#380 Purchasing PinePhone Pro units for Fedora KDE and Mobility SIG members
Closed: approved 2 months ago by riecatnor. Opened 7 months ago by ngompa.

Today, PINE64 announced the PinePhone Pro for developers. The critical thing about the PinePhone Pro is that it's intended to be a flagship-class device that is fully supported by the mainline Linux kernel.

Quote from the site (emphasis mine):

Openness means privacy and security as well as software choice. Just as the original PinePhone, the PinePhone Pro runs mainline Linux (with patches, which are being upstreamed) with open source drivers.

The Fedora KDE SIG and the Fedora Mobility SIG want to launch a proper Fedora Mobile Edition using KDE Plasma Mobile, and having hardware we can use with stock Fedora is critical for being able to launch it.

I would like to request that the Council purchase units from PINE64 for members of the Fedora KDE SIG and Fedora Mobility SIG working on this effort so that we can accelerate the development to launch it as a proper Edition to address the burgeoning interest in Linux on mobile devices.

cc: @rdieter, @thunderbirdtr, @kevin


I'm generally in favor, but I'd like to see some specifics. How many units are you asking for? To whom are they going? What's the plan for getting this ready for launch? (F36? F37? unknown?)

It might be better to put together an Objective for this and then funding the purchases can be a part of the Objective. What do others think?

Metadata Update from @bcotton:
- Issue tagged with: budget

7 months ago

I'm generally in favor, but I'd like to see some specifics. How many units are you asking for? To whom are they going?

At least from the Fedora KDE SIG side, @rdieter, @siosm, @thunderbirdtr, and myself would each need one. From the Mobility SIG, I would expect at @kevin would need one. If there are other members for the Mobility SIG that would need it, I think @kevin can answer who that would be.

What's the plan for getting this ready for launch? (F36? F37? unknown?)

I would guesstimate that we'd be able to get it going for Fedora Linux 37. For the F36 cycle, we'll probably be getting all the PlaMo ecosystem software packaged in Fedora and get x86_64 and aarch64 images built with the PlaMo setup. Then hardware enablement polish can be completed during the F37 development cycle.

It might be better to put together an Objective for this and then funding the purchases can be a part of the Objective. What do others think?

I've never put together an Objective before... If this makes sense for us to do, I think @kevin, @rdieter, and I could put together a joint Objective on this.

I owe everyone better documentation on Creating An Objective. It's on my list of shame.

The main points are:

  1. Should be a 12-18 month goal.
  2. Having multi-phase objectives to cover things bigger than that has not been very successful for us.
  3. Should have a Logic Model. See those for https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Objectives/CommunityOutreachRevamp and https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Objectives/Websites_%26_Apps_Community_Revamp for examples, and the first part of my Flock keynote from 2019 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h1mP3WhQIg&t=64s). I can help with this.
  4. Needs an Objective Lead; this person becomes a Fedora Council member for the duration of the Objective. (See https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/council/#_objective_leads.) It's technically an auxiliary vote, but in practice we've found it an important way to include active voices from people actually doing things in governance.
  5. Having something as an Objective makes it easier for us to justify resource allocation... not just hardware grants like this but also requests to CPE or to Mindshare, Design, etc., etc.

Just wondering, will the Fedora Mobile Edition use NetworkManager? If yes, is there already some idea what might be required from NetworkManager?

.

We do plan to use NetworkManager with ModemManager. Plasma Mobile is moving to NetworkManager and ModemManager from the legacy ofono stuff.

@apol and @ngraham may be able to connect you with folks who could give more concrete requirements.

So, this device was just announced yesterday, so lots of things still up in the air. :) I did request to preorder, but right now the preorder page goes to a 'tell us why you should be able to order one' and they are going to pick people from that queue. I think widespread ordering isn't supposed to open until mid/late november).

That said, I would love to get fedora running on this device. The pinephone has a big problem in that a number of things on it (like all connectivity) need non upstream drivers/work, so we can't really even make a fedora version for it thats very useful. The pinephone pro looks to be in much better shape (at least from what we can tell without having one): It's using basically the same SOC as the pinebook pro. Battery life is not great, but it's early days. :)

Anyhow, I'm not sure this should be a objective, but I suppose it could be. :) I'd like to see a single mobility image that can run KDE Plasma Mobile and Phosh (and obviously a way to switch), or if there's no easy way to switch 2 images.

As far as hardware, I'd really like to see @pbrobinson get one (but not sure how much time he has to work on it), and/or @jwrdegoede (if he has time/desire) since they could enable hardware and help upstream things.
From the mobility sig, @torbuntu and @njha and yoda (not sure fas account) have been the main drivers of our remix.

Thanks for bringing this up @ngompa !

I'm happy to send things to Peter but I'd LOVE for someone else to take the lead on hardware enablement for this one, because I know for sure that the amount of time he has is measured in the negatives.

This is a tangent for the phone order request, but if this does end up aiming to be an Edition and uses KDE as the UI tech, we're going to need to make sure we don't repeat getting into situations where we're in final freeze and have three blockers in plasma-desktop. That can be accomplished in a number of ways: closer ties with upstream, some kind of formal deal (funded how?), more Plasma devs actually working in Fedora, ... or, we could look at de-coupling KDE and a "Fedora Mobile" edition from the main release cycle entirely.

Anyhow, I'm not sure this should be a objective, but I suppose it could be. :) I'd like to see a single mobility image that can run KDE Plasma Mobile and Phosh (and obviously a way to switch), or if there's no easy way to switch 2 images.

We already have a way to switch - and do it on the nightlies (Gnome and Phosh)
I plan to add Plasma Mobile into them too, as soon as I can get the "desktop" to show up correctly (help needed).

From the mobility sig, @torbuntu and @njha and yoda (not sure fas account) have been the main drivers of our remix.

My fas account is alho

Yoda

Just my 2 cents, I'd be more in favor of 2 separate mobile editions (Phosh and Plasma Mobile). Having them combined would mean most folks would end up with 2 ecosystems in the same image when they only want 1. Since there is talk (and my hope) of using rpm-ostree, I'd rather not have to remove a lot of stuff.

Note on terminology... I know it's a little confusing, but the word "Edition" has a special meaning -- these are our showcase offerings focused on a specific broad use-case rather than a tech stack. We also have spins -- or labs or images or whatever name is chosen, just not editions -- which tend to be either tech showcases (either around a desktop environment or a language stack) or are tailored towards interesting niche uses (like the Neuroscience spin or the Design lab).

I'm not in love with the word "editions" -- we had originally talked about "products", but our friends over at Red Hat marketing felt that that confuses their messaging (since we don't sell or formally support these things), so we chose a different word.

Apologies, I really should know this by now 😅

@torbuntu The idea here is that Fedora KDE SIG would be working with Fedora Mobile SIG to build a flagship Fedora Mobile Edition using KDE Plasma Mobile in partnership with the KDE community. This idea stalled out while we didn't have any hardware that worked with the Fedora ARM support. The PinePhone Pro; however, uses the PineBook Pro hardware platform in it, so we have basic enablement already in place. Having a mobile hardware platform that we can run Fedora on will drastically accelerate our ability to bring up and develop a Fedora Mobile experience built on Plasma Mobile.

So where does that leave the Mobility sig that has been working for the last two years or so trying to work towards the official Fedora Mobile image with Phosh?

Apologies, I really should know this by now 😅

It's fine. It's my job to be pedantic about it, not yours. :)

So where does that leave the Mobility sig that has been working for the last two years or so trying to work towards the official Fedora Mobile image with Phosh?

An image with Phosh can still be a thing. I'm saying that's what this is about.

torbuntu: We just continue our work - lets see whos "flagship" gets most downloads :-)
We, after all, already have images working for PinePhones :-)

I appreciate people thinking of me wrt getting me a pinephone pro. I'm following pinephone development and I'm definitely interested in this but. But I simply don't have enough time to actually contribute. So I do not think that Fedora should buy a pinephone pro for me, since I likely will not do very much with it.

Hey folks, it would be great to get this one resolved, hopefully with Council approval in the next couple days so we can get these ordered out of 2021 budget!

I am +1

Okay, yeah. Given the budget year time pressure, let's make this an "object by Tuesday or we're going ahead" thing. @kevin and @ngompa can you get me a list of people from the SIG for whom this would be useful, with shipping info (addresses and phone numbers)?

I would also like to ask that everyone who gets one write at least a couple of blog posts, or blog-post-like messages to Fedora Discussion about plans and progress. The idea is to support the specific Mobility effort, after all, not a phone give-away.

There's a mobility sig meeting on monday ( https://pagure.io/Fedora-Council/tickets/issue/380 ) can discuss there.

FYI, I already ordered a pinephone pro (it arrives monday :)

I'd personally prefer if we just made the objective / hardware for making fedora available on pinephone and leave what desktop as a technical decision, but I understand the KDE sig wanting to be able to say the objective is specifically KDE related.

Yeah. At the Council level, we officially don't care what technology is used. :)

The important questions:

  • Does the proposed Edition address a significant, distinct use case? If the suggested market can be met with a curated selection of packages, it's probably not an Edition. If it's only of interest to a narrow group of people, same.
  • Is there an active team of people committed to sustained development and maintenance? This point, I hope, is obvious. But it includes not just development and packaging — also design thinking, user research, marketing, writing documentation, testing, and user support.
  • Are we able to produce something that shows Fedora in the best light? When users come to "try Fedora", they should be steered towards the most polished things we can show them. We don't wnt reviewers picking an obscure desktop environment just because they were shown a list and had to pick something, and then complaining about how it handles right-mouse clicks or something.

I'm gathering a list from mobility sig/etc... can mail them to you at the end of the week?

@ngompa can you get a list of kde folks? Or if you prefer have likely people mail me their name/address/phone and I can add them before sending?

@kevin Yes please. I thought I responded to this ticket yesterday but I guess I didn't hit send. I need:

  1. Name
  2. Shipping info (address + phone number)
  3. Affirmation that the person does not work for a government (for regulatory reasons, we cannot provide things like this to employees of any government)
  4. Affirmation that they're going to use this to work on improving Fedora support, not just "yay free phone".

Last time we also added some late stragglers. but this time we're really close to the end of the budget year, so if it's not in by the end of the week we probably can't do it.

To further identify what is needed for shipping info:
Name
Address
Address line 2
City
State
Country
Postal code
Email
Phone number with country code

the monthly update from Pine64 is out - hinting they will be open for orders soon, as I quote "and will be shipping the Explorer Edition in just a few short weeks.

https://www.pine64.org/2021/12/15/december-update-a-year-in-review/

Sorry for the slow movement and then last minute rush, but we need this by early tomorrow morning so Marie has time to make the order before the FY stuff closes.

Of course we can do others next year, but better to spend this year's budget!

The only mailing address I have is my own, which @riecatnor has already. For the others, please reach out to them for mailing addresses.

Thanks for suggesting me here. Note that I will not be able to work on hardware enablement but will be able to make sure rpm-ostree based variants work well on it (Silverblue Mobile? Kinoite Mobile?).

Personally I think we're a long way from anything Edition related with Mobility, should start with appropriate Spins and supported HW that works OOTB on Fedora without custom kernels. We're no where near that yet so we're IMO no where close to official Spin status let alone Edition.

The list from the KDE SIG side would be:

That's a lot of people given they're not even testing the rest of KDE on arm regularly.

The list from the KDE SIG side would be:

That's a lot of people given they're not even testing the rest of KDE on arm regularly.

For your information, @thunderbirdtr is the primary packager of Plasma Mobile in the KDE SIG, with @rdieter and @marcdeop helping. @siosm wants to make the rpm-ostree stuff work so we can have a Kinoite Mobile variant. @thunderbirdtr and myself test KDE Plasma on ARM, though I don't do it as often as I'd like, as I'm working on a number of things related to Plasma Wayland, which is also part of the Plasma Mobile experience.

I really like the idea of Fedora gaining support for the PinePhone Pro. It's also really great to see a group already forming around this objective.

@pbrobinson mentioned starting this effort as a Spin first before considering making it an official edition. I think that's a good idea, but I also think now is a good time to put together what Fedora would want in place to make it an official edition. Specifically, I would like to see a test plan and acceptance criteria put together for a Fedora Mobile Edition on the PinePhone Pro. Also, are there any special considerations with regards to release engineering and what constitutes the final assembled release?

Acquiring PinePhone Pro hardware for people should include Fedora QA and Release Engineering as well. @adamwill, what do you think about defining some acceptance criteria and putting together a test plan (noting required hardware for QA) to get Fedora Mobility ready to become an official edition?

Is there any kind of emulator we could potentially use to automate the testing? We have been trying to automate as much validation testing as we can, it would kind of suck to introduce a bunch of new testing that can only be done manually.

It should be possible to do a good chunk of the Mobile Edition's validation with a VM. You will simply not be able to test any hardware-centric features, like using a cellular connection.

@pbrobinson mentioned starting this effort as a Spin first before considering making it an official edition. I think that's a good idea, but I also think now is a good time to put together what Fedora would want in place to make it an official edition. Specifically, I would like to see a test plan and acceptance criteria put together for a Fedora Mobile Edition on the PinePhone Pro. Also, are there any special considerations with regards to release engineering and what constitutes the final assembled release?

We, that being @mattdm @bcotton and myself as part of making IoT an Edition.

It should be possible to do a good chunk of the Mobile Edition's validation with a VM. You will simply not be able to test any hardware-centric features, like using a cellular connection.

You would need to have a VM configured with a portrait screen to ensure the testing functionality like that's done for Workstation can be achieved so there will be some work required there.

It should be possible to do a good chunk of the Mobile Edition's validation with a VM. You will simply not be able to test any hardware-centric features, like using a cellular connection.

well, that kind of feature is sort of what I was hoping for from an emulator as opposed to just a generic VM. I'm hardly an expert on cellphone engineering, but my understanding is that the major cellphone OSes - Android and iOS - have emulators available that replicate the behaviour of a 'real' phone very closely, including things like emulating a cellular connection (and the ability to turn it off and on and so on) and any hardware controls the phone has, and so on. If something like that existed for this, it'd make testing much more practical.

Yeah, the underlying images here would just be aarch64 ones with specific packages. The base aarch64 functionality should be testable via the normal aarch64 images (ie, if they failed to boot for some reason, likely pp or ppp would also fail). Of course there's specific hardware on top there that as far as I know has no emulator: modem, enablement switches, gps, etc. That would likely need testing with real hardware.

The ppp is still not on sale, does that mean the window is gone here to get some units? Or we need to just wait and see whats the case when they do become available?

It should be possible to do a good chunk of the Mobile Edition's validation with a VM. You will simply not be able to test any hardware-centric features, like using a cellular connection.

well, that kind of feature is sort of what I was hoping for from an emulator as opposed to just a generic VM. I'm hardly an expert on cellphone engineering, but my understanding is that the major cellphone OSes - Android and iOS - have emulators available that replicate the behaviour of a 'real' phone very closely, including things like emulating a cellular connection (and the ability to turn it off and on and so on) and any hardware controls the phone has, and so on. If something like that existed for this, it'd make testing much more practical.

That is true. Android Studio includes an emulator that can do that sort of thing, I believe. I'm not sure how it works there, though...

The ppp is still not on sale, does that mean the window is gone here to get some units? Or we need to just wait and see whats the case when they do become available?

We can still do this; it's just going to be from 2022 funds instead of using up 2021 ones.

ok, they are up for sale now. :)

https://pine64.com/product/pinephone-pro-explorer-edition/

Yes, but NOTICE:

"PinePhone Pro orders placed before January 18 will be dispatched from Hong Kong warehouse the week starting on January 24. For orders placed after January 18, the estimated dispatch from the Hong Kong warehouse is late February 2022. "

Hi there! The majority of these are on order. There are a couple people I didn't receive info for and one order I was unable to place.

@marcdeop & @rdieter. I sent emails to your fedora accounts, but if there is a better way to gather the info please let me know or email mnordin (at) redhat (dot) com.

Unfortunately, I was unable to place an order for @thunderbirdtr due to his location. I am not sure if that is temporary or not :/

Hi there! The majority of these are on order. There are a couple people I didn't receive info for and one order I was unable to place.

@marcdeop & @rdieter. I sent emails to your fedora accounts, but if there is a better way to gather the info please let me know or email mnordin (at) redhat (dot) com.

Unfortunately, I was unable to place an order for @thunderbirdtr due to his location. I am not sure if that is temporary or not :/

For my status I may either needs to step in try to check on my end or send mine to one of the RH EU office/employee and shipped to me. If I can't get it directly.

Hi there! The majority of these are on order. There are a couple people I didn't receive info for and one order I was unable to place.

@marcdeop & @rdieter. I sent emails to your fedora accounts, but if there is a better way to gather the info please let me know or email mnordin (at) redhat (dot) com.

Unfortunately, I was unable to place an order for @thunderbirdtr due to his location. I am not sure if that is temporary or not :/

@riecatnor did you manage to place orders for @rdieter and @marcdeop ? Do you need anything else from us?

Thanks for the time and effort by the way :-)

Hi there! The majority of these are on order. There are a couple people I didn't receive info for and one order I was unable to place.
...
@marcdeop & @rdieter. I sent emails to your fedora accounts, but if there is a better way to gather the info please let me know or email mnordin (at) redhat (dot) com.

Sorry for my late reply, info sent your way, thanks.

Hi there @marcdeop & @rdieter - I received the additional info, and will be placing the remaining orders shortly.

@thunderbirdtr - your situation is a bit more complex and I don't have a solid answer on how to address it yet. Turkiye seems to be strict about importing cell phones.

@riecatnor do we have any news? is there anything else we can do?

Hi @marcdeop - thanks for the follow up. I have placed the remaining orders, with the exception of the one for @thunderbirdtr. We don't have a solution for that as of right now, unfortunately.

This is all set except for handling customs for the last orders. For those who haven't received yet, please do not pay the customs fee, if possible. I will receive an email with a link to pay, but sometimes the item will reach the recipient before I am able to get to it (time zones). It becomes much more complicated to complete a reimbursement than for me to just pay it outright. Thanks!

Pine64 usually only ships out Pinephones once a month (at the end). But now Shenzhen is under a new Covid-19 lockdown - so shipment may be delayed further

I'm going to close this since the purchases are underway. (We'll work out what we can do for @thunderbirdtr separately.)

For those of you getting the devices: please remember, this isn't swag. But it's not, like, payment or a reward either. The intent is for this to enable you to make Fedora better. I'd like to see the folks working on this come up with an Objective (whether aiming at making an Edition or not), and I'd like to see blog posts (or discussion.fedoraproject.org posts) from everyone about what they're working on — not as a condition, but genuinely so that everyone can see and share your progress and results.

If you're getting a device and find you can't actually help at this time, please find someone else who might be able to and send the device (and the accompanying expectations!) forward.

Thanks — and I'm looking forward to what comes from this!

Metadata Update from @riecatnor:
- Issue close_status updated to: approved
- Issue status updated to: Closed (was: Open)

2 months ago

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