what do I install now?

dmatthews.org mail at dmatthews.org
Sat Nov 26 21:10:16 CET 2011

Hi Matthias

> Like a few others I'd recommend giving QtMoko a try. I've been pretty
> happy with it myself and it works fairly well when using the FR
> primarily as a phone. I've been using v31 on NAND and playing with v36
> on an SD card. I find it the easiest distro to live with.
> I've just spent the morning trying out the Android SD card only install
> for Froyo. It's a bit quirky and prone to crashing but I'll chalk that
> up to using a bad SD card as QtMoko locked up on the same card. My
> previous experience with Cupcake on NAND was better. But you're already
> familiar with Android on FR.
+1 also - as the early documentation implied, the freerunner is very finicky about the SD card eg for me a 2GB SanDisk is fine - a brand new 4GB SanDisk loses it's partition table after a reboot :). I can't even be sure, that I was not just lucky with the 2GB card and unlucky with the 4GB one - maybe another ostensibly the same, would be fine?

> I haven't used SHR in a very long time and I was initially pleased with
> it. Using a distro that runs X has it's advantages and it's easier to
> work with in a number of ways. SHR used to stand for Stable Hybrid
> Release but there have only ever been testing and unstable branches. No
> disrespect to the devs but I gave up on using it when it wiped all the
> contacts from my SIM card. Which wouldn't have been a big deal back
> when I used to be able to recall names and the numbers associated with
> them from memory but those days are long gone. For the younger folks
> this is how PIM worked before we had the term and we used dead tree
> media as a backup! The testing branch images are looking pretty stale
> (27-Sep-2010 23:55) but the unstable branch is newer (22-Aug-2011
> 14:33).
again +1 SHR really has improved a lot, although there are still for me major annoyances that make me go back to qtmoko.

> I'd probably try it again but unless someone can confirm it won't wipe
> my SIM contacts I'm only willing to dip my toes in the water sans SIM
> card. Since I use my FR as a phone this is an unrealistic situation.
> It's a shame really since I miss X native apps a lot. :(
Well I can confirm that at least I never saw that problem after an extended several month trial. The bugbears of the August unstable version for me are
1. not very stable (ok "unstable" so fair enough) - misbehaves big time unless rebooted often
2. poor handling of sms messages - repeatedly downloads a single text at erratic intervals and reporting the SIM is full, when it clearly is not.
3. bizarre busybox badness (probably a reflection of 1.)
> > - GPS && OpenstreetMap (tango)
> On QTMoko Navit is the non X GPS app and it uses OSM data. You can run
> TangoGPS and FoxtrotGPS using QX. 

I think you mean Nerongps? Surely navit needs X. Yeah you can run tangogps/foxtrotgps, but on qtmoko I'd suggest instead learn to live with Nerongps is easier. On qtmoko see the fix for gps I posted a few days ago - I can't remember where I saw that, but it makes a huge difference.

> > - TCP over USB and SSH into the FR
> This will work as expected for USB regardless of distro excluding
> android as it only allows ADB see [1] and [2].

yeah it's fine on qtmoko & SHR; watch the eth1, usb0 thing - which one to use depends on your desktop distro as well as what's on the freerunner I think.

> > - Terminal with Stardict
> You get QTerminal on QtMoko and can run an xterm in QX. SHR offers the
> best experience for a CLI junkie. 


> SMS and calling worked fine for me in all 3 distros albeit some mic
> tweaking was required in the past (lowering the mic volume). PIM is
> supported in all 3 but syncing on QtMoko isn't possible for me as it
> only supports syncing with a Windows machine running software that
> needs to be compiled. I don't have experience syncing with the other 2
> distros .

That was not my experience on the latest SHR unstable - see above

> > Btw: I own another GTA02 with Android installed on. 

I only briefly tried android - my impression (not well tested) was that it might be good as a phone, but much less so as a general purpose computer in your pocket

David Matthews
mail at dmatthews.org

More information about the community mailing list