Sunday, 5 May 2013

Firefox OS for Raspberry Pi

It has been quite some time since my last post about Firefox OS running on a Raspberry Pi, but the questions didn’t stop to come in “when will it be released”? Well, I’m sorry that it took so long (sometimes finding time is not that easy), but finally, here we are: the sources and build instructions are available!

Head over to the Firefox OS for Raspberry Pi Manual, which contains all build instructions, download links to a pre-built SD card image and much more information.

But before you start, please note the following limitations of this current release:

No input devices are supported. No mouse, no keyboard.

The screen resolution is hardcoded to 1280 x 1024 px.

The used Firefox/Gecko used is not up-to-date (it’s using revision 801ba75ac563 from 2013-01-03).

Quite some patches are required to get Gecko building, most of which were developed by Oleg Romashin. Unfortunately, they are not yet part of the official Mozilla source tree, and some of them are quite hacky. Progress to get this work upstream is tracked in bug 731498.All those patches are exported into the meta-b2g layer. A source repository for easier development will be made available soon together with instructions how to contribute to the Gecko development.

So what is all of this useful for at this point? I mainly leave this up to your imagination, but I’m using it as public info screen, displaying the weather forecast, room occupation, the next subway connections and today’s lunch menu.

All data comes from publicly available web services or is scraped from Internet pages, all client-side with no web server or anything.

I hope you find Firefox OS for Raspberry Pi as useful and exciting as I do, and please send me your comments, suggestions or (best) patches, to make it even greater!

By Philipp Wagner

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