I am looking for more information on the status of support for:
- Alternative keyboards.
- Alternative compositors/shells.
- Alternative operating systems.
As well as more about how the bootloader works, and honestly, anything else vaguely related to these topics that I have not already seen.
So far, I’ve had a lot of issues with Phosh and Squeekboard, so am looking to see what alternatives are available and if they are any better. However, it seems that most alternatives (KDE Plasma Mobile, SXMO) are not available in the repositories for some reason, nor SXMO’s on-screen keyboard svkbd. Even my favourite Wayland terminal, alacritty, does not seem to be available in the repositories. Overall, PureOS seems to have really bad software repositories, much worse than I am used to on Gentoo.
Question/Approach 1: Is it possible the repositories may get better in the future, or are there better third-party repositories I may use? Or more generally, any other information in regards to making the software situation better, without switching from PureOS?
Question/Approach 2: Is there a comprehensive list of alternative operating systems that support the Librem 5? So far I have found PostmarketOS (I prefer something based on the more well-supported Glibc and GNU Coreutils rather than Muscl and Busybox though) and Mobian. What others support the Librem 5? Does Mobian have better repositories, or is there another distribution available, which is better supported?
Question/Approach 3: How does the bootloader work?? Does it support EFI? I might want to try installing Gentoo. Compilation will be a pain with so little RAM, but maybe I can just cross-compile.
Question/Approach 4: In general, what are some of the best ways I can test interfaces other than Phosh?
Question 5, relevant to multiple approaches: How does the software which receives and logs calls and texts work? It will be important to keep these working across GUI and/or distro hopping.
Some links I have found trying to answer these questions so far:
- List of mobile Linux distributions: https://liliputing.com/mobile-linux-distributions/ . It has some info on device support, but some lines just say that it supports many devices, and it omits some nuance like how Fedora seems to be planning to support the Librem 5 (https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Mobility) but does not have a working wiki page in regards to it.
- Great list of operating systems that support the Pinephone: https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php?title=PinePhone_Software_Releases
- PostmarketOS Librem 5: https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Purism_Librem5_(purism-librem5)
- Mobian supports Librem 5: https://wiki.mobian.org/doku.php?id=install-linux
- Another forum post on multiple DEs: Multiple DE with selection at login screen
- List of related links on a post asking about Plasma Mobile support: Plasma Mobile Q's for the L5 . Via the FAQ, it looks like PureOS was not supporting it due to being too outdated? Is that still the case, and if so, when might it be more up-to-date in the future?
- Byzantium announcement post: https://puri.sm/posts/to-byzantium-and-beyond/ . Unfortunately, it does not seem to give info on which version of Debian Byzantium is based on.
- From Librem5 sd and boot order – It looks like the Librem 5 uses U-Boot: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/uboot-imx/-/tree/librem5
- U-Boot seems to support UEFI: https://u-boot.readthedocs.io/en/latest/develop/uefi/uefi.html . But does Purism’s version enable it by default? This is relevant because Gentoo’s ARM system image uses EFI.
- I think this guide for installing Gentoo on the PINE64 ROCKPro64 may be the most relevant to installing Gentoo on the Librem 5, as both seem to use mostly libre firmware and U-Boot: https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/PINE64_ROCKPro64
I wish there was more comprehensive documentation/wiki for these kinds of things in regards to the Librem 5 and PureOS. So far, Pinephone, PostmarketOS, and Debian have had much better information available on their respective wikis, while with the Librem 5, I have to search through many disperate links on many different websites. It’s bad enough that it’s hard for me to even organise this post well with how much I cannot find good enough documentation for, so that is part of why this post is so messy.