PinePhone FAQ

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Revision as of 18:26, 21 May 2020 by Fxc (talk | contribs) (→‎What are Community Editions?: changed quote)
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This is a draft, please do not link to that page yet.

This is a list of frequently asked question.



What are Community Editions?

Community Editions of the PinePhone are special versions which comes preinstalled with the operating system of the partner project and features the logo of this project on the back panel. The Community Edition is intended to help partner projects developing these systems: "Community editions are meant to bring exposure to partner-projects operating systems and communities, as well as help finance ongoing development.", source.

Is the Community Edition the latest revision?

Yes, it is! The Community Edition is the latest version of the PinePhone, featuring the version number 1.2. It's predecessor was the BraveHeart Edition intended for tinkerers and developers, which had the version number 1.1. For more details about the topic see PinePhone#Hardware Revisions.

Will there be other Community Editions?

The UBports Community Edition is the first released Community Edition. Other Community Editions might follow, this however depends on multiple factors, including if the software is ready to be released on the consumer market.

In simple terms, what are the differences between BraveHeart and the new Community Edition?



The modem isn't working

In order to use the modem and WiFi/Bluetooth, you need to ensure the battery is inside the device and has a sufficient charge. Even when supplying the phone with enough power, the modem and WiFi chip will not work without a connected battery. Further, double check that you have no put the SD card into the sim card slot, or vice versa.


The battery is stuck inside the phone

The battery can be stuck in the phone if the screws of the frame are overtightened.

If your battery is stuck inside the PinePhone, grab a screw driver and completely unscrew all the screws of the midframe. Then pull out the battery (you may have to fully take off the midframe in some cases to get it out). And then rescrew the midframe, but only tighten the screws to the point where they are just barely tight to hold. This should allow you to remove the battery easily.

The battery is discharging while the phone is powered off (BraveHeart Edition)

The cause of this issue is currently investigated. The issue is not present on the Community Edition.

Kill Switches

What are the kill switches doing?

Number Name Explanation Description
1 Modem Pulls Q1501 gate up (FET killing modem power) "On" enables 2G/3G/4G communication and GNSS hardware, "off" disables it.
2 WiFi / Bluetooth Pulls up CHIP_EN "On" enables WiFi and Bluetooth communication hardware, "off" disables it.
3 Microphone Breaks microphone bias voltage from the SoC "On" enables audio input from on-board microphones (not 3.5mm jack), "off" disables it.
4 Rear camera Pulls up PWDN on OV5640 "On" enables the rear camera, "off" disables it.
5 Front camera Pulls up PWDN on OV5640 "On" enables the front camera, "off" disables it.
6 Headphone Pulls up IN2 on analog switch BCT4717ETB "On" enables audio input and output via the 3.5mm audio jack, "off" switches the jack to hardware UART mode.



What's the boot order for SD cards and eMMC?

The PinePhone will automatically boot from microSD if a bootable card is inserted. If no (bootable) microSD is found, it will boot from eMMC.

How can I select different OSes at boot?

There is a project by Danct12 which allows the user to select different OSes at boot, the software is currently work-in-progress:

Ubuntu Touch

Can I install a different OS on the Ubports Community Edition?

Yes! While the Community Edition comes with an OS preinstalled, you are free to use any OS on the integrated storage (the eMMC) or the SD card, see PinePhone Installation Instructions and PinePhone Software Releases on how to install them.

How can I enable SSH?

Run "sudo start ssh" to get a one-time start or edit /etc/init/ssh.override and remove the manual line to make it auto-start.


What's the status of Android for the PinePhone?

Currently, there isn't any major push to get Android running well on the PinePhone. The developer Icenowy did get a Android image to run and partly work, it was however slow and buggy, with major functions not working. A solution for running some of your android apps may be found in Anbox as of now. Anbox currently not included in Ubuntu Touch.

Why are my apps loading slower than on my Android phone?

Android has multiple techniques in place to speed up launching applications after the first launch, such as the "Dalvik cache".