FORUMS

[ROM] [non-Android] postmarketOS for the HTC Desire Z

5 posts
Thanks Meter: 4
 
By mberndt, Junior Member on 9th February 2019, 07:46 PM
Post Reply Email Thread
Hi there,

I have recently ported postmarketOS [1] to the HTC Desire Z. postmarketOS is a Linux distribution for mobile devices based on Alpine Linux and the primary platform for KDE's Plasma Mobile desktop.

Note that this work is nowhere near ready for productive use, at least not as a phone. It boots, the weston demo UI starts and you can ssh into it via USB or Wifi (use nmtui or nmcli to configure it), but that's pretty much it. I'm posting here in the hope that other developers might be interested in joining this effort. It might be useful as small server for personal use, perhaps to host a NextCloud instance or something like that.

For installation instructions, refer to the Installation Guide at [3] and the wiki page for the HTC Desire Z at [4]. It should be possible to run postmarketOS without installing anything at all on the phone (other than an unlocked bootloader) by installing onto a microSD card and booting via the `fastboot boot` command.

[1] https://postmarketos.org/
[3] https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Installation_guide
[4] https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/HTC_Desire_Z_(htc-vision)

P. S. If you're wondering why I didn't put this in the developers' section where it belongs: It's because I'm not allowed to post there due to being a new member, and for the same reason I can't post proper links. In order to prevent spam, new users are required to spam 10 posts in order to be able to do perfectly legitimate things. How ironic
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mberndt For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift mberndt Ad-Free
28th April 2019, 09:21 PM |#2  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
 
More
First of all, thank you for your time working this out and notifying us, I really appreciate all the people that keep my fine (but old) hardware usable.
I have 3 Desire-Z's (now running cyanogenmod), and would like to try PostMarketOS on one of them.

What is the state of the device? Can I use PostmarketOS to safely browse the web?

Do you have any specific instructions for the microSDcard installation? Is it just installing/running the pmbootstrap command on my linux machine with the correct sdcard device, insert the sdcard into my Desire Z and then starting it with volume-down button pressed, until the (in my case already unlocked) bootloeader menu appears and then running 'fastboot boot <what parameter goes here?>' from the connected linux computer?
29th April 2019, 12:31 AM |#3  
OP Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 4
 
More
Hi C-Base,

Thanks for your interest! I should mention again that this is pretty much a developer thing for now… But in case you want to get your hands dirty and maybe hack on the device a bit, here are my answers:

– What is the state of the device? Please refer to the wiki page, the state is documented there.
– Does it run a browser? I don't know, I've never tried, but I'd guess it wouldn't work. Even if it runs somehow, I'd guess it would probably be unusably slow because I haven't made the hardware graphics acceleration work yet
– Regarding sdcard installation: yes, you pretty much got it right! The last step would be to type "pmbootstrap flasher boot", which is essentially a wrapper for fastboot that will figure out the correct parameters for you. If that doesn't work, you can try "pmbootstrap export". That will copy a bootable image to /tmp/postmarketOS-export/boot.img-htc-vision. You should be able to boot that using "fastboot boot /tmp/postmarketOS-export/boot.img-htc-vision"


If you want to help out, there's a couple things you could do!
– document on the wiki page everything you feel would be helpful to anybody who wants to try this
– get graphics acceleration working with hybris. This is needed for Plasma mobile to run and shouldn't be too hard. You just need to make sure that the relevant hybris packages are installed (GLES, EGL, maybe others) and that the android drivers are in the right place (the relevant binaries should be in this repo: https://github.com/milaq/android_device_htc_vision).

One more thing: for all I know you'd be the first person other than myself to try this on a Desire Z, so definitely let me know if you can get it to boot! I've actually never tried the SD card installation, so it would be nice to hear if that works, and also if the on-screen keyboard (to type in the disk encryption password works).
30th April 2019, 08:40 AM |#4  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
 
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by mberndt

One more thing: for all I know you'd be the first person other than myself to try this on a Desire Z, so definitely let me know if you can get it to boot! I've actually never tried the SD card installation, so it would be nice to hear if that works, and also if the on-screen keyboard (to type in the disk encryption password works).

Hi!

I have pmOS running on my HTC Desire Z and SD card installation works just fine I haven't tested on-screen keyboard so I don't know does that work.

BTW, is there any change this gets mainlined sometime in the future?
30th April 2019, 10:04 PM |#5  
OP Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 4
 
More
Hey jyrithe,

I'm happy to hear that it works for you!

Regarding your question: the SoC is a Qualcomm MSM7230, and the mainline kernel doesn't currently support that. So somebody would have to port the relevant drivers etc. to a modern kernel. I think that this would require access to the serial console, and while that is documented for some Android phones (e. g. many recent Sony Xperia models), the Desire Z doesn't seem to be one of them – at least I haven't been able to find such documentation. I also haven't been able to find public documentation about the actual SoC, and I suspect one would have to figure out how the hardware works by reading the driver code. Given that this is also a rather old SoC at this point, I suspect it's not going to happen. I personally just don't have the time or the knowledge to be able to do this.

Here's a kernel tree that might be of interest though:
https://github.com/msm7x30/android_kernel_qcom_msm7x30
That one is based on Linux 4.4, so it's a much newer version than the 3.0.101 kernel that I used for the pmOS port. Based on the name it seems to support the SoC, but it doesn't include support for the specific board – one would have to write a devicetree file to make that work.
The Following User Says Thank You to mberndt For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift mberndt Ad-Free
26th October 2019, 10:41 PM |#6  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
 
More
Hi I am trying to boot it up with the HTC Desire Z. I boot up nicely with the nice logo, but after that everything is black. I use "westron" in the pmbootstrap installation and I use android zip recovery way to do this, using with the cwm 6.0.5.

I hope you can help me. I love your energy into this project!!
27th October 2019, 06:56 PM |#7  
OP Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 4
 
More
Hi Dr.RR,

I haven't done any work on this device lately, and I don't plan to. The problem is that afaik there's really only one “useful” UI to run on postmarketOS, and it's KDE plasma mobile. But it's too large to fit on the system partition of this device, so it's impossible to install it until LVM support is in place (this allows to create a root file system that spans several flash partitions, i. e. system and userdata partitions). If you want to get your hands dirty, check this out: https://gitlab.com/postmarketOS/pmbootstrap/issues/60 . (sdcard installations aren't affected by this, but I currently don't have a spare).
Post Reply Subscribe to Thread

Guest Quick Reply (no urls or BBcode)
Message:
Previous Thread Next Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes