The image build page is confusing and it is unclear which is the most stable image for people to download if they want to check what is the current state of the Librem 5 software.
What I do is look for the latest build that is labeled as “current qemu-x86_64 buster+ci image” to download and that seems to be the most reliable build, but I’m not sure what the labels mean.
What is the difference between “plain” and “current”?
What does “+ci” mean?
I see builds that are labeled as “buster”, “bullseye”, “byzantium” and “amber-phone”. As I understand it, Purism is currently transitioning from “buster” (Debian’s current stable version) to “bullseye” (Debian’s next stable version), which means using the “testing” version, which Purism labels as “byzantium”.
What is the difference between “bullseye” and “byzantium”? (It seems like they should both be the same “testing” version.)
“amber” is the repo for code specific to the Librem 5 and all the build images include it, so what is “amber-phone”?
Which of the build images have a released kernel and which have a kernel in development?
It looks like the QEMU page in the developer documentation needs another revision.
As far as I know, you need to download the latest working plain qemu-x86_64 amber-phone image. Unfortunately, Jenkins (the build server) only indicates success by showing a green icon next to the build in the list on the left of the page, so some colorblind users will have difficulty seeing the status. If you are using a system with a non-x86_64 architecture, you are out of luck.
Linking to the current build is awkward because there are lots of different types of build mixed together. The permalinks on the Image Build page don’t distinguish between them. Maybe I could put an indirect link in the documentation to a page that stays up-to-date with the latest QEmu image.
Since my complaining sort of evoked this thread (and part of the discussion in the now closed shipping email thread) I feel the need to say thank you once again for your help.
To be frank, maybe things would have gone smoother if I had been less impatient to get things working (in my defence: the impatience stems from the frustratingly long wait for the L5 - I wouldn’t need the emulation if I had the real deal at my disposal).
The Qemu instructions could be a bit clearer, but they are not all that bad. They deal with a pretty complicated subject, and are aimed at an educated crowd. So, one should expect to have to make something of an effort.
But I do agree that it would be nice if it was easier to find and download the proper image file.
I understand that it’s frustrating to wait for so long. I don’t think the emulator is all that useful for regular users – anyone not developing and testing apps – and perhaps not even for developers beyond a certain point. It is interesting to play with if you want to see how the phone software behaves.
I’ll see if there’s anything I can do to make it simpler to at least find a working image. We had a great deal of trouble for a while with broken builds, and that made it difficult for people to even try running the emulator.
Personally, I think that a minimal sandboxed environment, running as a normal application on a workstation, would be better for many developers. That would take some time and effort to make, however, and that’s in short supply right now.
You might be right there. But anyone with enough computer experience, and a decent working knowledge of the linux command line (and I guess quite a few Librem5 buyers fall into that category) should be able to get it up and running (although maybe not on a Microsoft Surface 3).
After I managed to get it going on my xUbuntu Dell Precision, I did enjoy watching the Librem5 ‘in action’ - virtually. My conclusion was that it is even better than I anticipated. It made the wait a little more endurable.