Thursday, June 22, 2017
First days with Fedora 26 on the GPD Pocket
A few days ago I received the 'GPD Pocket' which I ordered from Indiegogo. It was delivered with Windows 10 and the Indiegogo page said that they will create a Ubuntu image for it.
But Ubuntu is not my distro of choice these days. And the Ubuntu image is also not ready yet. So I decided to install Fedora 26 beta on it.
Booting from a USB stick didn't work initially so I bought a micro-HDMI to HDMI converter. This did result in a working combination together with my Dell monitor. However a part of the converter is blocking the USB-C charging port, so you might want to buy a 0.2m converter cable instead so you can still charge your device while the monitor is connected.
I also tried a USB-C hub with a mini-display port connector, but that isn't working yet. This is the "Hyper Drive N21C". Note that you have to put the USB-C power cable in to have it even show up in lsusb.
I disabled "Fastboot" option in the BIOS. Because it is more likely to work without that feature.
To get in the BIOS hit ESC. To select a non-default boot option hit F7.
Installation didn't work the first time. It failed to mount the encrypted partition. So I retried w/o disk encryption. I did wipe the whole disk, I didn't want to dual boot. I'm planning on reinstalling with disk encryption after getting most stuff to work.
To get wifi to work I used a USB wifi dongle with good Linux support.
I also used a powered USB hub to be able to connect enough devices. There is some info online about Linux on the 'GPD Win', which has a similar wifi chip. But putting the txt file in /lib/firmware/brcm didn't work for me. Maybe I did something wrong or the chip is slightly different.
The GPD Pocket doesn't have bluetooth, so you have to use a USB keyboard and mouse if you want an external one. It also doens't have a camera, so you also need a USB webcam if you want to do video conferencing etc.
My GPD Pocket shipped with a US power adapter and a converter which work fine. The battery also seems fine, but there is no battery indicator. I now have to guesstimate the battery time I have left.
If I boot Linux 4.12 (RedHat rawhide) with i915.modeset=0 then the GPD only detects the external display. Without that option it detects both displays (internal and HDMI) but the internal display stays blank, which makes it difficult to login to GNOME as the blank display has the login prompt.
To get the internal screen to work I added video=efifb to the kernel options in /etc/default/grub and ran
grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/fedora/grub.cfg
The display stays blank after show boot messages and then switching to GNOME/GDM. But when I press the power button once I then see the familiair login prompt. Screen resolution is great and the touchscreen works.
The speaker(s) and volume keys did work for a bit but then stopped functioning. A cold boot doesn't fix it. The headphone jack also doesn't seem to work.
Brightness keys work, but brightness doesn't change. I only see the setting change.