set to minimize stuff)
  • wipri mac address-anonymizer
  • firejail sandboxing (easy to use configurator)
  • inkscape
  • lmms
  • featherpad
  • Kden
  • Thunar
  • GNU
  • Featherpad
  • Hydrogen H2

Instructions (more condensed). Put jumpdrive .img on microSD and Mobian OS .img file on computer. And open a text editor to paste the below code and edit it with your specific Mobian .img)

  1. microSD in computer. format it and write the jumpdrive .img onto it
  2. microSD into phone and start phone (it says 'Jumpdrive is running')
  3. format the phone's harddrive with Disks or Gparted. Actually, it didn't work for me with Disks but then it did with only using Gparted to delete the eMMC contents - I didn't format it)
  4. open Terminal and type in lsblk to double check which drive is your PinePhone (probably sda and sdb might be your 8gb microSD running Jumpdrive)
  5. Assuming it is sda and assuming you have a folder called 'PinePhoneStuff' in your Downloads folder, paste the below command in a text editor and replace mobian-pinephone-phosh-20210517.img with the one you have, then:

sudo dd bs=64k if=~/Downloads/PinePhoneStuff/mobian-pinephone-phosh-20210517.img of=/dev/sda status=progress

  1. Now it installs. Leave it for 5 minutes or whatever. Then Terminal will complete its task. Take the microSD out and restart your PinePhone by holding down the power and down-volume buttons for several seconds. Done.
  2. You might need to reboot the PinePhone, or you might need to give it time to boot up.

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