Dennis ten Hoove


Pinephone - nearly 2 months in with Mobian

So far I am really satisfied with the Pinephone. It's a very nice piece of affordable hardware. I have been running Mobian since pretty much right after I received the phone, I have been keeping a close eye on the Mobian git page, reported any bugs I encountered and supported feature requests I liked. The main feature request I am hyped for is an image using F2FS on root. F2FS tends to perform a bit better on flash storage devices, it's also what I usually choose for my root file system on the desktop. I will likely wait for the next F2FS image or for it to be made default in the next 'stable' image which should release on the 16th next month if Mobian keeps to it's release schedule. Mobian development is going slowly but surely, the software in the Mobian repos is maintained nicely and receives regular updates. Mobian initially was a bit sluggish, bugs and crashed where common. Recent updates made the interface a lot more responsive. It still can't compare to the Manjaro or Fedora images in performance so it still has a long way to go. Phosh still crashes every now and then, and so do applications like Firefox. Hopefully once Debian pushes Firefox 78 LTS in a week or so stability will improve. The supplied MESA-git is now stable enough for me to play games like SuperTuxKart on the phone. The game really doesn't run great performance-wise. And the touch controls don't scale well in portrait mode. It will probably become a lot more playable when I do some config-file magic to and set the resolution correctly for landscape mode since the game does not detect the change of the device switching between the two modes. I can always fall back to SuperTux I guess, it runs pretty well and is quite playable with a Dualshock 4 controller on the Pinephone. Since I am talking about Firefox anyway.. I did some testing on the Manjaro image and noticed that Firefox 78 performs quite a bit better on the Pinephone with Webrender enabled. I would prefer to have the latest version of Firefox installed, I tried building it on the phone but Debian Sid has issues with the Firefox build scripts. These issues have already been reported and there is nothing I can do about them myself. So I can't build the application on the phone, it just spits out meaningless Python errors. I want to try out something new, so I will be moving over to PureOS which I haven't previously used before.