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skmakine

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28 Jun 2018
Is there any benefit at all to flashing the new Debian image from Planet, as opposed to simply using apt to upgrade everything?

For Android, I guess flashing is the only way to upgrade. But perhaps I would then simply flash the boot etc partitions using the new firmware, and leave Debian and Android user data un-touched?
26 Jun 2018
Hey all!

Personally I wouldn't have known this was possible without stumbling on to it some time earlier, so here's something for you all to consider.

The Debian TP leaves much to desire at it's present state, with so many things just plain not working. For me, it's not really useful now, but for sure it's interesting and for now I'm keeping it installed to play around with.

However I'm reasonably happy with running Ubuntu virtually under Android. It does those things I need it to do, when I'm not using it my device is a normal Android device, and while running virtual Linux I can just instantly alt-tab between Linux and Android applications. For me at this time, it's the best of both worlds.

Here's how it works:
  1. root your Android. This is required. I also installed the Magisk Manager to control root access.
  2. install LinuxDeploy by meefik from Google Play
  3. use the GUI to set up a new virtual Linux system (VNC is probably the only useful choice for desktop GUI)
  4. start the VM, and connect to it with any VNC client

There you go. It will download and setup your new virtual Linux and prep it for use.

For myself, I installed Ubuntu/MATE into an image file in internal storage, added a bunch of softwares I need, and the bonus: I've set up an SDCard with a LUKS encrypted partition, and I can use that within the virtual Linux, to have a relatively safer encrypted storage, which is not accessible to Android OS at all, without some further special tricks. Now I dare to keep some confidential material on my device: Android snoopware can't access it, it's in encrypted storage, and best of all: if my device HW fails, I can just pop out the SDCard and mount it on an Ubuntu desktop.

I also made the VM desktop about half of the Gemini screen resolution, and then I have the VNC client scale it up to full screen. This way all the scrollbars etc are usable directly via touch screen, without having to figure out how to make the desktop environment make everything super-sized, which doesn't quite work with many softwares.

Using bVNC as the VNC client, I can toggle live between different modes for the touch screen, e.g. change from direct mode to simulated touchpad mode.

It's not 100% perfect, but for now works well enough for me. Some issues FYI:
  • with the VNC setup, I can't alt-tab inside the VM. Alt-tab switches between VNC client and other Android apps
  • when I use alt-drag to move windows, after the operation the Planet app bar always pops up, so I have to press the Planet key again to close it
  • no HW acceleration in the VNC desktop
  • no XRANDR extension (or I don't know yet how to achieve it)
  • home, end, pg up, pg down don't work so far
  • can't get FB to work as display method; the screen just keeps rotating till I kill it, or if I kill Android UI I get a very small popup error, and then have to force a hard reboot...

If you're interested, and end up trying this, please share your experiences! Particularly since it seems like there's not much good documentation about LinuxDeploy...
18 Jun 2018
I partitioned the sdcard in Ubuntu, and then formatted the only partition as LUKS.

Android obviously can't mount it, so it complains about a corrupt sdcard in the system notifications.

Just idling in Android, screen off, wifi off, no SIM card, softwares stopped, consumes about 50% battery power overnight (~8-10 hours).

I you're wondering where your battery is going, best check what your sdcard situation is...
17 Jun 2018
Is it quite safe to run the flashing tool so that I manually select which partitions to flash and which not? Can this result in a bricked device?

I already have a dual booting Gemini, and I'd like to root my Android.

I look at the scatter files, and the only diff between regular Android and rooted Android is "patched_boot.img". And then of course a big bunch of diffs between Android and dual boot.

So can I just change the "boot.img" file to "patched_boot.img" in the dual boot scatter file, then run the flashing tool, and *only* flash the SYS23/boot partition?

The aim here is to:
- not brick the device
- not lose/reset the Debian installation
- not lose Android user data
- ideally not even reset the Android installation
- achieve root in Android
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26 Jun 2018 - 13:13

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