Pinephone redpills for normie Linux users. :pine64:

- The Pinephone was built for the greater Pine64 community as a means of developing and advancing mobile Linux and creating a space for wider market adoption. It is a development device, it was never made to compete with popular Android devices or iPhones.

- The Pinephone has an open hardware design and boots using the uboot bootloader. The qualtec modem on the phone (yes every phone has a modem). Does run it's own proprietary firmware that is independent of the OS running on the Pinephone. This is just a reality of hardware and we've come a long way. Several years ago this was just a dream and now it's a reality. There is a FOSS firmware replacement for the qualtec modem but it is reversed engineered, so you're mileage may vary. While this device is mostly libre, it was never designed to pander to the FSF extremist crowd.

- The Pinephone (along with other Pine64 products) does offer useful privacy features for the user (like hardware dip switches). But the device was not made to be the most perfect and immaculate device for privacy and security, no device is.

- Some people are just so extreme, and paranoid that to them everything is backdoored, everything is a honeypot. So they bad mouth the project with unproven and baseless claims (like all ARM SoCs are backdoored, it was made in China so it's CCP backdoored, etc). This kind of rhetoric is so unproductive and the same people that spout this FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), will ultimately walk around town with a Samsung or iPhone all day long and not think twice about it. Or they will cite ISP and cell tower tracking. Look the Pinephone was not created to help El Chapo run his drug empire. These arguments are stupid and pointless. If you are that paranoid, get off the internet and stop using electronics all together.

- Also if your going throw out blanket statements about Pinephone hardware being backdoored, then actually back it up with technical data and proof. Otherwise your just a fool and a troll. This just feeds into the greater software/hardware utopia fantasy that people with fall into where they will pick apart everything about FOSS projects to find fault and then throw it all out and demand perfection or no support or usage. Totally damaging to the progress of free software in my opinion, especially in such a hostile, political and complicated environment of big tech and hardware manufacturers.

- The Pinephone, even the beta version, still have good enough hardware to get the job done with it's intended tasks of being for developers to advance and refine mobile Linux platforms. A lot of the battery and modem issues are a result of needed software optimization and I've seen a 110% improvement over the span of a year, all of the headaches in the past were totally software related. We not going to go from concept to Android competitor without a lot of hard work and dedication. Bitching on the internet about performance and not contributing code or testing or money to the project is typical entitled behavior and holds us back.

- At the end of the day it's a Linux SoC computer with phone capabilities, it was never intended to be a consumer grade product, it's meant to help pave the road for a future consumer grade product. Unfortunately mobile Linux will always be in the shadow of Android and iOS, just like desktop Linux will always be in the shadow of Windows and MacOS.

- There are no BSD ports for the Pinephone as far as I know, I wouldn't hold your breath for one.

- There are 3 main mobile GUI environments for Linux, KDE Plasma Mobile, phosh, and sxmo. (yes I know there are others, but these are the most important). KDE Plasma Mobile is usable but it still is immature and buggy and has years to go before it can rival the others. Phosh is the most mature GUI for mobile Linux, it's very stable and functional, and has been in development the longest out all other projects. sxmo is great too, and can help with some the performance issues due it's low overhead in resource usage. The only downside is the learning curve as it relies on hardware button combinations to run the window manager.

- The phone is free as in freedom, nothing is really locked down and your options are pretty large. You can run a variety of distros and make personal security, privacy enhancements. Just the more exotic you want to get, the more advanced your skill level needs to be with Linux and ARM SoCs.

I hope that can clear up some confusion. My Pinephone runs Arch Linux ARM + Phosh and it's good enough to daily driver as a cellular phone, but has the added perks of being a GNU/Linux computer with terminal, ssh, etc. The battery life is good to, I only charge it when I'm sleeping, that's it, and it keeps a charge all day. But I'm not on the device all day like a maniac either.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

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Also for any that want to debate me about supposed backdoors, or if the device is actually libre, here's the datasheet and user manual for the Allwinner A64 ARM CPU, and the source code for uboot and the lima driver for the MALI-400MP2.


Also: it's great to have options out there which keep the Android and iOS people on their toes.

@nerdtronics What led to this post? I agree, PinePhone is not perfect but pretty darn close. I have a beta running @postmarketOS with #SXMO and loving it. Just need a little more processing speed and battery life. Was able to take authy my iOS device and hoping to buy a Pro next month and go full time on PinePhone

#postmarketOS #SXMO #righttorepair

@jppelt @postmarketOS

A YouTuber called Mental Outlaw made a community post about getting the Pinephone Pro and the comment section was rife with FUD, misinformation, and misconceptions.

@nerdtronics @postmarketOS I think most@of the negative comments are for those who do not understand or shouldn’t own one. Those who do are perfectly happy.

I cancelled my Mint Mobile but was using it fairly regularly for a while experimenting with different load…wish I could make Sailfish OS work…and DEs - posh, KDE, and SXMO.

I settled on Postmarket SXMO. The limfacs were 1) some needed software I had on my iOS (took care of that) and 2) overall hardware.

Pro looking good. Bye bye iOS 🀞

Your opinion doesn't equal a red pill, it just equals your opinion. To suggest that Linux is in anyway a shadow in the face of MacOS or Windows is an illusion, because it suggests a single market, the truth of the matter is people have different needs and the markets are divided according to their needs. My car is inferior in terms of power to a formula 1 race car, but I don't need that kind of power for commuting and what I have is more than sufficient to the task. People who like windows and MacOS are people who don't like to be faced with choices, they are sheep that prefer the choices made for them, same is true for IOS and Android phones. There is nothing superior in sheep unless you happen to like Mutton or wool.


> To suggest that Linux is in anyway a shadow in the face of MacOS or Windows is an illusion

I was more or less using it as illustration of people desiring all the latest apps and features that the proprietary systems can offer.
Mobile Linux and desktop Linux will never be able to cater to everyone's needs, and that's not a bad thing. I just want people to adopt a more realistic expectation of FOSS and to stop waiting for something that's never going to happen. I do like your car analogy though, you make great points.

> Your opinion doesn't equal a red pill, it just equals your opinion.

I was using the term "redpill" as means to break misconceptions about the Pinephone and misinformation about it that keeps circulating the net. I've had to do this with OpenBSD to a lot.

@nerdtronics NOTHING caters to everyone's needs. But what Linux does cater to is people who like to make their own choices, independent thinkers as opposed to Sheeple. The latter of course are still the majority of the market, and it's what allows things like the World Economic Forum and all the other modern atrocities to exist.


I totally agree with you, but many people don't understand this concept. I made a video about my Pinephone last year when I was still using Manjaro + KDE Plasma mobile, and it had some shortcomings (I experienced a massive performance + stability/usability boost by switch to danctix's build of Arch ARM and the phosh mobie environment).

Several comments were people just disgusted with the phone, even though it's a revolutionary kinds of device in terms of privacy, freedom, right to repair. But they still lamented that it wasn't comparable to a iPhone or Android in terms of performances, available software to use, etc. Terms like "unacceptable" were thrown around. And these viewers are Linux/BSD users. So fundamental the smart phone is so entrenched in daily life that the ideas of software freedom and privacy are thrown to wayside. Which is fine, there is GrapheneOS, but instead of using an ungoogled android, I'd rather using GNU/Linux, and libre firmware/hardware designs.

@nerdtronics I think one also has to consider it is an entry unit, a new concept device, I had one of the early cell phones, the bricks, and it is far ahead of those. Give it time. I can remember when games were virtually non-existent on Linux, now I've got Steam and N-64 emulator and the graphics are better than the N-64 was. I still can't get Flyff to run under Linux though but that's mostly because of the stupid root-kit that it comes with, nuez.exe otherwise known as Easy Anti-Cheat that uses non-documented calls not supported by Wine. I bought a Mac in 2012, and used MacOS for several years, then dual-booted Linux on it. By three months I found I was using Linux for everything except Garage Band, because it was so much faster and cleaner than MacOS was. I think we'll see a similar evolution with Pine phone and other devices over time. Windows 11 is not doing itself any favors by trying to lock people into a proprietary platform that must call home.


Your argument makes no sense. If markets are divided according to consumer needs why assume that all consumers with phones are tech professionals who specialize in cell phone development? After all, consumerism caters to sheep and sheep keep markets running allowing you to commute to work in your consumer car. There’s nothing wrong with this

So teach me. Can I dial 911 with Pinephone ? That’s all I need and want for the moment. Thanks

@AlohaPilgrim @nanook

Yes the Pinephone has the software to do all basic phone operations, calls, emergency numbers, and SMS texts. MMS texts do work with extra tweaks (not by default).

@nerdtronics How are you able to write such a long toot? That is incredible.


Our instance is running a fork of Mastodon called glitch-soc, and the character limits have been modified. You get this by default on pleroma.

Pleroma instances allow upto 5000 characters per post.
what's the exact difference between pleroma and mastodon

Never heard of it. Would probably do /run/install/configure: devuan , gentoo, slackware or void /obarun : :gnu: :gnu: :anarchistflagblack: :acab: :debian: :anarchyblob:


Its worth a google man, PostmarketOS has a solid pinephone port. Unless you have experience with ARM and mobile configuration, its not the same as x86.

@nerdtronics I really like the idea of starting with a relatively underpowered device and setting the goal of trying to achieve something close to consumer grade using nothing but software. I think it sets a great goal to measure where software should be. I don't think Linux phones are ever going to really compete with the Samsung phones in terms of CPU speed but they can easily make up for it in code.

in short proprietary coders are lazy always wanting more CPU/RAM

@nerdtronics where is Samsung and iPhones can have bronze, Linux phones can have brains. where a Samsung phone uses all 16 GB of RAM to run the GUI, a Linux phone can shine by running a GUI just as fast on only 2 GB of RAM.

Linux phones can compete and beat big store phones by being cheaper, and achieving similar performance due to Superior coding.

that is the strength of the FOSS community...
don't ask for faster CPUs, ask for cleaner code!

Cleaner code β‰  faster code.
It's just easier to understand and thus change, doesn't makes it any faster.

Android is slower in comparison between it runs the entire userland on a virtual machine (ART). Native is obviously better comparison because it doesn't have the overhead of the VM

@colinsmatt11 @nerdtronics well and I imagine apps running in a VM makes it easier for kernel devs because it's the phone manufactured job to deal with drivers

Consider how much Android is behind mainline arguably it would be easier but risky as well. But I'm not a kernel dev so I'm not sure about that.

@nerdtronics @aspensmonster thanks for the lengthy but on-point post (aint gonna call it toot with this length 😜).

One need to have a real itch to scratch to understand the philosophy behind such phone, and as you said it is paving the way for a potentially brighter future.

I'm actively thinking about getting one and switching to it, but few things are holding me back and I wonder if you have any suggestions:

- Signal client
- Bitwarden
- a stable way to run Android/iOS apps (my bank app)

@Mehrad @aspensmonster

Well in terms of signal client or bitwarden, the biggest problem is screen size. These Linux programs may compile and run on arm64, but they don't have UI tailored for mobile use. The only program that I'm aware of that can do this is Firefox (with custom tweaks). So either you submit patches to those projects to be more mobile screen friendly, or you seek tui alternates and do things from the terminal.

My solution is to reorient my dependency on smart phones. I remember when it was literally just a device to make or receive phone calls and or sms texts. Maybe a calculator, or type some quick notes of things I'm might forget later, etc. Most of this stuff can wait until I get home so I can use a proper PC or laptop to do the rest.

In term of a bank app, that's a tough one. I would suggest a finding a bank that has a decent web client, so you can do the same things with Firefox.

> KDE Plasma Mobile is usable but it still is immature and buggy and has years to go before it can rival the others

I hate these opinions stated as if they are facts. You love #Phosh more than you love #PlasmaMobile, that is obvious and perfectly fine. But please realize there are people daily driving PlaMo perfectly fine and without any issues who would call it anything but immature or buggy. Definitely not any less than Phosh at least.


I for one dogfooded PlaMo for most of 2021, I don't know, maybe they worked out the bugs, things are moving quickly. But it was seriously unreliable when I used it. I couldn't even get the on screen keyboard to work half the time. It crashed so much, I would reboot the device two or three times just to accomplish basic things. Maybe I can blame Manjaro ARM, but I'm not sure. When I switched to phosh it was night and day. If they have fixed a lot as you say, I will revisit it.


This a unique phenomenon I have noticed with FOSS, where two people people can use the same software but get completely different experiences. For example, I have great experiences using OpenBSD, but others don't.

For the first 6 months of owning my Pinephone Beta, I used the stock Manjaro ARM and KDE Plasma (and I regularly updated) and it was objectively terrible in terms of stability. Maybe it was Manjaro's implementation, who knows. I'm not comparing them based on UI or icons or appearance. KDE Plasma has a very pretty UI. I just want something that works and is reliable.

So let me clarify, that what I said was based on personal experience, not opinion. I totally believe you that it's good software, maybe there was other factors who know, I'm not the only one to complain about the stock OS on the Pinephone having issues, I just thought that over time because it is rolling release, that it would be worked out.

I'm downloading the Arch ARM danctix build w/ KDE Plasma to boot from the SD card and give it another try.

@nerdtronics Thanks for the post, what are your main bugs/gripes with Plasma Mobile? I'm a big fan of it even though I haven't been able to fully run it on a mobile device yet.

Do you daily drive your pinephone? Does it fly solo, or do you keep a "real" phone with you too?


Yes I do! My Pinephone is my only working phone. I don't have any other device that has service (I have a iphone but it's deactivated, I use it for a couple of apps over wifi).

I have one.. actually two. Pro and PmOS CE. I use it as a.. linux learning phone? Like when I am bored on the train f.e. :)

It has a lot of sensors right?
Maybe I'll try to turn it into a Robot crawling around the house.
Running modes and tasks with almond voice commands?
In the end it's tech which you can probably use in one or another way. For some people this might just be for emulating retrogames. :D

@nerdtronics this is the best mastodon post I’ve seen since joining. Thank you for breaking this down for non tech folk like me.

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