Packages

This page tracks the availability of Mobile-friendly user-facing applications in Debian, where "mobile-friendly" means low-resource, graphical, touch-friendly, and fits onto small screens.

Available

Mobile-friendly applications in Debian:

Name

Widgets

Purpose

First usable Debian release (version)

geary

GTK

Email client (MUA)

buster

ace-of-penguins

Clones of freecell and other Windows games, freecell works well haven't tested the rest

undo without backspace key issue #946434

aisleriot

GTK

Solitaire game

atomix

GTK

Puzzle game

Window scaling bug #1055878 but still playable

colorcode

QT

Mastermind game

hex-a-hop

Jump hexagons puzzle game

undo without backspace key issue #1057317

koko

QT

Mobile optimised image viewer

Unstable (23.08.5+ds.1-2) works, testing currently has 23.08.3+ds.1-2 which hangs on startup on Librem5

chatty

GTK

Matrix chat client

bookworm

nheko

QT

Matrix chat client

testing (0.11.3-2.1) works well apart from some screens off the right edge, unsure of earlier vers

dino-im

GTK

Jabber chat client (XMPP)

bookworm (0.4.1)

empathy

GTK

Jabber chat client (XMPP)

bookworm (removed from testing)

apostrophe

GTK

Markdown notepad

bookworm

gnome-network-displays

GTK

Screen replicator

bookworm

kgx

GTK

Terminal emulator

bookworm (removed from testing)

ktrip

QT

Public transport navigator

bookworm

secrets

GTK

Password manager

bookworm

tokodon

QT

Mastodon client

wike

GTK

Wikipedia browser

bookworm. In unstable doesn't display anything on ?PinePhonePro #1065471

angelfish

QT

Web browser

bookworm

epiphany-browser

GTK

Web browser

buster (far too many open bugs - needs help)

Extensions to mobile-friendly applications in Debian:

Name

Application

Purpose

First usable Debian release (version)

telepathy-ring

Empathy

Voice calls and SMS

bookworm (removed from testing)

Prospective

Mobile-friendly applications with some interest getting it in Debian.

Name

Widgets

Pupose

Status of packaging

neom

GTK

Matrix chat client

Packaging in progress

Things We Need

Here are applications that we need for replacing Android etc:

Voice Output

The Festival system does text to speech. Here are some examples of commands to use it:

echo this is a test|text2wave |mpv -
lynx -dump $URL|text2wave |mpv -
pdftotext file.pdf -|text2wave |mpv -

This is not sufficient to address the needs for voice output. Generating the sound and playing it is the easy part, the hard part is determining what text to convert to speech, when to play it, and how to pause or cancel it.

The accessibility page has more information on a variety of accessibility options. This includes Speech-Dispatcher. Here is an example of how to use Speech-Dispatcher:

spd-say "some text"

Extending the List

If you find an mobile-friendly application not here but already in Debian, then please add it here.

If you find a mobile-friendly application not here and not in Debian, then please file an RFP or ITP bugreport and update this page with resulting bug number.

See also:

QT vs GTK

In Debian/Testing (as of 10th Apr 2024) the QT libraries support text-input-v2 and the GTK libraries support text-input-v3. If you run QT based apps under phoc the expected result is that clicking in an input field will not bring up the on-screen keyboard. To fix this we need the compositor to support multiple versions of the text input interface or for QT to support text-input-v3.

This is tracked for Wayland since 2021 and for QT since 2021, so probably won't happen soon.

The following commands will enable/disable the GTK on-screen keyboard to make things work:

busctl call --user sm.puri.OSK0 /sm/puri/OSK0 sm.puri.OSK0 SetVisible b true
busctl call --user sm.puri.OSK0 /sm/puri/OSK0 sm.puri.OSK0 SetVisible b false

Also a Bluetooth keyboard would work.

There is no Debian bug report for this as it's not clear what to file a bug report against. It seems that everyone thinks their stuff is OK.