Pine64 & Trisquel

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Piriponzolo
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Joined: 02/19/2016

Hi to everyone! Do you think it is possible to install Trisquel on a tablet Pine64?

Magic Banana

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No, it is not: until now, Trisquel has never supported the ARM architecture.

PublicLewdness
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Joined: 03/15/2020

Even if you could install it it, which as mentioned you can't, you wouldn't have a great experience. The wifi requires closed source blobs which means the wifi wouldn't work. A tablet without wifi wouldn't be very useful for much.

aloniv

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Right but you can probably use a USB wireless dongle on the USB port to get networking.

PublicLewdness
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"Right but you can probably use a USB wireless dongle on the USB port to get networking."

True but that uses up the only USB port on the tablet and adds to the cost.

chaosmonk

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It will likely drain your battery, though. If there were a RYF WiFi card suitable for use in a phone, Pine64 and Purism would probably be using it.

chaosmonk

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Regarding the OP, I am unaware of any FSDG distros targeting the PinePhone. The most freedom-minded of the available distros probably Mobian and PostmarketOS.

Mobian is based on Debian. It comes with the non-free firmware needed for the WiFi card. If you ensure that the non-free and contrib repositories are disabled, it should otherwise be as free as Debian main.

=> https://mobian-project.org/

PostmarketOS is based on Alpine Linux. Alpine does have a few non-free packages, but they do not provide precompiled binaries of these, instead requiring users who want them to compile from source. When building a PmOS image for the PinePhone, the user is given the option of including the firmware blob for WiFi.

=> https://postmarketos.org/

In theory, there is no reason that one of the FSDG distros which supports ARM could not run on the PinePhone, without WiFi/Bluetooth of course. Since Manjaro, which is based on Arch, runs on the PinePhone, Parabola, which is also based on Arch, is likely a good candidate. I am not aware of any efforts to make this happen, though.

GNUser
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Joined: 07/17/2013

One question: Assuming the Pine64 has no BIOS (my understanding is it has a free version of U-Boot, please correct me if I am wrong), isn't it a worth trade off between losing the proprietary bits of the BIOS and using the proprietary bits of the wifi card?

Reading it doesn't seem to make sense... I think what I mean is, you are going to run Proprietary code in your tablet no matter what, so, isn't it at least better in terms of running something that is non essential to make the machine boot and still gives you more convenience?

Of course best option would be to have NO proprietary stuff running.

chaosmonk

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> isn't it a worth trade off between losing the proprietary bits of the BIOS and using the proprietary bits of the wifi card

All phones need non-free firmware for WiFi. Freedom-wise, the PinePhone is an improvement over devices that can run Replicant, as it does not require a non-free bootloader.

Piriponzolo
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Joined: 02/19/2016

I can't imagine all the mammoth work behind it, but it would be beautiful to see and use Trisquel Touch instead of Ubuntu Touch on Pine64 tablets and smartphones! Quidam, try to do a little thought!

kenogo
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Joined: 11/20/2019

I really don't think that's feasable given the size of the team working on Trisquel...

aloniv

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All phones need non-free firmware for WiFi

I'm pretty sure the Neo Freerunner's wireless didn't require non-free firmware. Maybe you mean new phones?

chaosmonk

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> I'm pretty sure the Neo Freerunner's wireless didn't require non-free firmware.

Replicant's website says otherwise.

=> https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/GTA04LoadedFirmwares

aloniv

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GTA04 isn't the Neo Freerunner. It's the Freerunner's successor (board upgrade) and it indeed has a wireless card that requires non-free firmware. I based my freedom assumption on this:
https://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:Hardware/Freest/SmartPhone
The Freerunner uses the AR6K driver (without firmware I believe):
https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/ar6k

chaosmonk

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I see. Is the Openmoko Freerunner the same thing as the Neo Freerunner?

nadebula.1984
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Joined: 05/01/2018

The booting process is very tricky on arm/64-based computers. Given that there is no "secure boot", you won't see something like "press F2 to enter firmware setup; press F12 to select boot device" when you power on it. Therefore arm/64-based GNU/Linux distributions are usually distributed in the pre-installed disk image format, not binary or Live installer.