Remounting a read-only filesystem on Android

Following on from my last post, I figured that copying the hosts file from my laptop to my phone would be a very good idea. In principle, this is just a case of getting the file onto my phone and then copying it to /etc/hosts.

Obviously, I need root access to do this but, with a Fairphone 1 this is not a problem.

What did catch me out, though, is that /system is mounted as a read only file system. It’s not difficult to get around, but I am noting it here so I can easily look up the steps when I next do this.

# mount -o rw,remount /system
# cp /storage/sdcard0/Download/hosts /etc
# mount -o ro,remount /system

For other phones, some pathnames may vary.

Fat fingered discovery of the day

It’s amazing how much you can learn with a little clumsiness. In my case, all I wanted to do is power off the screen on my Fairphone and, instead, I took a screenshot.

A quick search reveals that this is because I (unintentionally) had my thumb on the volume down button when I pressed the power button.

So now I have a screenshot, so here it is.

The Fairphone has landed

Look what turned up in the post today

Not surprisingly, I have spent most of the evening playing around with my new toy and I have to say that I am very impressed indeed. The screen is beautifully large and clear and the fonts are gorgeous.

The phone has turned up a little (two months) later than originally expected but I have to admit that I have found this surprisingly un-annoying. I think much of this comes down to the fact that the Fairphone team have done an excellent job of communicating what problems they have faced, what they’re doing about them and when they think I will get my phone. This is a very refreshing changed from the closed-lip attempts at PR and damage limitation practiced by far too many firms.

By clearly seeking to meet their own high standards throughout every part of the process, the Fairphone team have managed to retain a lot of good will.

And the phone itself has proved to be well worth the wait.

Buy a phone, start a movement

Although my current phone is starting to look a little long in the tooth, I have been holding off replacing it for a number of reasons. But now I have just seen my next phone (via).

The Fairphone is an Android phone that seeks raise the ethical bar of the technology industry. It is made from conflict-free resources and the handsets will be made in factories that actually pay attention to worker welfare. They even have a programme to reduce the electronic waste generated when the phone is no longer wanted.

They need 5,000 pre-orders in order to start production and there 80% of the way there with less than two weeks to go. I’ve ordered mine and am looking forward to opening it in the autumn.