PINE64 PinePhone (pine64-pinephone)

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Work is being done to make this device ready for daily use with postmarketOS: milestone#1

Find and report PinePhone related issues here. Keep in mind, that postmarketOS is currently in beta. Join the chat if you have questions.

PINE64 PinePhone
A PinePhone with a case
A PinePhone with a case
Manufacturer PINE64
Name PinePhone
Codename pine64-pinephone
Released 2019
Category community
Original software postmarketOS
Chipset Allwinner A64
CPU 4x 1152 MHz Cortex-A53
GPU Mali-400 MP2
Display 720x1440 IPS
Storage 16 GB / 32 GB
Memory 2 GB / 3 GB
Architecture aarch64
Non-Android based device
USB Networking
3D Acceleration
Mobile data

The PinePhone is a smartphone by PINE64. The postmarketOS vendor and device names are "pine64" and "pinephone" respectively. The back panel can be lifted off by pulling at the notch on the bottom-right corner of the phone. This exposes the battery, microSD and SIM slots, and dipswitches. It comes with a 3000mAh battery and uses the same form-factor as the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2015) for replacement.



The PinePhone will boot from a bootable microSD card if it is plugged, and fall back to booting from internal eMMC. You can install postmarketOS on either of them (or even on both).

microSD card

For now, it is recommended to build your own image with pmbootstrap. Run the following commands, and consult the installation guide for details.

$ pmbootstrap init # vendor: pine64, device: pinephone, select "stable" channel
$ pmbootstrap install --sdcard=/dev/mmcblk...  # add --fde for full disk encryption

After that, unplug the microSD card from your PC, put it in your PinePhone and postmarketOS should boot up. (Note that the microSD fits in the SIM slot, but that does of course not work.)

For a quick demo, you may use a test image from instead of building your own image with pmbootstrap.

$ wget
$ unxz pine64-pinephone-20200701-phosh-v20.05.img.xz
$ sudo dd if=pine64-pinephone-20200701-phosh-v20.05.img of=/dev/mmcblk... status=progress

Internal eMMC

Create a new image with pmbootstrap (recommended, details) or download a pre-built image (see above).

$ pmbootstrap init # vendor: pine64, device: pinephone, select "stable" channel
$ pmbootstrap install # add --fde for full disk encryption
$ pmbootstrap export
$ realpath /tmp/postmarketOS-export/pine64-pinephone.img 

Download Jumpdrive and flash it to a microSD card. This is the recommended way to install postmarketOS to the internal eMMC for now (doing it from the on-device installer is planned).

$ wget
$ sha512sum pine64-pinephone.img.xz 
b8edbc1ada0a8e71da9ef8d457480967e97de508cffb57b41ad1928a013acc3772f7bb7a2b4c3436af05a8c849f2ffb816780b4f749ec17df211ec3477880d80  pine64-pinephone.img.xz
$ unxz pine64-pinephone.img.xz
$ sudo dd if=pine64-pinephone.img of=/dev/mmcblk... status=progress

Insert the microSD card into your PinePhone and boot it up. It should display the Jumpdrive splash screen.

Connect your PinePhone via USB to your PC and use lsblk to figure out the correct target partition. You should see two new devices in lsblk. One device has just one small ~40 MiB partition, this is the microSD card with JumpDrive. The other device is the eMMC. You should flash to the device itself (typically of the form /dev/sdx) and not a partition (/dev/sdxn where n is a number).

$ lsblk
(now plug the USB cable)
$ lsblk

Prepare the final dd command to flash postmarketOS to the eMMC and triple-check that you have put the right device as of argument. Then run it.

$ sudo dd if=~/.local/var/pmbootstrap/chroot_native/home/pmos/rootfs/pine64-pinephone.img of=/dev/sd... status=progress

As of writing, Jumpdrive doesn't have a shutdown procedure (#2). Maybe leave it on for a few more minutes after the dd command is done to make sure that the data isn't still in some cache, but really written to the eMMC (the author had data corruption once, which might be related to turning it off too quickly after flashing). Then press the power button for five seconds to power it off. Remove the microSD card, turn it on again. The PinePhone should boot into postmarketOS.

Serial console

The PinePhone has a serial port in the headphone connector, it's activated by the 6th contact on the dipswitch. If the switch is on then the headphone connector is in audio mode, if it's off then it's in UART mode.

The uart is 115200n8

The pinout for the serial connector on the headphone jack is:

  • Tip: RX
  • Ring: TX
  • Sleeve: GND

The serial connection is 3.3V

You can also buy the debug cable from PINE64 Store. The store cable uses a 4 ring plug, as seen in the PDF, but a 3 ring plug works just as well.


Hardware switches

There's a 6 contact dipswitch on the back of the phone underneath the back cover. The 6 switches are for enabling/disabling hardware components. The switch has tiny numbers 1-6 beneath the contacts, moving the contact up sets that contact on.

# Off On
1 Modem disabled Modem enabled
2 Wifi/BT disabled Wifi/BT enabled
3 Microphone disabled Microphone enabled
4 Rear camera disabled Rear camera enabled
5 Front camera disabled Front camera enabled
6 Headphone UART mode Headphone audio mode

Expansion port

There is a 2x3 grid of pogo pins on the back of the PinePhone for connecting a back cover with extra hardware like an extended battery case or a keyboard case. The pinout for this connector:

Interrupt SDA SCL

The VBUS pin is powered by USB and is 5V. The second power pin is VBAT, which connects to the battery voltage. The I2C and interrupt lines have pull-ups on the phone side. The I2C lines are pulled up to 3V3 by the phone.


Component Model Driver
Rear camera OmniVision OV5640 VIDEO_OV5640
Camera flash SGMICRO SGM3140 LEDS_SGM3140
Front camera GalaxyCore GC2145 Nope
WiFi Realtek RTL8723CS RTL8723CS
Bluetooth Realtek RTL8723CS BT_HCIUART_RTL
Modem Quectel EC25-E USB_NET_QMI_WWAN
Ambient light / Proximity SensorTek STK3335 STK3310
Sixaxis InvenSense MPU-6050 INV_MPU6050_I2C
Vibration motor ? INPUT_GPIO_VIBRA
Notification LED LED0603RGB LEDS_GPIO
Volume buttons Buttons connected to the KEYADC KEYBOARD_SUN4I_LRADC
Power button X-Powers AXP803 INPUT_AXP20X_PEK
Battery fuel gauge X-Powers AXP803 BATTERY_AXP20X


The cameras both share the csi-0 bus. Currently only the rear camera (OV5640) has mainline linux support, a driver for the front camera (GC2145) is being developed in the kernel fork for the phone development.

Both camera's share the same bus for the video stream, due to this it's impossible to use both cameras at the same time, but you can switch between the cameras by keeping one of them in reset and then restarting the whole pipeline.

Switching to the rear camera
$ sudo media-ctl -d /dev/media1 --links "gc2145 3-003c":0->"sun6i-csi":0[0]
$ sudo media-ctl -d /dev/media1 --links "ov5640 3-004c":0->"sun6i-csi":0[1]

Switching to the front camera
$ sudo media-ctl -d /dev/media1 --links "ov5640 3-004c":0->"sun6i-csi":0[0]
$ sudo media-ctl -d /dev/media1 --links "gc2145 3-003c":0->"sun6i-csi":0[1]

The camera hardware pipeline is controlled with /dev/media1 and media-ctl, the result is on /dev/video1

pinephone:~# media-ctl -d /dev/media1 --set-v4l2 '"ov5640 3-004c":0[fmt:UYVY8_2X8/1280x720]'
pinephone:~# ffmpeg -s 1280x720 -f video4linux2 -i /dev/video1 -vframes 1 selfie.jpg


Camera Flash

Please note, that the driver for the sgm3140 is not yet included in the main kernel source and as such is not available for use yet without compiling the module yourself.

The camera flash consist out of a SG Micro SGM3140 "500mA Buck/Boost Charge Pump LED Driver" and a EHP-C04 LED. It supports Flash and Torch mode, the first being brighter but only for 200-300ms, when it switches to Torch mode automatically. Torch mode is lower brightness but can be turned on continuously.

Controlling the flash from user space is possible via sysfs and via v4l2:

# Torch on
$ echo 1 > /sys/class/leds/white\:flash/brightness
# Torch off
$ echo 0 > /sys/class/leds/white\:flash/brightness
# Activate flash
$ echo 1 > /sys/class/leds/white\:flash/flash_strobe
# Torch on
$ v4l2-ctl -d /dev/video1 -c led_mode=2
# Torch off
$ v4l2-ctl -d /dev/video1 -c led_mode=0
# Activate flash
$ v4l2-ctl -d /dev/video1 -c led_mode=1
$ v4l2-ctl -d /dev/video1 -c strobe=1


The wifi uses the rtl8723cs driver and is functional. There is still an issue with the driver not reloading correctly when the SoC is put into suspend mode, this can be worked around by reloading the kernel module:

pinephone:~# sudo rmmod 8723cs
pinephone:~# sudo modprobe 8723cs


Main article: Bluetooth.

The bluetooth connection is handled by the wifi chipset. It is functional but there is no integration in Plasma Mobile yet. To pair a bluetooth device start the bluetooth service and use bluetoothctl to connect.

pinephone:~# sudo service bluetooth start
pinephone:~# bluetoothctl
# scan on
[NEW] 00:11:22:33:44:55
# pair 00:11:22:33:44:55

To use bluetooth headphones with pulseaudio, the package pulseaudio-bluez is required.


Receiving and sending text messages works, The calls work but there are some issues left with the audio routing. Mobile data is functional. For information on audio routing and setting up the modem in phosh, see the specific article.

To bring up mobile data run the following commands (for plasma mobile):

pinephone:~# sudo apk add ofonoctl
pinephone:~# ofonoctl wan --connect --append-dns

Or use only modemmanager which integrates better with phosh.

pinephone:~# sudo mmcli -m 0 --create-bearer='apn=APN.NAME,user=USERNAME,password=PASSWORD,allowed-auth=chap,allow-roaming=no'
pinephone:~# sudo nmcli c add type gsm ifname cdc-wdm0 con-name OPERATOR-NAME apn APN.NAME user USERNAME password PASSWORD

# Check your connection
pinephone:~# nmcli c   # check status of the connection named OPERATOR-NAME as above
pinephone:~# nmcli d    #  check status of cdc-wdm0

In order to connect to the serial console of the modem, you need a terminal application. One option is to use minicom.

# apk add minicom

Connect to the console by issuing:

# minicom -D /dev/ttyUSB2

The command AT returns OK:


The command ATI returns some version information from the modem:

Revision: EG25GGBR07A07M2G


The command AT+QDAI (Digital Audio Interface Configure) is used to configure the digital audio interface. AT+QDAI? returns the current configuration:

+QDAI: 3,0,0,4,0,0,1,1


Some more details on how to configure the modem is available here. The reference for the available commands is the EC25 & EC21 AT Commands Manual.


The EG25 modem in the PinePhone comes preloaded with VoLTE profiles for a few providers. The modem can handle VoLTE fully internally so nothing complicated is required on the postmarketOS side. The VoLTE profile needs to be configured before calls can be made with it.

# first list the profiles supported by the modem
$ echo 'AT+QMBNCFG="list"' | atinout - /dev/EG25.AT -
+QMBNCFG: "List",0,1,1,"ROW_Generic_3GPP",0x0501081F,201901141
+QMBNCFG: "List",1,0,0,"VoLTE-ATT",0x0501033C,201909271
+QMBNCFG: "List",2,0,0,"hVoLTE-Verizon",0x05010141,201911251
+QMBNCFG: "List",3,0,0,"Sprint-VoLTE",0x05010205,201908141
+QMBNCFG: "List",4,0,0,"Commercial-TMO_VoLTE",0x05010505,201811231
+QMBNCFG: "List",5,0,0,"Telus-Commercial_VoLTE",0x05800C43,201912031
+QMBNCFG: "List",6,0,0,"Commercial-SBM",0x05011C18,201904021
+QMBNCFG: "List",7,0,0,"Commercial-DT",0x05011F1C,201905311
+QMBNCFG: "List",8,0,0,"Reliance_OpnMkt",0x05011B38,201910161
+QMBNCFG: "List",9,0,0,"TF_Germany_VoLTE",0x05010C1B,201909201
+QMBNCFG: "List",10,0,0,"TF_Spain_VoLTE",0x05010CFA,201909261
+QMBNCFG: "List",11,0,0,"Volte_OpenMkt-Commercial-CMCC",0x05012071,201904281
+QMBNCFG: "List",12,0,0,"OpenMkt-Commercial-CT",0x05011322,201911081
+QMBNCFG: "List",13,0,0,"OpenMkt-Commercial-CU",0x05011505,201807052


# Select the profile most applicable to your provider, or use the Generic one if nothing matches
$ echo 'AT+QMBNCFG="select","ROW_Generic_3GPP"' | atinout - /dev/EG25.AT -

# Enable calling over ip (VoLTE)
$ echo 'AT+QCFG="ims",1' | atinout - /dev/EG25.AT -

# Reboot the modem to apply the settings
$ echo 'AT+CFUN=1,1' | atinout - /dev/EG25.AT -

After this process VoLTE should be used when available. To check the status while in a call you can run the CLCC command:

$ echo 'AT+CLCC' | atinout - /dev/EG25.AT -

+CLCC: 1,1,0,1,0,"",128
+CLCC: 2,1,0,1,0,"",128


The "1" in the 4th column on the second CLCC row means it's currently calling with VoLTE, when it's "0" it's calling over the legacy phone network.


All sensors work and are accessible as Industrial I/O (iio) devices in Linux. To query the data you can cat the files in `/sys/bus/iio/` to make the kernel module query the sensors

pinephone:~# cat /sys/bus/iio/devices/iio\:device0/name
pinephone:~# cat /sys/bus/iio/devices/iio\:device0/in_accel_z_raw
pinephone:~# echo "Verified gravity still exists"


# Activate LED
echo 1 > /sys/class/leds/$COLOR/brightness
# Deactivate LED
echo 0 > /sys/class/leds/$COLOR/brightness

You may turn on and off the blue led by issuing:

# echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/leds/leds/pinephone\:blue\:user/brightness
# echo 0 > /sys/devices/platform/leds/leds/pinephone\:blue\:user/brightness

Make sure you run these commands as root (sudo -i), sudo echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/leds/leds/pinephone\:blue\:user/brightness, won't work.



Sound output should work after unmuting AIF1 Slot 0 digital

Start by making sure alsa-utils are installed:

$ sudo apk add alsa-utils

You may use amixer, or alsamixer to unmute the required channels, and to control the volume:


$ amixer scontents
$ amixer sset Master unmute

Alsamixer (use terminal keyboard input to use up/down/left/right keys, to set volume and select devices):

$ alsamixer -V all

Test the sound output by issuing:

$ speaker-test -c3


Failed to create boot/xxx: No space left on device

A bug has been observed where too many initramfs's are created. To fix, run the following commands to delete and regenerate all initramfs's

postmarketos:~# sudo rm /boot/initramfs*
postmarketos:~# sudo apk fix linux-postmarketos-allwinner

Qt Based Browsers Not Loading Web Pages

Webkit sandbox is broken in the current build. In order to be able to use Qt based browsers it is necessary to create the file "/etc/profile.d/" with the following contents:


This sets an environment variable that kills the webkit sandbox because that's broken in the current build. This should be fixed already for the chromium musl build but not yet for all qtwebkit based browsers. This is being worked on here and here.

See also