Raspberry Pi of Death Blog

By N. Leveck

PocketChip flashing in 2019

Entered in vim on RPoJ via ssh


The PocketChip is a SBC that comes mounted in a socket on a board with a 4.3 inch 480×272 pixel resistive touchscreen, a crap-tastic keyboard (but usable), and 4gb of flash. It was designed and sold by Next Thing Co., which is now out of business. When they went down, their web properties went down too. That included their Debian repo and their flash images.

When you get a new PocketChip, it comes flashed with the PocketHome interface. This is a six icon menu that includes Pico8 games, and the terminal. If you're like me, you just want your Linux handheld. I am not a fan of PocketHome.

There was a flashable image for an XFCE Debian desktop interface for the PocketChip. However, if you follow links online for it, the site is down.

Here's how you do it anyway

There is a collection of all the flash images on Archive.org. Download these for posterity. The one you want is stable GUI. Instructions for flashing are still available here. After flashing the GUI image you will need to edit /etc/apt/sources.list as instructed on this site. Note that the archive listed earlier also contains a .tar.bz2 version of the entire repo if you want to self host. Follow the instructions in this video to install PocketDesk. This will correct your touchscreen after flashing the GUI image, and also reinstall the PocketChip stock software such as Pico8.

Important! that video will tell you to git clone the PocketDesk git repo and blindly run the PocketDESK.sh script. You need to modify that shell script and remove the line that adds a defunct repo to your /etc/apt/sources.list it will then succeed and you will be left with a decent little WiFi terminal that can run xorg apps (the vertical screen res makes things like firefox suck ass, but chocolate doom runs nicely).

All content © 2017-2019 Nathaniel Leveck, all rights reserved. Gopher links funneled through the RPoD gopher->http proxy server.