PinePhone Software Releases

From PINE64
Revision as of 19:17, 1 March 2020 by Buffer (talk | contribs) (→‎Maemo Leste: hildon + community repo)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page is intended to help you install a software release on your PinePhone. In addition it provides details of all the available releases so that you can do some background reading about them to help inform your choice. Finally it provides a number of links to other resources related to your PinePhone.

General instructions

Initial (new) release installation should be to a micro SD card. It is recommended to choose a card with fast I/O of small files for best performance of your PinePhone. See blogs by Jeff Geerling (link in Other Resources at the bottom of this page) for tests on SDcards.

Generic installation instructions are in this section, please see the releases below for specific installation options they may offer/require.

Boot priority

The default PinePhone boot priority is first the SD card and then the eMMC so inserting your own SD card with your preferred release will result in the phone booting your image.

User megi has demonstrated his multi-boot development on YouTube, see Other Resouces at the bottom of this page for a link to his notes.

Brave Heart essential information

Your Brave Heart phone ships with a film of plastic between the battery and the phone. You need to open the back cover (gently), then remove the battery and finally remove the film.

Photo of Brave Heart case from OSAKANA TARO on Twitter
Photo of Brave Heart inside from OSAKANA TARO on Twitter
Photo of Brave Heart battery tab from OSAKANA TARO on Twitter

There has been a report on the forum that this plastic can distort the connection between the battery and the phone: please check your setup carefully after removing the tab.

Each Brave Heart phone does ship with a bootable release on the eMMC. This is a special version of postmarketOS intended only for a final factory test. As such the listed tests are not warranted to check what you may expect, e.g. the audio check only outputs to 1 channel

Discussion to use the modem

There is a document about using the modem by user megi here. This is from circa 18 Jan 2020.

Note at this date there is no TL;DR version - the script at the end to disable the modem before power off is pretty essential to avoid corrupting your modem's flash memory.


All current distributions do not have a good setup for the backlight at low brightness. If configured too low, the backlight shuts down completely, but the screen is still displayed and usable in bright front-light.

Sailfish is currently the only OS that initially uses automatic backlight control. This makes the screen to appear blank. When shining a bright light on the screen, you can still navigate the screen. (and maybe the screen switches on temporarily due to the light sensor) This will make it possible for you to disable auto brightness in Settings, Display.

Preparation of SD card

  1. Download your chosen image from the options below
  2. Extract the compressed file
  3. Write the image to your SD card
  4. Plug SD card into phone
  5. Boot phone

If you need step-by-step instructions for writing an image to an SD card, check NOOB#Step-by-Step_Instructions_to_Flashing_MicroSD_Cards then return to this page.

You may also need to expand the flashed image to fill your SD card. To do so after you've booted the device, install growpart and resize2fs on the phone and then run...

growpart /dev/mmcblkX Y
resize2fs /dev/mmcblkXpY

... where X and Y correspond to your SD card's identifier (viewable from lsblk).

Installation to eMMC

  • Prepare a new SD card as above
  • Boot the phone
  • The eMMC appears as /dev/mmcblk2 and so any standard Linux mechanism to move your image there will work, e.g. dd.

Software Releases


postmarketos.png postmarketOS is an experimental, touch-optimized and pre-configured Alpine Linux that offers a choice of several desktop environments including Plasma Mobile and phosh.

  • Download location

Rather than downloading a demo image postmarketOS recommend the use of their script, pmbootstrap, that can tailor build your SD card for you. See for example this forum thread. The demo images are currently (13-02-2020) built from a development branch with more fixes, so images built with pmbootstrap may not be as nice yet.

Note pmbootstrap offers an option to install to the eMMC.

Demo images can be found here.

  • user-id/password

demo/147147 (for demo images only - when building an image with pmbootstrap you set your own user-id and password. NOTE: currently some lock screens require your password, but only present a numeric keyboard. So you should use only numbers in your password until you've verified you can unlock with other characters.)

  • What works, what does not work

See postmarketOS wiki page

  • Where/how to report defects

postmarketOS issue tracker for PinePhone support

  • Contributions

See postmarketOS wiki for options to contribute.

Ubuntu Touch by UBPorts

ubports.png A Mobile Version of the Ubuntu Operating System made and maintained by the UBports Community.

A short, state-of-the-art (as at 5 Feb 2020) demo on YouTube.

  • Download location

See UBports gitlab page.

  • user-id/password

The default password is phablet

  • What works, what does not work

Scroll down to the bottom of this page.

To get the modem to work (as at 10 Feb) you need to manually:

sudo /usr/share/ofono/scripts/enable-modem
sudo /usr/share/ofono/scripts/online-modem
  • Where/how to report defects

See UBports gitlab page.

  • Contributions

See UBports website for how to donate.

Manjaro ARM

manjaro.png Manjaro is a user-friendly Linux distribution based on the independently developed Arch operating system with the Plasma Mobile desktop environment.

  • Download location

See Manjaro forum announcement of Alpha3 version

  • user-id/password
    • manjaro/manjaro
    • root/root
  • What works, what does not work

See Manjaro announcement.

  • Where/how to report defects
  • Contributions

See the end of the announcement here.

KDE Neon

plasma_mobile.png Based on KDE Neon for the desktop, comes with Plasma Mobile.

  • Download location

Plasma mobile images can be found here.

  • user-id/password


  • What works, what does not work
  • Where/how to report defects
  • Contributions


sailfishos.png Sailfish OS is a Linux-based operating system based on open source projects such as Mer and including a closed source UI.

  • Download location

The SailfishOS image is built on Gitlab CI. The latest image can be installed using the flashing script.

The script downloads the image and bootloader from our CI, extracts everything and burns it onto the SD card.


  1. Download the flashing script
  2. Insert a microSD card in your device
  3. Make the script executable: chmod +x
  4. Verify that you have the bsdtar package installed
  5. Execute it: ./
  6. Follow the instructions. Some commands in the script require root permissions (for example: mounting and flashing the SD card).

Note: The script will format and flash the SD card, make sure that you don't have any important data on the SD card!

  • user-id/password
  • What works, what does not work

The current (6 Feb) version of Sailfish has a defect with the auto brightness: on first boot this means you get a blank screen. You need to hold your phone up to a bright light to enable the screen, then disable the auto brightness in Settings, Display. See this forum thread. If you're not familiar with SFOS, be prepared by having a Jolla account and skip the tutorial by touching all 4 corners starting top left. This is just because holding a light over the sensor can be tricky, otherwise the SFOS tutorial is necessary as the UI is not that intuitive.

  • Where/how to report defects

See the Sailfish wiki for links to their forum as well as info required when reporting an issue.

  • Contributions

See the SailfishOS wiki for options to contribute.

Maemo Leste

maemo_leste.png Maemo Leste (wiki, news, FAQ) continues the legacy of Maemo, developed by Nokia in collaboration with many open source projects, and is based on Devuan Ascii (Debian Stretch). The default user interface is Hildon. They are working on an upgrade to Devuan Beowulf (Debian Buster) as well as simultaneous support for both Devuan and Debian. In addition to the main repository, they community repository announced a community repository.

  • Download location

Maemo Leste test builds.

  • user-id/password


You may use "sudo" directly.

  • What works, what does not work

For details please read

A few remarks based on the 20200223 build:

Default virtual keyboard currently only works with gtk2 applications(not yet in gtk3 and qt, but this is coming)

Default virtual keyboard is set to off. You may want to go to setting and change that first for using the terminal. Click the top left corner->"Settings"->"Text input"->check the "Use virtual keyboard" option. You may also want to change the keyboard layout by changing the dictionary setting.

WiFi and terminal work.

Screen brightness adjustments in UI does not work. There is also a user reported when "brightness" UI setting is set to minimum (no visual change normally), the screen will stay black after reboot with WiFi set to ON with kill switch. However screen is normal after reboot if WiFi set to OFF with kill switch even minimum "brightness" UI setting. You may still change the screen brightness with command. e.g. "xrandr --output DSI-1 --brightness 0.5"

There is rendering bug so default desktop orientation is landscape (xrandr -o right). Please note that if orientation is changed (e.g. with "xrandr -o normal") the ui will still be reading original key positions.

  • Where/how to report defects

Please check the bugtracker:

  • Contributions

There is an ongoing thread for feedback about Maemo Leste on the PinePhone. Getting started: thread



  • Download location
  • user-id/password
  • What works, what does not work
  • Where/how to report defects

See Bugs section on this page.

  • Contributions

Details about contributions and donations are on the NixOS website.


luneos.jpg Based on WebOS by LG, comes with Luna Next desktop environment.

  • Download location

LuneOS test image for PinePhone Tofe recommends using bmaptool ; for example "bmaptool copy /dev/mmcblk0". Rename .wic file to .img for standard dd usage.

  • user-id/password
  • What works, what does not work
  • Where/how to report defects
  • Contributions

Nemo Mobile

nemo_mobile.png Nemo Mobile is the open source build of Sailfish OS.

See this forum thread for how to get going.

  • Download location

Download location is here on GitHub.

  • user-id/password
  • What works, what does not work

Scroll down the page here.

  • Where/how to report defects

For more info please visit neochapay's github page

  • Contributions

Debian + Phosh

The description says it all - see this thread in the forum.

Other Resources


Hardware information

  • PinePhone hardware details in this Pine64 wiki.
  • PinePhone_v1.1_-_Braveheart hardware details specific to the Braveheart handsets.
  • The postmarketOS wiki has a detailed page on the PinePhone hardware here, and the preceeding devkit here.

Other software information