I'm trying to get Fedora working on my Raspberry Pi 3b+, and have some questions/issues I don't see addressed in the docs. First off, for this hardware, should I be using the aarch64 or armhfp images? I've been trying with aarch64 and that boots, but just wanted to doublecheck. Second, is it possible to get Gnome running? The "hardware status" wiki page says XFce is recommended, but it's not clear whether that means Gnome won't work, or if it's just not recommended. I tried the Workstation image and the firstboot wizard runs successfully, but then when attempting to login, gnome-shell crashes after chugging for a couple minutes and dumps me back at the gdm login screen. I tried adding 'cma=192M' to kernel args as suggested on the wiki, but no change.
If the answer turns out to be the Gnome isn't going to work and I have to go with Xfce, I don't see an Xfce spin built for aarch64, only armhfp, is that correct? Is that what I should be using?
Thanks in advance for any help,
I've been using Fedora on my Pinephone for like 9 months or so and my Pinephone Pro Explorer Edition just arrived the other day. The original Pinephone's boot order had the microSD card before the eMMC which made it really easy to try different OSes. By contrast, on the Pinephone Pro, the boot order in hardware is:
1. SPI flash
From the factory, there is a u-boot image on the eMMC drive which will boot an OS from the SD card before the eMMC and there is nothing on the SPI flash. This is problematic because it's really easy to accidentally get the device into an unbootable state when installing an OS to the eMMC drive if the factory uboot build is erased. There is a way to temporarily disable the eMMC drive in hardware to make it boot from SD, but that's not obvious or convenient. So, currently, the Pine wiki (https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone_Pro) advises against replacing the stock Manjaro OS on the eMMC drive and few distros are providing prebuilt images.
People working on different distros have been coordinating how to deal with this. The plan is to use a fairly new project, Tow Boot, and flash it to the SPI flash: https://samuel.dionne-riel.com/blog/2021/05/10/unveiling-tow-boot.html Putting the platform firmware on the SPI flash chip separate from the eMMC drive will make the process of installing OSes easier and more foolproof. Support for the Pinephone Pro in Tow Boot is almost ready with support for the Pinephone Pro's SPI flash just added today, albeit it needs a little polishing. Tow Boot on the SPI flash will make the process of installing an OS similar to x86; distros just need to create a UEFI bootable system and do not need to worry about shipping platform firmware. Tow Boot also obviates the need for JumpDrive. Simply pressing the volume up button on boot will expose the eMMC drive as a USB mass storage device, refer to https://github.com/Tow-Boot/Tow-Boot/pull/67 for details about the UX design. Hopefully future Pinephon
e Pro batches will ship with Tow Boot on the SPI flash from the factory, but for now users will need to install it by booting a Linux system from an SD card. A Tow Boot installer image like that has already been made for the Pinebook Pro, so I think one for the Pinephone Pro will be ready to test soon.
This is great new for Fedora because I think it means we can use the normal Fedora tools for building ARM images to create UEFI bootable images without needing the scripts in https://github.com/nikhiljha/pp-fedora-sdsetup that were made for the Pinephone. Using Fedora tooling to build the Pinephone Pro images opens up the path to smartphone support in upstream Fedora. I've been digging around in scattered documentation and talking to Conan Kudo on Matrix and IIUC, the way the upstream images are built is that Punji calls `koji image-build` which calls livemedia-creator. Please correct me if I've misunderstood this. I've tried to figure out how to build aarch64 images locally on my x86-64 laptop and made a bit of progress using Mock with livemedia-creator as documented at https://weldr.io/lorax/livemedia-creator.html#using-mock-and-no-virt-to-c...
Thanks to the efforts getting Fedora on the original Pinephone, good progress has been made getting Plasma Mobile and Phosh packaged in upstream Fedora. There are still a handful of packages in the https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/njha/mobile/ COPR repository that aren't upstream. I think enough has been upstreamed at this point that we can start working on base Plasma Mobile and Phosh Kickstart files to use with livemedia-creator that could eventually make it upstream. For now, we'll still need device-specific Kickstarts for the downstream kernel packages which could %include the base Plasma Mobile or Phosh Kickstart. Fortunately for the Pinephone Pro, distros are coordinating to avoid the fragmentation that has happened with kernels for the original Pinephone and development effort is being coordinated on the https://gitlab.com/pine64-org/linux/-/tree/pine64-kernel-ppp-5.16.y/ repository.
One important feature that we haven't gotten working on the Pinephone is full disk encryption. One issue blocking this is that Plymouth (the software in the initrd that asks for the LUKS password) does not have an on screen keyboard: https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/plymouth/plymouth/-/issues/144 Also, the Anaconda GUI wasn't designed for small touchscreen devices without a keyboard. Fortunately this could change with the recently announced rewrite of the Anaconda GUI: https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/t/anaconda-is-getting-a-new-suit/359...
Does this seem like a reasonable plan? Is there anything I've overlooked?