Manjaro Lomiri Alpha1 for PinePhone Is Released
Two thirds of all web traffic comes from smartphones. Traditional desktop, laptops or notebook computers are dying. The free software community wants a piece of the pie. Manjaro Linux has ported the Lomiri desktop, formally known as "Ubuntu Touch", to Manjaro for Arm and released a complete Manjaro Lomiri distribution for the Arm-based PinePhone. It's hard to read the release notes without breaking into wild laughter.
The Manjaro Linux developers have clearly done a lot of hard work porting the Lomiri desktop environment to Manjaro Linux for Arm. And it is quite nice that they have made installable images for the PinePhone available. One should probably not laugh wildly at these hard efforts. But it's so incredibly hard not to and there's way:
- Calls are highly unstable
- Messaging might not work properly
- No vibartion functions yet
- No camera function yet"
So. It's shiny new software for a phone. Which.. can't be used to make phone-calls or send messages if you install said software. And you can't use it as a camera.
The Lomiri desktop the Manjaro Arm smartphone OS features is the "Ubuntu Mobile" environment that's been around since 2010. It was re-named Lomiri in February 2020 after "Ubuntu Mobile" had been left for dead after Ubuntu abandoned in favour of using GNOME on Ubuntu's mobile editions in 2017.
You can get the new Manjaro ARM for PinePhone from osdn.net/projects/manjaro-arm/storage/pinephone/lomiri/alpha1/ if you have a PinePhone and you want to install it for some reason. You can also buy a severely "Limited Edition" PinePhone with Manjaro Arm pre-installed for just $150 at store.pine64.org. They won't send it until "November 2020", so there is a small hope that you will either be able to use it to make calls or use it to send messages by the time it arrives early next year if you order one today.
It is great that they've made a ARM version of Manjaro Linux for the PinePhone, and a few developers may be interested in it. Too bad that the actually tangible end-user consumer product is nothing but a huge joke of a smartphone that can't even be used make phone calls.