These months in Mobian: February/March 2023
March isn’t even over yet and we are already summing up what has happened in both February and March. Dang, are we fast…
February 2023 began with a bang: finally a physical FOSDEM conference in Brussels, and a few (or rather, plenty of) mobile Linux people organized a physical devroom on “FOSS on mobile Linux”. Many submissions on various topics, from many distros and projects, of which 10 were selected.
(Photo by spaetz under CC-0)
Directly relevant were talks on “What’s new in the world of phosh?” and “Mobian: to stable… and beyond!”. But also others, such as the talk on ondev2, a new cross-distro installer, which Mobian will potentially use. Many other interesting talks on convergence, so if you have not already, check out the whole track.
Another highlight was the cross-distro stand with an unusual high density of Linux phones being put on a single table, and a dense crowd of people being interested in Mobile on Linux. Some were well-know names and faces, that are already familiar with the state of things, while others were surprised that Linux on Mobile “is a thing”.
Most importantly though, it was one of those rare moments in life to physically meet your collaborators. And while we did not manage to do a live-podcast as the postmarketOS contributors did, we did have beer, dinner, talks, and fun together. Sometimes, these are the most important times in a collaboration!
And yes, we will try to have Mobian stickers next time around! :-)
Debian has started its soft freeze towards the Bookworm release. This implies: no new packages, and existing ones have a longer transitioning time from unstable into Bookworm. In a few days, the hard freeze will occur. This will also stop the inflow of new versions, in order to settle on a stable basis for Bookworm. What does this mean for Mobian? We won’t benefit from new releases and versions of upstream projects anymore (which is bad) but we will be able to start focusing on getting what we already have into a good shape. The Pinephones currently run on kernel 6.1, providing a decent and current release. As announced in a-wai’s talk, there will be a stable bookworm-based mobian, and some time after the bookworm release, we will start tracking the next testing release (Trixie) in addition to the stable branch.
There are a few glitches that still need to be fixed before a possible release, for instance, mesa 22.3.6 contains an important bug fix, preventing some applications from crashing, that we hope will make the transition into bookworm soonish.
We are aware that bluetooth has gotten a bit more unreliable in the past few weeks, but we are not exactly sure why yet. It is not just regressions because we (or rather Debian) switched from pulseaudio to pipewire. Unfortunately debugging Bluetooth is not easy.
Overall, we are pretty happy with the current state of things and confident that Bookworm will be the first Debian distribution that can provide a good stable base for a mobile device.
Plasma beams on full strength!
We are very happy that it was possible to squeeze in Plasma mobile into the Debian repository right before the freeze. Nobody can accuse us of being a single window manager distro. Phosh, SXMO and Plasma are all available at your choice. Beam me up, Scotty!