DebianOn is an effort to document how to install, configure and use Debian on some specific hardware. Therefore potential buyers would know if that hardware is supported and owners would know how get the best out of that hardware.

The purpose is not to duplicate the Debian Official Documentation, but to document how to install Debian on some specific hardware.

If you need help to get Debian running on your hardware, please have a look at our user support channels where you may find specific channels (mailing list, IRC channel) dedicated to certain types of hardware.

What's not working

USB OTG and camera do not work.

Support

If something isn't working for you, you can get in contact with Mobian developers and the Mobian community in various ways. All of them are listed here.

Installation

Obtain the Image

Pre-built images for your device will be packed in a file named mobian-<family>-<graphical_shell>-YYYYMMDD.tar.xz and can be downloaded from here https://images.mobian.org/qcom/weekly/. Same images are available both under folders sdm845 and qcom of https://images.mobian-project.org. Effective 2024-01-25, sdm845 and sm7225 images have been replaced by qcom ones: please refer to qcom images for newer images targeting these devices.

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.

Preparing the Device

As you would do before installing a custom Android ROM, the bootloader needs to be unlocked. The exact procedure varies depending on the device you own, so we suggest you search the Internet for an unlock guide aimed at your specific device.

We also recommend that you upgrade Android to the latest available version and install all system updates before installing Mobian.

Flashing the Image to the Target Device

WARNING: Flashing Mobian to your device will wipe your Android installation! Please install a recovery software such as TWRP and make sure you understand how to recover your system before proceeding.

Those devices being Android smartphones in the first place, they have secure boot enabled, meaning we can't replace their bootloader and need to rely on Android tools in order to flash Mobian.

In practice, this means we can't flash a single image file, and the downloaded tarball will contain:

Note: Up until 2023-10-22 the archives used to contain an additional image file named mobian-<processor>-phosh-YYYYMMDD.boot.img meant to be flashed to the system partition. This is no longer the case starting with the 2023-10-29 set of images.

As these devices have several variants, which differ only by the device-tree they need, and the DT being part of the bootimg, we provide one bootimg for each variant. You have to flash the one matching your device:

Once you have extracted those files from the tarball, boot your device into //Fastboot mode//, connect it to your computer using a USB cable and run the following commands to install Mobian:

If all steps above succeeded, reboot your phone.

Notes:

Installing to an SD Card

The installation above is to the internal memory (UFS). There can be many reasons why you want to install to an SD card:

Before proceeding you must have installed the same version to the internal memory, as described above, but flashing the rootfs.img should be left out (can lead to confusion with the root image that will be installed to the SD card). The steps for installing to an SD card (recommended at least 16 GB):

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.