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Models covered


This document guides the user how to install Mobian on their PinePhone.


Mobian on the PinePhone requires that Tow-Boot is installed on the mmcboot partition of the device's eMMC. Users should follow the "Installing to eMMC Boot guide in the Tow-Boot documentation before proceeding.

Obtain the image

Pre-built Mobian images for the Pinephone can be downloaded from this link. Installer images are available here.

Verifying the images

Mobian images come with multiple files:

To verify the download, use the following steps:

  1. Import the Mobian signing key from here. Once downloaded, the key can be imported with gpg --import mobian.gpg.

  2. Verify the signature with gpg --verify <downloaded file>.sha256sum.sig.

  3. If the signature is valid, check the other files with shasum -c <downloaded file>.sha256sums

  4. If this prints OK for all files the download is verified.

Flash the image

In order to flash the Mobian image, you need to identify the device attached to target. On the pinephone, it is /dev/mmcblk0 (for SD) or /dev/mmcblk2 (for eMMC, its size should be 16GB or 32GB depending on your device model) You can also use device names by-id for increased safety, e.g. /dev/disk/by-id/mmc-SU16G_0x1d6654fd. **Be careful not to write to the wrong device! Replace the "X" in /dev/mmcblkX or /dev/sdX or use /dev/disk/by-id/.**

Follow below steps on how to flash to eMMC or see these pine64 wiki instructions for more ways on how to access eMMC of the pinephone. To flash a SD card, simply use a computer of your choice.

Be advised that the first boot will take longer due to the ?automatic resizing of the filesystem.

Installation to eMMC

You can install the image to eMMC by using JumpDrive or by flashing the installer image to an SD card which will then provide the option to install to eMMC.

To use ?JumpDrive:

Note: It is not recommended to flash the installer directly to the eMMC. If you do install this way, please ensure there is no SD card present while running the installer.

Method 1a: bmaptool using an URL

bmaptool is a comfortable means to flash your image. It handles sparse files, so it can be considerably faster than plain dd. It also handles both .bmap and .gz files and can dowload them directly from an URL. Execute

with $BLOCKDEVICE the blockdevice to flash, e.g. /dev/mmcblkX, /dev/sdX [in the case of jumpdrive], or /dev/disk/by-id/XXXXXX).


Method 1b: bmaptool with a local image file

You can also use bmaptool to flash a local image. As it handles sparse files, it can flash considerably faster than plain dd

with $IMAGE, the path to the compressed or uncompressed image file and $BLOCKDEVICE the blockdevice (/dev/mmcblkX or /dev/sdX - if you are using jumpdrive - or /dev/disk/by-id/).


Method 3: dd

To use dd, you need to unzip the image using one of the following commands:

Then flash with the following command:

(the status= option will display some progress while flashing, dd is awfully silent otherwise)

Default pin and password

The default user is **mobian** and has the password: **1234**. It is also used as PIN on the unlock screen.

The root-user is locked by default.

You should change the user password - please see ?changing password about the right way to do so. If you want to access your phone via ssh, you need to ?set it up to do so.

Automatic resizing of your filesystem on first boot

After flashing the image and booting for the first time, Mobian will resize the root filesystem to take all possible space on the disk. This can take a while and will only happen on first boot. So grab a ${DRINK_OF_CHOICE} and be patient.