Mobian: Day One

by Aaron Crowder on

Today was day one. I feel like today the learning was really steep. I had to figure a lot of things out. While there's still lots to figure out, I was able to get to a point where I can do most of the basic things.

Note: I don't have a sim card for my Pinephone, so no SMS or voice calls. However, I am doing chat and email and social media.


I have all my email accounts and NextCloud configured through Settings->Online Accounts. This allows me to have my email in my Email Client app (Geary) and browse my NextCloud files in Files.


I had toyed around with the pinephone off and on before today so I had some apps already installed. Others though I discovered today. Here's a list of some of the apps I used most today:

Firefox ESR I'm using Firefox ESR after testing a number of other browsers. It ended up being the smoothest experience available. I would like to try regular Firefox but there's an issue with a broken dependency that I idn't have time to fix.

Both Firefox ESR and Firefox support opening windows without any decorations. I made several desktop shortcuts to try and get app-like experiences from a few sites. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have pretty good web apps that work well on mobile. With window decorations off they almost feel like native apps. I was also able to make a shortcut for Android messages for web, and was able to use that for texting, though it wasn't as good of an experience as just using Telegram.

Telegram Desktop Telegram is a decent option for messaging. It's widely used (as evidenced by the fact that my Grandma uses it). Though, Telegram relies on having a system tray to keep the app running in the background if you close it. Phosh doesn't support this, so I followed the instructions on the Mobian Wiki to create a background service. That keeps Telegram running so I can get notified of messages, even if I don't have the app currently open.

Tootle Tootle is a fairly good Mastodon client. I did run into an issue though where it would crash when I would try to click on media attachments (like a picture). I discovered an issue on GitHub and someone mentioned that you have to create the ~/Downloads/Tootle folder, because Tootle doesn't create it for you... it just crashes. This may have been fixed, but it wasn't in the version I installed from flathub.


AppsDefault AppsLollypopInstagram


Today every time I picked up the Pinephone I felt like I was having to figure something out. Tomorrow though, I feel like I'm going to be able to actually use the damn thing without having to figure everything out. There are still a few pain points, and I feel like they will be the more difficult to solve problems. But I'm excited for the challenge and ready to dive back in!

#pinephone #mobian #Week Challenge

Mobian: One Week Of Use

by Aaron Crowder on

I'm setting out on a goal: use my Braveheart edition PinePhone every day for a week. Use it as much as possible, only picking up my Pixel 2 XL if I have to. To prove my dedication I'm writing this from my PinePhone!

I expect there will be bumps along the road. My hope though, is that there will be very few show stoppers. I suspect that stability and slowness will be my two biggest issues. Another will be lack of apps. Lastly, the camera is pretty much potato quality.

I will be documenting my experience daily here on this blog. I will try to write as much of it as I can from my PinePhone, though I will likely have to use my laptop for a more thorough write-up.

My journey starts now!


Keybase Proof and PGP pub Key

by Aaron Crowder on

Tonight I set out to make a simple Django app that would let me serve up my Keybase proof (a plain text file) and my public PGP key. It was fairly straightforward and required only about an hour of work total if you include the time spent searching the Django docs for things I didn't know.

Overall it's a single model, with a name and content field, a single view that serves up the content of the file requested. I know I probably could have figured out how to just serve these files statically without having to hit the database, but I wanted more practice with creating Django apps.

You can now view my Keybase Proof and public PGP Key.


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