[APT] Pocket Home (Marshmallow edition)


Hello world,
As some of you adviced me, I am creating my own thread for my fork of pocket home :grinning:

Installing via apt-get is now possible !

Big thank to sgentle (https://github.com/sgentle), it’s now possible to use apt-get to install and upgrade !
Instructions can be found in the README on github: https://github.com/o-marshmallow/PocketCHIP-pocket-home/blob/master/README.md

Why forking the built-in pocket-home ?
In the beginning, I forked it to correct the bug of having multiple pages when you have more than 6 icons and then I started working on what I read on this forum : what people needed or what they would like to see.

Why using this instead of the built-in one ?
For the moment, this home let you have more than 6 icons on the main panel and personalize it by adding icons, deleting icons, changing the background (color or image).
I am planning adding more features (mainly when I’ll get my PocketCHIP). If you have any suggestions, you can tell me :grin:

Changelog :

  • There is now a right-click style menu for each icon (Ctrl+click to trigger it)
  • Icons can be moved via the previous menu
  • Icons information can now be editted via the menu
  • Icons can be deleted via the menu
  • New settings menu for date and time
  • New settings menu for input (calibration + visible cursor)

NOTE: To be able to display a cursor, the file /home/chip/awesome/rc.lua is modified by the installer script, a backup is created in the same folder if you want to restore it.

  • JPG images are now supported in the file browsers (icon & background)
  • Using i2cget to get the charging status
  • Using i2cget to get the percentage of the battery
  • Icons don’t wobble under the finger anymore
  • Added a delay (500ms) between click and drag for icon
  • Added file browser for choosing a icon path
  • IP address displayed on the homescreen, if connected
  • Homescreen switching arrow are now on the left and right
  • Added lockscreen after pCHIP goes sleeping
  • “Sudo password” replaces “Root password”
  • Battery charging icons are yellow now
  • Removed trash icon for Delete mode
  • If an icon image path is invalid or empty, a default icon is set
  • When deleting an icon, the program does not reboot anymore, it’s deleted dynamically
  • To delete an icon, drag and drop it to the trash icon (it will appear on the top while dragging)
  • Empty pages are automatically deleted (if it doesn’t have any icon on it anymore)
  • Added clock near by the wifi icon (only 24-hours mode for the moment)
  • Added advanced settings menu
  • Added login system : you can now set a password you need to type to enter your homescreen
  • Default background color is darker (when image background cannot be loaded
  • Delete icon mode changed, it’s a simple button now, not a switch anymore
  • Absolute file path supported for icons
  • Added file browser for background image
  • Background mode is automatically set in settings
  • No need to reboot when modifying settings (adding icons or changing background)
  • Fixed invisible custom icon
  • Changed the way of displaying the version in the system page (Alpha 6.1 instead of
  • Added Normal/Delete mode in the main window
  • Corrected bug which didn’t allow modifying the background color/image or adding an icon
  • Added build version in the shutdown menu

Do you have some screenshots ?
Of course ! :yum:

Login screen :

New home screen with time and ip:

Advanced Settings menu :

Adding/Changing the password:

Removing your password :

Is there any requirement before installing ?
Yes, there are , first update the package list. To do so, open a Terminal and type the command:
sudo apt-get update

Then, if you haven’t installed xinput-calibrator already, type:
sudo apt install xinput-calibrator

Where to download ?
Here is the installer/updater :
(If you prefer long url : https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B1jRc4IqT9kiN0pfb3FGdlJtZjA

MD5: 67a28cda89b7f90a91070dc3a0614791
SHA1: 43572755f2f2d867df8b48d6dc45864d12bc05c4

How to install ?

  • You can launch the following command directly from your PocketCHIP to download the script:
    wget -O install-pockethome http://bit.ly/29uWueR

  • Give the permissions to execute the script with :
    chmod +x install-pockethome

  • Then you only need to execute it :

PS: I advise you to have a working ssh server on your CHIP to be able to access it from any computer “in case of”

How to update ?
The script does everything, it will automatically detect if a newer release is available. If there is, it will download and install it.

How to uninstall/return to the original home ?
First, you need to redownload the original dev package. You can get it here:

Then launch:
sudo dpkg -i pocket-home_0.0.5_armhf.deb

Time is not correct, how do I set the correct timezeone ?
Thanks to @Kilrah for the command : sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

How to add an icon or change background color/image ?
From the Personalize screen in Settings
No need to reboot anymore

How to make an icon execute a script ?
let’s say you script is located in /home/chip/myscript.sh, in the Command field of the icon, specify:
vala-terminal -fs 8 -g 20 20 -e "/home/chip/myscript.sh"

How to delete an icon ?
Drag the desired icon and drop it in the trash that appears on the top of the screen
You only need to switch to Delete mode and then click an icon, an alert window will appear then
Then switch back to normal mode to launch your icons

Why my root password is needed when adding or removing the pocket-home password ?
The pocket-home password is hashed (with sha1) and stored in: ~/.pocket-home/.passwd/passwd However, this file is owned by root (and the parent folder too). As this, even if someone has access to your pocket-home, he won’t be able to delete or modify your password.

Where is the config file now ?
This new pocket-home won’t modify or use /usr/share/pocket-home/config.json.
The new config file is located in ~/.pocket-home/config.json, however you don’t need to edit this file manually. It’s modified by the Personalize menu.

Installation failed but when I launch the script it says I am up-to-date, what to do ?
This problem appears when installation failed, for example because of a wrong password for root. What you have to do is to delete the file containing your version info, use this command :
rm ~/.pocket-home/.version

What about the other assets ?
As the images or other config files don’t need to be changed, they are still located in the /usr/share/pocket-home folder

What about the source code ?
You can find the source code here : https://github.com/o-marshmallow/PocketCHIP-pocket-home

Is there any bug ?

  • When modifying the name of an icon (thanks to the menu), it’s not updated, you need to reboot

I have a suggestion, an idea, what to do ?
You can :

Thanks to :

  • NTC for creating this awesome computer
  • @Celti who made my git cleaner to compile
  • @liambeeblebrox who helped me testing and gave me the idea of theme
  • @Doc who helped me testing and gave me the idea of changing the delete mode icon
  • @Rhaum for the tip of using bit.ly
  • @Biggy for his testing and support
  • @Rhaum & @Nezra for testing the v0.0.7
  • @jhnolan Giving the command making an icon executing a script
  • @CometCoder For testing v0.0.8(.2)
  • @CapnBry For the i2cget commands (for battery)

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You’re the man!! I will try it in the next hours!!


It’s very cool. Why NTC doesn’t made it…


Who knows, maybe NTC may incorporate this back into the official pocket home. That’s the wonderful thing about this open source thingamagic where one can freely study, change, and redistribute the source and changes back to anyone and for any purpose and in so doing generates an increasingly more diverse thingamagic than any one company is capable of developing and sustaining. Here’s to @marshmallow and all the other wonderful people who make and will make beautiful changes and additions to all the thingamagics out there.


Two feature suggestions:

  1. PulseAudio support for the mixer widget. Yes, the ALSA translation layer does work, but it’s not perfect. Requires some DBus knowledge and either a settings toggle or some autodetection.
  2. A Bluetooth settings widget/menu (and ideally an extra indicator on the home screen, perhaps next to the WiFi). Requires a fair bit of DBus knowledge, but IIRC there are a couple of useful wrapper libraries.

I have vague intentions of working on these myself, but I don’t actually know C++ and don’t like DBus much, so it’ll be a bit.


Will answer quickly with the hope the thread goes back to it’s main intent: help/issues with this awesome mod.

NTC had the more than 6 icon issue fixed, but it got missed in the release of PocketCHIP. This stuff happens.

They sent out a UI that is easy to work with and told us they were going to tell us how to hack it. We figured out the hacking before they gave us the info. That’s what we as a community do.

I have no doubt that NTC is loving the work the community is doing on pocket-home. I think they will incorporate these changes into the mainline, but @marshmallow will have to initiate that with a pull request. Or they may just copy over the changes on their own, but that isn’t as proper as the pull request route.

With CHIP_IO, I know they’re (NTC) is using it because they’ve asked for clarification on things and have reported bugs to me.

I have reason to believe one or more of them has installed this version of pocket-home and is having a blast with the added features. If I was working for them, I would.


I got it to work!! But i can’t change where the icons on the grid are placed.


Thnak you all for your support !

Thank you @Celti for your suggestions, I have never worked with DBus but I can learn I think. I will wheck this when I’ll have the CHIP.

@xtacocorex I have made a pull request which corrects the bug of many pages, it’s still opened : I think NTC have really a lot of work recently with the amount of pre-order they have, so I understand them.
I don’t know whether I should make a pull request for the feature I added, maybe they don’t really want it, I don’t know. However I will be glad to make a pull request for this !:grinning:

@AbelDeBanaan It’s not possible yet (except changing the json file by hand, but of course this is what I want to avoid for you) but thank you for this idea, I write this down for next updates :wink:


Thanks!! Can’t wait


Very nice thanks for all your hard work so far @marshmallow


I’m curious as to why the battery icon is at 0% in the screenshots. Is that a bug?


He’s building it on his main computer via cross compile, running it, and grabbing screenshots that way.


You could perform a pull request on github! They might accept it


I think you should do a PR for the added features. The worst they can do is reject it and you keep going down your path.


@xtacocorex said it all : when I launch it on my computer, that’s what I get but on the PokcetCHIP is works correctly.

So I will follow you and make a pull request :grin:

Customizeable Home Screens

I got it installed but the Normal Mode button wont toggle.


It will, but it’s so hard to tap (@marshmallow hint hint…)


On my computer it does toggle, but you aren’t the only one who tells me it’s hard to use it on the CHIP : I agree it’s not very convenient. It has been advised to me to use an icon, instead. I will change it soon :wink:


Thanks for the fast reply!! Keep up the good work :smile:


I have been following the progress on this closely and I am very impressed @marshmallow !
I cannot wait to get my hands on my pC.H.I.P. This will be the first thing I do after updating it. Thanks for all the hardwork everyone has put into this!