Once again it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I am getting a bit caught up with life and am going to try and resume some more regular blogging.
Lets start with a quick post about the Pinephone pro. I had gotten not one, but two of the orig pinephones. Nice fun to play with, but so many non upstream patches to get everything working made it pretty much impossible that it would ever be able to have a Fedora spin. Also, it was really quite slow at pretty much everything. ;( Enter the pinephone pro that was announced late last year.
I signed up for the very first batch of pinephone pro’s and managed to get one! First, for some reason, the shipper (DHL international) decided to use USPS for the last leg of the shipping to my house. This is not ok, because I don’t actually have USPS service here. 🙁 I did finally manage to get a hold of the local postoffice to go in and claim my package from them.
The pro is very similar to the older pinephone in size, appearance and also accessories like batteries, usb dock and such. It’s a LOT faster than the old pinephone. Still probibly not up to a top tier phone, but it seems pretty similar in performance to my daily driver phone (a OnePlus 3t running /e/ os). Also, much more support is already upstream or more easily upstreamable.
The pinephone pro has a SPI (apparently all generations, although I don’t have a cite, this is just what I have heard). A SPI is a small flash area you can place a boot loader. There’s a fork of the uboot loader called ‘towboot’ that many folks are flashing there. towboot has nice support for a phone device. It lights up the led based on whats happening (before the screen), it lets you use volume and select to decide if you want to boot the eMMC (internal flash) or microsd card, etc. I finally broke down and ran the towboot installer. Worked fine and it’s nice to have a bit more control over the boot process. A group of folks are pushing pine64 to just ship with towboot on SPI in later batches, we will see how that goes.
Thanks to javierm, we have a Fedora kernel and uboot with pinephone pro patches on top in copr now, along with osbuild templates to use that kernel/uboot to make a raw image for the phone. There’s more patches to test and then all of them to upstream, but progress is being made.
Next steps for the mobility sig are to start getting a change together, update the phosh comps group, and get kickstarts together (in case we can land before fedora uses osbuild). Progress is slower than anyone would like, but I hope later this year we will have a pinephone pro image (or two)!