July 28, 2021

Corona diaries – the ubports ubuntu touch experiment – part 9 – “the battle of the libertine” continues after a setback

I recently reported progress with my Ubuntu Touch experimental phone using a Sony Xperia X testing the navigation app uNav which was working rather well.

I was probably getting a bit carried away with my successes using Ubuntu Touch. I had, however, had a lot of trouble getting libertine containers up and running, in fact, it wasn´t working at all and I couldn´t get any packages installed. After OTA-13 was released I tried changing update channels from the Sony “development channel” to the “stable release channel” and back again but the net result was that open store started crashing and various apps that had worked fine up until then stopped working. Basically, I had managed to break a running system by twiddling around too much. In a moment of crisis I did a total reset and the whole thing reinstalled itself.

So back to base one, the whole phone needed to be set up again which was not wholly bad because suddenly I could connect my nextcloud account. Having done that I tentatively tried to set up the libertine container again. That went well. I selected the “Lubuntu Software Centre” package – and it installed. Thinking that I was on a roll, I selected Firefox from the list and it too installed. I couldn´t believe it, I now have Firefox version 81ish running on Ubuntu Touch, I even did a user sync login and that worked too. Unbelievable. Pictures and proof below:

So for now, after using the Libertine tweak tool, I have a Ubuntu Touch phone with Firefox and access to endless desktop apps from Ubuntu and Co. I can´t overstate what this means, I have basically almost got where I wanted to go when I signed up for the Canonical phone somewhere around 2016 which was, unfortunately, withdrawn. This is a massive step forwards from the brink of failure.

Although I can´t say that the battle of the libertine has been won, I seem to have at least secured the high ground and am holding firm. There is defintely still work to do, particularly with font size and usability on a mobile device but I´m pretty happy with the phone at the moment.

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