[Tinkerphones] GNOME on Smartphone

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Thu Oct 26 14:38:09 CEST 2017


Hi,
there is currently a lot of hype around running
Gnome on a smartphone which seems to need new
hardware to be possible.

This made me curious. Therefore I took a fresh µSD
card and did run on some Linux SBC with additional
card reader:

	DEV=/dev/sdb ./makesd gta04 -v 20171013-stretch-9.1-armhf -r debian

Next, I patched in the latest 4.14-rc6 kernel. This
step might not be necessary since the 4.13.x installed
by makesd is equally good.

Then I booted the GTA04 with this µSD and after
setting up ethernet over usb (g_ether) so that
the GTA04 has access to the Internet I could do

	apt-get update
	apt-get install gnome-core

It did take a while (installed ca. 1.5 GB on the µSD)
but did not fail.

After rebooting the GTA04 (I needed a second attempt
for unknown reasons), I didn't see a Gnome desktop,
but at least some Gnome related processes are running:

...
root      2259     1  0 17:17 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/iio-sensor-proxy
root      2361     1  0 17:17 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/sshd -D
root      2371     1  0 17:17 ttyO2    00:00:00 /bin/login --
root      2387     1  0 17:17 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/gdm3
ntp       2396     1  0 17:17 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/ntpd -p /var/run/ntpd.pid -g -u 105:109
root      2438     1  0 17:17 ?        00:00:00 /lib/systemd/systemd --user
root      2440  2438  0 17:17 ?        00:00:00 (sd-pam)
root      2444  2371  0 17:17 ttyO2    00:00:00 -bash
root      2450     1  0 17:17 ?        00:00:00 /usr/lib/upower/upowerd
root      2598     2  0 17:18 ?        00:00:00 [kworker/u2:3]
root      2931  2387  3 17:19 ?        00:00:00 gdm-session-worker [pam/gdm-launch-environment]
Debian-+  2941     1  8 17:19 ?        00:00:00 /lib/systemd/systemd --user
Debian-+  2942  2941  0 17:19 ?        00:00:00 (sd-pam)
Debian-+  2946  2931  1 17:19 tty1     00:00:00 /usr/lib/gdm3/gdm-wayland-session gnome-session --autostart /usr/share/gdm/greeter/autostart
Debian-+  2948  2941  2 17:19 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/dbus-daemon --session --address=systemd: --nofork --nopidfile --systemd-activation
Debian-+  2950  2946  8 17:19 tty1     00:00:00 /usr/lib/gnome-session/gnome-session-binary --autostart /usr/share/gdm/greeter/autostart
Debian-+  2958  2950 99 17:19 tty1     00:00:03 /usr/bin/gnome-shell
root      2963  2444  0 17:19 ttyO2    00:00:00 ps -ef
root at letux:~# 

These processes seem to fail after a while and new
ones are respawned (process ID becomes higher).

Maybe this is just a setup issue (missing definition
which display should be used or something alike).

If someone has an idea and is experienced in debugging
Wayland, gnome and systemd, please try and let us know.
Then we can fix the installation and make pictures...

If I had a compatible PAL or NTSC monitor, I could even
try to connect a keyboard in USB mode and have "a full
desktop on the smartphone" without waiting another year.

And if we ever build a Pyra-Phone, this same exercise will
run there (we just have to choose a different MLO & U-Boot
in the makesd command). And we would get HDMI output for
the monitor.

BR,
Nikolaus




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