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Firefox OS (Boot2Gecko) for Raspberry Pi

August 17th, 2012 · 19 Comments · English

Two weeks ago my Raspberry Pi finally arrived. Immediately I started looking around for a way to get Firefox OS (formerly Boot2Gecko, B2G) running on it and found work-in-progress patches for Mozilla by the awesome Oleg “romaxa” Romashin. With those patches, Gecko renders directly into a OpenGL ES framebuffer without using an X Server. Nice! So the plan was to use those patches for the “Firefox” part of “Firefox OS” – now only the “OS” part was missing. I had two ideas for it: it should be as minimal as possible and for best performance it should be a hardfloat build. For this task PTXdist came handy. It’s a tool that allows you to build a complete Linux-based operating system (kernel and root file system) from source based on rule files. Again I wasn’t the first one using PTXdist on Raspberry PI and after some googling I found a GitHub repository from “fabricega” (I don’t know his full name unfortunately) that I could use as basis for my work.

So that was the idea: build Firefox OS for Raspberry Pi by combining Firefox with a PTXdist-built Linux.

Fast-forward two weeks. Welcome today! After many sleepless nights, a couple switches of the GCC and binutils versions (and full rebuilds of everything), different Linux kernels and some work on Oleg’s patches, I finally got it all working together! In the mean time Oleg posted a Youtube video of Firefox OS running on Raspberry Pi that made it to the homepage of raspberrypi.org. Many people seem to be excited by the idea of running Firefox OS on Raspberry Pi, which is great.

Firefox OS for Raspberry Pi combines two exciting projects, and I’m sure those two will have a great future together.

A lot of work remains to be done, and I’ll post patches and more documentation on how to build all of it in the coming days, but let’s get started with some images (and watch Oleg’s video if you didn’t do so yet!):

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19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Manfred // Aug 18, 2012 at 11:32

    Hello/Hallo Philipp,

    you have build a stand-alone Firefox OS image? Not a applikation for rasbian but a minimal linux plus gaia …?

    I am look forward to download!

  • 2 bob // Aug 18, 2012 at 12:55

    phillip,

    This might help in building the foundation for FirefoxOS:

    Linux From Scratch on the Raspberry Pi
    http://www.intestinate.com/pilfs/

    Images and binaries:

    Base LFS SD-Card image:
    Mirror 1 | Mirror 2 (346 Mb) [ Root password: pilfs ]
    This image contains everything you need to get started building your own LFS. Comes with standard kernel, SSH, Python, Git, wget and Hexxeh’s rpi-update.

  • 3 Philipp Wagner // Aug 20, 2012 at 16:59

    @Manfred: Exactly, the idea is to have a SD card image with everything included as a result of this work.

  • 4 Arda // Aug 22, 2012 at 10:34

    hi there ,

    have a .iso image firefox os. (b2g)

    can you build iso image for windows user .?

  • 5 Philipp Wagner // Aug 22, 2012 at 10:38

    @Arda: there are no images yet, but we hope to provide some in a couple weeks.

  • 6 Arda // Aug 22, 2012 at 13:03

    @Philipp
    I look forward to

  • 7 oltroman // Aug 29, 2012 at 02:46

    I truly am amazed, I am no programmer/modder/tinker, but I just got my Pi 2 days ago and really looking forward to flash firefox os onto my Pi. keep it up ..

  • 8 BennyP // Oct 25, 2012 at 12:09

    Hi,

    Have you had any luck in getting a .img up and running?

    If not, do you have any code anywhere that I could have a look at? :)

  • 9 Philipp Wagner // Oct 25, 2012 at 13:31

    @BennyP: Unfortunately I’m quite busy at the moment (and will be for about three more weeks), but then I’m ready to look at the raspberry pi again :) Until then I don’t have any news unfortunately.

  • 10 BennyP // Oct 25, 2012 at 14:03

    Cool, no worries!
    Just to be cheeky, I don’t suppose you could point me in the right direction for changing the screen resolution? I have it running, but half is off the touchscreen I have it hooked upto!

    If not ill wait in anticipation! :)

  • 11 Philipp Wagner // Oct 25, 2012 at 14:17

    First of all, make sure that your frame buffer has the right size (using fbset). Since last time I tested it the fullscreen mode didn’t work as expected, hardcode the screen size in https://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/file/5374fb480634/b2g/chrome/content/shell.xul#l13

  • 12 BennyP // Oct 25, 2012 at 14:22

    Excellent! Thanks very much!

  • 13 Gunnar F // Feb 8, 2013 at 14:47

    And what happened

  • 14 Philipp Wagner // Feb 12, 2013 at 19:56

    @Gunnar: I’m still on it (actually closer to a release than ever before), but I’m trying to get some patches upstream first before posting complicated patching instructions. Please give me some time, I’m doing everything to push out a first release in February.

  • 15 Toshiyuki Kamada // Feb 28, 2013 at 12:36

    OK Philipp, I will keep watching this blog until any advance will happen to your project.

    I was looking around the web on this topic, but you are the very front line at this stage. Great!

  • 16 Rv // Mar 28, 2013 at 23:48

    Hi Phillip, hope you have something ready?

  • 17 Max Ogden // Apr 5, 2013 at 23:04

    @Phillip Just wanted to leave you some encouragement: making it easy to install FFOS on the Pi would be super useful! I want to teach a class that teaches kids to program WebGL games and FFOS seems to be the only viable option for WebGL on the Pi. I hope you find some time to make a SD card image soon :D

  • 18 Hemant Thakkar // Jun 11, 2013 at 20:15

    Is there any part that we the community can help with for the release?

  • 19 7 Operating Systems You Can Run With Raspberry Pi ← SIMPLYGRAY // Jun 21, 2013 at 20:29

    [...] UI you’ve been seeing, but a combination of Firefox and PTXdist-built Linux. It’s very much a work in progress, and doesn’t actually support any input devices yet – so purely used as a public information [...]

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