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  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 4:31 am on January 23, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, firmware, , , Odin, root, , TWRP   

    TWRP Almost Bricked My Phone 

    Yesterday I decided to test out LibreKrsnah Linux Mobile Alpha 0.1 on my phone.

    The screen has been flickering on and off for a couple of years now. And I decided maybe it was time to try something new, something different.
    Now I just remembered to check for any updates for TWRP and there was one.
    I figured, why not install it first?
    BIG MISTAKE.

    TWRP website download links weren’t working on the browser for some strange reason.
    So I thought why not just pull the downloads manually?

    Loaded the files on my phone and booted into Recovery mode.
    Flashed the new TWRP image files and rebooted.
    Then I saw the error: Could not do normal boot. Invalid kernel length.

    Now I couldn’t even boot into the OS.
    Pressing the power button only yielded the Samsung logo and the error message above.
    My heart sunk.

    I fired up Windows on my netbook and opened Odin, then connected my phone to it.
    Odin showed one device added. Great!
    Now I could just flash TWRP manually.
    I looked up screenshots from a few years ago to check how to do that.

    Then I disconnected my phone and connected again.
    Aaaaand the device drivers failed.
    Windows could not detect the phone anymore.
    I rebooted and connected again. Nothing. Device manager listed unknown device on USB port.

    So I installed the Samsung USB drivers from my old backup.
    Still nothing.
    My netbook could no longer detect my phone.

    I tried different cables to see if it would connect, since the original cable is now worn out and held together with cellotape (lol).
    Still nothing.
    Was my device bricked? Did the phone’s port somehow get fried because the OS was borked?
    All sorts of weird hypotheses were running through my head.

    And then my internet connection stopped working.
    Ain’t this a bitch!
    Just when I needed it to search for a solution, no internet.

    I turned off the router and went to nap.

    Woke up an hour later and turned on the router.
    The internet was back up.
    Looked up the error online and most people seemed to have resolved the problem by flashing new recovery through Odin. Now if I could only get my netbook to detect the phone!

    The problem in my case had been caused by incomplete TWRP files.
    Both the img and tar files were around 7Kb.
    But I didn’t check the file size because I thought everything was cool.
    So TWRP’s broken download site was the root cause of my troubles. I’m surprised TWRP managed to flash the 7Kb files without checking the file size. Then again, I didn’t verify the SHA256 signature files. So it was partly my fault. But mostly TWRP’s fault!

    I found a solution that worked for me.
    I connected a similar phone to the netbook, let the drivers install, and opened Odin. The device was added.
    Then I removed that phone and plugged in mine.
    Wallah!
    One device added!

    I flashed TWRP from my backup and then installed different versions of LibreKrsnah Mobile to see if the screen flickering stopped on fresh installations. It didn’t.

    So I installed the last version of LibreKrsnah Mobile then formatted the SD card as internal storage.
    When I tried to root it, TWRP couldn’t read any .zip files.

    Back to the internet to search for a solution.
    I think the problem occurred because I formatted the SD card from TWRP before formatting it from the OS.
    I formatted the SD card as portable storage.
    TWRP could now read the .zip files.

    I reflashed TWRP and reinstalled the OS, just to be safe. Then formatted the SD card as portable storage because it was too slow for internal storage anyway. Even though I’d used it as internal storage in my last working installation.

    I checked TWRP site today and the downloads still do not work.
    I’m lucky that I had backups for everything otherwise I’d be stuck here with a bricked device waiting for TWRP devs to fix their broken site and re-enable downloads.

    Now I’m too scared to test LibreKrsnah Linux Mobile.
    My netbook is already crappy. I can’t afford to brick my phone.

     
  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 6:51 am on October 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, Arch, , Budgie, Cinnamon, , Deepin, , , Enlightenment, Enso, , Gentoo, Gnome, i3, init, KDE, , , , Liri, LXDE, LXQt, , Mate, Openbox, Pantheon, Plasma, , Semicode, Slackware, , , Ubuntu, XFCE   

    A Brief History Of Krsnah Desktop OS 

    I’ve procrastinated writing this article for almost 7 months now.
    With the next generation of my personalized OS looming in the horizon, I need to get this done right now. Otherwise it’ll never be done.

    What is Krsnah Desktop OS?
    Krsnah Desktop OS is a full-fledged OS based on Linux. Just like it’s sister OS is based on Android.

    Now, when did I get my netbook?
    I think I got it right after my smartphone.
    Somewhere in late 2015 or early 2016, I think.
    Let me check my records!
    Okay! I have a Windows 10 ISO that dates back to Feb 2016. So I must’ve got it around that time.

    My netbook came preloaded with Windows 8.1 and McAfee Internet Security. It also came with a goldfish malware thingy? What’s the word? Spyfish? SUPERFISH! Right. Thanks duckduckgo.

    So I upgraded my netbook to Windows 10 and that didn’t work out quite well because it was just too slow. It was horrible!
    At that time I was quite deep into the whole privacy thing. So I looked into Linux and decided to dive headfirst into it.

    I can’t remember the first Linux distro that I tried. Was it Solus? Or was it Manjaro?
    I think it was Solus. Solus was still quite new at the time and I was really enticed by the Budgie desktop. (Budgie became so popular later on, that a number of distros adopted it – Arch, Gentoo, Ubuntu, Debian and so on.)

    So I tried Solus out but it was still quite new and didn’t have many of the packages I was looking for.
    Since I was coming from Windows, I was looking for an advanced GUI firewall, network monitor etc.
    I ditched Solus pretty quickly. Though I would return to it later on, amidst trying out different distros. When I needed to get back online, I would pop Solus in and get things running pretty fast.

    I looked into Arch.
    Arch was the most interesting Linux brand for me at the time. (It was also overly hyped. Gentoo is the best!)
    I installed Manjaro and had it running for a while.
    However, it had a lot of bugs and I was quickly becoming an angry frustrated computer guy because of it.

    I bumped into Elementary OS.
    Elementary OS is a beautiful distro.
    It runs really nicely and smoothly.
    But at that time, I had a problem with it. What was the OS name? Juno? No! It was LOKI! Yes! Loki! Thanks duckduckgo.
    Loki was fast and smooth. But I could multitask on it because it didn’t detect my SWAP. As a result, it only utilized my 2 Gigs of RAM.

    I think I tried out a bunch of different distros at that time. I checked out Fedora, Subgraph (anyone remember Subgraph? The entire privacy community was chattering about it. Then I downloaded it and couldn’t even get it to install. What a pile of crap! It was an alpha version and apparently it’s still on alpha all this time!
    Who are the developers of Subgraph OS and what have they been doing all this time? Show yourselves! I’m gonna smack you in the head with a tray of eggs.) Debian, Sabayon, Ubuntu, and so on.

    Then I checked out Gentoo. And I was very interested. I think I discovered Enso OS at that time, along with Trenta OS, Liri OS, Semicode OS, and I started noticing a theme.
    I discovered the key to making your own distro.

    Now everyone knows how Android works. Every Android phone basically runs the same OS, except for the minor (or major) tweaks that the smartphone company makes to the user interface, adding a few preinstalled apps etc.
    The biggest difference in Android phones isn’t the OS. It’s the hardware.

    Here’s how Linux works.
    All developers, hold onto your seats! I’m about to crash your egos straight into the ground.
    Arch, Gentoo, Debian, BSD, and Slackware are the forefathers of Linux.
    Every Linux distro out there either borrows something from the above, or is based entirely on the above!

    When you start going through all these distros one after another, constantly switching and trying to find the perfect fit, you come to realize that all these distros have so much in common.

    Then come the desktop environments and window managers. If you’re running Gnome on Gentoo and Gnome on Debian, they’ll look identical.
    No one will be able to tell the difference from a visual perspective.

    The difference comes in the installers, the package managers, the init systems, and of course, some commands.

    One of the problems with most distros is that they’re only customizable up to a certain level. You can change the wallpaper, dock location and transparency and font and some icons. But that’s it! And it is indeed enough for most people to be able to have their personalized desktop. But not me!

    Another problem to be considered when selecting a distro is the availability of apps and how easy it is to build your own should the need arise.
    Unfortunately, that problem has not been solved in any of the derivative distros. Often, developers will only package applications that they think the user would need. So you might not always find what you’re looking for.

    Finally, the main problem to be considered when everything has been sorted out, is how smooth the OS runs and how much resources it needs. I’ve found some distros to be consuming 800+ Megs of Ram on first run, with no user apps running in the background.
    And some lightweight distros only consume 300-400 Mb on idle, with no user apps running.
    Usually these distros came with an ugly LXDE or Openbox window manager. And that just wasn’t cutting it for me.
    If I’m going to spend 6 hours of my day looking at my computer screen, I don’t wanna be staring at a Windows 98 themed LXDE interface.

    Plasma, KDE, Deepin, Pantheon and Gnome are heavy on system resources, whereas i3, LXDE, LXQt, Enlightenment and XFCE are quite lightweight and minimalistic. Mate, Budgie and Cinnamon are somewhere in the middle.

    Arch and Debian had all the packages in the world. Gentoo is missing some. BSD is missing quite a few and Slackware, well, I haven’t tested it. And I don’t think I will any time soon.
    I think a large proportion of Linux users are using Arch, Debian or one of their variants.

    Now, every distro has some bugs. But the worst bugs came from Arch and it’s derivatives.
    The most complex and time consuming is Gentoo. It really takes a while to set things up on Gentoo.

    The above section of this article was written on Tuesday, 13th October 2020.
    It’s now Tuesday, 20th October 2020. And I have absolutely 0 willpower to finish this article right now. Maybe in the future. Until then, that’s all you get.

     
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