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Old 08-05-2013, 12:18 PM   #1
kenoi
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Smile A Proper Web Browser

Out of curiosity, has anyone here succeeded in getting a proper web browser (such as Chromium or Firefox, or even Opera) running on a Kobo Linux (Glo/Touch/Mini) device? Any successful attempts at compiling Firefox Mobile, for example?
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:26 AM   #2
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I remember talk about running Opera, so, knowing what to look for, I found it: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=203965
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:59 AM   #3
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Thanks sysKin! That thread is quite old, but I'm thinking either Firefox Mobile (Fennec) or QtWeb could work! Either one is better than the browser bundled with Kobo -- which doesn't even support password prompts.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:03 AM   #4
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Here are instructions on how to compile Firefox Mobile on a Linux computer, for reference:

http://blog.mozilla.org/nnethercote/...sktop-machine/

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Mobile/Build/Fennec

I think will give it a shot. This is my first time compiling for Kobo, though... Any advice on how to approach this?

What distro is Kobo based on, and what common dependencies is it missing, if any?
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:12 AM   #5
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I guess it is not based on any general distribution at all but rather compiled in something akin to "buildroot" or similar.

You'll probably miss everything that would do UI/GFX stuff - except if that happens to be Qt. But that won't certainly be the case for Firefox/Mozilla - they've always been directed towards GTK (though Fennec will certainly be different). UI/GFX will probably be the hard part.

I'm pretty much interested in this, though. Not much spare time, though, but interested enough to give it a look on the weekend. So I'm interested in what you find and how far you get!

PS: Memory might become a problem, though: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Mobile/Metrics/Tracking
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:50 AM   #6
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When I'm compiling software for the Kobo I like to use qemu to emulate a raspberry pi, which uses armhf like the Kobo. That way I don't have to worry about setting up a cross-compiler.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:11 AM   #7
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Yes. I did it. I successfully run Firefox, Midori, Arora. Didn't try Opera. Chrome crashes on start. From the list I like the Firefox most as it has extensions for easier using with touch. However it is very memory hungry. This is probably not a problem on Aurora HD but on my Kobo Touch I had to turn on swap memory.

Generally I've installed debian jessie (I succeeded with ubuntu 13.04, too) for arm to change Kobo to tablet. Almost all apps are working (games, utils, ...).

I'm planning to describe here in a series of threads how to do it, so please be patient
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:30 AM   #8
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Yes. I did it. I successfully run Firefox, Midori, Arora. Didn't try Opera. Chrome crashes on start. From the list I like the Firefox most as it has extensions for easier using with touch. However it is very memory hungry. This is probably not a problem on Aurora HD but on my Kobo Touch I had to turn on swap memory.

Generally I've installed debian jessie (I succeeded with ubuntu 13.04, too) for arm to change Kobo to tablet. Almost all apps are working (games, utils, ...).

I'm planning to describe here in a series of threads how to do it, so please be patient
Marek, this is fantastic news, thanks and Karma!

When you start with your threads, if you can remember the poor non-techies when you give instructions, "we" would be extremely grateful!
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:50 AM   #9
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Yes. I did it. I successfully run Firefox,

Generally I've installed debian jessie (I succeeded with ubuntu 13.04, too) for arm to change Kobo to tablet. Almost all apps are working (games, utils, ...).

I'm planning to describe here in a series of threads how to do it, so please be patient
Great! I am looking forward to both the debian jessie and ubuntu installs. I been waiting to try this for weeks now. I have an Aura, so I can give you feedback whether Firefox runs without problems.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:59 AM   #10
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Paola, it will be strictly technical (we are in developer's corner ), sorry.

However... for non-techies I will prepare SD-card image with preconfigured software. This will be easy to flash and check. But still risky - be warned to always have copy of the working software!

I hope someone will make sure it is working ok with Mini and Aura HD as I cannot test it (I have Kobo Touch). It may not start without problems (changes have been made in kernel).
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:06 PM   #11
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Paola, it will be strictly technical (we are in developer's corner ), sorry.
fair enough
still, maybe with time this will trickle down to the common people..
Anyway, thanks guys, all you hackers make "our" life simpler (well, eventually!)
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:19 PM   #12
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Sounds great!

Can we still run nickel (or koreader) with the kernel changes or would we have to reboot?
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:34 AM   #13
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Changes in the kernel are compatible with nickel. But you need to shutdown X11 before running nickel - in practice I do it by reboot (you may configure it other way).

This weekend I want to upload sample image for Kobo Touch (may run on Glo too, but you never know). I just need to configure a few things. Prepare 8GB SD card
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:08 AM   #14
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MarekGibek, it's paramount that your progress is documented and shared. I just bought my Kobo, and already I'm sick of all the limitations it has with the current software.

@Kevinshort, hawhill: Thanks for the tips, guys. I haven't had a lot of time on my hands lately. I'll give it a shot soon enough, but now I'm really interested in Marek's achievement! If we can get proper Linux working on Kobo, that opens up a broad scope of possibilities.

I feel the Kobo's potential for outdoor use is too great for it to be only a reading device. It's a little touch based computer, so let it be a little touch based computer!

Cheers.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:54 PM   #15
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Yes, the Linux opens unlimited possibilities. The problem is there are almost none x11 applications designed for small screens and touch. I regret that I've failed with porting Android.
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