A New Termux Mirror

TL; DR. https://termux.librehat.com is a new Termux packages mirror! Maintained by me, synchronised every six hours, located in the United Kingdom, hosted by Oracle Cloud.

In the full article below, I’ll write up how to set up a Termux mirror (or in general, a Debian packages repository mirror).

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Building Qt for Termux Android

This is by all means, not the first blog post about Termux. It serves as a journal for myself, as well for anyone who’s interested in cross building Qt or Qt-related projects for Termux (which is a native Linux environment for Android) from their x86_64 machines.

We already have @xeffyr who has done a great amount of work on building Qt for Termux. The work I’ve done recently would be 10 times harder, if not for what’s achieved by them already.

If you’re new to cross building for Termux, I recommend you to start with Developer Wiki.

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调教三星 DeX 的输入法

不知道有多少人是被 DeX 吸引到三星 Galaxy S 系列中的,DeX 可是其中一个很大的卖点(至少在欧洲和北美市场, DeX 是重点宣传的功能)。连上显示器(现在支援无线 DeX 了),或者平板切换开启 DeX 模式,马上生产力上升了好几倍!

然后马上你就会发现输入法被锁死在三星键盘上了。无论你本来喜爱的是谷歌的 GBoard 还是搜狗拼音,都被三星键盘替代了(退出 DeX 后输入法会变回去)。

三星键盘的中文录入是勉强能用级别,明显的卡顿和超过10个候选词的界面让你觉得这软件就没有 QA 的。搜索了一大圈网络教程,亲测使用 adb 可以修改 DeX 的输入法(Android 11, One UI 3.1)。

比如更改成谷歌 GBoard :

adb shell ime set com.google.android.inputmethod.latin/com.android.inputmethod.latin.LatinIME

当然如果你的设备已经外接到显示器和键鼠了,又怎么通过 PC 或 Mac 来执行 adb 指令呢?好消息是 Android 开发者选项现在打开 WiFi adb debugging 了!更好的消息是你可以安装 Termux 然后下载为 Termux 预编译好的 adb 二进制程序,直接从手机/平板运行 adb 来改输入法。

另一个反人类的默认设置就是键盘候选框会显示在手机(或者平板电脑)上,这在打字的时候要去侧头看另一边来输入汉字简直莫名其妙。好在解决这个问题有个很简单的设置项(埋在了Samsung DeX里)。

设置 -> Samsung DeX -> 键盘 -> 屏幕键盘位置, 改成“电视或显示器”

写到这里, DeX 的中文输入依然不好用(稍微能用一点了),在普通 Android 界面下能够追随光标的 GBoard 在 DeX 下也不能跟随光标了。而且输入习惯和 PC 或 Mac 上的输入法有所区别,也还是只能算勉强能用级别了。

Fedora Linux with MATE Desktop on Android

I know some of you geeks have already done something like that, running a GNU/Linux distribution on top of an Android device. It’s an interesting time, with projects like proot we don’t need root privilege on our Android devices to run a containerized Linux environment. Here in this post, I’ve written down the steps that I’ve taken to have a usable desktop environment up running on my Galaxy Tab S5e (this blog post has been written up purely within such environment).

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自从几年前卖掉华硕的一台小Chromebook后,看到Android和Linux应用程式的支持增加,又开始有点馋涎Chromebook……不过因为今年疫情全球大爆发,电子产品(尤其是适合居家办公和学习的)价格一路上扬(或者缺货)。Chromebook今年出货量增长更是迅猛(Windows PC, MacBook, Chromebook分类中增长幅度最大)。问我这台2015年买的老笔电尚能饭否?答曰:Brunch

出厂预装的Windows 10早被我卸载干净了,单Linux系统(OpenSUSE)用了有一年多了,看到Brunch这个项目能在自己笔电上体验Chrome OS变身Chromebook,赶紧试验了一把,没想到效果出奇地好!这里特意用中文记载一下Linux下安装Chrome OS和后续升级的办法以供中文网络世界的朋友参考。

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Building Linux Kernel on Odroid-U3

This is the year 2020, Odroid-U3 is far from a powerful ARM development board in today’s standard, but it is still more than capable! Quad-core ARMv7 CPU and 2GB RAM, which means I can still run some light services and test my toy projects without paying any fees to AWS or Azure. The year 2020 also means that this little device can be powered by the mainline Linux kernel without many troubles (if any)! Better than that, the process is ridiculously straightforward!

In this post, I put together the steps I did to build the Linux kernel using upstream mainline source code natively on Odroid-U3. If you’re interested in cross-building from your x86 machines, you can find plenty of tutorials on that on the Internet.

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Virtual Linux Desktop Experience in Azure

I wouldn’t believe that I will be writing this 10 years ago. It’s 2020 though. Microsoft has improved a lot of services for Linux, ranging from developer tools like Visual Studio Code, to the protagonist today: Azure (cloud computing). Azure has steadfastly become a real credible alternative to Amazon EC2 (or AWS in general). Today, I want to share my experience of using a virtual machine on Microsoft Azure cloud. To be more specific, it is a Linux desktop virtual machine (SLES 15).

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Visual Studio Code Server on Android

Microsoft has been steadily enhancing Visual Studio Code Remote Development. One of the components is VS Code Server, which is also open-source and hosted at GitHub. With VS Code Server, you can use Visual Studio Code in a browser. The usual setup involves a server (a VPS perhaps) that hosts the code server. It turns out that it’s also possible to run them locally on your Android device! Here is how.

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Announcing YapStocks 2.0

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on a new plasmoid (KDE Plasma Applet) that provides a simple interface to monitor stocks. The first version was rather basic, being able to show the current market price only. Now it’s time to announce the availability of the second iteration of YapStocks (Yet Another Plasma Stocks Applet). I’ve recorded a short video clip showcasing all the features it has, ranging from the information summary to the historical price chart.

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Hands-on Sailfish OS on Redmi Note 7

Not sure if this is related to the COVID-19 lockdown, but we’ve seen a lot of geeky hobby projects coming up recently. A lot of community ports have been done over the last few months for niche mobile operating systems such as Sailfish OS. That’s exactly the one I played with briefly after purchasing a second-hand Redmi Note 7 on eBay (don’t ask me if I think it’s a waste of money now LOL).

If you come here hoping to find the resources, head to the GitHub repo directly where you can find the ROMs to download.

Make sure that you’ve unlocked the bootloader already! If not, you need to register a MI account and apply for unlocking here. You must log in to your MI account on both the unlocking tool and your phone (MI, POCO, RedMi). If you don’t have a Windows PC, I recommend using XiaoMiTool V2 which works on macOS, Linux, as well as Windows. Though I couldn’t find this on the official FAQ, you have to have a working SIM card inserted. You have to use the mobile data instead of WiFi when unlocking the bootloader on your phone because XiaoMi is doing some verification.

Another problem I encountered was that in fastboot mode, RedMi Note 7 would just say “Press any key to reboot” when any commands are sent from my laptop. After googling on this, there seems to be a driver bug that makes RedMi Note 7 fastboot USB3 unfriendly. Using a USB-Hub worked for most people, including me 🤷.

I wish you all a successful attempt to flash Sailfish OS into your RedMi Note 7. Here are some screenshots I took.

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