[Porting] Pixel 4a
Is anyone currently working on a Pixel 4a port and if so can I assist. I have just moved to CalyxOS and while impressed I would much prefer to see Ubuntu Touch become more freely available and supported.
AppLee last edited by
Hi and welcome @proctorzeuss
If you want to port to your device, have checked this first ?
Best of luck
@fredldotme Hi Fred - I hope you are well and thanks for all of your hard work and support on ubuntu-touch.
From my research, it seems that there is not much difference between Pixel 3a and 4a. However, 4a comes with 2 additional years of firmware support from Google. I see in the old forums that the cost of the device was cited as the reason for not porting. I'd be happy to donate one (or the current cost on Amazon of $350 US) if that could make this a reality?
Thanks in advance
What was the Android base version it came with? We are just setting up Android 10 support, it might not be worth yet to start porting such devices.
@flohack Thanks Flohack. Yes, it appears to ship with Android 10. What is the ETA for supporting Android 10 devices?
Thanks as well for all of your hard work and support of ubuntu-touch
@devr There is no real ETA, we started experimenting with it. Unfortunately every new Android version comes with a lot of changed and new stuff, and it gets harder with every version to make clean builds.
That sad I suggest you follow our forums and social media, Telegram channels, you will not miss the moment when Android 10 becomes usable
@flohack Awesome, thanks for the update and for all of your contribution!
@makeixo No its not but what should we do without the proper hardware. Should we stop using Android phones at all?
@flohack I don't know whats the "right" or more sustainable way.
KDE has dropped halium. Mobian I think just want to support mainline devices. How do they want to engage this issue?
There are some people who work on mainlining the OP6(T). I think this device would be a great device for the next years. SoMainline work on mainlining Sony devices. Wouldn't that be an alternative?
@makeixo I dont think mainlining can give us anything thats as usable as our ported devices are already. Mainlining takes years sometimes, by that the hardware is already not so attractive anymore, and then it might still be that you cannot use modem or camera, for whatever reasons.
We want to bring Ubuntu Touch to 1000s of users, thats not gonna work if they have to wait forever for a better experience
Mainlining is nice for experimential use IMHO, but not something that will attract the masses...
rik last edited by
@makeixo I am certainly no expert, but as I have understood the mainline Linux kernel will take some effort to get things like power efficiency to the level that a majority of users will consider "usable".... meaning that even if the hardware is working that getting it optimized enough to match Android performance will take a lot of time, and as @Flohack mentions it may take years to get that mainlined, by which time users will have moved on.
Since this thread started on the Pixel 4a and there was some question about how close it may be to the Pixel 3a and 3a XL that are very affordable right now, and thanks to @fredldotme 's effort has a very high compatibility ranking that this would be a good example of the benefit of continuing in the Halium approach: use the kernel that the device ships with but get Ubuntu Touch to run on top of it. Yes it takes time, but it seems much less than trying to mainline devices not designed to use "proper Linux" from the beginning.
Not all of us have the skills like @fredldotme to get a port to this level of quality, but if there are even a few popular devices of recent builds then I think it is enough to sustain UT: So we have the N5 and OPO as "promoted" devices from that older era, then you could consider OP3, Xperia X, Nexus 6P from that generation, then next gen we have Pixel 3a, maybe others. These are already a few years old, but are new enough they will hold out for a few years, after which OP6, others from a newer generation may be available (newer devices that will need Halium 10+)?
I am definitely interested in Ubports for a pixel 4a sunfish
just to tell you that Halium 10 support which matches the corresponding Android 10, or even 11, are now quite mature and ready to be used on various devices. Would be great if someone gives the P4a a shot with the generic porting method where you only need to customize the kernel so far.
We can set up a Gitlab repo that would then take care of the rest.
@flohack I am happy to purchase a device to test this, is there any reason not to go for a pixel 5 or 6? If not then I'm happy to get one of the later models, otherwise ill get the 4a
@buginacode there are various reasons as we do not support Android 11 devices and up now properly. There is still stuff to do.
Depending on the initial Android version the device was released with this limits if it can be ported or not.
Pixel 5 had Android 11, it should have good results in porting already, but Pixel 6 I assume will be 12 right? Ther is no way we can do this right now.
So yes do not buy it now, there is nothing to test before a dev sits down and tries to make a port.
I'm hoping this is a "no dumb questions" crowd.
I have an old Pixel 4a that's been upgraded to Android 12.
If/When there is a port for the 4a, would I be able to load it on that device, or would it need to be an non-upgraded device?
Moem last edited by
@junkle If it needs to be on a previous version, you would normally be able to downgrade before installing UT.
AppLee last edited by
would I be able to load it on that device, or would it need to be an non-upgraded device?
To both, Yes
Depending on what halium the port could be you will be able either to downgrade to the correct android version or just install the port.
Pixel phones are good for UBports because there is a lot of documentation and Google provides means to downgrade quite easily...