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Updates on Librem 5 Shipping and Development

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Librem 5 Birch’s 10kΩ Resistor Fun, Devices Prepping for Shipping

    Purism is working to solve no shortage of problems; making a phone with a never-before used CPU for mobile, to authoring an entire mobile OS, to designing the hardware from scratch. Not to forget forging a social purpose company, avoiding toxic funding, and solving digital civil rights by creating products that are convenient to use and look good. All because of your continued support.

    Many of our customers are interested in what goes on behind the scenes when making a phone, so we wanted to share for transparency the kinds of issues that can come up. For instance, with our Birch batch, we sent our hardware engineers the very first phones off of the line ahead of schedule so they could perform quality control testing. We discovered a 10kΩ resistor was missing from the PCBA!

  • The Librem 5 "Birch" Batch Was Missing A Resistor But Now Fixed

    Librem 5 "Birch" batch was supposed to be shipping from 29 October to 26 November. They are now preparing to start shipping this second iteration of the Librem 5 Linux smartphone after early units in this batch were missing a resistor.

    The missing resistor on the Librem 5 phone PCB led to a non-working USB port. It's not clear how the resistor ended up missing from this batch or if it had been in place for the Aspen batch or not.

  • Librem 5 October 2019 Software Update

    The Librem 5 software team were busy in October, improving power consumption and heat generation through kernel and driver changes. The team also refactored and improved integration between various apps by using libfolks as a common foundation, added new features to keyboard, Settings, Shell and Compositor and squashed many bugs.

  • Purism Outlines Librem 5 Software Work During October - Including Battery / Thermal

    Purism has finally published their blog post outlining the software work they accomplished during October on bringing up the Librem 5 smartphone.

    October's software efforts included kernel items like working to improve the battery life and reduce the heat output of the work-in-progress Librem 5 as well as maturing their user-space components.

“What Librem 5 batch am I in?”

Filed under
Hardware
Gadgets

Previously we’ve indicated that we would contact people as their particular batch is being prepared for shipping. For instance, we have started sending out emails to backers who will receive Birch in the coming days and weeks.

As we mentioned in our post Supplying the Demand, we were surprised at the demand for our early batches. We also expect that some customers will change their mind one (or more) times about which batch they’d prefer as each batch comes out and more videos, pictures, and articles are posted. For these and other reasons we’ve been reluctant to notify people which batch they are likely to be in, as it could change as people change their minds and slots open up.

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This Linux-Based Smartphone Will Keep You Completely Anonymous

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

We are being constantly monitored through the devices and apps we use on a regular basis. One of the biggest ways of surveillance is our smartphone and the majority of users are divided between two — Android and iOS.

But there is a new Linux-based smartphone dubbed Volla Phone on Kickstarter, that rethinks the entire approach to how we use our smartphones and all its features are based around protecting user anonymity.

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Leaving Apple & Google – /e/ mobile OS next steps: a Roadmap for 2020

Filed under
OS
Gadgets

As the /e/ OS remains quite complex to install, we have partnered with a refurbisher to offer a range of smartphones pre-installed with /e/OS. It’s been available since summer 2019 in the EU, and with Australia/New Zealand coming very shortly. Arrangements for offering this in the US are also underway.

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Database of 200+ smartphones that can run Linux (unofficially)

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The vast majority of smartphones in the world ship with some version of Google’s Android operating system. And most of them are only supported by their manufacturers for a few years.

Have a phone that’s 3-4 years old? Then you’re probably not getting any Android updates anymore. No more security patches. No new features.

Of course, some folks can run custom ROMs such as LineageOS, which lets you install updates indefinitely… but want to break out of Android altogether? There are a handful of other GNU/Linux-based operating systems including Ubuntu Touch, postmarketOS, and Maemo Leste that are designed to, among other things, help give your phone a longer lifespan.

One tricky thing can be figuring out which phones are supported. That’s where a new Can My Phone Run Linux database from TuxPhones comes in.

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PinePhone: Everything You Need to Know About This Linux Smartphone

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

The PinePhone specs, price and design are all tailored towards keeping it a super low $149 price point.

Pitched as a cheap alternative to Android and iOS devices, the PinePhone is built for Linux enthusiasts and developers who will appreciate its privacy-minded open source software and its hardware kill switches.

But let’s be totally clear: the Pinephone isn’t out to one-up Samsung’s latest handset or rival flagship devices from other OEMs. It’s has more humble ambitions: provide a reliable, open, hackable (and potentially upgradeable) smartphone platform, powered by Linux.

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Sailfish OS Torronsuo is now available

Filed under
OS
Gadgets

Sailfish OS 3.2.0 Torronsuo is a substantial release introducing updated hardware adaptation support, which enables us to bring Sailfish X to newer generation devices like the Sony Xperia 10. The Xperia 10 is also the first device to come with user data encryption enabled by default, and with SELinux, Security-Enhanced Linux, access control framework enabled. We’ll be rolling out SELinux policies in phases. For now Torronsuo introduces SELinux policies for display control (MCE), device startup and background services (systemd), and more will follow in upcoming releases. We have a few details of the Xperia 10 support to finalise, and will announce Sailfish X for the Sony Xperia 10 within the upcoming weeks.

Torronsuo National Park is in the Tavastia Proper region of Finland. This park is valuable for its birdlife and butterfly species. Roughly a hundred species nest in the area. Part of the birds and insects are species that typically live in the northern areas, and they aren’t seen much elsewhere in southern Finland.

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UBports's Ubuntu Touch Release

Filed under
Ubuntu
Gadgets

  • Ubuntu Touch Q&A 62

    Unity8 from 2017 (plus many patches) and Mir 1.x have arrived in Ubuntu Touch releases on the devel channel. Read more at What's this Edge merge anyway?

    OTA-12 is off to a great start even without these changes, with fixes to private mode coming in this week.

    Ubports Installer 0.4 has been released

    After months of effort to refactor and re-implement parts of the installer, Jan was pleased to announce the release of the UBports Installer 0.4. This release features a new task-based config file format that allows the Installer to act on many types of Android or Android-like devices. It also makes the Installer far more versatile, now able to install custom Android distributions and Ubuntu Touch alike. It can even boot AsteroidOS on a smartwatch.

    The config file format has enabled us to bring support for the Sony Xperia X and Oneplus 3 (and 3T) to the installer as well. Both of these devices have very advanced (but not yet perfect!) hardware support and installing is easy with only a few clicks. For more information, please see the respective threads for the Sony Xperia X and Oneplus 3(T).

  • UBports Begins Offering Ubuntu Touch 64-Bit ARM Images

    While Ubuntu Touch has run on AArch64 hardware, to date their builds have been focused on 32-bit mode support. Fortunately, for select devices, they are now spinning 64-bit images.

    Besides being able to support more than 4GB of RAM with ease, the 64-bit images have resulted in applications launching faster and perform better thans to the ARMv8 architecture.

  • Ubuntu Touch Is Now Finally Available as 64-Bit ARM Images for Ubuntu Phones

    The UBports community has announced today that its Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system for Ubuntu Phones is now finally available to download as 64-bit ARM images.

    After announcing last week an updated Ubuntu Touch Installer that adds support for the OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, and Sony Xperia X Android smartphones as Ubuntu Phones, UBports has released today 64-bit ARM images of Ubuntu Touch for the Sony Xperia X and OnePlus 3 and 3T phones for a faster and more optimized experience.

SUSI.AI Smart Speaker release 20191105

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

SUSI.AI aims at bringing a privacy aware personal assistant onto all of your devices. It runs on Android phones, desktop computers, and RaspberryPi based smart speakers. With the switch to Debian/buster, a lot of problems creeped in and the main application became extremely unstable, crashing in libportaudio2 with very unclear symptoms. Thanks to hint by Felix Yan we were able to fix libportaudio2 locally, and finally got a working and stable image.

During the last summer, a great team of GSoC students have worked on SUSI.AI in general, and on the smart speaker in particular. At the moment SUSI.AI can be installed onto RaspberryPi as well as any Debian based distribution (in particular Debian/buster and Ubuntu 19.04 upward).

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Linux Phone, Librem 5

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Gadgets

How often do we hear of phones that offer digital privacy and security? Librem 5 is a Linux powered smartphone that is built on PureOS, an open-source operating system that is completely free, secure and privacy focused.

PureOS: What is it and how is it built?

PureOS, developed by the company Purism is a general-purpose operating system based on Debian. It is a GNU/Linux based distribution that can be used either as live media or in the form of an operating system on a hard disk. PureOS is fully free for any purpose you want to use it for. The best part about the software is that it allows you to encrypt your data and entire operating system with your own password or encryption keys. It also helps you surf the web or use software apps without the fear of being tracked or controlled.

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More in Tux Machines

This week in KDE: building up to something big

We’ve got some really big things planned and in progress for Plasma 5.18 and Frameworks, and work proceeds smoothly. None of it is quite done yet, but we did land a number of nice bugfixes and user interface polish for issues that have been irritating people for years…and mere days! Read more

GNOME in Review and Outreachy in GNOME

  • Ten Years Past GNOME's 10x10 Goal, The Linux Desktop Is Still Far From Having A 10% Marketshare [Ed: The desktop itself is on the decline and they're not counting Chromebooks (or misuse the brand "Linux")]

    That very ambitious 10x10 goal is still documented on the GNOME Wiki and is about "10% of the global desktop market." Perhaps in some very select geographic regions, the Linux desktop marketshare may be close to 10%, but on any large scale that goal is still a pipe-dream. [...] In any case, GNOME has advanced a lot over the past decade and particularly the past 2~3 years since Canonical switched back to GNOME Shell by default and has helped in addressing many bugs -- including several high profile performance issues. GNOME 3.34 is a hell of a lot better than the state of GNOME 3.0 from at the start of this decade. In reliving GNOME's highlights from the past decade, here is a look at the twenty most viewed GNOME stories since 2010.

  • Outreachy week-2 progress report!

    It was a really productive week. I am almost done with the current tasks. I’ve finished replicating the wire-frame of gnome-builder’s search-and-replace-bar widget into the libdazzle-example application. There are a couple (or maybe a couple more) of final nitpicks to do to actually mark these as finished. At the moment, I am far more comfortable with the project. Nothing seems really alien-sih now, rather most of the stuffs (from the project) looks quite familier (and imparts somewhat proper sense).

D9VK 0.40

  • D9VK, the Direct3D9 to Vulkan layer has a huge new 0.40 'Croakacola' release out

    For use with Wine and Steam Play Proton, D9VK is the awesome project based on DXVK which translates Direct3D9 to Vulkan for better performance. A big new release just went out. Codenamed Croakacola, D9VK 0.40 is a big one. D9VK can now use more than 4GB VRAM on 32-bit applications/games, with it being noted to help modded Skyrim/Oblivion and obviously more too. There's also now async presentation across all vendors, some "query flushing" improvements, performance fixes for Risen and Legend of the Heroes: Trails of the Sky, bloom rendering fixes for SpinTyres/Mudrunner and other misc updates.

  • D9VK 0.40 Uses Async Present On All Drivers, Various Other Features + Perf Optimizations

    D9VK 0.40 is out today as the latest feature update to this Direct3D 9 over Vulkan translation layer based on DXVK. D9VK lead developer Joshua Ashton released version 0.40 today as the "Croakacola" release and it includes some big features like for 32-bit applications to be able to utilize more than 4GB of video RAM, which should help Skyrim, Oblivion, and other games.

Graphics: Mesa 20.0 Development, Mir Work and Radeon's Linux Limits

  • Mesa 20.0-devel Intel Gallium3D Performance Benchmarks Are Looking Good For Ice Lake

    While the Mesa 20.0 cycle is quite young and still over one month to go until the feature freeze for this next quarterly installment of these open-source OpenGL/Vulkan Linux drivers, it's quite exciting already with the changes building up. In particular, on the Intel side they are still positioning for the Intel Gallium3D driver to become the new default on hardware of generations Broadwell and newer. Here is a quick look at how the Intel Gallium3D performance is looking compared to their legacy "i965" classic OpenGL driver that is the current default. As you should already know if you've been reading Phoronix for any real length of time, the new Intel Gallium3D driver is quite competitive and for supported generations is generally now ahead of their classic OpenGL driver. The Intel Gallium3D driver supports OpenGL 4.6 like the i965 driver and the lingering bugs are just being addressed before turning it on as the default Intel OpenGL Linux driver while i965 will be sticking around as the default for Haswell and older.

  • Ubuntu's Mir Display Stack Accomplished A Lot In 2019 For Being Discounted Two Years Ago

    Canonical's Alan Griffiths continues leading the Mir efforts and his team had a very busy 2019 continuing to push along Mir even though it's not featured on the Ubuntu desktop right now is still playing a big role at the company due to IoT use-cases like digital signage. Griffiths provided a look back at Mir in 2019 on Ubuntu Discourse. Here were some of the highlights:

  • AMD releases the Radeon 5500XT

    Now step forward almost six months and the drivers for the 5700 and 5500 lines still don’t exist. OK sure there are drivers for Ubuntu 18.04.03, and ONLY for Ubuntu 18.04.03, nothing newer.