KDE Plasma-Mobile (Bugs)

Plasma-Mobile is created by the KDE community to run on mobile phones by using bleeding edge technology like Wayland. It is based on Qt, Kwin and other great KDE technology for details read https://plasma-mobile.org/overview. As a base layer they use Ubuntu Mobile and a layer to Android drivers.

As I have a spare Nexus 5 still around I followed the instructions on https://plasma-mobile.org/nexus-5 to install Plasma-Mobile. Usually I would note the installation steps, but the short manual is really great and it worked well. As a preparation I only had to install Android tools:

pacman -Sy android-tools

I tried using instead of neon the arch platform, I was not sure about the difference as there is no further explanation. But I guess one is a Linux LXC container of Neon based on Ubuntu and the other Arch Linux. The arch based one was recently updated, but the installation script didn’t work, the phone was stuck in the boot screen with the Google logo for ages. But neon worked and started successful.

To update to a new testing release you probably have to wipe the phone by following the same instructions again, at least I’m not aware about a upgrade path.

Obviously there are a lot of bugs in Plasma-Mobile and is not really usable, but it is a good tech demo and I really hope to see more from the KDE Plasma-Mobile community! Actually the interface scales often quite bad, the phone or some apps can crash, the camera doesn’t work, the battery icon is not selecting the right battery, Firefox looks like a desktop app, …

Plasma-Mobile in a VM

For details how to run Plasma-Mobile inside of a virtual machine in Qemu read http://blog.bshah.in/2017/11/23/emulate-plasma-mobile. You can download a prebuild image from http://blog.bshah.in/2018/01/26/trying-out-plasma-mobile.

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